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Superior University

MANUAL FOR MBA PROJECT


WRITING

Prepared by Usman Sadiq

Superior University

GUIDELINES FOR MBA FINAL PROJECT


1.

INTRODUCTION

MBA students are required to take this module. They will gain 6 credits under this
module. Therefore, it affects the CGPA. Hence, it is the critical module in MBA
Programme.

2.

OPPORTUNITIES
This module enables MBA students to develop interest and enhance their expertise in
the area which they have profound implications in their later endeavours.
Therefore, it is not only an academic requirement but also:
An opportunity for authentic, inexpensive assessment of business venture through
feasibility report;
A chance to convert a viable idea into reliable and workable business plan

Simple advice from superior University make the most out of it.

3.

OBJECTIVES
The aim of this module is to provide the opportunity to conduct an extended systematic
enquiry under supervision into a business area where the MBA students are interested
in. More specifically,

Consolidation of the skills and competencies acquired in MBA;


Experience the application of analytical skills in the practical implication of business
conceptions
Develop an understanding how an entrepreneurial venture is created
Identify and critically assess a market opportunity, national or international, and the
nature and extent of the risks attached to it with the help of feasibility analysis
Develop a business plan with a suitable market entry strategy and risk analysis by
synthesizing the researched data into a holistic concept for presentation to potential
investors
Present their business ideas before potential investors

To success in the module, MBA students have to demonstrate two broad abilities:
analyses and syntheses, in ways appropriate to choose and provide solid business ideas

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and develop feasibilities to check the viability of particular idea. This requires the
students to extract and dissect the essential elements of the provided ideas and to
integrate information and opinions through the framework of the experts own
judgements and viewpoints. These abilities must be demonstrated at a level of
sophistication at least equivalent to that expected in other graduate papers.

4.

COURSE DESCRIPTION
The key features of the project work under this course are, the MBA students have to
develop a solid and viable business plan. Before developing business document,
students are required to critically assess the viability of business idea with the help of
feasibility analysis.
On the other hand, the research may concern not with the development of solid
business plan but with the feasibility of assessing the viability new or proposed
products, services, approaches or new ventures. It may, in other words, require you to
be involved in research for which there is not present basic or precedents to serve as a
set of guidelines. Whatever is in the project you to undertake, you must make sure it
contributes to knowledge and practice of business world.
Through supervisor directed independent study, students engage in the detailed
development of a, business plan. The intent of the final project is to permit the student
to study and verify the viability of specific idea in great detail.
The method of instruction will be collaboration between the student and supervisor. It
is incumbent upon the student to seek the assistance of a supervisor. The supervisor will
provide direction on the development of the scope of the project.

5.

INVOLVEMENT
Project should be carried out in the group consisting of 4 to 5 students. A project
conducted on presenting viable business opportunities has the advantage of:

6.

Starting their owns business ventures in near future;


Sell their business feasibilities to the organizations of the similar field
Get healthy sponsorships from official bodies such as SMEs etc.
The project experience may directly contribute to the candidates present or
potential career aspirations.

DEADLINES

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There are five key deadlines to meet - the initial proposal, the first meeting with
supervisor, the submission of the feasibility report (phase wise), the submission of the
final draft, the submission of the final report.
Here is a table with some suggested critical dates for the students of superior university
business project Module, Session 2016

Sr.

Dates

Activities and tasks

Timing

24-04-16

10:00am 03:00pm

2
3
4

07-05-16
15-05-16
29-05-16

5
6
7

12-06-16
26-06-16
03-07-16

8
9
10
11
12

07-08-16
28-08-16
04-09-16
11-09-16
25-09-16

Introductory session-how to select viable business


idea and how to develop feasibility report
Idea proposal (should be emailed)
Group discussion for idea selection
Submission of product/service and organizational
feasibility report
Submission of market/industry feasibility report
Submission of financial feasibility report
Lecture on how to develop business plan of viable
idea + review of emended feasibility reports (group
discussions)
Group discussion on business plan
Group discussion on business plan
Group Presentations
Group Presentations
Group Presentations

10:00 p.m
11:00pm 1:00pm
10:00am 12:30pm
10:00am 12:30pm
10:00am 12:30pm
10:00am 12:30pm

10:00am 12:30pm
10:00am 12:30pm
10:00am 12:30pm
10:00am 12:30pm
10:00am 12:30pm

SEVEN STEPS IN MANAGING A STUDENT PROJECT


1.

