The following study guide is meant to help you prepare for the final exam. This material is for your practice and review only. You will not be asked to turn in your responses to the questions and activities below. As you work through these study guides, take note of your confidence level with the material. Ask yourself if you feel comfortable with your grasp of these topics, and take the suggestions for resources to re-watch or re-read seriously before proceeding to the final exam.
3a.1. The business plan should demonstrate an entrepreneur’s preparedness to establish an enterprise, knowledge of the product/service and the business environment, and ability to communicate the business opportunity to potential investors.
A. Identify the elements of the ten-ten approach.
B. Explain how business plan templates can be customized for your needs.
Ask yourself how comfortable you feel with the mechanics of writing a business plan such that it is presented in the most effective way possible. These concepts are as important as the actual content of the plan. This resource will serve as a refresher: Developing New Products and Services, v.1.0: “Chapter 12: Developing a Business Plan.”
3a.2. The physical appearance and organization of the business plan influences how readers perceive and evaluate the plan’s effectiveness.
A. Explain why plain fonts, plain language, and proper margin settings are vital to an attractively written report.
B. Identify the proper charts and graphs for illustrating particular kinds of facts and statistics.
C. In addition to a cover page and a table of contents, sections of the plan include an executive summary, company overview, and industry- or market-analysis, marketing strategy, operations, financials, and implementation strategies.
As you no doubt know by now, not all fonts are appropriate for a professional document, and it is of course, all too easy to mischaracterize facts and figures by presenting them in an inappropriate format. Re-read the following for more detail about how a business plan should look to the reader: Developing New Products and Services, v.1.0: “Chapter 12: Developing a Business Plan” and Saylor Academy's “Ten Dos and Don’ts of Writing a Business Plan.” These resources also cover the elements of the business plan. For even more information (remember that these topics will appear on the final exam!), listen to this podcast again: Maureen Burke’s “How to Write a Business Plan”.
3b.1. Including the proper information in a business plan demonstrates your professionalism and commitment to your enterprise. Most importantly, however, it helps your business plan make a more persuasive case to potential investors.
A. Identify the information that should appear in the executive summary.
B. Describe the market analysis section, which will include information about trends, consumer segments, the competition and industry growth.
C. Describe how the business plan attracts investors in the financial analysis section.
D. Describe how the marketing plan supports the overall business plan.
E. Describe the purpose of the mission statement and why it ought to include mention of the enterprise’s goals and corporate philosophy.
F. The components of the SWOT analysis are strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
G. Perform a SWOT analysis for a real-world company of your choosing to ensure full understanding of this business tool.
The information found in the various sections of the business plan will feature prominently in the final exam. Your confidence with business plans will serve you well in the exam. See the following resources:
3b.2. The management structure of an organization determines how the organization will be run and who will be responsible for management activities.
A. Describe the following generally accepted management models: classic hierarchy, democratic hierarchy, collaborative management, and collective management.
Become familiar with these management styles, as they appear on the final exam in several questions. This resource will provide you with a refresher: The Community Toolbox: “Developing a Management Plan”.
This vocabulary list includes terms that might help you answer some of the review items above and some terms you should be familiar with to be successful in completing the final exam for the course.