Written Team Business Concept Proposal

Assignment overview:
As a team (approx 5 team members) you will develop and write a business concept proposal for an organisation selected by your lecturer, or your team.

The organisation is seeking proposals for business initiatives/projects or community based activities or partnerships, which will enhance its immediate or longer term business performance and profitability, and enhance its corporate image as a socially responsible citizen.

Each seminar group will be allocated an organisation for the assessment task that will be used for the assessment. The organisation may be one selected by the lecturer, or it may be selected by the team. The organisation must be large enough to have a comprehensive public website and information base (including public access to annual and other reports), as well as being large enough to support a diverse range of activities.

The focus of your proposal and presentation is on justifying the merit and viability of your business proposal and making a sales pitch to internal funding authorities. The organisation has allocated a total pool of $5m in seed funding for these projects and expects to fund several projects out of the $5m. You are in competition with the other teams for a share of this funding and the senior management will decide how many projects can be funded depending on the merit of the proposals and the funding required. It is expected most projects would require seed funding in the range of $250,000 to $1m.

The business concept proposal (2A), and subsequent presentation (2B) is the first stage of the process and the successful proposals will receive in-principle approval to move to the next stage and develop a full project plan (Assessment 3B).

· Please note, teams are competing against each other for a share of the $5m pool of funds. Funding requests should be realistic and are expected to be significantly lower than $5m, so that more than one project could be funded out of the $5m. It is expected that the project bids for most teams will be in the range of $250,000 to $1m.

· The seed-funding is only available for up to three (3) years.

You will discuss the nature of the business concept in seminar activities but it is important that your proposal has the following characteristics:

1. It must be a concept for which your team can reasonably research and develop a business plan, and ultimately (see Assessment 3B) a detailed project management plan to implement it. Thus your business concept needs to very clear and quite specific. It needs to be large enough to require significant resources (people and physical resources) and yet not so large or technical to be beyond the capacity of your team to develop a detailed management plan to implement it. For example any proposals that involve design and manufacturing of new products should be considered carefully as to whether there is enough knowledge and expertise in the team to be able to research what is needed to work out the detailed planning and costing information needed to implement the design and manufacturing of a new product.

2. It must be a proposal which will benefit the business in either the short or long term, and must focus on one of the following:

· a new service/product;

· modification to an existing service/product;

· existing service/product for a new market; or

· a business or community activity or partnership that will be desirable for your organisation from a business perspective.

3. It must also have an element of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It must show evidence of potentially making a positive contribution to the organisation s image as a responsible corporate citizen by having at least an element that is good for the community, employees and/or the environment.

4. Your TEAM is assumed to be part of your nominated organisation. All of your project team are employees of that organisation, and the cost of employing your team is one of the costs to be included in the budget for your project. Your business proposal needs to demonstrate that the proposal is in-line with the mission and objectives of your organisation and will be potentially good for the business.

What your team needs to do to begin researching your proposal..

1. Research the background of the organisation and the nature of its business and its mission and objectives and its current operations and activities.

2. Review the organisation s website and, where available, the annual report to understand the nature and diversity of its business activities and to see how it already discharges its corporate social responsibilities.

3. Source and evaluate ideas for your initiative by reading literature on corporate social responsibility and by reviewing examples of similar activities already being undertaken by your organisation, its competitors, or even by other organisations in different industries.

4. Conduct research using academic texts, databases, and relevant government, community, or business based websites into entrepreneurship, business development or corporate social responsibility. This may provide further ideas and information.

5. Research more widely to try to identify and review products, services or community projects which may be appropriate (eg. Look for innovative applications, services or products responding to changing demographics or other local or international trends; analyse current or future changes in customer desires and preferences, concerns about climate change, energy costs and availability, ethical, social or cultural issues or even the global financial crisis; interview organisation experts, community leaders, suppliers).

Assessment 2A: Written Team Business Concept Proposal

Format of submission..

In professional life you often will be required to follow a prescribed format, whether prescribed by your own organisation or by a potential client requesting a tender document or a funding organisation. Tenders, consultancy briefs, finance applications and internal project funding applications will often have very specific formats depending on the organisation, so learning to deal with specific format requirements is an important part of the learning objectives of this task.

In this case you must follow the template requirements below and your team s adherence to these requirements will be part of the assessment criteria. Each team member is responsible for meeting these requirements: it needs to be a team effort and should not be allocated to one team member.

Style requirements:

· Use margins of 2cm and ensure pages are numbered.

· 12 point Arial font for the body of the text

· Single spacing with blank line before and after headings and between paragraphs

· Adopt and use a consistent style for headings and subheadings in terms of how you use larger font size, bolding, italics or underlining, and consistent spacing before and after headings. Set up your heading styles so you can create a Table of Contents with automatic page numbering. (Search Word help menus if you don t already know how to do this).

· As part of the final proofread make sure all page breaks are in appropriate places in the body of the report, and that each appendix commences on a new page.


This is my part

Feasibility analysis

· Provide a market analysis for your proposal. This should include the nature of the industry, competition, and other relevant information about the nature of the market such as demographic influences and past and future trends related to your industry and your business proposal. Include supporting market research information about potential customers, suppliers, competitors and future trends to justify your proposal.

· Provide an appraisal of the external environment (SWOT analysis) to identify any risks or threats that might confront the organisation if it adopts your proposal. Briefly explain any opportunities that might arise from the new business initiative being proposed AND an internal appraisal of the capacity of the organisation and your project team to successfully deliver the objectives of your business initiative – i.e. do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. Identify key issues emanating from SWOT.

· Provide summary financial projections of income and expenditure and expected return on initial investment. The financial projections should indicate how much seed funding is required from the organisation to start the project and estimates of future costs and income for the duration of the project. Amounts for all estimates need to be justified either as notes to the projections or in a separate and appropriately labelled Appendix. Justification must include clear explanation of calculations and estimates and evidence of research to show where amounts were derived.

· Justify the feasibility of your business initiative from a practical point of view. Identify what are the logistical, operational and legal issues that may impact on the success of your project. Include information as to what licenses or permits (if any) are required to operate your business initiative.

· Finally provide a clear justification of the viability of your project in terms of its costs and benefits to the organisation and its return on investment.

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