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 choose a business you’d like to use for your future course assignments. Throughout this course, you will develop assignments that you will later combine into a complete business plan for your chosen company. That final assignment is due in Week 10.

You have a choice between writing a business plan for:

  • A snack food company.
  • A startup company of your choice (instructor approval required).

Read the guidelines for each option. Once you select an option, you will work on that company during this entire course.

All discussions and assignments in this class will focus on the company you select here.

This Week’s Discussion Post

For this week’s discussion, please respond to the following:

  1. Create your company name and explain its significance.
  2. Describe the product or service you will produce or sell.
    • If you are focusing on the snack food company, clarify the key ingredients and any flavors you plan to offer.
    • If you choose your own company, and it is a service company, clarify the service options you plan to offer.
    • If you choose your own company and product, specify the options (flavors, versions of the product, et cetera) you will offer to consumers.
  3. Develop your company’s mission statement.
    • Enclose your mission statement within quotation marks.

Important Notes: 

  • Use headings for each section of this posting.
  • Textbook Chapter 5, “Company Description,” pages 67-86, provides additional detail about this topic.
  • You will revise this week’s discussion posting as part of your Week 3 assignment, Company Description and SWOT Matrix.
  • Important: A substantive comment is at least 4-6 substantive sentences in length, sharing examples, your perspective, resources, your experience, making connections, asking questions, etc. 

COMPANY OF YOUR CHOICE* GUIDELINES
• You will create a business plan for a company of your choice.
• You must focus on a very specific product or service.
• *The instructor will approve your company in a reply to yourWeek 1 discussion post in which you will describe this business. You will revise your

work based on feedback provided.
• You must adhere to the guidelines in this document.
• You will be the CEO of the new business.
• You will develop the business plan with the intention to raise funds and increase sales.

Key Business Plan Parameters
Key

Parameter Explanation
Business Size You are a startup not yet in operation. You have been operating from your home, but sales are small. You will develop the business

plan with the intention to raise funds and increase sales. Your sales must be over $1 million by the end of the second year.
Product or Service Be specific about the product or service on which you are focusing and how you will differentiate yourself from similar products or

services in the marketplace.
Market Size You will start marketing and selling the product or service in your geographical area within a 100-mile radius from your home.

Existing Funds You already have some funds (small loan, savings, et cetera).

Intention to Raise
Money

To grow the business further, you will need funds from outside investors, either angels, venture capitalists, a group of individual
investors on Kickstarter.

Facility You will rent or purchase.

Employees You will have employees, and you will develop your own organizational hierarchy.

Annual CEO
Salary

As CEO you have the option not to draw a salary in the first year of business.

1

Specific Business Details
This table identifies specific details you need to consider in your business plan. Reflect any costs in your business plan narrative and in the Business
Plan Financials Excel Template. The f inal column specifies the specific worksheet within the Business Plan Financials Excel Template where you
need to input data.

Item Worksheet Within the Business
Plan Financials Excel Template

EQUIPMENT PURCHASES AT THE START OF THE BUSINESS AND AS
THE BUSINESS GROWS
Examples:

• Production equipment
• Vehicles for distribution
• Computers
• Software
• Printer

Capital Expenditures Worksheet

PERSONNEL
Current Personnel
CEO (you)
Considerations:

• Your goal is to reach sales of over $1 million by the end of the second year. You
will need to hire personnel in all areas of the business to meet this goal.

• Consider increasing the number of employees in operations in the second year as
sales increase.

Staf f Budget Worksheet

BUSINESS EXPENSES
Marketing Expenses
Professional Services

• Consultants
• Attorneys
• Accountants
• Industry specialists

Inventory Purchases (as needed)

Marketing Budget Worksheet
Professional Services Worksheet

Inventory Worksheet

2

Item
Worksheet Within the

Business Plan Financials
Excel Template

Additional Expenses
• Telephone/fax
• Business insurance
• Off ice supplies
• Mailings and postage
• Building maintenance
• Utilities, including

o Water/sewer
o Gas
o Electricity
o Trash removal

Income Statement Worksheet

FINANCIAL INFORMATION
Available Funds
Balance in the bank from loans and savings
Future Funds
You will need to raise funds from investors. You will determine this based on how much
you plan to grow the business.
Reminder:

• You will need to pay taxes.
• You will determine sales projections.

Capital Investments Worksheet

Cash Flow Statement Worksheet
Sales Projections Worksheet

3

Guide to Complete the Business Financials Excel Template
The Business Plan Financials Excel Template is the base pro-forma financial statement for your business. Complete the worksheets in order.

Worksheet Data Entry
Worksheet #1: Set Up and Assumptions Line 9—Enter the month the academic quarter starts.

Line 12—Enter the year the academic quarter starts.
Line 15—Enter 2; you choose the number of product lines you will have up to 10 lines.
Line 21—Standard default is 30 days, you may adjust this for your business.
Line 43—Enter the balance in your bank account as you open your business. Remember
you were selling from home.

