ACCG 308  Business Plan

The purpose of this assignment is to create a short but comprehensive three-year business plan for a new for-profit business venture.

The plan should be a maximum of 9 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 summary of your business plan

2/ The business opportunity

3/ The sales and marketing strategy

4/ The operational strategy

5/ The financial plans

6/ References [Not included in page limit]

Your business plan should be presented with the following headings:

Business Plan1.0 Business Plan Summary [15%]

15% – 1/2 – page summary that gives an overview of all key elements of the business plan and makes the reader want to learn more about the business proposal.

2.0 Business Opportunity [15%]

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 Relevant megatrends

5% – Business opportunity is well justified with reference to ‘megatrends’ and external data (e.g. ABS reports; industry reports)

2.3 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 consistent with the previous sections of the business plan.

5.2 Key assumptions, capital requirements and funding plan

5% – Key assumptions which underpin the financial statements are clearly articulated and justified. 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 appropriately use the correct APA format

Deductions

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.


1/ Do I have to reference my sources?
Business Plan 

Yes – when you are referring to external information – industry reports, statistics etc. they must be properly referenced. Please see the marking criteria for the extent of referencing expected; use of external sources is vital to this report.

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 9-page limit?

No. It should be included as an appendix.

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).

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. Therefore good plans will explicitly show a link between the financial information and the other sections of the plan – e.g. the marketing section will detail the type and level of marketing to be conducted and this calculation will be shown as a footnote to the financial plan.

8/ Should I submit a cover page and table of contents? Are they included in the 9 page limit?

Yes you should submit a cover page. A table of contents is optional. Neither will be included in the 9 page limit. 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?

  1. 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!

11/ I’m disappointed with my mark. 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. This is one reason assignments sometimes take a while to return, as sometimes tutors are asked to remark their assignments. 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 to discuss further, but be aware that changing marks is very rare.

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