Do ensure that your selected team (see annexure I) has been registered with the
supervisor

2.

Select some key ideas, which are interested in or you can handle it and competent.
Develop a research proposal (see annexure II) on each idea (at least do initial working on
4 to 5 ideas).

3.

Check with your supervisors that the proposal which you have developed is suitable. Get
your supervisor to comment on this. Negotiate what is required for acceptance of the
finished report. What is the appropriate length for the kind of assignment you have set
yourself? What are the constraints applying to the project (e.g. time, scope of what do
you want to do, costs, etc). Do bear in mind that you must be able to complete the
project with the time available.

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4.

Develop feasibility report as per attached in annexure III according to supervisor


guidelines (at least work on 2 feasibilities to avoid an unexpected circumstances).

5.

Once your feasibility report is approved by your supervisor, start to work on business
plan itself.

6.

Prepare a draft outline of the sections of the business plan (given in annexure IV). As
you do the research, try to write parts of each these sections as you go. This helps you
to keep an overview of the entire project and avoid getting to wrap up in any one aspect
to the detriment of whole.

7.

As soon as it is clear how the final report is going to look, send a draft copy of it to your
supervisors for comments. Make corrections and changes as required. Complete the
report and send it in, in final typed form.

SPECIFICATIONS FOR RESEARCH PROJECT


Number of Copies
A student is required to submit the research project in the following format: two bound copies,
1 cd in PDF format to the student office. All research projects must be submitted within the
given deadline
Language of Research Project
All Research Projects must be prepared in English
Typeface and Font Size
Typeface to be used is Times New Roman. The same typeface should be used throughout the
research project. Font size of 12 point should be used for the main body of the text, which
should not be script or italic. 14 and 13 font size is recommended for main heading and sub
headings accordingly. A laser or other high quality printer is recommended.
Paper
High quality bong paper A4 size, 80b/m2 must be used for all the submitted copies. The paper
should be white in colour, acid free and "non-erasable" kind.
Corrections
Corrections of typographical errors, or changes in the text, figures or tables, must be made as
cleanly and invisibly as possible. Correction fluid cannot be used. Corrections should be made
on the original before recopying or reprinting the problem page.
Covers and Binding
The Research Project should be bound in colour black.

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Typeface to be used is Times New Roman


Font size to be used for:
Front Cover of the project (Appendix IV)
Title of project: 18 and should be in uppercase
Name of candidate, degree awarded and year of project submission: 18 should be in uppercase.
Direction of lettering - run from the top of spine
Photographs
Photographs should be black and white whenever possible. Pages containing photographs
should be numbered as regular pages. When photographs are to be used, they are to be
scanned. Using tape, glue or any type of adhesive to insert photographs is not acceptable.
Pages with photographs should be copied on a colour photocopier.
Non-paper formats
Label for CD includes:
i.
Author's name
ii.
Degree date
* All disks should be write-protected

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Annexure I

MBA PROJECT
TEAM REGISTRATION FORM

TEAM MEMBERS

Roll #

Name

Superior University

Signatures

Annexure II
One page proposal
You are supposed to submit one page proposal of your selected idea on the basis of following
format. You are advised to submit this one page proposal to your supervisor.

Project Team:
Proposed idea:
Idea Overview: Describe your business concept giving a clear functional definition. Ideally,
you should be able to describe your Idea in a few clear sentences:
What is it called?
What does it do?
How will it benefit my customers? (i.e. What problem does it solve?)
Target Market: Describe your target market.
To whom are you trying to sell?
Why those customers?
What do you know about your potential customers?
Explain how the customer benefits from your product or service?
What exists in the market space now?
Why/how is your product different? (i.e. What makes your product unique?)
What compelling reasons exist for why customers need your product or service?
The fit
Who are you?
What characteristics make you entrepreneurial?
Why do you fit with this idea?
What inspired you to come up with this idea?

