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Creating a Business Plan: TMA Part I


One vehicle for acquiring an understanding of the entrepreneurial process is through the preparation of a start-up business plan. The focus of this TMA is to select a business idea and create a part of a business plan. Writing a business plan requires you to ask tough questions about the nature of the business. 
•    What are the benefits of your product or service? 
•    What is the target market and how will you penetrate it? 
•    What are the financial implications of the plan? 

The Written Plan: In this TMA you will be preparing a part of a business plan containing the components explained below. The body of the written partial business plan should be no more than 6 pages. (a detailed guideline is provided at the end of your TMA).

II. TMA components 

1.    Cover Page
2.    Table of contents
3.    Brief Description of the product / Service (covered in B205A)
4.    Market research and analysis
5.    Marketing Plan
6.    Financial Plan

III. TMA Requirements

This TMA consists of 20% of your total course grade. It is a team project. Each team will consist of 4-5 students.

•    The initial task of your team is to select and propose a business idea to the instructor for approval. (This part is usually covered in B205A, unless there are new teams)
•     Students should arrange with their tutors in order to verify that no other team had selected the same idea for the project. (This part is also usually covered in B205A, unless there are new teams)

1. TMA Paper (maximum 6 pages-Times new Roman 12 Font)

•    Each team will work on the TMA paper as they would normally do on other courses, but this time in groups. This is a good opportunity for students to learn a set of skills that are very important in the professional business world, such as team work, time management, planning, communicating with others, etc.
•    Each team is required to select a team leader. The TMA paper should be uploaded to the LMS by the team leader only. This is a very important requirement in order to avoid Turnitin similarities.  
•    The names of all the team members should be written on the pt3 form, including the name of the team leader. All team members will receive the same mark on the TMA essay paper. Students are required to use the pt3 form provided on the LMS for this specific TMA.
•    Students are expected to make sure the written TMA meets the following criteria:
o    Plagiarism: It’s imperative that team members write the TMA using their own words. Plagiarism will be penalized depending on its severity and according to AOU plagiarism policy.

The Written Plan

o    Format:  team members are expected to write using the business plan format provided in the guide below. Failing to use a proper format could result in the deduction of up to 5 marks from the total TMA paper mark. 
o    Word count: TMAs are expected to be within the specified paper count. Not adhering to specified page count could result in the deduction of up to 5 marks of the total TMA paper mark. 
o    Referencing:  team members are expected to reference their work and list their references at the end. Proper referencing of sites is recommended. Failing to do so could result in the deduction of up to 5 marks of the total TMA paper mark.
o    Resources: team members are expected to use E sources to support their answers. A minimum of 3 sources is required. Failing to do so could result in the deduction of up to 5 marks of the total TMA paper mark.

BUSINESS PLAN GUIDE- B205B (you are not obliged to do all the details in the guide just use it to help you in your TMA)
The Business Plan Guide shows how to present information succinctly and in a format acceptable to investors. Although it is useful to keep in mind who your audience is and that information not clearly presented will most likely not be used, it also is important not to be concerned just with format. The Business Plan Guide indicates specific issues and shows you what needs to be included in a business plan and why.

As you proceed through the Business Plan Guide, remember that statements need to be supported with data whenever possible. Note also that it is sometimes easier to present data in graphic, visual form. Include the source of all data, the methods and / or assumptions used, and the credentials of people doing research. 
Remember that the Business Plan Guide is just that—a guide. It is intended to be applicable to a wide range of product and service businesses. Common sense should rule in applying the guide to your specific venture.

The cover page includes the name of the company, its address, its telephone number, and the date. Usually the name, address, telephone number, and the date are centered at the top of the page.This business plan has been submitted on a confidential basis solely for the benefit of selected, highly qualified investors and is not for use by any other persons.  Neither may it be reproduced, stored, or copied in any form. By accepting delivery of this plan, the recipient agrees to return this copy to the corporation at the address listed above if the recipient does not undertake to subscribe to the offering. Do not copy, fax, reproduce, or distribute without permission.

Describe the methods (e.g., own sales force, sales representatives, ready-made manufacturers' sales organizations, direct mail, or distributors) that will be used to make sales and distribute the product or service and both the initial plans and longer-range plans for a sales force. Include a discussion of any special requirements (e.g., refrigeration).

Describe how distributors or sales representatives, if they are used, will be selected, when they will start to represent you, the areas they will cover and the head count of dealers and representatives by month, and the expected sales to be made by each.
If a direct sales force is to be used, indicate how it will be structured and at what rate (a head count) it will be built up; indicate if it is to replace a dealer or representative organization and, if so, when and how.

If direct mail, magazine, newspaper, or other media, telemarketing, or catalog sales are to be used, indicate the specific channels or vehicles, costs (per 1,000), expected response rates, and so on. Discuss how these will be built up.
Show the sales expected per salesperson per year and what commission, incentive, and / or salary they are slated to receive, and compare these figures to the average for your industry.

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