Aim to follow the weekly schedule - some time in each tutorial class will be devoted to working in your teams of two under the guidance of your tutor on this project. However, teams of two are required to be self directed and it will be necessary for you to conduct research on your project out of class time.
The text book is designed to assist with all aspects of this process and students are encouraged to not wait for chapters/sections to be introduced in the lectures, but to use initiative to discover relevant sections.
Week 1: No tute
Week 2: Course outline reviewed including an introduction of the FAP and assessment
Week 3 - CREATING THE FUTURE: Teamwork/Opportunity recognition exercises and readings are used to guide creative thinking and in preparation for brainstorming business ideas. Contemplate business ideas which you can present to your 'business partner' next week. Keep at top of mind, 'what am I passionate about, what interests me?' - passion helps to inspire and motivate. You may have had experience in an industry where you see there is a gap in the market for a new product or service? For whom do you see there is a real need or demand for that new product or service? Your challenge is to come up with ideas that 'create the future', don't try to predict the future.
Week 4- THE POWER OF TWO: Teams of two will be formed, keeping in mind the importance of 'complimentary skills and similar values'. Spend time brainstorming your individual ideas. Your tutor will probe and discuss your ideas; they can help you ascertain that your new business idea is manageable within the time-frame. Try to make a final decision on your project idea. If not in this class, then you must have made a decision by the beginning of the next tutorial in week 5.
Your next task is to write up a contract which you both must adhere to - submit a formal business letter to your tutor (using guidelines in the text book). No longer than one page in length, you need to outline your expectations of each other, i.e. attending scheduled meetings, turning up on time, open communication at all times, commitment to time frames and shared work load etc. You will both sign the letter and submit to your tutor in week 5.
Week 5 - CONCEPT FORMALISED: Consider how you intend leveraging the means you have at your disposal, what you know and whom you know. Have you considered how much you can afford to lose? Have you considered and prepared for contingencies?
Specifically, use the following as dialogue prompts:
- Who is your Target Market - your Customer? (the one who pays you). Are they individuals or are they existing companies? If they are individuals, what is their age group - how old are they? What is their income level? Where do they live? What are their buying habits etc.
- What is your Value Proposition? - the benefits being delivered to your customer. What problems are you solving for them? Does your product/service offer intangible benefits such as better health, saving time, saving money?
- Describe your Product or Service in relation to the needs of your customer. Definition and design of the product or service should stem directly from the customer needs. Is there potential for growth and spin-offs?
- What is your Route to Market - How will your product/service be delivered to your customer? Where or how the product/service should be sold. Most services are delivered directly to the customer, but products often go through channel intermediaries such as distributors and retailers. Will it be sold over the internet as an eBusiness?
- Who are your Competitors? - a business which sells the same or a similar product or service to yours. Be aware that every business has competitors and do not see your competitor as a negative factor; the secret is to know who they are and what they are doing so that you can do it better! Your business objective is to obtain and maintain a sustainable competitive advantage over your competitor.
Week 6 - EVIDENCE: What, Where, Why and How?
Discuss how you are going to conduct primary research - speak to a potential customer, interview someone who works in the industry, and conduct an informal survey. It is very important to speak to the right people and ask the right questions. Discuss how you are going to conduct secondary research - research official statistics, research industry reports, look on government websites etc. Our library at Bond has great secondary resources. The aim is to get a genuine feel for the viability of your idea that ultimately you are going to be able to defend. Research, research, research! Evidence, evidence, evidence!
Decide on financial indicators (cost and revenue drivers). Pricing strategy - how will you price your product/service? What is the basic cost of your product or service? What cost factors must you take into consideration to determine your market price? Research what your competitors charge for their product/service in the market. Will you charge more than the market rate, if so why? Will you charge less than the market rate, if so why? Justify your pricing strategy. Fundamentals justified - again evidence, evidence, evidence!
How, if appropriate, are you going to protect your intellectual property? Does it require a Patent, Copyright or Trademark; is it a Trade Secret that needs protecting? Research what each category represents. Do you need to comply with a particular licence or permit - research the Smartlicence website. Evidence, evidence, evidence!
Decide on your business model - how are you going to create and capture value? Develop a competitive advantage for your company. Your business model must show benefits to your consumers as well - it is about showing that you are creating value and making a profit.
Week 7: Market research section draft concluded (primary and secondary)
Week 8: Financial drivers section draft concluded (cost and revenue drivers). If relevant, Intellectual Property protection decided upon and explained.
Week 9 - RETHINK, REVIEW, REVISE: Go back and answer the questions below (tutor will probe):
- What have we missed?
- What would make this argument stronger?
- What do we now know that we did not know in Week 4?
- Who can we access to strengthen our argument/minimise our risk?
- What are the flaws?
Now spend time crafting your report.
Week 10: Dress Rehearsal: Bring a well developed draft to tutorial class to demonstrate you are 'on track'.
Your final report is to be 7 pages in length, 1.5 line spacing and 12 pt font that must be of professional presentation (using examples from text). Referencing very important - use footnotes (that's the evidence).
Week 11: Finalise and submit report to 'Turn-It In'. Hand in final hard copy to BTSD Faculty reception by Friday 2 April at 4 pm.
Week 12: Game Day: In tutorial class, present a '7 slide 7 minute' slide show using the following slide headings:-
1. Who you are
2. Detailed Product/Service Description; Is it Feasible: Yes or No
3. Evidence of understanding of the business model described (How we intend to make a profit)
4. Evidence of preliminary market research (Primary and Secondary)
5. Evidence of understanding of financial indicators (Cost and Revenue)
6. Evidence of minimizing financial risk
7. IN CONCLUSION ...What you know about the feasibility process (linked to goals & attributes - Teamwork, Leadership & Initiative)