Business Plan Executive Summary & Financial Requirements [100% of Module Grade]
You are required to write a 2,000 word report comprising two parts:
1. Executive Summary of your Business Plan – approximately 1,400 words; accompanied by
2. Financial Requirements of your enterprise – approximately 600 words; and
The report you write should relate to the new business venture you decided to set up identified earlier in this module.
Part 1: Executive Summary (approximately. 1,400 words)
The executive summary you will produce is a document that could be presented to a potential investor. It should summarise the purpose and uniqueness of the business, the market opportunity and the details of the products or services the business will offer (as well as the innovation the business will bring to the market). It should also include the sales and marketing strategy and any role played by the brand to enable the business to attract and keep customers and compete effectively in its sector. Detailed competitor analysis is expected together with a clear description and explanation of the competitive advantage(s) of your business.
Part 2: Financial Requirements (approximately 600 words)
This section of the plan provides the figures and financial data for all of the items you have described and explained in part 1 above. Interrogation of the finances is probably the most common way of measuring the health of an enterprise. Financial measurements such as cash flow, break-even point and profits tell us whether the enterprise is actually increasing in value.
Please provide answers to the following question:
Your plan should display and explain, the financial requirements of the business for setup (showing key setup and running costs) together with sales forecasts/projections for the first two years of operation (showed monthly).
You should consider carefully how best to present these figures to the reader. Forecasts should be displayed in a table/spreadsheet, as this is what is expected in a professional business plan.
You should also provide a written explanation of these figures – expenditure and revenues – so the reader has a clear understanding of how and where sales are generated and how and where costs are being incurred. Your rationale/criteria for sales forecasts should also be explained.
The financial section of a business plan will typically include:
• Sales forecast
• Profit forecast
• Cash flow forecast
• Details of key costs
• Exit strategy for investors and/or repayment plans for debt.
NB: None of the financial tables will be included in the word count limit. However, the summary of the key figures and the explanation of them should be included in the main report and will be included in the word count limit.
IMPORTANT: the funding for your business (either setup and/or growth) MUST include at least one source of external debt or equity finance. Although personal savings and/or family and friends funding may be included as part of your plans for setup and launch, they cannot be the sole source of funding.
Failing to include at least one specific source of external debt or equity funding will automatically result in fewer marks for part two of this assignment.
a) Please identify the specific commercial banks/schemes, venture capital funds, business angels, grant institutions, etc. you intend to approach for financing the set up and/or growth of your venture and explain your rationale for the choices you make and outline the terms of borrowing/investment. In doing this you should outline the advantages and disadvantages of the funding options you considered and selected.
b) Explain how the investment capital will be used, e.g. opening new branches, developing new products, adding new services, etc.
If you choose debt funding you must detail the specific terms of borrowing/investment and explain why these are the right choice for the business using the correct professional/entrepreneurship terminology.
If you choose equity funding you must state the amount of equity you are prepared to offer investors in return for their investment, as well as your rationale for this amount.
a) This is an individual assignment.
b) The word limit for this assignment is 2,000 words. You must comply with the word count guidelines
– any work which exceeds the 2,000 word limit will not be marked. The word limit does not include title page, contents page, references, bibliography or appendices. Tables (showing figures for financial requirements or forecasts) are not included in your word count but commentary on these figures is included. (Any tables with excessive text will be viewed as an attempt to circumvent the word limit and marks will be deducted).
c) This coursework assignment carries 100% weighting for your overall mark in the Entrepreneurship module.
The marking scheme below may guide you with the content of your report. A separate guide will also be issued to you to help you with the structure and content of your report, section by section.
This marking scheme is based on the Level 5 generic marking scheme which is included in your Handbook.
Please note that the coursework will be marked holistically and the below marking scheme is for guidance purposes only.
The coursework consists of two questions or two parts – 1) the executive summary plan and 2) the financial requirements and forecasts.
BOTH parts are compulsory. Please see below for more guidance on the allocation of the marks. The underlying assumption is that you are presenting the plan for a viable business idea to an investor who will judge the credibility of your business and the attractiveness of the investment opportunity.
1. Executive Summary – Part 1 (approximately 1,400 words) 70 marks
2. Financial Requirements & Forecasts – Part 2 (approximately 600 words) 30 marks Total 100 Marks
Description/Criteria – Part 1 Marks
Company introduction: Purpose of the business and the business differentials (i.e. what makes it different and special in its category); short and longer term ambitions and/or goals for the business
Market Opportunity: Definition of the market, market size, market value and anticipated growth of the market; description of the specific gap you’ve identified and the market potential for your business and any barriers to entry.
Identification and evidence of the customer/market problem(s) that the business aims to solve:
Extensive research (which has been thoroughly analysed and evaluated) in order to establish a clear need for your business (quantified and qualified where possible).
Solution: This is the solution to the market/customer problem identified above. Has the student demonstrated relevant and appropriate use of information gathered to support their argument and the introduction of the business/products/services that map directly to the above customer/market problem(s)?
Product and/or Service description and explanation:
How well has the student clearly and accurately described their product/service range and explained their respective commercial or strategic contributions?
How well has the student identified and explained all revenue streams? How well has the choice of business model and prioritisation of revenue streams been explained/justified and factored in to their broader plans?
Description & explanation of the marketing mix priorities (product, pricing, distribution/access and promotion).
Evidence of segmentation and targeting of customers and rationale.
Tools or activities you would use to launch and grow the business and how they are integrated.
Sales strategy: Clear expression of priority customers and the approach, mechanisms, channels and/or resources you would use to close the B2B or B2C deal(s).
Competition: Evidence of research and analysis of key competitors and explanation of how the business will compete successfully against direct and/or indirect rivals.
Operations: Description and explanation of the following where applicable: choice of business location, management team, staff structure, production process, suppliers, equipment, inventory management, technology, trading hours, payment types, credit terms, warranties, quality control.
Overall Presentation: Structure of the plan, presentation, use of language, clarity and precision in expression, references.
Description/ Criteria – Part 2
Financial requirements and forecasts: Credible information and understanding of financial
Accurate, realistic setup, capital and running costs
Accurate, realistic sales/revenue and profit projections for years 1 and 2. 4
Accurate, realistic cash flow statement for years 1 and 2. 4
Commentary on the above figures including explanation of financial highlights, risks and 8
Types of finance to be used for your venture – choices of debt and/or equity funding for
setup and/or growth phases including the amounts required. Explanation for use of funds.
Evidence of aligning your business financial requirements with your choices of funding 3
options based on type of industry, stage and size of venture, nature of the venture, growth
plans and likelihood of being financed.