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Annexure III
Feasibility Assessments Tools
Concept Statement Test
(Assessment Tool)

Write a concept statement for your product/service idea. Show the concept statement to 5 to 10 people.
Select people who will give you informed and candid feedback.
Attached a blank sheet to the concept statement, and ask the people who read the statement to:

Tell you three things they like about your product/service idea
Provide three suggestions for making it better
Tell you whether they think the product or service idea is feasible (or will be successful)
Share any additional comments or suggestions

Summarize the information you obtain from the concept statement into the following three categories:

Strengths of the product or service ideathings people who evaluated your product or
service concept said they liked about the idea
Suggestions for strengthening the ideasuggestions made by people for strengthening
or improving the idea
Overall feasibility of the product or service conceptreport the number of people who
thing the idea is feasible, the number of people who think it isnt feasible, and any
additional comments that were made

Other comments and suggestions

Buying Intentions Survey


(Assessment Tool)
Distribute the concept statement to 15 to 30 prospective customers (do not include any of the people who
completed the concept statement test) with the following buying intentions survey attached. Ask each
participant to read the concept statement and complete the buying intentions survey. Record the number of
people who participated in the survey and the results of the survey here.

Along with the raw data recorded here, report the percentage of the total number of
people you surveyed that said they would probably buy or definitely would buy your
product or service if offered. This percentage is the most important figure in gauging
potential customer interest.

One caveat is that people who say that they intend to purchase a product do not always
follow through, so the numbers resulting from this activity are almost always
optimistic. Still, the numbers provide you with a preliminary indication of how your most
likely customers will respond to your potential product or service offering.

How likely would you be to buy the product or service described above?
______ Definitely would buy

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______ Probably would buy


______ Might or might not buy
______ Probably would not buy
______ Definitely would not buy
Conclusion
(Expand fields and report findings, in discussion form, for each area)

Product/service desirability

Product/service demand

Product/service feasibility (circle the correct response)


o Not Feasible
o Unsure
o Feasible

Suggestions for improving product/service feasibility.

Note: Additional questions may be added to the buying intentions survey.

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Organizational Feasibility
(Assessment Tool)
Description:
We will discuss the following themes:

1.
2.

Management Prowess
Resource Sufficiency

1. Management Prowess
Use the following table to candidly and objectively rate the prowess of the founder or group of founders
who will be starting the proposed venture.
Management Prowess Assessment Tool

Sr. #

Description

1.
2.
3.

Passion for the business idea


Relevant industry experience
Prior entrepreneurial experience
Depth of professional and social
networks
Creativity among management team
members
Experience and expertise in cash flow
management
College graduate

4.
5.
6.

7.

Low Potential

Moderate Potential

High Potential

Low
None
None

Moderate
Moderate
Moderate

High
Extensive
Extensive

Weak

Moderate

Strong

Low

Moderate

High

None

Moderate

High

No college
education

Some college education


but not currently in
college

Graduated or are
currently in
college

2. Resource Sufficiency
The focus in this section is on nonfinancial resources. Use the following table to rate your resource
sufficiency in each category.
The list of resources is not meant to be exhaustive. A list of the 6 to 12 most critical nonfinancial resources for
your proposed business is sufficient.
An explanation of the rating system used in the first portion of the table is as follows:
1 Available
2 Likely to be available: will probably be available and will be within my budget
3 Unlikely to be available: will probably be hard to find or gain access to, and may exceed my
budget
4 Unavailable
5 NA: not applicable for my business

1
1
1
1
1

2
2
2
2
2

3
3
3
3
3

Ratings
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5
4 5

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Resource Sufficiency Assessment Tool


Resource Sufficiency
Office space
Lab space, manufacturing space, or space to launch a service business
Contract manufacturers or outsource providers
Key management employees (now and in the future)
Key support personnel (now and in the future)

1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5
1 2 3 4 5
Ratings: Strong, Neutral, or
Weak

Key equipment needed to operate the business (computers, machinery, delivery


vehicles)
Ability to obtain intellectual property protection on key aspects of the business
Support of local and state government if applicable for business launch
Ability to form favorable business partnerships

Proximity to similar firms (for the purpose of knowledge sharing)


Proximity to suppliers
Proximity to customers
Proximity to a major research university (if applicable)
Conclusion:
(Expand fields and report findings, in discussion form, for each area)

Management prowess
Resource sufficiency
Organizational feasibility (circle the correct response)
o Not Feasible
o Unsure
o Feasible
Suggestions for improving organizational feasibility

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Industry/Market Feasibility
(Assessment Tool)
Description:
Student needs to address the following points in this part:

1.
2.
3.

