The assignment requirement is to create a short but comprehensive three-year business plan for a new australian business venture. The venture should be for-profit, but have clear social benefits which would allow it to be considered as a ‘BCorporation’ in a few years.
In addition, at least part of the capital should be raised via a crowdsourcing campaign (e.g. via Kickstarter or similar service). Please read this assessment guide carefully, including the FAQs at the end of this document, and ask your tutors if you have any questions.
Pro tip: Your plan must be JUSTIFIED. This assignment is not a creative writing exercise. What this means is that the assumptions that you make should be based on external evidence. Don’t just pick numbers out of thin air – work out what the staff you require will expect to get paid. Research the wholesale rates for your inputs. Find similar warehouse space to what you will need, and find out what it costs. And above all, put all these external references in your business plan so that the marker can see that you have put something credible together. If there is one common criticism of the poorer business plans that we have seen it is this: “not enough evidence”. So from the beginning start working on collecting strong evidence for the key assumptions / financials in your plan.
Detailed Requirements The plan should be a maximum of 10 pages, including financial information as per below, but excluding references. ANY MATERIAL BEYOND THE PAGE LIMIT WILL NOT BE MARKED.
You should use 12 point Arial font and line spacing should be 1.15. Standard margins should be used (top and bottom 2.54cm; left and right 3.17cm). The assignment should be submitted on iLearn as ONE file which EITHER BE A WORD OR PDF file. DO NOT submit a different format – e.g. Apple Pages, compressed zip file, etc. It messes up the turn-it-in process which then means I need to contact you and wastes your time and my time.
This means you will need to EMBED your Excel spreadsheet in the word document or combine it in a pdf file. If you don’t know how to do that here are a couple of video tutorials from the amazing resource Lynda.com (access is free for students and you should definitely check it out if you haven’t already – note that you may need to cut and paste the links into your browser as pdf links can be problematic):
Embed an excel table into word: • https://www.lynda.com/Office-tutorials/Inserting-Excel-tablecalculations-charts/378044/432816-4.html
Combine multiple files into a pdf: • https://www.lynda.com/Acrobat-tutorials/Combining-multiplePDFs/175718/386926-4.html
Your business plan should be presented with the following headings: Let me say that again: your business plan should be presented with the following headings. Your plan will get a mark for the material in each of the sub-headings. It is therefore much easier for the markers (i.e. your tutor) if you use the headings below, including numbers. Even more important, it is better for you because you can see what you have done and what you have left to do. In the sage-like words of my high school maths teacher: “a blank page gets no marks”.
Business Plan Headings (compulsory to use)
1.0 Business Plan Pitch
1.1 Written pitch
1.2 Visual pitch
1.3 Backer rewards
2.0 Business Opportunity
2.1 Customer need and target market
2.2 Social impact
2.3 Relevant megatrends
2.4 Similar successful campaign
2.5 Opportunity testing plan
3.0 Sales and Marketing strategy
3.2 Social media and free publicity
3.3 Measurement and information
4.0 Operational strategy
4.1 Operational structure
4.3 Operational risks
5.0 Financial plans
5.1 P&L and Balance Sheet
5.2 Capital requirements and funding plan
5.3 Valuation and justification
Business Plan Detailed Marking Criteria:
The criteria below will be used to evaluate each element of your plan. This will be used in conjunction with the ‘Overall Criteria’ (p. 6) to determine the grade awarded for each element of your plan.
1.0 Business Plan Pitch [15%]
1.1 Written pitch 5% – extent to which your pitch ‘sells’ the project by presenting a compelling story of the benefits to all stakeholders
1.2 Visual pitch 5% – quality of images that accompany the text (note that these must be attributed, and either be your images or you must have the appropriate permission to use them in your campaign, i.e. they are open-source)
1.3 Backer rewards 5% – originality, desirability and feasibility of a minimum of four (4) tiers of rewards offered to backers.
2.0 Business Opportunity [25%]
2.1 Customer need and target market 5% – Business opportunity is clearly articulated with reference to plausible customer need and target market characteristics
2.2 Social impact 5% – Social benefit – the plan explains the social benefits of the enterprise to one or more stakeholder groups
2.3 Relevant megatrends 5% – Business opportunity is well justified with reference to ‘megatrends’ and external data (e.g. ABS reports; industry reports)
2.4 Similar successful campaign 5% – Reference to a similar enterprise to yours which has been funded at least partly via crowdsourcing, which includes brief details as to the operations and capital raised.
2.5 Opportunity testing plan 5% – Business opportunity includes one plausible and low-cost way that market demand assumptions can be tested.
3.0 Sales and Marketing strategy [15%]
3.1 Fundamentals 5% – Sales and marketing strategy clearly articulates an appropriate key product success factor, price, place and promotion strategy and sales force.
3.2 Social media and free publicity 5% – Sales and marketing strategy well explains plausible strategies for social media marketing and one idea for obtaining free publicity.
3.3 Measurement and information 5% – Sales and marketing strategy includes appropriate measures of success and a plausible process for obtaining ongoing market information.
4.0 Operational strategy [15%]
4.1 Operational structure 5% – Operational strategy provides an appropriate organisational structure, key positions and supplier needs.
4.2 Outsourcing 5% – Operational strategy provides plausible details as to how positions will be filled with reference to suitability (or otherwise) of outsourcing sites.
4.3 Operational risks 5% – Operational strategy identifies plausible key operational risks and plan to manage these risks, as well as information as to how employees / contractors will be motivated to provide the best performance.
5.0 Financial plans [15%]
5.1 P&L and Balance Sheet 5% – Financial plans provide a three year P&L summary (1/2 page) and Balance sheet summary (1/2 page) that are JUSTIFIED and consistent with the previous sections of the business plan.
5.2 Capital requirements and funding plan 5% – Financial plans identify plausible initial capital requirements and capital funding plan.
5.3 Valuation and justification 5% – Financial plans include a plausible business valuation at the end of year 3 and briefly justifies the valuation method adopted.
6.0 References [5%] 5% – References cited in APA format (this mark is for correct formatting only: marks for depth of research and extent of referencing are embedded in the marks for the other sections as per above.
Additional marking elements [10%]
5% – Readability – clarity of text and expression, extent to which work is free from typographical and grammatical errors, compliance with specifications in terms of margins, spacing etc.
5% – Visual impact – appropriate use of pictures and diagrams Deductions Wrong file format: – 10% Late work: As per Unit Guide Plagiarism or self-plagiarism (submitting work you have submitted before, either to this unit or to other units or institutions): Significant penalties, depending on the extent of plagiarism. Total: 100%
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