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Webquest: WHO’S the BOSS?

 

Your deceased great-uncle’s attorney has notified you that you’ve inherited $750,000. Because you were his favorite relative, he has left you the bulk of his assets. Although you are bereaved by the loss of your favorite uncle, you realize that you are facing the opportunity of a lifetime. You must make a decision on how you will invest this inheritance.

You are at a crossroad in you life. Next year you will be graduating from high school and you have not made any definite plans for your future. This inheritance opens many doors for you including your suppressed desire to own your own business. You have always had the desire to run a business and be your own boss. Now is your chance to follow your dream!

 

Task

You are about to begin an adventure that will determine your destiny. You are to plan your new business from scratch. You must begin by describing your business in a BUSINESS PLAN. You will determine what type of business you will run. To begin you must describe your business operations. What will you provide for the customer? Who is my target customer? How will I communicate with my customer? What product and/or service will I provide? Where will by business by located? What hours will I operate? Who is my competition?

You will develop your company’s BUSINESS PLAN and determine whether this endeavor will be one you wish to pursue. Your BUSINESS PLAN will provide an assessment of financial calculations and show whether it will be a profitable business.

 

 

Resources

The following resources are Internet sites, print, and other resources that will assist you in writing your BUSINESS PLAN. These items will provide information that will enable you to develop a document that describes the business you want to start and how it will become profitable.

http://www.sba.gov/ (U.S. Small Business Administration)

http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov/SBDC/ (Small Business Development Centers)

http://www.paloalto.com/common/products/ (Software Resources)

http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov/starting/businessplan.html (Business Plan Outline)

http://www.businessplans.org/ (Center for Business Planning)

http://www.nolo.com/encyclopedia (The Essentials of a Business Plan)

http://www.bizproweb.com/ (Resources for Small Business Owners)

http://www.findyourdream.com/ (Small Business Strategies)

http://www.businessbureau-uk.co.uk/law/law.htm (Business Procedures)

 

Periodicals: American Demographics Magazine

Entrepreneur Magazine

Success Magazine Online

Government: Better Business Bureau

American Statistics Index (ASI)

Federal Trade Commission

Funding: Business Angels http://www.businessangels.com/

Entrepreneurship (Advanced Business Applications Textbook)

Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business (Vol. 1 & 2)

 

Process

You are about to become an entrepreneur! You have chosen your line of business and it is time to develop your BUSINESS PLAN. There are nine components to the plan. Outline the information needed for your business, utilizing the resources available to you.

    1. Summary -- Concept
    2. Vision – Statement & Milestones
    3. Market Analysis – Target Market & Customers
    4. Competitive Analysis – Primary Competitors
    5. Strategy – Strengths & Weaknesses
    6. Products/Services -- Positioning
    7. Marketing & Sales – Promotions & Publicity
    8. Operations -- Management
    9. Financial Statement – Balance Sheet & Cash Flow

There is no limit to the amount information you can provide for your BUSINESS PLAN. Drafting the document will help you determine whether your business concept is feasible.

 

Evaluation

Evaluating your BUSINESS PLAN is the last and most important step in determining whether to proceed with your business venture. Here are some questions you should consider before investing in your business.

Is there a demand for my product/service?
Do my financial statements predict a profit after three years?
Am I a risk-taker?
Am I willing to take a profit loss for 1-3 years?
Do I need financial assistance (venture capital)?
Am I comfortable in a leadership role?
Can I handle personnel problems?
Is there opportunity for growth or diversification?
How do I manage stress?
PREDICTION: Will I be a successful entrepreneur?

 

Conclusion

Developing a comprehensive BUSINESS PLAN utilizes every business application you have studied in school. You must have a complete understanding of your product, customer, and finances to have a successful business. Writing your BUSINESS PLAN allows you, and others (perhaps investors), to determine your ability for success.

A BUSINESS PLAN in not set in stone. It is a working document that you can utilize throughout the life of your business. CAUTION: Do not manipulate financial data to fit your expectations. All data must be as accurate as possible and estimations should be noted.

Best of luck in your endeavors! Your great-uncle would be proud of you!