Industry attractiveness
Target market attractiveness
Market Timeliness

1. Industry Attractiveness
To the extent possible, assess the industry at the PSIC code level your potential business will be entering.
Assess the attractiveness of the industry the potential business plans to enter on each of the following
dimensions.
Industry Attractiveness Assessment Tool
(Used to assess the broad industry, rather than the specific target market, you plan to enter)

Sr. #

Description

1
2

Number of competitors
Age of industry

Growth rate of industry

Average net income for firms in the


industry

Degree of industry concentration

Stage of industry life cycle

9
10

Importance of industrys products and/or


services to customers
Extent to which business and
environmental trends are moving in
favor of the industry
Number of exciting new product and
services emerging from the industry
Long-term prospects

Low Potential

Moderate Potential

High Potential

Many
Old
Little or no
growth

Few
Middle aged

None
Young

Moderate growth

Strong growth

Low

Medium

High

Concentrated

Neither concentrated
nor fragmented

Fragmented

Maturity phase
or decline phase

Growth phase

Emergence phase

Ambivalent

Would like to have

Must have

Low

Medium

High

Low

Medium

High

Weak

Neutral

Strong

2. Target Market Attractiveness


Identify the portion or specific market within your broader industry that you plan to target.
Assess the attractiveness of the target market on each of the following dimensions.
Target Market Attractiveness Assessment Tool

(Used to assess the specific target market, rather than the broader industry, you plan to enter)
Low
Sr. #
Description
Moderate Potential High Potential
Potential
1.

Number of competitors in target market

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Many

Few

None

2.
3.
4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

Growth rate of firms in the target market


Average net income for firms in the target
market
Methods for generating revenue in the
industry
Ability to create barriers to entry for
potential competitors

Little to
no growth

Slow growth

Rapid growth

Low

Medium

High

Unclear

Somewhat clear

Clear

May or may not be


able to create

Can create

Unable to
create

Degree to which customers feel satisfied by


the current offerings in the target market
Potential to employ low cost guerrilla and/or
buzz marketing techniques to promote the
firms product or services
Excitement surrounding new product/service
offerings in the target market

Satisfied

Neither satisfied or
dissatisfied

Unsatisfied

Low

Moderate

High

Low

Medium

High

3. Market Timeliness
Determine the extent to which the window of opportunity for the proposed business is open or closed
based on the following criteria.
Determine the timeliness of entering a specific target market based on other criteria.
Market Timeliness Assessment Tool

Sr. #

Description
Buying mood of customers

1.

2.

3.

4.

Momentum of the market


Need for a new firm in the market
with your offerings or geographic
location
Extent to which business and
environmental trends are moving
in favor of the target market
Recent or planned entrance of
large firms into the market

5.

Low Potential

Moderate Potential

Customers are not


in a buying mood

Customers are in a
moderate buying mood

Stable to losing
momentum

Slowly gaining
momentum

Customers are in
an aggressive
buying mood
Rapidly gaining
momentum

Low

Moderate

High

Low

Medium

High

Large firms
entering the
market

Conclusion:
(Expand fields and report findings, in discussion form, for each area)

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Rumors that large firms


may be entering the
market

High Potential

No larger firms
entered the
market or are
rumored to be
entering the
market

Industry attractiveness

Target market attractiveness

Market timeliness

Industry/market feasibility (circle the correct response)


o Not Feasible
o Unsure
o Feasible
Suggestions for improving industry/market feasibility.

