Each team has to choose two business concepts. Please make sure to read the following guidelines before you select two business concepts. Remember, one of these concepts will become the business plan for your team, therefore, select a concept that your team is really interested in and think that the concept is ideal for a business plan. The purpose of this assignment is to articulate the reasons that make you believe your idea is an opportunity. This will likely affect or “shape” your opportunity.
Some suggestions to start: In order to generate good business idea, brainstorming is important. You team needs to think of a product/service that is needed in the community. To identify the need/gap, you should talk to as many people as possible. Individuals tend to think based on mental-models that are shaped by their experience, education, cultural background, etc. The thinking process becomes channelized and focuses on limited aspects of our surroundings. For example, one researcher found that most of the waiters/waitresses wanted to start their own restaurant, if they were ever going to start a business. The issue is that individuals only pursue or seek opportunities that are directly related to their skill set or knowledge domain. It is not a bad idea to start with, but what is more important is to understand the demand in the market. Unless, you are better than most of other people in what you do. So, if you think that you make good burgers and can start a burger joint, you better be very good at it, better than most of the burger places in the area. Bottom line is, when thinking about business ideas/opportunities, either you create a product/service that is needed by the customer and is currently absent from the market, or you provide an existing product/service but differentiate it from your competitors.
Below are listed some important questions that you must address, but you might also want to add additional perspectives. The principle objective of this exercise is to focus the lens on the major components of your opportunity.
1. Concept Name
Keep it short, but ensure your concept name is descriptive. You should be able to name your concept in 5 words or less (for example CheeseMake Cheesecake Cart)
2. Product or Service Description
o An exact description of the product(s) or service(s) to be sold and, if a product, its eventual end use(s). (If your product(s) or service(s) are already commercially available or exits as prototypes, attach specifications, photographs samples of work, etc.)
o A brief description of the market(s) or market niche(s) you want to enter:
o Discuss your target customers.
o Provide additional details about the business: industry, geographic location, technology, etc. At this point, you should include the industry codes (SIC: http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/sicsearch.html and 2012 NAICS: http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/) in which your firm would operate.
o What is the critical problem, want or need your product or service will solve?
o Why is this a critical problem?
o What need are you meeting or what problem are you solving for customers?
o What value/benefit does your product provide to customers?
o How is your product/service differentiated from other products/services on the market? What makes it unique? How does this compare to other alternatives on the market (both direct and indirect)?
o Will your prospective customers pay a premium price, compared with alternatives, if you can address the critical problem or want?
Repeat 1, 2, and 3 for the second concept.
Choose one concept that your team is going to turn into a business plan for this course. Justify your selection with proper reasoning.
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