Recent Question/Assignment

Draft Submission 2:
Please complete each of the following sections in the business plan template and submit to Moodle.
Marketing & Communications Strategy (1,750-2,000 words approx)
Staffing and Operations (1,750-2,000 words approx)
You should submit this draft as one document– i.e. you do not submit sections separately. You could allocate a moderate amount of the word count from one of the above sections to the other e.g the Marketing section could be allocated 2,200 words and the Staffing & Operations section could be allocated 1,800 words, if deemed applicable to the nature of your business idea.
Use the business plan template for guidance on all of the items covered in each section (the relevant sections have been copy and pasted below) however, please be mindful that you may adapt certain elements that are appropriate to suit your individual business.
Marking Scheme:
Section Description Available Marks Actual Mark
5. Marketing & Communications Strategy
(1,750-2,000 words) Marks will be awarded for completion and quality of:
• Marketing strategy
• Pricing
• Revenue Model & Sales Strategy
• Sales Forecast
• Communications Strategy 50%
6. Staffing and Operations
(1,750-2,000 words) Marks will be awarded for completion and quality of:
• Organisational Chart
• Staffing
• Operations 50%
5. Marketing and Communications Strategy
This section sets out your strategies for reaching your target market, arousing their interest in your product or service, and actually delivering the product or service to them in sales. The points listed below within each sub-section can vary considerably from business to business, please adapt to suit your particular business.
5.1 Marketing Strategy
Describe concisely your overall marketing strategy and objectives for your product/service.
Examine the various levels of your product/service: Examine the Core, actual and augmented levels of a product/service.
Put forward a Positioning statement. This will outline how you will position your product or service in the market and differentiate it from its competitors? See class notes on this topic.
5.2 Pricing
Identify the pricing strategy that your business will adopt for your key target market(s). For instance, cost plus or premium pricing. Justify your choice.
It is recommended to include a table to compare your target market prices along with those of your major competitors.
5.3 Sales Forecast

Discuss your sales forecast which will provide the basis for the sales and cash flow figures in your financial projections. These must be based on realistic assessments. Discussion includes aspects such as:
• Number of transactions per day
• Average customer spend or average deal size (if B2B)
• Sales per month (account for seasonal variations)
• Length of sales cycle (B2B and B2C)
• Recurring revenues e.g. subscriptions etc.
• Cash and Credit Sales (if relevant)
5.4 Revenue Model & Sales Strategy
? How will your business generate revenue? Is there perhaps Recurring revenue e.g Subscriptions, memberships, donations e.g Patreon. It could also be Ad-based or else the traditional ‘transactional model’.
? How you will sell your product or service to the target market.
• Direct selling
• On or off-line (or both)
• Retailers/stockists
• Distributor/Agent
• Third Parties/partners
Analyse for each chosen method: the costs involved, justify how it will reach the intended target markets efficiently, the control you would retain over the pricing and positioning, the logistics, and the overall integration with your marketing strategy. State the advantages of the methods you have chosen to sell your product or service.
5.5 Communications Strategy
How you will promote your product or service in the marketplace and communicate with your customers. What key promotional tools will you adopt? e.g.

Traditional Promotional Methods:
For example:
• Advertising – where, when, how, to whom. If you are not going to advertise, please justify your reasons.
• Public relations
• Direct marketing
• Exhibitions etc.
• Word of mouth
Internet/Digital and Social Media Marketing
What key forms of Internet and Social Media Marketing will you utilise? Be as creative as possible keeping in mind that costs should aim to be minimized for start ups.
Identify what you want to achieve from your Social Media Marketing strategy and identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to ensure that your strategy is on course.
You will need to fully cost each marketing communication method and you should have a summary table at the end of this section. For instance:
Costs Year 1 Costs Year 2 Costs Year 3
Public Relations
Direct marketing
Internet and Social Media Marketing

Total Marketing Costs

6. Staffing and Operations
This is where you will outline the intended structure of the company in terms of management, number of employees, and the physical operational requirements to produce or supply the product or service. These vary greatly from business to business, please adapt to suit your particular business
6.1 Organisational Chart
Include a short diagram of the way in which the management of the new venture will be organized outlining the various Functional responsibilities, who is charged with responsibility for the key functions of the company e.g. Marketing, I.T, Operations, Finance etc. Please provide a short description to accompany the chart.
You and your business partners (if you have any) may or may not take charge of a number if not all of these during the start-up stage. Certain functions however may be outsourced e.g. Housekeeping/Cleaning, H.R or even I.T.
6.2 Staffing
Please explain the skills that you and your management team bring to the business – as well as any possible weaknesses in terms of expertise
• Does the product/service require skilled people?
• What will be the mix of Full-time and part-time staff? Perhaps you will utilise self-employed workers (freelancers – widely available on the internet e.g. in the areas of I.T or Marketing), or else perhaps utilise agency staff for certain roles e.g. receptionists, administration etc.
• What are the appropriate salaries for management staff (management staff are usually paid an annual salary – or perhaps you or your business partners will be the sole manager(s)). What will be the hourly pay for your staff?
• Students will need to include a staff roster within this section
Please note: it is not permissible to simply put forward a business idea consisting of only the founder and utilising all outsourced staff.
6.3 Operations
State the physical requirements of the business and provide a very brief comment on each expense. These could include how this expense will be set to rise or fall from year 1 to years 2 and 3. The list below is not exhaustive, please adapt to suit your particular business
• Premises (be creative if possible – perhaps a permanent office is not required at the early stage). Include Rent and Rates of any premises leased.
• Opening hours of the business
• Equipment
• Licenses (if required)
• Production facilities (if relevant)
• I.T Infrastructure (perhaps consider outsourcing)
• Telecommunications
• Insurance
• Trade Mark/Patents
• Miscellaneous e.g. Light and Heat, Postage etc.
• Suppliers
Costs involved – please include a summary chart (see below)
Please note: it is not permissible to put forward a business idea with just the founder working virtually from home with little or no physical and operational infrastructure.
Costs Year 1 Costs Year 2 Costs Year 3

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