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Financial Feasibility
(Assessment Tool)
Description:
Following contents will be discussed

1. Total startup cash needed


2. Financial performance of similar businesses
3. Overall financial attractiveness of the proposed venture
1. Total Start-Up Cash Needed

The startup costs (which include capital investments and operating expenses) should
include all the costs necessary for the business to make its first sale. New firms typically
need money for a host of purposes, including the hiring of personnel, office or
manufacturing space, equipment, training, research and development, marketing, and the
initial product rollout.

At the feasibility analysis stage, it is not necessary for the number to be exact. However, the
number should be fairly accurate to give an entrepreneur an idea of the dollar amount that
will be needed to launch the firm. After the approximate dollar amount is known, the
entrepreneur should determine specifically where the money will come from to cover the
startup costs.

The total startup cash needed can be estimate using the following table.
Total Startup Cash Needed (to Make First Sale)
Capital Investments

Amount

Property
Furniture and fixtures
Computer equipment
Other equipment
Vehicles
Operating Expenses
Legal, accounting, and professional services
Advertising and promotions
Deposits for utilities
Licenses and permits
Prepaid insurance

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Amount

Lease payments
Salary and wages
Payroll taxes
Travel
Signs
Tools and supplies
Starting inventory
Cash (working capital)
Other expense 1
Other expense 2

Total Startup Cash Needed =


2. Comparison of the Financial Performance of Proposed Venture to Similar Firms
Use the following tables to compare the proposed new venture to similar firms in regard to annual sales (Year
1 and Year 2) and profitability (Year 1 and Year 2).
Comparison of the Financial Performance of Proposed Venture to Similar Firms (Assessment Tool)
Annual Sales

Estimate of Proposed Ventures


Annual SalesYear 1

Explanation of How the Estimate


Was Computed

Estimate of Year 1 Sales __________


Summary: How proposed annual sales, on
average, compares to similar firms (circle one)
Below Average

Average

Above Average

Estimate of Year 2 Sales __________


Summary: How proposed annual sales, on
average, compares to similar firms (circle one)
Below Average

Average

Above Average

Net Income
Estimate of Proposed Ventures
Explanation of How the Estimate
Net IncomeYear 1
was Computed

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Estimate of Year 1 Net Income __________


Summary: How proposed net income, on
average, compares to similar firms (circle one)
Below Average

Average

Above Average

Estimate of Year 2 Net Income __________


Summary: How proposed net income, on
average, compares to similar firms (circle one)
Below Average

Average

Above Average

3. Overall Financial Attractiveness of the Proposed Venture

The following factors are important in regard to the overall financial attractiveness of the
proposed business.

Assess the strength of each factor in the following table.


Overall Financial Attractiveness of Proposed Venture
(Assessment Tool)

Sr. #
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Description
Steady and rapid growth in sales during
the first one to three years in a clearly
defined target market
High percentage of recurring income
meaning that once you win a client, the
client will provide recurring sources of
revenue
Ability to forecast income and expenses
with a reasonable degree of certainty
Likelihood that internally generated funds
will be available within two years to
finance growth
Availability of exit opportunity for investor
if applicable

Low
Potential

Moderate Potential

High
Potential

Unlikely

Moderately likely

Highly
likely

Low

Moderate

Strong

Weak

Moderate

Strong

Unlikely

Moderately likely

Highly
likely

May be available

Likely to
be
available

Unlikely to
be
unavailable

Conclusion:
(Report finding for each area)

Total startup cash needed

Financial performance of similar businesses

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Financial feasibility (circle the correct response)


o Not Feasible
o Unsure
o Feasible

Suggestions for improving financial feasibility


Overall Feasibility: Summary and Conclusion

Description

Product/Market Feasibility

Industry/Market Feasibility

Organizational Feasibility

Financial Feasibility

Overall Assessment

Overall Feasibility of the Business Idea


Based on Each Part

Not feasible

Unsure
Feasible

Not feasible
Unsure
Feasible
Not feasible
Unsure
Feasible
Not feasible
Unsure
Feasible

Not feasible
Unsure
Feasible

Conclusion:
Briefly summarizes your justification for your overall assessment.

