This Business Plan Development course is designed to help prepare future entrepreneurs to formalize and communicate their business idea to a variety of audiences including potential funders such as banks, other lending institutions, government agencies, and venture capitalists. This course will help ensure that future entrepreneurs understand how to conduct a competitor analysis by asking key questions about their competitors. It will also guide them through the process of profiling customers and determining the target market for their goods or services. With this as a background, and drawing on the other courses in this certificate program, future entrepreneurs will be develop a complete business plan for their business venture including all of the financial components, competitive analyses, and customer profiles.
Upon completion of this course, future entrepreneurs should be able to:
1. Identify, develop and evaluate a business idea.
2. Acquire the entrepreneurial skills required to gather and analyze industry information, potential markets, assess the impact of competitors and define the needs of potential customers.
3. Analyze the environment or industry in which the proposed business will exist.
4. Conduct a feasibility analysis.
5. Create a customer profile.
6. Analyze the competition and determine their impact on your proposed business venture.
7. Produce strategies to address the competition.
8. Develop a revenue generation model and growth strategies.
9. Produce a multi‐year financial plan that supports the business venture.
10. Projecting business growth and its impact on resources, personnel and finances.
11. Describe the content of a business plan.
12. Apply the business planning process to produce a business plan.
The course is divided into four units:
- Unit 1: Creating a New Business from the Ground‐up
- Unit 2: Competitor Analysis
- Unit 3: Customer Profile
- Unit 4: Business Planning
Each unit is further broken down into related topics. Each unit and many topics include self‐ reflection questions to ponder, activities to complete and formal assignments to complete and send to your instructor.
The units contain a number of references that learners are encouraged to review. This may require that you have access to a computer with Internet connection to download the reference. Each unit should take between two and three weeks to complete.
Assignments And Projects
A series of activities and assignments guide you through concepts in this course and ask you to demonstrate that you can apply the concepts to support the creation of your business idea and business model. A summary of this work is included at the beginning of each unit. The major assignment in this course is found in Unit Four, where you will write a business plan for your new venture. Your institution / tutor will help you through this material and will also assign additional projects.
To capture the output from the reflective questions and activities you are asked to keep a personal journal. At the end of the course the personal journal will be submitted to your instructor for feedback and grading.
Assessment takes the form of responding to activities, as well as written assignments and examinations as determined from time‐time by the institution. In cases where coursework assignments, fieldwork projects, and examinations are used in combination, a percentage rating for each component will be communicated to you at the appropriate time.
This course is worth 16 credits, or a credit value assigned by your institution. Each credit is equivalent to 10 notional hours. You are, therefore advised to spend not less than 160 hours of study on the course. This notional time includes:
going over activities embedded in the study material; peer group interaction (where necessary);
face‐to‐face tutorials (where necessary);
working on tutor‐marked assignments; and
preparation time for and sitting examinations (where that is a requirement.)
A course schedule with due dates and additional readings will be supplied to you by your institution.
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How to contract a tutor/facilitator (Phone number, email, office hours, etc.).
Background information about the tutor/facilitator if he/she does not change regularly. Alternatively provide a separate letter with the package describing your tutor/facilitator’s background.
Description of any resources that they may need to procure to complete the course (e.g. lab kits, etc.).
How to access the library (either in person, by email or online).
How to Submit Assignments
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