The focus of this course is on business plans and planning in the context of new venture development. It provides a process for skills-development in writing business plans. In addition, the material is designed to invite critical discussion of the role of business plans in entrepreneurship and provide a framework for reflective thinking and action in environments that are characterized by instability and discontinuous change. This course is the third in a series of four courses in the entrepreneurship cycle, and builds on the previous two courses.
In a step-by-step fashion, students will develop a business plan for their new venture. Parallel to this process, potential issues, limitations, and additional considerations regarding the uses of business plans and business planning will be discussed. Independent research for one’s own business plan is an important part of the course requirements. The final project assignment for this course will contain three parts: First, a business plan in a standard format; second, a reflection section about the business plan process; and third, a reworked overview of the business model (based on the business model canvas) in light of the insights from the business plan research and thought process.
Course Learning Objectives
- Discuss critically the role of planning and the uses of business plans in different contexts.
- Articulate a convincing business proposition and description of added value in the marketplace.
- Develop marketing plans that address strategic and tactical elements.
- Outline an operational management plan for a new venture.
- Plan for financial needs and contingencies, and for the formal legal structure of a new venture.
- Design an organizational structure that is aligned with the value proposition and legal structure of the venture.
- Articulate one’s own approach to ethics and organizational culture in the context of entrepreneurship.
- Write a business plan document that meets professional standards.