Business communication: Business plans are a ubiquitous genre in the professional world, necessary for both new and established businesses. They bring together research, mission, and logistical planning to create a vision for an organization's trajectory, using conventional structures but infusing them with creativity and persuasion to create a compelling case for the vision they describe.
Collaboration/project management: As a document that encompasses the whole organization and its future, writing a business plan is a large collaborative task that will ask you team to coordinate your work across many weeks and many writing, research, and design tasks.
Writing: Your business plan will re-purpose and revise content from the pitch email/team memo and white paper assignments, giving you practice in the frequent professional writing practice of adapting content for a new audience (potential outside investors) and purpose (securing funding to launch your startup).
(Links to Learning Objectives 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4)
A business plan your team will present to potential investors during your finals week Presentation, the following areas (although you're welcome to organize differently, except Table of Contents and Appendices):
Table of Contents
Executive Summary: 1-page business plan
Business Description & Vision: mission statement, business goals & objectives, brief history of the business
Industry Report: industry trends & growth/opportunities, competition, share of the market you anticipate, general profile of your targeted clients
Description of Products & Services: the problem you're solving, how you're solving it, your business’s competitive edge
Organization & Management: company organization/org chart, describe the legal structure of your business (proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.), necessary licenses/permits, brief bio of key company leaders (c-suite/VP positions)
Marketing & Sales Strategy: who your customers are, what the demand is for your products & services, marketing channels of distribution, sales strategy (considering pricing, promotion, products and place)
Financial Plan: estimate of start-up costs, milestones & metrics, projected income statement (1 year forward)