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Suggestions for Improving the


Feasibility

Annexure IV
SAMPLE BUSINESS PLAN TEMPLATE

<<COMPANY LOGO>>

<<COMPANY NAME>>
BUSINESS PLAN

<<Prepared by:__________________>>
<<Date>>

Superior University

Strictly Private & Confidential


<<Company Name>> <<Year>>

<<Logo>>

Table of Contents
Page
I)
II)
1)
2)

3)

4)

Confidentiality Agreement
Cover Page
Executive Summary
Company Description
Company History
Mission Statement
Product & Services
Promoters, shareholders and Board
Objectives of the Business
Long Term Aim of Business
S.W.O.T. Analysis

ii
1
2

2
2
2
2

Industry Analysis
Industry Size, Growth Rate, and Sales Projections
Industry Structure
Nature of Participants
Key Success Factors
Industry Trends
Long-Term Prospects

3
3
3
3
3
3
4

Market Analysis
Market Segmentation
Target Market Selection
Market Trends
Buyer Behaviour
Competitor Analysis
Benefits to Clients

5)

Marketing Plan/Sales Strategy


Marketing Strategy
Product, Price, Promotions and Distribution
Sales Strategy

5
5
5
5

6)

Product/Service Design and Development


Development Status and Tasks
Challenges and Risks
Intellectual Properties
Operational Plan
General Approach to Operations
Business Location
Facilities and Equipment

7
7
7
7
8
8
8
8

Management Team and Company Structure


Management Team
Board of Directors
Board of Advisers
Company Structure

8
8
8

7)

8)

i
This document is the proprietary property of <<Company Name>>.
Copying or otherwise distributing the information contained herein is a breach of confidentiality agreement.

Strictly Private & Confidential


<<Company Name>> <<Year>>

9)

10)

<<Logo>>

Financial Projections
Sources and uses of Funds Statement
Assumptions Sheet
Pro forma Income Statement
Pro forma Balance Sheets
Pro forma Cash Flows
Ratio Analysis
Appendices

9
10
11
12

13
16

ii
This document is the proprietary property of <<Company Name>>.
Copying or otherwise distributing the information contained herein is a breach of confidentiality agreement.

Strictly Private & Confidential


<<Company Name>> <<Year>>

<<Logo>>

Confidentiality Agreement
The undersigned reader acknowledges that the information provided in this business plan is
confidential; therefore, the reader agrees not to disclose it without the express written permission of
<<Company/Promoter>>.
It is acknowledged by the reader that information to be furnished in this business plan is in all
respects confidential in nature, other than information that is in the public domain through other
means, and that any disclosure or use of this confidential information by the reader may cause serious
harm or damage to <<Company>>.
Upon request, this document is to be immediately returned to <<Company/Promoter>>.

____________________________
Signature

____________________________
Name (printed)

____________________________
Date

This is a business plan. It does not imply offering of securities.

iii
This document is the proprietary property of <<Company Name>>.
Copying or otherwise distributing the information contained herein is a breach of confidentiality agreement.

Strictly Private & Confidential


<<Company Name>> <<Year>>

1.

<<Logo>>

Executive Summary

<< Introduce promoters here, and the reason you are now preparing this Business
Plan.
This section should not be completed until the business plan is written. It will
highlight all milestones in the companys development over the next five years. It
should sum up the following areas:

Purpose of the plan


Product or service and its advantages
Market opportunity
Management team
Track record, if any
Financial projections
Funding requirements

Financial projections should be summarised and highlighted. The following format is suggested as a
guide:

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Sales
Exports
Net Profit before Tax
Investment
Employment

Remember that potential investors often make a provisional judgement based on the executive
summary, and that their decision to read the main body of the business plan will depend on the
information presented here. The appendices at the back of the plan contain more detailed
information to support the main text of the business plan. >>

1
This document is the proprietary property of <<Company Name>>.
Copying or otherwise distributing the information contained herein is a breach of confidentiality agreement.

Strictly Private & Confidential


<<Company Name>> <<Year>>

2.

<<Logo>>

Company Description

Promoters and Shareholders


<< Description of the people involved in starting the business:

Promoters
Management structure and areas of responsibility
Shareholders names, no. of shares, % shareholding and cash investment to date

Advisors
<< Financial, legal, and other advisors should be listed, with names, addresses and contact details. >>
Products and services
<< Explain clearly what your product or service is and what it does.

