Comprehensive Business Plan

Using your intrapreneurial or entrepreneurial business idea from the previous MBA-515 Business Environment, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship course, or a new idea, imagine you are an executive at the relevant company. You have decided to take this idea to the next level by producing a comprehensive business plan to present to senior management and potential investors in order to convince them to back the project. Your plan should focus on key elements of marketing and strategy, such as branding, customer base, existing resources and capabilities, pricing, and other factors that could affect your project’s success. Your business plan should highlight the merits of the project based on a detailed internal analysis, showing how the idea fits with the company’s mission and vision. Remember that a well-constructed business plan provides concise, accurate information that allows busy executives or investors to quickly grasp the essentials of your idea, the key need or want it addresses, and how you will meet that need or want. Specifically, the following critical elements must be addressed: I. Executive summary. Using the tenets provided in Module Nine Reading and Resources, begin your paper with an executive summary. II. Context. This section should provide leadership and potential investors with background information on the company’s current brand and how your new product or service fits with that brand. Be sure to do the following: A. Describe the key defining features of the company’s brand and how these features drive business decisions. For example, how are these factors an extension of the company’s mission, vision, and values? What are the non-negotiables for a product or service to carry the company name? What is the company known for/as/about? B. Assess how the new idea fits with the company’s existing brand and how that impacts your business plan. Support your response with relevant research and analysis. For example, will the product or service be part of a new brand or an existing brand? How will that affect the way you market the product both within the company and to consumers? C. Evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s existing branding efforts (or branding efforts for similar products or services if yours is a new company). What does the evaluation suggest for the new product or service? Support your response with relevant analysis. III. Need. Use this section to define your target market and explain how your product or service fills a critical need or want for that market. A. Define your target market and its unique characteristics. Be sure to analyze the following: Basic demographics. What are the key demographic features of the individuals or businesses who are most likely to purchase your product or service? Support your response with relevant market research. For example, how might age, purchasing power, decision-making authority, or other factors affect your product or service’s appeal to potential customers? B. Analyze what other behavioral or psychographic characteristics of your target market might affect their purchasing decisions. Support your response with relevant research. C. Analyze how your new product or service meets a specific want or need of the target market that you identified. In other words, what principal benefits or key features would your target market find appealing? Support your response with relevant market research. 3 D. Based on your analysis above, argue why this target market is the best strategic choice for the success of your product or service. IV. Strengths and weaknesses. In this section, you should assess the ramifications of your new business idea on branding, operations, and planning within the organization, based on internal analysis. A. Assess the company’s tangible and intangible strengths in providing the new product or service, along with any weaknesses or gaps. Your response should comprehensively address different aspects of the business, establishing clear links between the strengths and weaknesses you identify and how those affect planning for the new business activities. The factors you identify will depend on your business and idea, but might include things such as staff capabilities and turnover, organizational culture, production capacity, location, customer loyalty, supply chain relations, financial stability, or ability to acquire funding. Assess the opportunities and threats that emerging consumer trends and company ethics may present to the success of the new idea. B. Consumer trends. How might emerging trends in consumer preferences (e.g., buying local, support for green technologies, organic foods, etc.) impact the branding and business success of the new product or service you are launching in the current global marketplace? Justify your response, identifying the trends that are most relevant to your product or service and how they apply to your target market. C. Ethics. Analyze how perceived ethics violations affect your branding image and ultimate success of your new product or service in a global environment. Support your response with specific examples. For example, do different target populations have different perceptions of what constitutes ethical behavior? How do consumers respond to those violations and what is the impact on business (e.g., product avoidance, lobbying for new regulations, etc.)? D. Assess how the factors that you identified above affect branding and operations across different departments in the company. How does your business plan take this into account? For example, does organizational structure help or hinder branding and launch activities? Do departments have competing interests? Do they communicate effectively? V. Core competencies. Assess core competencies of the company or new idea that differentiate you from the competition and provide forward momentum in the market. How do those competencies affect your business plan? In other words, what things about the company, product, or service provide significant value to the customer and are very difficult to duplicate? How can you use that strategically? VI. Pricing. Use this section of your business plan to develop and justify a pricing strategy for your new product or service. Be sure to address the following: A. Determine the fixed and variable costs to the company for producing, marketing, and selling your new good or service. How do those fit with the company’s short- and long-term objectives? Support your narrative with a table showing calculations and any assumptions. B. Judge how much your target market is willing and able to pay for your product or service. Use target market analysis and research on competitors’ prices to support your answer. C. Evaluate if targeted consumers are willing and able to pay more for your product or service if it (or the organization, more generally) aligns with their preferences for corporate social responsibility and ethical behavior. Justify your response with evidence. D. In light of your analysis, justify the appropriate pricing strategy and price for your product or service and why it is justified. For example, would skimming, penetration, economy, or premium pricing be most appropriate? What should the initial price be? 4 VII. Refinement. This section should highlight processes for reviewing and refining branding and other activities surrounding your new product or service. A. Establish processes for how and when you will evaluate the success of your new product or service and its branding. Be sure to suggest processes that occur at regular intervals and extend across the business, explaining how results will impact decisions on whether to continue or to initiate exit strategies. What qualitative and quantitative methods will you use? B. Specify regular, business-wide feedback loops and processes that you will implement to support your new idea, keep it on track, and make midcourse corrections as needed. For example, will you adjust business functions and/or facilitate regular communication across departments? C. In planning for the future, determine how will you identify and integrate other factors that might affect implementation of your new idea into your business decisions and planning. In other words, what other things do you need to consider when moving forward both internally and externally? VIII. Articulation of response A. This Final Project should utilize double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and APA formatting and source citation requirements. B. Make sure to use headings within the paper that correspond with each portion of the rubric. C. This paper should be between 30 and 40 pages in length

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