Writing an Opportunity Analysis Report

The Entrepreneurship Report Opportunity Analysis Report Assignment Brief (40%) Writing an Opportunity Analysis Report will enable you to define your business by critically examining the idea for a new business venture and to check it against your initial perception of the market-place so that you may write your first draft nature of the business statement on which market investigations and calculations can be based. Your report should have a contents page, an executive summary, a reference page and appendices (to include any supporting information). The word limit is 1750-2000 words excluding a Contents page, Executive Summary, Appendices and a References page. NB: Please note that the word limit suggestion for each session is for general guidance only. Should you wish to include more or fewer words in each session is entirely up to you. All assessment points are equally weighted, and we advise you to make a full use of appendices. Please note, you will also be assessed on your use of sources, your writing style and presentation (how well you can communicate your plan to investors, and whether you have written a convincing proposal). One of the strategies to ensure you have included all the points in your report is to copy and paste the expanded version of your Opportunity Analysis Report Template into your document and then include information covering all relevant points. When you completed your analysis and it is ready for submission, please do not forget to delete the expanded version of questions as it will be counted towards your word limit and may be penalised. Opportunity Analysis Report Template (40%) NB: this is a template that you could use for opportunity analysis with some points/questions to consider Please note that the word limit suggestion for each session is for general guidance only. Should you wish to include more or fewer words in each session is entirely up to you. All five sessions are weighted equally and we advise you to make a full use of appendices. Contents Executive Summary External Environmental Analysis Industry Analysis Key People and Skills Financial Feasibility References and Appendices Below is an extended outline of the Opportunity Analysis Report explaining step-by-step what you need to include in each session of the report. NB: One of the strategies to ensure you have included all the points in your report is to copy and paste the extended version of your Opportunity Analysis Report Template and then include information covering all relevant points. Please do not forget to delete the outlined questions when you completed your analysis and it is ready for submission. Extended Contents Executive Summary (please provide a short, no more than one-page summary of your business proposal) Include an outline of your business idea based on your feasibility analysis. Your summary should provide answers to following questions: What do you intend to sell? Where will be your position in the market? What is the Industry like? Who are the main players and stakeholders? Who will be your customers? How will you obtain products and reach your customers? How will you provide services or sell your products? Also, you need to include information about people and skills needed to successfully run your new venture. External Environmental Analysis (450-500 words) The key objective of carrying out an external (macro) analysis is to review the environment in which your business is operating as the basis for strategic decision. To identify a viable opportunity, you need to look for the trends in the environment that can affect your business (Hint: A current demographic change towards aging population today creates many opportunities for entrepreneurs to serve this market by offering products and services specifically targeted for 50-plus customers). Foretelling the future is always a doubtful activity, therefore the best we can do is to look around at trends and new ideas and try to estimate which once are likely to continue. Apply PESTEL analysis to identify what political, economic, social, technological, environmental, legal pressures will present main implications for your customers (and hence your products and services) and your technology and the way you work. Industry Analysis (550-600 words) The key objective in analysing the industry and market is to review the market for goods and services, the competition you face, and the decision you need to take to ensure success of your new venture. In this stage we use market segmentation to identify potential customers, we assess the impact of our competitors and use market survey methods to characterise potential customers and their needs. There are many ways of narrowing down the list of your potential customers or identifying your niche market. Try to a) list the geographical areas in which you will trade with customers; b) list the characteristics of the people most likely to buy your products/services; c) list the characteristics and likely requirements of the intermediaries you hope to do business with; d) list the characteristics of the kind of organizations you want to do business with. An important stage in analysing the market is characterising the customers. Ask the following questions to define your customers: Where they are to be found? Exactly what they are likely to buy? (in terms of quality, size, colour, delivery etc.) How much will they buy? (e.g. quantity to be purchased and frequency). There may be a wealth of information about your potential customers from household expenditure surveys, sector reports on industry and commerce. You can also obtain the important data on your customers from primary data (Hint: The best way to learn about your customers is to go and talk to potential customers about their needs and concerns). Now that you have a clear idea about your potential customers and their needs as they relate to your proposed business, you need to identify the companies that are currently meeting these needs. How does your competitor create value? There is little point in trying to compete with an established competitor in features where they are strong. You may need to match these or deliberately take a different line (Hint: See Blue Ocean Strategy). You need to identify the advantages of your products and services and benefits offered to each group of customers. What is your USP or your unique selling point? Here are some tools you might consider using to analyse the Industry and Market Porters 5 Forces Model, Blue Ocean Strategy, Porters Generic Strategies/Bowmans Strategy Clock, 4Ps of marketing, Four Cs-company/customers/competitors/collaborators, and SWOT/TOWS. Key People and Skills (450-500 words) Having identified the core of your business, you must now decide what skills you and your key people will need to make the business a success. This is an important stage in your entrepreneurial journey because people who invest in your business or lend you money will want to know how you will cope, therefore it is important you spell out the key tasks and state why you think people you have can together deliver the goods/services. Identify skills required for your business, then identify the people who should have these skills. If people identified do not have the skills, indicate how these skills will be made available to the firm. Here is the list of skills that you may need for your new venture: a) Technical skills (What knowledge and skills do you need to successfully run a new business? What machinery will you use and who will run/maintain it?); b) Marketing skills (What do you need to know about the market-place, the sources of information? Who will identify your potential customers? Who will set the sales targets?); c) Negotiating skills (What skills and abilities will you need in negotiating deals with customers, suppliers, the bank manager?). Other skills to consider are: Planning skills, Money Management, Quality assurance, Transport and distribution, Health and Safety etc. Please note that the skills and abilities needed to run a business will depend on the nature of your business. Financial Feasibility (350-400 words) It is important to make realistic estimate of your sales over the plan period, to forecast receipts from sales and to set working targets. The way you can use data varies according to the business. E.g. if you are opening a Beauty shop, you can obtain figures for the turnover for different types of shops in the location you have chosen. Market surveys can also reveal the extent to which customers would be prepared to use the services you propose to offer. You need to include Sales and Revenue Forecast for 1st year (see 1st year financial projections spreadsheet), Profit and Loss Forecast for 1st year. One of the most difficult tasks for the start-up entrepreneur is calculating how much money its going to take to start the new venture. You also need to calculate your Start-ups Cash Requirements (Hint: Include fixed and variable costs in your calculation. Please note that a fixed cost in one business can be a variable cost in another, e.g. If you are running a retail shop, then the cost of the goods you have sold (not the cost of goods you have bought), represents your variable cost). Outline your financing options. Sources of funds may include a) Equity funding (original investments by the owners); b) Loaned money (bank loan, a mortgage, overdraft); c) Lease, hire or rent. Provide a brief outline of your financing options (more details will be required in the Business plan). References and Appendices Please include not less than 18 references. (Harvard Referencing) Please include any appendices, spreadsheets to support your proposal, and include a separate page with references. Learning Outcomes to be assessed: The learning outcomes to be addressed through this assignment are: Knowledge and Understanding a) Analyse the critical debates about the role of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in the delivery of business innovation. b) Evaluate the management efficacy of alternative approaches and tools to identifying, selecting and managing emerging opportunities. Subject Specific skills e) Provide a comprehensively researched and detailed analysis of emerging opportunities within a specific business sector and show an awareness of the contrasting influences. Key Skills g) Collate, organise, critically evaluate and synthesise evidence and information from a variety of sources including: academic articles, business reports and case studies. h) Solve problems using complex concepts, appropriate tools and arguments leading to creative solutions and innovative business approaches. i) Engage confidently in academic and professional communication with others, reporting on proposals clearly, autonomously and competently. How you will be marked? To gain a good pass for this assignment at this level, students are expected to pay attention to the following: Structure and clarity of expression The fundamental features of well-structured work are expected as the norm at this level with students often involved in developing a suitable conceptual framework to evaluate and analyse the issue or question set. There will be proper attention to the type and style of the assignment in this case an opportunity analysis report and the work should remain clearly focused, follow a logical sequence and clear sense of direction even though more complex issues are addressed. Reading/Research and Referencing Reading should extend beyond general entrepreneurship texts and encompass specialist texts as well as the extensive use of journal articles, periodicals including professional/industry publications. Students should also demonstrate a more selective approach to their reading in order to improve the quality of their work through varied, appropriate sources to logically develop and support their argument. The proper, accurate presentation of quotations and references is expected and inaccuracies will be penalised, as will the over-reliance on a single source or limited sources of information. Knowledge and Understanding Knowledge itself is not necessarily rewarded at this level. While extensive knowledge and understanding is expected, it is how this is used in analysis which is more important. Capable students will demonstrate an awareness of contemporary issues and importance of greater stakeholder engagement, customer satisfaction and value creation. Capable students may realise that a definitive answer to concerns posed by the assignment question may prove elusive. Analysis/Evaluation Students should demonstrate an ability to identify the key issues which are most relevant to the given area of entrepreneurship and application centred on its overall purpose, usage and effectiveness. The ability to appraise and evaluate entrepreneurial concepts, theories and frameworks and their application for gaining understanding and insights regarding their chosen example is expected and students should be able to demonstrate skills of critical evaluation of theory during their work. Application to industry/sector Students should demonstrate the ability to integrate entrepreneurship theory into practice and increasing abilities to evaluate the embedded business philosophy and its resulting outcomes for relevant industry/sector of their choice.

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