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High School Business Plan Assignment

The lesson sequence is designed to take a group through the creation of a business plan for use is a semester or year-long business simulation or project. It begins with a lecture and readings on the purposes and parts of a business plan, proceeds to evaluate a sample business plan as guided practice, the lets the team loose to develop their own business plan as "independent practice." This lesson provides guidance, ideas, and resources for the creation of a team-based business plan for use by high school students developing a mock single location, start-up business.

Note: the lesson assumes that the group has been given or has defined and accepted the initial business concept. The lesson " Discover your Potential" may be used to support the definition and acceptance of a business concept for this project. This plan links to other lessons in the unit, particularly Market Analysis and the creation of the plan's Financials {link to lesson}. The completion of these three plans will provide the group a complete business plan.

The scope and depth of the business plan assignment will need to be determined by the teacher in advance, depending on the number of - and abilities of - the students available to work on the plan, the length of the course (semester, year-long, etc.), and the anticipated complexity of the business to be developed. As with any planning exercise, your group will get out of it what it puts into it. Careful consideration is needed to balance the efforts expended developing the plan, with the available resources and time to execute the plan.

Prior to beginning the project, you will need to:

· Select a CEO and / or project manager for the project team; or act as the CEO yourself. It is a good idea to have one person as the plan's project manager and author, either the CEO or one person as CEO staff, if resources are available.

· Determine which sample plan you will use (a business plan for a start-up Coffee Shop / Bakery is attached). You and the CEO will need to become familiar with it, and the market for the selected business in your community, to support the guided practice section of the lesson.

· Determine which software and tools will be used for creating the plan.

· Determine the grading plan for the simulation and activities within the project.

Time:

Hook: 10 - 60 minutes, or more (depending on videos used)

Lecture: 45 minutes

Check for Understanding: 15 minutes

Demonstration / Modeling Activity: 2-3 (60) minute class periods (part 2 can be assigned as homework)

Guided Practice: 3-4 (60) minute class periods, more if extension lessons are used.

Independent Practice: 5 - 10 class periods. This will vary depending on the size of the team and the complexity of the project., Find a balance: Don't short the value of planning time, but also don't get bogged down in "analysis paralysis." Your overall class schedule will dictate the time available for the plan; but will probably be from one to two weeks. Recall also that planning is a cyclical process; you may want to build in a business plan review at the mid-point of the class.

Closure.One class period.

Objectives / Goals:

Students will work individually and in teams to review the elements of a business plan, and once prepared, proceed to create a plan for their course project. Students will gain a better understanding of the research and planning required to plan for a new venture. Individual team members will gain different skills depending on which team they participate with.

Note on Assessment: Assessments are made at a few steps in the lesson. First, of the CEOs presentation of the sample business plan, and second, and the groups develop example sections of their plan for an existing local business. The final evaluation of the success of the plan is derived from the overall success of the business simulation project which the plan creates.

Owning your own business is part of the American Dream. You might be wondering how a person could start their own company. What steps should be taken? How much money do you need to have saved up prior to starting a business? As a high school student, this possibility might seem more like an impossibility. In order to start the process of running your own operation, the first thing to do is throw all doubt out the window. The next step is obtaining a great education!

High schools all over the United States have classes dedicated to teaching business, marketing, and economics. These classes cover all of the basics needed to start you on your path to success. When taking such classes, a variety of topics will be covered. For instance, economics are a large part of learning about business. In an economics course, you learn more about the various markets in the world, supply and demand, and how the markets fluctuate. You will also need to take some financing courses. These will cover the money basics and how it is important to save money, invest money, and even how to spend money (wisely, of course). Other important business classes include accounting, human resources, operations management, and information and technology management.

If you are truly interested in the world of business, you might consider taking courses over the summer months, just to keep your mind fresh and full of the most up-to-date information. As an exercise, you might even consider creating your own business plan. How do you do this? It is simple, really. Start with an idea that you think could be profitable. The next step in creating your very own company plan is to write a mission statement. This should contain the purpose of your company as well as a brief overview of how or why your company will be successful. To run a proper business, there should be an unmet need in the market that your company will fulfill.

Next comes the steps you will take to fulfill that need. In your plan, be sure to include everything you will need to meet the need of the market. This can include (but is not limited to) employees, machinery, investors, marketing, advertising, and office or warehouse space. Another important component of a business plan is a description of what your product or service actually does. Be sure to mention the feasibility of your company's product or service in this portion of the plan, also referred to as the business model. Also mention why someone would pay for what you are offering.

There are a few more steps to creating your plan. It is important to conduct an analysis of the current market. Take a look at other products that could be your competition. Look at what making your product or offering your services will actually cost you. Do not forget start-up costs! Before you turn a profit, you will need to spend some money. This may require you to ask of others in the form of investors. They are a great way for startups to get money to get your plan off the ground. Other aspects you might consider including in this portion are your sale projections and your qualifications for owning, running, and selling whatever it is that you are going to be doing.

Finally, here's the fun part: Once you have covered the previously mentioned topics, you get to be a little creative. Consider how you will market your product. What will your ads look like? What will your advertisements say? In what other ways will you promote your product? How will you educate people about your product or service? These are all great considerations for the marketing portion of your plan.

That is how you create a very basic business plan. Try doing so with your next great idea. It could just become a real company one day.

Find out more about business and economics lessons through the following resources:

By Marc J. Marin

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