Worksheet #2: Sales Projections Speculate how much your company will grow and how much you will sell.
Ref lect this information in the Operations Section of Your Business Plan (Week 5
Discussion and Week 8 Assignment).
You will need to reach sales of over $1 million by the end of the second year.

Worksheet #3: Inventory (adjust as needed) Enter the cost of ingredients, packaging, bags, et cetera.
Repeat these lines for each product line.

Worksheet #4: Capital Expenditures (applies to
purchased NOT leased equipment)

Insert the cost of your facility, equipment, vehicles, computers, et cetera, you decide to
purchase.

Worksheet #5: Staffing Budget Account for every paid employee using the appropriate lines for the six categories of
employees

1. Management
2. Administrative/Support
3. Sales/Marketing
4. Operations/Production
5. Other
6. Part-Time/Hourly

Indicate when their employment will start according to the Operations and Management and
Organization sections of your business plan.

Worksheet #6: Marketing Budget Enter the cost for the marketing vehicles you plan to use (Week 4 Discussion and Weeks 5
and 8 Assignments).

Worksheet #7: Professional Services Enter payments to accountants, consultants, attorneys, industry specialists as needed.
Worksheet #8 Capital Investments Worksheet: Enter equity capital investments, loans, et cetera.

Enter projections of other funds you intend to raise.

Worksheet #9: Income Statement Enter the cost of your expenses; see Business Expenses in the table that appears under
the Specific Business Details section of these guidelines.

Worksheet #10: Cash Flow Statement Pay off taxes.
Worksheet 11: Balance Sheet This will automatically populate from the other completed worksheets.

4

  • COMPANY OF YOUR CHOICE* GUIDELINES
  • Key Business Plan Parameters
  • Specific Business Details
  • Guide to Complete the Business Financials Excel Template

SNACK FOOD COMPANY GUIDELINES
• You must build your business plan using the information included within these guidelines.You can add to this information as needed.
• You will create a business plan for a company operating in the snack food industry.
• The instructor will approve your company in a reply to yourWeek 1 discussion post in which you will describe this business.You will revise your

work based on feedback provided.
• You will be the CEO of the new business.
• You will develop the business plan with the intention to raise funds and increase sales.

Key Business Plan Parameters

Key
Parameter Explanation
Business Size You are a startup not yet in operation. You have the recipe for the snack, and you have been operating from your home, but sales

are small. You were selling the product for $3 per item at a cost of $1. You will develop the business plan with the intention to raise
funds and increase sales. Your sales must be over $1 million by the end of the second year.

Product You must focus on a snack. You decide what the snack will be and whether it will be sold in individual sizes or wholesale. The
Snack Food industry produces snack foods, such as potato and corn chips, pretzels, roasted and salted nuts, nut butters, popcorn
and other similar snacks.

Market Size You will start marketing and selling the product in your geographical area within a 100-mile radius from your home.

Existing Funds You received $50,000 from your grandmother as a gift, and you borrowed $30,000 from your family and friends.

Intention to Raise
Money

To grow the business further, you will need funds from outside investors, either angels, venture capitalists, a group of individual
investors on Kickstarter.

Facility You will rent.

Employees You will have employees, and you will develop your own organizational hierarchy.

Annual CEO
Salary

As CEO your salary will be $60,000 the first year, $120,000 the second year, and finally adjusted to $160,000 for all remaining years
in the position.

1

Specific Business Details
This table identifies specific details you must use for your snack company business plan. Reflect any costs in your business plan narrative and in the
Business Plan Financials Excel Template. The f inal column specifies the specific worksheet within the Business Plan Financials Excel Template
where you need to input data.

Item Worksheet Within the Business Plan
Financials Excel Template

EQUIPMENT PURCHASES AT THE START OF THE BUSINESS
AND AS THE BUSINESS GROWS

• 2 machines to produce and package the product @ $10,000 each; about
50 bags per minute each

• 2 vans for distribution @ $15,000 each
• 3 computers @ $1,400 each
• Software for inventory, payments, and customer accounts management
• Printer

Capital Expenditures Worksheet

PERSONNEL
Current Personnel

• CEO (you)
• 1 part-time production worker @ $15.00/hour (20 hours/week)
• 1 IT support person @ $25.00/hour (20 hours/week)
• 1 paid consultant (your neighbor); retired executive in the snack food

industry
Considerations:
Your goal is to reach sales of over $1 million by the end of the second year. You
will need to hire additional personnel to meet this goal. Potential additional hires
include:
• 2 production line foremen
• Production employees (more than one shift)

o Business size of business will determine number
• Maintenance staff

o Business size will determine number
• Additional employees according to your preferences

Staf f Budget Worksheet

2

Item Worksheet Within he Business Plan
Financials Excel Template

BUSINESS EXPENSES
Marketing Expenses
Professional Services

• Consultant (your neighbor); 1st year only
• Attorney
• Accountant
• Industry specialist

Inventory Purchases (as needed)
Additional Expenses

• Telephone/fax
• Business insurance
• Off ice supplies
• Mailings and postage
• Building maintenance
• Utilities, including

o Water/sewer
o Gas
o Electricity
o Trash removal

Marketing Budget Worksheet
Professional Services Worksheet

Inventory Worksheet
Income Statement Worksheet

FINANCIAL INFORMATION
Available Funds

• Balance in the bank
• Gif t from grandmother
• Loan f rom relatives and friends

o This is to be paid by the end of the second year of operation with
5% interest.

