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MAN 120: Business Fundamentals and Entrepreneurship (Mayrhofer)

Use this guide to help with research and projects for MAN 120: Basics of Business

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Dan Hoiland

Writing a Business Plan

Parts of a business plan:

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Description
  • Market Analysis
  • Organization & Management
  • Service or Product Line
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Funding Request
  • Financial Projections

For more information, check out the U.S. Small Business Administration's guide to writing a business plan:

Industry and Competitor Research

When starting your business plan, it is important to know more about what's happening in your industry. This might include whether that industry has growing or declining, how it is projected to fare in the next five years, and which companies have the most market share.  Check out these resources to learn more about your industry (IBISWorld) and specific companies (Hoovers).

Identifying Your Target Market

Learning about your target market includes asking questions about your potential customers, including: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Occupation
  • Education level
  • Geographic location
  • Interests
  • Values

Research News and Trends

This kind of research includes a wide variety of sources and covers industry updates, news, and marketing data relevant to your industry and new business. A few of the types of sources you will use to find this information include:

  • Trade publications (industry-specific magazines that give you an inside view into what's happening in that industry)
  • Popular magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Websites (through careful Google searching)

State Resources for Starting a Business

State agencies are some of the best places to find information about laws and regulations that might impact how you run your business. Check out these three websites to get you started: