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What is the value proposition for the product/service? That is, what value does the product provide to customers?

Final Project: Business Brief

For the final project please research and report the following:

  1. Description of Product/Service (1 or 2 paragraphs) (15 points)

Your product/Service description should include the following elements:

  • A brief description of the product/service that provides answers to the following:
    • What is the product/service?
    • How will it work?
    • What will the product/service’s features be?
    • What is the value proposition for the product/service? That is, what value does the product provide to customers?
    • How is the product/service unique or different from other products/services on the market?


  1. Competitor Analysis (15 points)
  • Identify potential direct, indirect, and future competitors
  • Complete a Competitive Analysis Grid similar to the one shown below. The Grid should display meaningful differences across companies on strategic and product factors that vary across the products or services such as cost, targeted customers, customer service, location, etc.    Each idea will likely have different competitive characteristics that matter.


Competitive Analysis Grid

Characteristic Company #1 Company #2 Company #3 Company #4 Company #5
Targeted Customer Segment          
Distribution Channel          


  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors
  • If you cannot find competitors it may mean that you have not done enough research or if you truly have a new business concept your competitors have not emerged yet. If the latter fits your business idea research potential future competitors.  That is what competitors could easily enter your market (i.e. they have resources or related expertise) once you demonstrate that the market exists.
  • In what ways will your product or service be different (e.g., better)?


  1. Target Market – Potential Customer Segments (15 Points)


  • Describe/Profile at least two possible groups of customers that could possibly find value in your product or service and in turn be possible customers.
  • Which of the segments do you think will be the best to target initially? Or in other words what will be the best “beachhead” or early adopter segment? A “beachhead” segment is the first segment of customers a company targets in its marketing. The term “beachhead” comes from military strategy where a beachhead is the first place to begin a military campaign. For a startup a “beachhead” is the first group of customers to target because they are the easiest to convince to buy the product because they stand to benefit the most.
  • Why is this beachhead segment attractive? (e.g., what is the significant problem or need that is not currently being met sufficiently)
  • Why is the problem/need your product or service solves so important to your beachhead market segment?
  • What is the approximate size of this “beachhead” customer segment (how many people or businesses fit the profile of your “beachhead” market in the geographic area where you would offer the product/service (United States, etc.)?


  1. Proof of Market Demand (e.g., Market Validation) Customer Interview Summaries – (40 points)
  • Interview four potential customer to validate the problem and proposed solution
  • For your interview please provide the following information:
  • Who did you interview (name, position, age, gender, etc.) (Avoid interviewing family and friends)
  • Why did you interview this person (e.g., is the person a potential customer? have expertise in the industry?)
  • How did you find this person to interview? (found her on LinkedIn, referred by a friend, referred by a contact I made, a stranger I met in a public place.)
  • What did you learn about the problems the person is facing? How important are these problems to the person your interviewed? (e.g., are they must solve problems or nice to solve problems?)
  • Did you validate the problem your idea aims to solve? Why or why not?
  • Did you validate your idea (the solution)? Why or why not?
  • What else did you learn from the interview?
  1. Business Model (20 points)– Using a business model canvas template, create a business model canvas that outlines the nine elements of a business model for your business idea
  • Explain why you chose the various elements of the business model. If you confirmed or validated a part of your model during a customer interview please give that as a justification for why you choose an element of the model.
  • Describe what is unique about your business model compared to competitors.


  1. Financial Plan (25 points)
    1. For your product or service idea create a pro forma income statement by month for the first year and then project financial figures three years into the future.
    2. Include an assumption sheet that describes your rationale to how you determined and calculated your price, sales, and sales growth figures. Also describe how you came up with your expense figures.
  • How much money do you expect to need to launch this venture and how do you expect to fund the startup?


  1. Overall Recommendation (1 or 2 paragraphs) (5 points)
    • Overall, based upon your research is your business idea feasible? Why or Why not? Include multiple arguments to support your recommendations.
    • What did you learn from your customer interviews that support your decision?


Business Plan Formatting (15 points)

  • Please use business plan formatting for your business brief. This includes, single space, 12-point font, use of bullet points and applicable graphs, tables, and figures.


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