Assignment 2 requires you to complete a comprehensive feasibility study for your new venture concept (based on the work you completed in Assignment 1). Because Assignment 2 will take a considerable amount of time, you should begin to work on it as soon as you receive your marker’s feedback on Assignment 1. Lessons 7 and 8 and Stages 3 and 4 in your textbook provide a comprehensive overview of how to conduct a feasibility study and, as such, should be reviewed prior to beginning this assignment.
You should approach the development of this study as if you were actually thinking of proceeding with your business idea. While going ahead and actually starting a business of your own is not a requirement of this course, it is hoped that this assignment will familiarize you with some of the requirements of starting a successful new venture and give you an appreciation of the opportunities available through the entrepreneurial career option. Franchises are not acceptable for the purpose of this assignment.
You can use the Outline for a Feasibility Study available in the Online Learning Center (p. 129 of your textbook) to help you develop your study, but remember that this outline is a guide only. It is not a fill-in-the-blanks template but a general framework you can follow to make sure you deal with all the relevant issues that should be addressed in preparing a feasibility study. In addition, your plan may very well require further information or details not specifically addressed in this template that should be included as well.
Start by putting together a rough draft of your paper. We suggest that you begin by laying out the table of contents and then compiling the material for the body of your paper. The cover page, executive summary, and so on can be completed later. Note that the cost/profitability section of the outline requires the preparation of a series of financial statements. In Lesson 8, we provide an Excel file that contains a series of blank financial templates (schedules) that you can use to prepare these statements. We have provided these templates so that you can focus on the numbers (i.e., so you don’t have to spend your time planning and developing a framework for the statements and can spend your time determining the numbers to enter instead). Completing and analyzing each schedule is a key part of your financial analysis. You can “unprotect” each of the schedules if you wish to tailor them to your particular requirements.
Assignment 2 should be no longer than 3000 words (not including any appendices) and is worth 60 per cent of your overall mark for the course.
Submit ONLY ONE Word file for this assignment, with all the financial information included in the appendix.
Two separate files will NOT be accepted.
Marking Rubric for Assignment 2: Feasibility Study
1. Structure of the Paper – 5%
The paper should be well written and look professional. It should contain a(n)
– cover page.
– executive summary that is clearly and concisely written and less than a page long.
– table of contents that reflects the contents of the paper with page numbers.
– introduction that provides a brief overview of the business concept to be evaluated and a rationale for selecting the concept for the feasibility study.
2. Description and Overview of the Business Concept – 10%
The paper should present
– the genesis and history of the business concept.
– an overview of the principal value proposition and what sets this business apart from others.
– the current status of the business.
– the overall strategy to be pursued.
– the overall objectives for the business.
– an overview of expected benefits to be provided to customers.
3. Overview of the Market – 10%
The paper should clearly identify the general target market for this business and its primary potential customers, including
– an indication that there is a clear market need, and how this business can take advantage of that need.
– a profile of principal target customers and any segments that may exist within that principal target group.
– some idea as to the location, size, trends, seasonal patterns, and other characteristics of the potential market in general.
– any indication of any current degree of market acceptance for the concept or plans to test the concept.
4. Who is the Competition – 10%
The paper should indicate the principal direct or indirect potential competitors by name. For the major ones identified, it should provide some further details on each one, such as
– their estimated sales or market share.
– how their product or service differs from what is planned.
– how they market their offering in term of pricing, promotion, distribution, and so on.
– any major strengths or weaknesses that set them apart from others in the marketplace.
5. Preliminary Marketing Plan – 35%
The paper should describe the range of products and services to be offered, including
– a specific description of the range and line of products or services to be provided and their key features.
– any additional complementary items or services to be included as part of the overall offering.
– anything distinctive or unique about the overall package.
– their proprietary position regarding any intellectual property.
The paper should include an overview of the business’s overall pricing strategy, including
– how prices were determined and a description of the overall markup chain for the distribution channel.
– how these prices are expected to compare with those of the principal competitors.
The paper should include an overview of the business’s overall promotion strategy and plan, including
– an overall promotion budget.
– the allocation of expenditures to various media and personal selling.
– the principal promotional message to be communicated to prospective customers.
– an indication of any trade promotion or public relations activities that may be undertaken.
The paper should include an overview of where the business will be located and how its products will be distributed to prospective customers if appropriate, including
– types of market intermediaries such as wholesalers or retailers to be used.
– whether own sales force or agents would be utilized.
– other means of getting to market, such as the Internet.
6. Cost/Profitability Analysis and Pro Forma Financial Statements – 20%
The paper should reflect a solid understanding of the financial implications of moving ahead with the business. Each element of the cost/profitability analysis should be
– easy to read and understand.
– consistent with the situation laid out in the marketing plan and rest of the document.
– reasonable and realistic.
– technically correct.
– effective in reflecting the expected financial performance of the business.
– based on the expected first year of operation of the business.
– summarized after all the financial statements have been presented.
The financial plan may or may not be based on the financial templates provided to the students, but it should contain
– a pro forma income statement – 5%
– a pro forma cash flow statement – 5%
– a pro forma balance sheet – 5%
– other statements such as estimated start-up requirements and
7. Future Plans – 5%
The paper should address a number of key issues in conclusion, such as the following.
