The development of a new digital business

Business Plan
The assignment is a business plan for the development of a new digital business or for the development of new digital business for an existing organisation, which currently has no digital business, i.e. it is currently a bricks-and-mortar business only.

Please choose an organisation that is both interesting but reasonably easy for you to research. If in doubt, consult the lecturer. It should also be something that can be implemented with current technologies.

The chosen venture or organisation may be in any sector of e-business (B2C, B2B, non-profit, etc.).

For help selecting a technology see the separate ‘Technology Selection Guidance’ document.

Content:
• Your business plan should provide a clear and compelling description of the online value proposition offered from the customer perspective. You could provide a description of the customer experience in buying and using the product/service. You should explain why the customer gains benefit in buying from the firm as opposed to any of the possible major competitors.
• Your business plan should clearly describe which type of business model the business is (or will be) pursuing.
• Your business plan should give some careful discussion of any important risks and potential downsides.
• Your business plan should show good use of analytical frameworks and tools presented in the textbook, lectures and other readings.
• Your business plan should demonstrate excellent business analysis skills, insight, and creativity.
• You must back up your ideas with your own research of primarily academic material, e.g. journal articles and books. A small number of websites will be acceptable.

Structure:
Your business plan structure should:
• Be divided into sections and sub-sections in a logical and consistent fashion
• Have a good executive summary
• Make good use of data, concepts, and models in appropriate sections
• Make appropriate use of appendices and reference material
• A suggested format is on the next page

Presentation:
Your business plan should have:
• An interesting and distinctive visual style
• A good use of English – it should be readable, interesting, and well written
• Good use of presentational devices such as tables and figures where appropriate
• Proper page numbering and referencing (APA or Harvard)

The business plan is focused on the technology-business relationship. Therefore, the plan must not be overly technical. It should illustrate the technology from a business perspective.

Suggested Format for the Business Plan
The format should be a business plan and should cover five of the the eight key e-business strategic decisions outlined in chapter 5 of the textbook (from page 220).

Title Page
Executive Summary: This is a summary description of the business plan. It should clearly summarise the benefits to investing in this company. I suggest 500 words as an absolute maximum.

Contents
1. Introduction
You should give a description of the company and the industry background. This might include data as to industry size, growth rate, important strategic groups and market segments.

2. Company mission, goals, and business strategy
You should describe a mixture of goals of interest to investors and to customers.
The business strategy should describe at a high level how you are going to go about achieving those goals.

3. Industry and business environment background
This should include description and critical analysis of any relevant factors.
It should also include any relevant industry and competitive analysis (e.g. SWOT, Porter 5 forces model).

You should assess any potential threats and opportunities relative to competitors. You should make good use of any market research, forecasts, facts, and figures.

4. Your value proposition and business model
This should describe what it is that customers will buy from you and why they should buy it. This should provide a description of your pricing model. This should explain why your value proposition is distinctive compared to those of competitors you identified in the earlier section. A description of your business model be included.

5. E-business strategy
This should cover aspects of the your choice of five of the eight e-business strategic decisions:
Decision 1
Decision 2
Decision 3
Etc.

6. Digital marketing plan
This should describe aspects of e-marketing activities that will help the achievement of the strategic objectives.

7. Implementation
This should provide some aspects of how the new e-business will be implemented.

8. References and appendices (if any):
Use Harvard or APA 6th reference format and judge carefully what should be in an appendix as compared to being in the body of the business plan text. References should primarily be from academic sources.

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