Business 121 Midterm Review
WHY WRITE THE BUSINESS PLAN
To gain funding for your venture. Take it to banks, or venture capitalists to get funds.
It is a detailed road map of how to proceed with the new venture living document gives you direction
Entrepreneurs who prepare a business plan are more likely to attain success that those who do not.
Model of Business Planning
o Develop a single, basic business plan.
o Start business.
o Take information gathered from business operations and refine and improve business plan.
Then expand the business.
Persuasion plays big role; venture capitalists quickly look and if argument is not persuasive, plan will be rejected.
SEVEN DEADLY SINS
The plan is poorly prepared and has an unprofessional look: no mistakes. Must look neat, tidy, and presentable.
The plan is far too slick; too fancy makes the investor wonder if the person is hiding something.
The exec summary is too long and rambling. It is not succinct: not worth the time.
Product development stage/process is unclear.
No clear identification of why anyone would want to buy the product or service.
No clear qualifications of the management team.
Financial projections are unreasonably optimistic and exorbitant.
5 THINGS AN ENTREPRENEUR MUST ACCOMPLISH
o What learned: The best way to start an organization is to make meaning – create a product or service
that will make the world a better place. It‟s not about money, power, or prestige.
o Why learned: most powerful motivator and help you become more successful.
o How to apply it: With this well understood meaning, the business will have a firm direction.
o What learned: An internal verbal saying or formula that your business is founded upon.
o Why learned: This will help provide a core internal message for the business to give it direction.
o What learned: Don‟t wait to develop the perfect product or service. Start the business once you have
enough information. Good is good enough. not about how great you start, but how you end up
o Why learned: Starting the business allows us to gather information.
o How to apply it: With the information we get, we can refine the business, expand it, and make it better.
Define a business model:
o What learned: Define a business model to see how all the factors of the business are integrated
together. It helps identify how you will generate revenue.
o Why learned: helps implement effective strategies; changes our way of operating.
o How to apply it: Use the business model and GEL to help make a better business plan.
Weave a MAT (milestones, assumptions, and tasks).
o What learned: To understand the scope of what you‟re undertaking, test assumptions quickly, and to set
milestones that the business must achieve (target dates)
o Why learned: Helps find and fix major problems allows business to be prepared for any future obstacle.
REASONS FOR WRITING A BUSINESS PLAN
Write for the right reasons
Must write a business plan to get funding from potential investors.
Forces the founding team to work together uncovers any holes in the team so they can fix early
Makes the team consider any issues that had been previously glossed over.
The process is more important than the destination.
Business 121 Midterm Review
4 PRINCIPLES OF BUSINESS WRITING
Purposeful: fulfill a purpose in each message that you write. Write to solve problems and convey information.
Persuasive: You want your audience to believe and accept your message.
Economical: Must present ideas clearly and concisely.
Audience oriented: Concentrate on writing the message from the perspective of the audience.
3 X 3 WRITING PROCESS
Analyze: identify purpose
Why am I sending this
message and what do I hope
Is there a primary/secondary?
What is the best way to deliver
the message? How formal?
Research: gather information
Formal methods: Internet,
search manually, investigate
Informal methods: Look in the
files, talk to your superior, talk
to the target audience,
conduct an informal survey.
The message must now be
edited for clarity, conciseness,
Consider using bulleted points
or list to make it easier and
Anticipate: profile the audience
The person reading will be
thinking „what‟s in it for me?‟
and „what am I supposed to do
with this information?‟
Knowing the audience helps
shape the message.
What do they already know?
What language is appropriate?
Organize: group similar facts
Using lists and outlines:
Alphanumeric format uses
Roman numerals and shows
major and minor ideas.
Decimal format shows every
level relating to the whole.
Direct for receptive audience,
indirect for uninterested
Spend time carefully reading
through the message and
locate any spelling, grammar,
Make sure that all the names,
numbers, and formats are
headings, long lead-ins
Adapt: to the task and audience
One important factor is tone.
Affects how the reader feels.
Use the „you‟ view.
Keep it conversational but
Bias-free no stereotypes
Compose: first draft
first draft of your organized
message. This should be done
quickly as this will be revised
in the last step.
Direct method for positive,
indirect for negative/persuade
Active vs. passive voice
Take a final look at the
message and ask yourself
„Will this achieve the
Is the message appealing and
persuasive enough to get the
SUMMARY OF LEARNING OBJECTIVES
The „you‟ view is writing a message through the readers perspective.
Must avoid exaggerations about „half-truths‟ when writing about investments. Must have safety information if the
product contains something that can harm the user.