Background to its development


Benefits and Features
Unique selling points
Advantages to customers
Disadvantages or weak points
Future developments >>

Long Term Aim of the Business


<< State the long-term aim of the new business. >>
Objectives
<< State the specific milestones to be achieved by the company over the next five years (sales,
exports, employment, product development, etc). >>
SWOT Analysis
<< Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the business and product or service, the opportunities
that exist in the marketplace, and the threats to the viability of the project. This is best done in a
matrix diagram as follows:
Strengths

Opportunities

>>

Weaknesses

Threats

2
This document is the proprietary property of <<Company Name>>.
Copying or otherwise distributing the information contained herein is a breach of confidentiality agreement.

Strictly Private & Confidential


<<Company Name>> <<Year>>

<<Logo>>

3. Market Analysis
<< This section covers market research and competitor analysis. You must show that you have done
the market research to justify the projections made in your business plan. It must demonstrate that
there is a viable market and that you can beat the competition in the market for sales. >>
Target Market
<< The market to which you are planning to sell the product or service. Analyse the segments of this
market as follows:

Size of each market segment


Is the segment growing or declining?
Characteristics of potential customers in each segment >>

Total Market Valuation


<< Show the total potential value of the market for this type of product or service, in all the targeted
markets, domestic and international. >>
Target Company revenue
<< These figures are the basis for the sales figures in your financial projections and must be based on
realistic assessments. Include average deal size, length of sales cycle, recurring revenues>>
Market Trends
<< Analyse what is happening in the market:

Recent changes
Future predictions
Drivers such as demographic changes, economic and legislative factors
Implications for your product or service
Your plans to meet future demands and changes in the market >>

Profile of Competitors
<<Analysis of your competitors in the market:

What are the competing products and services?


Profile of key players (company size, turnover, profitability etc) and their market share
Advantages and disadvantages of the competitors offerings >>

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Competitive Advantage
<< This is your assessment of why potential customers will choose to buy your product in place of
those profiled above. Advantages may include:
Unique features
Price
New technologies or systems
Better value to customers in terms of efficiency or ROI or cost/benefit ratios
Greater compatibility with existing systems
Include any independent validation or case studies >>
Benefits to Clients
<< This is what your product or service provides to potential customers in terms of their own business
goals. Does your product or service enable them to:

Increase sales
Increase efficiencies
Save money?
Save time?
Maximise resources?
Reduce errors?
Reduce downtime?
Improve Customer Service, reduce churn, increase loyalty

What will buying your product or service actually do for the customer? >>

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4.

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Marketing/Sales Strategy

<< This section sets out your strategies for reaching your target market, arousing their interest in your
product or service, and actually delivering the product or service to them in sales. >>
Marketing Strategy
<< How you will position your product or service in the market and differentiate it from its
competitors:

Which segments of the market will be targeted first and why?


How will this be developed to reach the full target market?
How will you differentiate your product or service?
What key benefits will be highlighted?
What potential customers have you already targeted?
Have you a test site in operation, and what feedback is coming from this?
What contacts can be used to generate market awareness and sales?
Who will do the marketing: staff, agency, reps? >>

Revenue Sources
<< What contributions to revenue and profit will your business have?
Irl

Products

Services

Licences

After sales

Upgrades

EU

US

Rest of World

Sales Strategy
<< How you will sell your product or service to the target market.

Directly
Retail
Distributor
Agent
Sales rep
Website
Revenue Sharing Partners

Analyse for each method the costs involved, whether it will reach the intended market efficiently, the
control you would retain over the pricing and positioning, the logistics, and the overall integration
with your marketing strategy. State the advantages of the methods you have chosen to sell your
product or service. >>
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Pricing
<< How you will set the price charged for your product or service. Considerations include:

Competitors prices
Level of competition in the market
Perception of quality-price relationship by customers
Production costs and overheads
Chain of distribution and the added-value at each stage
The extent to which the buyer can control the price

State how each product or service will be priced, referring to the income sources above. >>
Marketing and Communications Strategy
<< How you will promote your product or service in the marketplace.

