Business Plan Summary

ENTR.ECON 301- Entrepreneurship & New Venture Creation

The Business Plan Summary is a concise report of your idea and its feasibility (the same one as in the Elevator Pitch).  It is an early attempt to pull together your work on ideation, opportunity identification, opportunity assessment, customer discovery, and customer validation.  While it is not a complete business plan, it does address how you will create and capture value.  This specific plan will also reflect the information that you collected for previous assignments in this course and serves as a comprehensive summary of your work.

You may want to use a business plan template such as the one provided in Scarborough and Cornwall to guide you in information gathering and decision making.  However, be careful to select the pertinent information to include here.  Like most business plan templates, the Scarborough and Cornwall guide is designed with complete plans in mind and is targeted at 15 to 20 page documents.  You are doing a Business Plan Summary which is limited to seven (7) pages.  Think of the Business Plan Summary as an extended Executive Summary. 

There are a number of topics which you must address explicitly and delineate using subheads:

  • Introduction (The “Hook” – Problem statement that engages the reader)
  • Company Description (overview of who, what, when, where, why, and how)
  • Product/Service Description (product, pricing strategy, place/distribution)
  • Competitive Differentiation (Unique Selling Proposition or Value Proposition – use your research!)
  • Customer & Market Analysis, including market size and potential customers (Target market and industry overview, including relevant trends – provide data and cite it in APA format – use your research!)
  • Competitor Analysis (direct and indirect – use your research!)
  • Financial Information – (Financial projections and startup capital requirements – How much money do you need, in what form, to do what, and how will it return to the lender or investor? When will you be profitable?  How profitable? – educated estimates)
  • Sustainability & Growth (Long term sustainability – How will you grow, survive and succeed? What makes the team right for the business? Who will be on it? What roles need to be filled? What makes you qualified to succeed? – This section should make the reader want to invest or join the team!)

Unlike much of the written work that you complete in the course of undergraduate studies, this summary is limited in size and scope.  It is meant to be clear, concise and compelling.  The following rules apply:

  • Seven (7) page limit on the business plan summary (double spaced, 1 inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font).
  • Include a cover page with the company name and names of the members on it (not included in the five-page limit).
  • Include a “hook” in the Introduction at the beginning to capture the reader’s interest and attention.
  • Use subheadings to clarify segments.
  • Use References in APA 7th format to cite your sources. (You must have sources.  Typically three (3) to five (5) different citations are sufficient to support this.  The “References” page does not count toward the seven (7) page maximum.)
  • You may want to create a Business Model Canvas to help you sort out these categories of information.  You are welcome to include it (not part of the seven-page limit).
  • Remember to select a voice (“we” or “they”) and a tense (“future” or “present”) to talk about the business and use each consistently so that the paper does not keep shifting from one to another.
  • The Business Plan Summary is a team project and each team member is expected to participate in all aspects of the project.  If you worked on the elevator pitch by yourself, you will do this assignment by yourself. If team members write their sections of the Business Plan Summary separately, it is important to revise the document to avoid a “Frankenstein” paper written in different voices, tenses, fonts, and styles.
  • The complete written assignment is worth 12.5% of your grade for the course.  Please see the grading rubric for scoring information.
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