The purpose of this assignment is to stimulate vision, imagination, and creativity. It also constitutes the first stage in the development of your business plan by identifying potential business ideas. Some of the ideas you develop will become actual business plans in the course.
Make a list of 10 different ideas for a new business
Develop these 10 ideas into 50-60 (no less than 5 under each primary topic), no matter how unusual or abstract they may be. The result should be a list in outline form with 10 main ideas, and under each main business category there should be several sub-categories. For example:
1. Motorcycle Repair Shop
a. Motorcycle detailing (on and off site)
b. Motorcycle pick-up and drop-off
c. Parts and accessories sales
d. Custom motorcycle building
e. Beginning & advanced motorcycle training courses
f. Adventure motorcycle tours
g. Motorcycle photography
h. Biker weddings
Select the best 3 ideas (from the 50+). For each of these 3 ideas, describe in 60-80 words:
1) The product or service, customer, technology, and facilities
2) The opportunity the business exploits
3) The resources you think would be necessary to execute this venture
Rank-order the 3 ideas so that the best one is #1, second best is #2, etc. This would be your short list.
From step 4, further develop your #1 idea.
1) Name your concept (no more than 5 words).
a. Define the business idea clearly (e.g., Ladies Apparel is vague; but ladies apparel store, ladies apparel design, ladies apparel manufacturing, etc. are clearer).
2) Provide a description of the product / service.
a. What exactly will the business do? This may be fairly straightforward (e.g., retailer) or may be complex (e.g., offering a unique or unusual service) so the detail here will vary depending on the concept
b. Who are the customers?
c. What industry?
d. What other specific aspects about geographic location, technology, etc.
3) Short description of the product/service feasibility: Why would people pay for it?
a. What is unique about your product/service? What are the differentiating factors?
b. What is the need or problem addressed with this product/service?
c. What are the benefits to the users? What value added is created by your product/service?
4) Short discussion of industry and competitive feasibility: Why does it make sense to get into a business in this industry or sector?
a. Is the industry large? Small? Growing?
b. What are the predominant competitive forces in the industry and how do they influence
the overall profit margins in the industry?
c. What trends are shaping the industry’s future? What threats does the industry face?
d. How crowded is the industry and who are the main competitors?
e. What competitive strengths would you have? What are the primary challenges?
f. Why would people be willing to buy from you, as opposed to other alternatives?
5) The financial feasibility: How likely is the venture to generate profits? How long will it take?*
b. Resources needed, capital investments needed
c. Expected time for profitability
*It’s OK to rely on estimates and assessments as most of you will not yet have the tools to do
detailed financial analyses and projections. Yet, you do need to substantiate your assessments; for example, look for information that is available, such as performance or growth of well known companies in the industry, publicly available industry reports, etc.
Format and Submission Guidelines
• No more than 3 typed, single-spaced pages, in Times New Roman, 12 pt font with 1” margins
• Do not write a free-flowing essay – use headings and subheadings where appropriate. This is the proper style for business documents
• Make sure to address all the above items and sub-sections. Make sure it is clear which question you are addressing.