– What were the strong and weak points of the concept or idea based on the evaluation?
– Did the feasibility study indicate the business was likely to be profitable? If not, why not?
– Based on the evaluation, was the business considered to be sufficiently attractive to proceed with the development of a complete business plan?
8. Overview and General Overall Impression – 5%
The paper should leave a positive overall impression and
– be free of spelling, typographical, grammatical, and punctuation errors.
– communicate in a clear manner with good sentence, paragraph, and section structure.
– appear polished and professional looking.
– be focused and clear with little redundancy.
Idea 1: Marketing Copy Writer: The business will entail writing simplified copies of brochures, magazines or advertisements and selling through the internet.
Idea 2: Personal Trainer: The business will target both elementary and high school students who would want their learning skills enhanced through home trainers.
Idea 3: Social Club Business: The business will entail setting up a social site where people can relax and socialize.
Idea 4: Party Supplier: With the prevalently increasing rates of parties across the town, the Party Supplier business will aim to supply party equipment such as chafing dishes to party clients across the town.
Idea 5: Editorial Services Business. The business will provide online editing services such as proofreading for students.
Description of Idea 1: Marketing Copy Writer
The business entails selling article reviews and simplified versions of other learning materials such as books and magazines through the internet. The business will target students who have difficulties reading long texts or comprehending structured sentences
Description of Idea 2: Party Supplier
Description of Idea 3: Editorial Services
Idea no 1: 128
Idea no. 2: 98
Idea no. 3: 161
Editorial Services Business
Starting an editorial service is preferably the best business opportunity due to the prevalently increasing number of research activities over the past few years (Carroll, 2014). The business entails proofreading and editing customer’s research materials to enhance their writing and academic skills. Most colleges and universities have initiated online learning for wider coverage and reduced learning costs. While learning has been made easier, such aspects as grammatical errors have been a great concern among students and supervisors. The business will, therefore, target online students and researchers who would want to enhance their research through outstanding written materials free of grammar errors. Simplified learning materials illustrating how to avoid grammatical errors to achieve academic excellence will also be sold to customers through the internet. Due to the wide network coverage provided by the internet, the business will help students advance their grammar while learning various skills that would enhance their academic performances. The business will entail inviting students and researchers to present their written materials on the business platform for editing and proofreading. The business will, therefore, gain revenue through online subscription fee to receive editing services.
Starting an editorial service business will be a preferable business opportunity for various reasons. Firstly, all students strive to excel in their academics. While students desire academic excellence, most learning institutions have advanced their academic expectations whereby students are required to portray high writing and analytical skills to achieve academic excellence. On the contrary, many students, including native students, have been observed to experience difficulties achieving the academic requirements for excellent writing and analytical skills. The business will, therefore, help students enhance their writing skills and achieve the desired academic requirements for academic excellence. Besides helping students, the business will help researchers in presenting high-level research materials for the public. Secondly, starting an editorial service business requires little investments since it will be a service production business as compared to goods distribution business which would require more investments. Thirdly, due to the excellent writing and analytical skills learnt in all learning levels, the business will provide quality services which would attract more customers to the business. Finally, as an online based business, the editorial service business will earn wide network coverage of both local and global students and researchers.
Weaknesses of the Business
While the editorial service business is perceived to excel in the online marketing industry, the business has various weaknesses. Firstly, the business is more likely to be affected by technical obsolescence which is more likely to foster its downfall. According to Barber, Metcalfe & Porteous, (2016), technology has made it easier for organizations to market their products online. What is more is that organizations can constantly communicate with their clients through the internet thus enhancing the organization’s customer value. As an online business that highly relies on technology, the editorial service business is more likely to be impacted by changes in technology. The issue of technological changes can, however, be overcome by employing an information technology expert who would keep the business platform updated to avoid loss of customers due to technological failure.
Secondly, the business is more likely to receive competition in the online market. The online market is wide and covers all aspects of the business. While the business intends to take advantage of online business and marketing to access wide network coverage, the business will, however, receive competition from already established editorial agencies that help students and researchers enhance their writing skills. The business will, however, counter competition through premium pricing strategies with the intention of achieving a long-term competitive advantage through price-quality signaling (Kotler, Keller, Manceau & Hémonnet-Goujot, 2015). The business will also counter competition by producing high quality services for customer retention and attraction. Besides providing quality services, the business will create customer value by creating constant communication with the customers through the internet. By constantly communicating with the customers, the business will identify the needs of the clients and provide according to customer specifications for efficiency and quality.
Finally, due to the limited proprietary rights, other entrepreneurs are more likely to steal the business idea fostering the downfall of the business. As an online business, the business will store the company secrets on the internet which are at risk of hacking from competitors or other civilians. The business can, however, counter the loss of business idea by encrypting the business’s information (Ilyas, 2015). Encrypting business information will secure the businesses’ secrets and ideas from hackers.
Barber, J., Metcalfe, S., & Porteous, M. (Eds.). (2016). Barriers to growth in small firms. Routledge.
Carroll, B. (2014). Writing and Editing for Digital Media. Routledge.
Ilyas, M. M. (2015). Cyber security.
Kotler, P., Keller, K. L., Manceau, D., & Hémonnet-Goujot, A. (2015). Marketing management (Vol. 14). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.