Advertising where, when, how, to whom


Public relations
Direct marketing
Website and internet marketing
Exhibitions and conferences
Word of mouth >>

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5.

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Research and Development

Technology Roadmap
<< Show the intended future development of your product or service, i.e., changes to meet future
market demands, adaptations to international markets, or upgrades. Also detail plans for new
products or services to add to the range.
Include

Team/Department structure
Methodology
Platforms used
Milestones to be achieved
System Overview Diagram>>

Research and Development


<< Indicate whether you will have ongoing R&D as an activity of the company, what areas this will be
exploring and what future contributions to the company you expect from this research. >>
Technical Partners
<< List all partners and indicate nature of involvement >>
IP, Patents, Copyrights, Brands
<< Indicate any protection available for your product or service: whether the technology can be or has
been patented, whether you can avail of copyright or trademark registration, and the brand image
you intend to build up as a protection against competition. >>

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6.

<<Logo>>

Staffing and Operations

<< This is where you will outline the intended structure of the company in terms of management,
number of employees, and the physical operational requirements to produce or supply the product or
service. >>
Management (including Board) Organisation Chart
<< Include a diagram of the way in which the management of the new venture will be organised. This
should show the areas of responsibility of each manager and the employees to be taken on over the
next three years. >>
Staffing
<< State what employees will be taken on over the next three years, with which skills, in which areas
of the business. >>
Training Plans
<< Outline the planned employee and management development to be undertaken in order to
maintain a skilled workforce. This should also tie in with the future market developments and any
new product or service developments. >>
Operations
<< State the physical requirements of the business:

Premises
Equipment
Production facilities
Infrastructure
Communications facilities
Costs involved
Suppliers >>

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7.

Financial Projections

I
II
III
IV

Key Assumptions
Profit and Loss Accounts
Balance Sheets
Cashflow

p
p
p
p

Requirements for Preparation of Projections


1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Opening figures included based on latest Mgmt/Audited accounts


Shareholders Fund analysed into Share Capital, Share Premium and
Retained Profits
Sales Assumptions provided by unit, price segment & geography and
reconciled to pipeline
Expenditure categorised into R&D, Admin and Overheads and
Promoters / key managers salaries
Identification of monthly and cumulative company operational deficits
Sensitivity analysis may be required, detailing strategies to be
implemented if sales or expenditure targets are not met.
Projections should identify separately Operational Cash Flow and
external Cash Injections

Key Assumptions

<< This section reviews the key assumptions used in the financial projections. It is a guide to explain
how key figures in the financial projections were arrived at. Included here should be items such as:

Income sources
Number of employees projected for each year and their intended salaries
Projected investment in equipment and materials
Projected R&D costs
Depreciation allowed for
Expected rent and rates charges
Creditor days expected and debtor days allowed
Expense calculations

This section should be brief and to the point. Further detail regarding these items can be placed in
the Appendices. >>

II

Profit & Loss Accounts

<< Attach here projected profit and loss accounts for the first three years of the companys
operations. >>

III

Balance Sheets

<< Attach here projected balance sheets for the first three years of the companys operations. >>
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IV

Cashflow

<< Attach here a monthly cashflow prediction for the first two years of the companys operations. >>

8.

Sales Pipeline

Table as follows:
Name of Customer

9.

Size of Deal

Date PO expected

Probability
Getting Sale

of

Funding Requirements

<< State here the total funding requirements of the business, and how those are intended to be
provided. You will also need to state the approximate breakdown of how these funds are to be spent.
Sources:

Promoters funds
Bank lending
Grants or loans from agencies
Investment already received
Investment sought

Required for:
Equipment
R&D
Marketing
Staffing >>

9.

Appendices

<< This section is used to provide the detailed data on which the main text of the business plan is
based, and to provide extra information of interest to the readers of the business plan. Items for
inclusion in appendices vary from business to business, but normally include some of the following:

Promoters CVs
Detailed financial assumptions
Most recent Company Audited Accounts
Share Cap table and Investment history
Term Sheet from Potential Investors
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Detailed market research findings


Promotional literature
Product or service information
Details of company website
Testimonials or letters of intent from customers >>

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