Future Funds
You will need to raise funds from investors. You will determine this based on how
much you plan to grow the business.
Reminder:

• You will need to pay taxes.
• You will determine sales projections.

Capital Investments Worksheet

Cash Flow Statement Worksheet
Sales Projections Worksheet

3

Guide to Complete the Business Plan Financials Excel Template
The Business Plan Financials Excel Template is the base pro-forma financial statement for your business. Complete the worksheets in order.

Worksheet Data Entry
Worksheet #1: Set Up and Assumptions Line 9–Enter the month the academic quarter starts.

Line 12—Enter the year the academic quarter starts.
Line 15–Enter 2; you choose the number of product lines you will have up to 10 lines.
Line 21—Standard default is 30 days; you may adjust this for your business.
Line 43—Enter $15,000; this is the money you currently have in the bank.

Worksheet #2: Sales Projections Speculate how much your company will grow and how much you will sell.
Ref lect this information in the Operations Section of your Business Plan (Week 5
Discussion and Week 8 Assignment).
You need to reach sales of over $1 million by the end of the second year.

Worksheet #3: Inventory (Adjust These Figures Line 7– Enter the cost of ingredients.
As Needed) Line 8—Enter the cost of bags.

Line 9—Enter the cost of cartons to package the products.
Repeat these three lines for each product line.

Worksheet #4: Capital Expenditures (applies to
purchased NOT leased equipment)

Insert the cost of the equipment, vehicles, computers, et cetera, you decide to purchase.

Worksheet #5: Staffing Budget Account for every paid employee using the appropriate lines for the six categories of
employees

1. Management
2. Administrative/Support
3. Sales/Marketing
4. Operations/Production
5. Other
6. Part-Time/Hourly

Indicate when their employment will start according to the Operations and Management and
Organization sections of your business plan.

Worksheet #6: Marketing Budget Enter the cost for the marketing vehicles you plan to use. (Discussion 4 and Assignments 2
and 3).

Worksheet #7: Professional Services Line 6—Enter $3,000.00.
Line 7–Enter $2,500.00.
Line 9—Enter $2,000.00
Line 11—Enter $10,000.00 (f irst year only)

4

Worksheet Data Entry
Worksheet #8 Capital Investments Worksheet Equity Capital Investments

Line 6—Gif t—Enter $50,000.00.
Loans (Friends and Family)
Line 24–$30,000
Note: The loan period = 24 months; interest rate = 5%

Worksheet #9: Income Statement Enter the cost of your expenses; see Business Expenses in the table that appears under
the Specific Business Details section of these guidelines.

Worksheet #10: Cash Flow Statement Pay off taxes.
Worksheet #11: Balance Sheet This will automatically populate from the other completed worksheets.

5

Resources on the Snack Food Industry

These resources are a good starting point for you as being researching the snack food industry.

C. Barnes. 2020. 2020 U.S. industry & market report–NAICS 31191: Snack food manufacturing, 1–196.

Jan Conway. 2018. U.S. Snack Foods Industry—Statistics & Facts. Statista. https://www.statista.com/topics/1496/snack-
foods/

Patrick Limdico. 2019. 47 Snack Food Industry Trends and Consumption Statistics. Foodtruck Empire.

Douglas J. Peckenpaugh. 2019. State of the Industry 2019: Defining the Future of Snacking. SF&WB.
https://www.snackandbakery.com/articles/93232-state-of-the-industry-2019-defining-the-future-of-snacking

L. Petrak. 2019. Mindful Munching: The Evolution of Mealtime Is Fueling the Trend Toward New Kinds of Nibbles.
Progressive Grocer, 98(5), 50–54.

Statisa. No date. Consumer Market Outlook: Snack Food; United States.
https://www.statista.com/outlook/40110000/109/snack-food/united-states

Mordor Intelligence. No date. Snack Food Market—Growth, Trends, and Forecasts (2020–2025).
https://www.mordorintelligence.com/industry-reports/snack-food-market

6

  • SNACK FOOD COMPANY GUIDELINES
  • Key Business Plan Parameters
  • Specific Business Details
  • Guide to Complete the Business Plan Financials Excel Template
  • Resources on the Snack Food Industry
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