ACCG 308 Assignment 1 – Business Plan
The purpose of this assignment is to create a short but comprehensive three-year business plan for a new business venture. The venture should be for-profit, but have clear social benefits which would allow it to be considered as a ‘B-Corporation’ 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).
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.
Each plan must contain the following elements:
1/ A business plan pitch, that would be suitable to post on a crowdsourcing platform including at least 4 tiers of rewards for backers 2/ The business opportunity
3/ The sales and marketing strategy
4/ The operational strategy
6/ References [Not included in page limit]
The plan should also be presented in a logical and appealing manner.
You should use 12 point Arial font and line spacing should be minimum of 1.15. Standard margins should be used (top and bottom 2.54cm; left and right 3.17cm).
The assignment will be marked by tutors.
Assignments should be submitted online via iLearn.
The coversheet is available here:
DO NOT USE THE PDF VERSION OF THE COVERSHEET. It cannot be read by turn-it-in which means we need to contact you directly to resubmit your assignment.
DO NOT SUBMIT WORK YOU HAVE SUBMITTED BEFORE OR COPIED FROM SOMEONE ELSE.
There are severe penalties for plagiarism and self-plagiarism.
Your business plan should be presented with the following headings:
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%]
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.
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 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
5% – Visual impact – appropriate use of pictures and diagram
No cover sheet OR use of PDF version of coversheet: – 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.
Business Plan FAQs
1/ Do I have to reference my sources?
Yes – if you are referring to external information – industry reports, statistics etc. then they should be properly referenced.
2/ Do I have to follow a particular referencing format?
Yes, APA 6. For more information about this style and help with referencing refer to this library blog post: http://teche.ltc.mq.edu.au/style-alert-apa-style-central-toolbox-research-publishing/
3/ Does my reference list count in the page limit?
4/ My amazing financial report / awesome marketing plan / brilliant idea can’t possibly fit into the page limit.
We realise that you will have lots more detail behind what you are submitting. But you have to make it concise, punchy and to the point.
5/ I’ve got to the end of the process and I realise that my idea isn’t going to make that much money (in fact I now think it sucks). What should I do?
We are not judging the quality of your idea, but rather how well you can put together a business plan. So don’t worry and submit your plan anyway. Include a comment in the plan that makes it clear that this is not a profitable opportunity, but point to areas that might warrant further exploration (and don’t quit your day job just yet).
6/ How realistic should my plan be?
It should be as realistic as possible. If you really think you can get equity finance of a few billion then sure, present your plan for beating Apple at making phones. Otherwise present something that you might just be able to pull off (with a bit of luck). All ventures may fail, so investors are looking for ones that promise high returns if they succeed.
7/ What does it mean to include ‘assumptions’ in the financial plan?
The requirements of the rubric state that the financial information must be “consistent” with the other elements of the business plan.
8/ Should I submit a cover page and table of contents?
Yes you should submit a cover page. A table of contents is optional. See the detailed submission instructions page here on iLearn for further details on what to include in the cover page.
10/ I failed the unit previously because of that %#$ stuff on consolidation, but I wrote an awesome business plan. Can I just resubmit it again this semester?
- This is clearly against the University plagiarism policy. You need to submit a DIFFERENT business plan to what you submitted before. Look on the bright side – your new plan may turn out to be the one that makes you famous!
I think my tutor has misunderstood my brilliance and also I’ve heard that they mark harder than anyone else who has ever lived. What should I do?
First of all, rest assured that we look at the distribution of marks between tutors to make sure marking is consistent between tutors.If you are unhappy with your mark you should set up a meeting with your tutor to go through your assignment. If you remain unhappy you have the right to contact the Unit Convenor of this module to discuss further, but be aware that changing marks is very rare.