ENTR 321-001:  New Venture Planning
Fall Semester 2008
Dr. Kelly G. Shaver

Class Hours: 10:50 AM – 12:05 PM
Class Location:  ECTR 115

Office Hours: 2:00-3:00 TR

Or By Appointment
305 BeattyCenter


Catalog Description

Student teams write complete business plans for new ventures they originate.  Topics covered include research on the target industry and market; analysis of the competition and potential risk; the development of plans for marketing, operations, technology, and management; full pro-forma financial projections and consideration of milestones, exit, and social responsibility.

Course Description

Entrepreneurial ventures require fundingA start-up company may be able to obtain its "seed" funding informally from the entrepreneur's personal resources, family, or friends.  A social enterprise may be able to land an occasional large donation.  A division of a major corporation may be able to begin a new project on a speculative basis.  But these sources of initial financing are rarely sufficient.  Almost regardless of the nature of a venture, eventually outside funding will be needed for operations, expansions, acquisitions or spin-offs.  The basic document used for seeking such funding is the business plan.  In an important sense, the business plan course is the "methods" portion of an entrepreneurship concentration, akin to the laboratory experiences in natural sciences or the basic statistics course in any social science.

During the heyday of Internet start-ups in the 1990s, some entrepreneurs were funded for their ideas only, or for the "eyeballs" their web sites were claimed to be able to capture.  Since that time, however, investors of all sorts have become much more conservative.  In today's economic and investment climate, whether a proposal for funding is directed toward corporate donors for major gifts to support a civic symphony orchestra, toward the top management team of a company to develop and spin off a new business unit, or toward venture capitalists for funding of an independent entrepreneurial firm, the proposal will incorporate the essential elements of a business plan.

Why is the business idea an important one?  What is to be accomplished with the money?  What internal controls will there be?  How will results be measured?  These are some of the questions addressed in a standard business plan.   This core course will provide students with the critical experience of creating a team-based business plan.  

Prerequisites:  ACCT 203, ENTR 320, MGMT 301, MKTG 302

Required Textbook

book image

Abrams, R.  (2003).  The successful business plan:  Secrets and strategies.  Palo Alto, CA:  The Planning Shop. 

ISBN: 0-9669635-6-3. 

(Available through the Bookstore, theplanningshop.com, and amazon.com).


Course Objectives

The course is designed to lead each student through the practical experience of constructing a business plan.  The overall result is that every student in the course should be a fully informed participant, should he or she have the opportunity for future preparation of a fundable business plan.

SOBE Learning Goals Addressed

This course directly addresses the four Learning Goals established by the School of Business and Economics:

Attendance and Participation

As a "methods" class, the work of the course is necessarily cumulative.  Readings should be done in advance of class, and students should be prepared to discuss the readings and ask questions.  Class attendance is expected.  Occasional absences may be approved in advance by the instructor, but except in cases of hospitalization, any required written work must be submitted on the due date.  Students who might miss a day on which their team was making a presentation can expect to be asked to summarize the entire presentation.  All written work is to be submitted as an attachment to email sent to cofcmgmt319@yahoo.com


Final Presentations

Outside the university environment, business plans must compete with one another for resources controlled by investors and their representatives.  To approximate this process, each team will participate in an external competition that will be held off campus on the day and at the time of the final examination.  The external presentations will not be graded, but depending on sponsorship a cash prize may be awarded to the winning team.

Honor Code

Behavior and performance in this course are governed by the College of Charleston's published Honor Code.

Course Outline





Aug. 26

General introduction, requirements, and team organization.


Aug. 28

Opportunity recognition and idea development


Sep. 2

Fundamental sources of research information.   Team organization.

13 - 34

Sep. 4

Getting and holding attention. 35 - 43

Sep. 9

Team development of concept proposals.

Sep. 11

The all-important Executive Summary.  Initial business concept proposals.

47 - 58

Sep. 16

Company descriptions.  Mission, products/services, location.

59 - 72

Sep. 18

Industry analysis.  Stand-alone, and relative to GDP.

73 - 86

Sep. 23

Details of industry structure and forecasts for change.


Sep. 25

Individual company industry analyses.


Sep. 30

Who is the target market?  General markets and segmentation.

87 - 101

Oct. 2

Market research with individual customers.

132 - 154

Oct. 7

Marketing questionnaires and IRB regulations


Oct. 9
Gathering market data

Oct. 14

Fall Break


Oct. 16

Individual company marketing plans. 


Oct. 21

Analysis of the competition:  Barriers to entry.

104 - 118

Oct. 23

Strategic position and risk assessment. 119 -132

Oct. 28

Actually delivering the goods:  Operations of the business.

155 - 180

Oct. 30

Creating a corporate culture:  Management and organization.

189 - 209

Nov. 4

Introduction to financials.  Income, cash flow, balance sheet.

237 - 265

Nov. 6

Details and assumptions of team financial data


Nov. 11

Individual company organizational plans. 


Nov. 13

Break-even and financial ratios.

266-282; 331-336

Nov. 18
Team meetings

Nov. 20

Growth, development, milestones, and exit.

221 - 235

Nov. 25

Social responsibility. 

211 - 219

Nov. 27

Thanksgiving break

Dec. 2

Development issues.  Individual company financial projections.

282 - 288

Dec. 4

Sources of funding.

289 - 314

Dec. 13

Presentations to Investors.  (9 AM - 11 AM.  Note that this is a SATURDAY!)