DEFINITION OF „STICKY‟
Sticky: Understandable, memorable, and effective in changing thought or behaviour.
Simple: A simple message is memorable and understandable, it sticks.
o Ways to achieve principle: Keep the message simple and compact. Communicate the core by using
proverbs. This is affective because they are simple but profound. Use existing schema (existing
knowledge), analogies, and generative metaphors.
Unexpected: violates expectations by surprising in interesting way. It captures attention and generates curiosity.
o Ways to achieve principle: Be counterintuitive – uncommon sense in the core message. Open gaps in
your receiver‟s knowledge, give them some context that they are familiar with, and then fill those gaps.
Concrete: It makes ideas clear and stays away from being abstract. The person receiving the message can
easily picture the visual representation of the image in their mind.
Business 121 Midterm Review
o Ways to achieve principle: Use concrete images that the person will be able to relate to such as blue
eyes, brown eyes; or use familiar terms such as „sour grapes‟.
Credible: Makes the person believe the message. When they believe it without any doubt, they remember it.
o Ways to achieve principle: Use authorities such as celebrities, experts, and „anti-authorities‟. Internal
credibility is when you give statistics to back up the message.
Emotional: Making a person feel different can change their behaviour toward something helps stick
o Ways to achieve principle: Make the story relatable instead of abstract. Use the power of association,
and make the story appeal to the person‟s self-interest. Emphasize the benefits and not the features and
appeal to the person‟s ego and identity.
Stories: Use a story to inspire a person and this inspiration will lead to action.
o Ways to achieve principle: Generate inspiration by using certain plots:
Challenge plot: Up against a challenge and you overcome that.
Connection plot: A human story that connects and bridges a gap in the person‟s knowledge.
Creativity plot: Generate inspiration by showing massive mental breakthroughs.
A claim is the major conclusion that the author is trying to persuade you to accept; not always explicit
Cue words: therefore, thus, in summary, I believe that, clearly, in short, as a result, in fact.
Uncontested claims: Claims that generally do not need to be contested.
o Consistent with our own experiences usually go uncontested.
o Facts independent of interpretation, events that have happened in the past like an accident or war.
o Areas in which there is general agreement amongst experts, or it is common knowledge.
o Mathematical claims, technical claims
Contestable claims: When a claim is not uncontested, we need to question it.
Presenting claims: try to present the essence of what the author is saying in a clear and concise way. (fair)
o It can be graphical such as a mind map.
Evidence is any statement that supports the claim.
An argument is the combination of a claim and its supporting evidence.
Cue words: as a result, in the first place, for example, in addition, given that, studies show, for following reasons.
Quality: can be strong and substantial or weak and shaky. Our job is to evaluate the quality of the evidence.
o Accuracy: Make sure that the sources are good and the overall writing is free of errors.
o Precision: Statistics make the claim more credible.
o Sufficiency: There must be enough evidence to back up each claim fallacy of hasty generalization
o Representativeness: The evidence must represent the claim fairly and from an unbiased perspective.
o Authority: Using the experience of other credible authorities such as scholars makes evidence better.
fallacy of false appeal to authority, fallacy of argumentum ad populum
o Clarity of Expression: The significance of the evidence should be clearly stated.
A logical link that fills the gap between a piece of evidence and a claim.
Try to identify what must be true for between the evidence and the claim for the argument to exist.
Could someone believe this evidence and still argue with the claim?
Reality assumptions: Our belief on what events have taken place, what exists, or how things work in the world.
Challenge by presenting information that shows the author‟s notion of reality as debatable/wrong.
Value assumptions: Values are our ideals, our standards of right and wrong, the way things ought to be.
Cue words: ought to, should, desirable, unacceptable.
People can also rank their values differently. One might be more important than the other. This
can lead to disagreements about the relevance of the evidence presented for a claim.
Challenging value assumptions is difficult because values are rooted early and resistant
Bu s i n e s s pl a n n i n g. It is a detailed road map of how to proceed with the new venture living document gives you direction. Take it to banks, or venture capitalists to get funds. Entrepreneurs who prepare a business plan are more likely to attain success that those who do not. Model of business planning: develop a single, basic business plan, start business, take information gathered from business operations and refine and improve business plan. Persuasion plays big role; venture capitalists quickly look and if argument is not persuasive, plan will be rejected. The plan is poorly prepared and has an unprofessional look: no mistakes. The plan is far too slick; too fancy makes the investor wonder if the person is hiding something. The exec summary is too long and rambling. It is not succinct: not worth the time.