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Business 10

Guidelines for the Group Project

Project Description:
As discussed at the first lecture, there are many types of businesses and organizations you can pick from to
analyze. Your choices do not need to be profit-making ventures. However, the primary objective of each is to
provide a product or service. Each group will select an industry (e.g., retail, food service, transportation, health
care, charitable organizations) and a specific organization within that industry (e.g., Nordstrom, Marshall’s,
UCLA Medical Center, Cedar-Sinai Hospital, United Way, Red Cross, etc.)

Ultimately, you will focus on a product or service you believe would be a useful addition to the company’s
product/service offerings (e.g., clothing, sports equipment, surgery, financial assistance, etc.) and develop a
business plan for this “product extension.” You will need to utilize the course materials to investigate the
numerous issues confronting how the “extension” fits into and affects the already existing “mix” of the company,
how to identify and implement a strategy for delivering the “extension” to the organization’s customer, and how
to evaluate the impact on the overall success of the organization that the “extension” may have.

Deliverables: Each group will produce and turn in a written report and will deliver an oral presentation in their
discussion sections.

1. Written Report:
The length of this document is not as important as the quality of its content. The document will present
an analysis of your recommended business plans/strategy. For the purposes of the project, analysis means
“what the organization is doing and why.” Not only will you need to rely on information gained through
class lectures, discussion sections, and the course text, but also you will need to use library and other
resources to gather information necessary to understand your chosen organization and industry.

The “extension” need not be successful. That is, you can get a good grade for having suggested a “bad”
idea provided you explain, with supporting facts, why the idea is not a good “extension.” The project will
be graded on the adequacy and coverage of your examination, the accuracy of your research and analysis,
the quality of the document’s content, and the clarity and understanding of the course material as
demonstrated in the document’s analysis.

Format and Length: The written report should be 10-15 pages, double-spaced, 12-point size font, 1-inch
margins on all sides with cover page.
Organization: Your group project should be organized professionally with an executive summary in the
beginning and main contents organized into sections, with clearly identified and supported main ideas,
presented in separate paragraphs. You are expected to use the business language and terminology you are
learning in this class, as opposed to casual language. Correct use of grammar and spelling is a must.
Graphs, charts, tables, and visuals are usually helpful. They may or may not be put at the end as
appendices; however, they do not count toward the total page limit. They should be clearly named and
numbered (i.e., Exhibit 1, 2, etc.) and you should refer to them in the body of the report.
Contents:
Your written report should contain the following sections:
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY – Required
 A one- to two-page, brief summary of all the main parts and key points of your report. The
executive summary should not focus on a single aspect of the product extension or serve as an
introduction. Instead, it should be a concise, insightful overview of your product extension

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proposal, and should allow the reader to quickly grasp the essence of your proposal, even if
he/she does not read the whole report. The executive summary should be written last since it
summarizes your insights and recommendations.
 A good online resource on how to write an executive summary, including some examples, is:
www.bplans.com/dp/executivesummary.cfm

II. PRODUCT/SERVICE EXTENSION: 5 pts


 Describe the product in detail - physical characteristics, functionality features, benefits
 How did your company become aware of a demand for this?
 Describe how the product will meet customer demand and what kind of consumer needs it
will address
 Communicate how the product fits into the company’s product mix and what are the unique
contributions of the extension to the mix.

III. STRATEGIC ANALYSIS 5 pts


 How will your extension allow the company to be more competitive in the marketplace?
 In order to find information about this section, you should look for sources outside your
company; do not present the company’s viewpoint here; instead, look for general industry,
societal, economic, technological trends. Look under Business Source complete UCR library
-> pull down company profile from more tab.
 SWOT -Develop and present a SWOT Analysis for the extension
 Develop a positioning for the product extension compared to your competitors
 Identify and discuss the most influential business/environment factors or ISSUES affecting
your company (social, economic and legal, technological, global).

IV. FINANCIAL STRATEGY 10 pts


 Prepare draft budget for the 1st year of introduction of the extension. This requires a Balance
sheet and cash flow statement.
 Estimate the capital requirements to bring the extension to market and discuss how you plan
to finance the capital needs
 Calculate the current ratio, and debt-to-equity ratio of your company to determine its capacity
to fund your product idea -> look in book for formulas.
 Estimate the potential return on investment (ROI) from the introduction of your product
extension in 1, 3 or 5 years

V. PRODUCTION STRATEGY 5 pts


 Identify what factors of production will be used for extension production.
 Describe the processes needed to produce and deliver the extension. Discuss any synergies
with the existing production processes.
 Will you be using outsourcing? Why or why not?
 What kinds of certifications, production systems and methodologies, and quality control
mechanisms will be used?

VI. MARKETING STRATEGY: 5 pts


 Present how you suggest that the company market the extension, using the 4Ps framework
(product, place, price, promotion). Do not focus on just one of the Ps (promotion, for example).
i. Product - Discuss the type of product you will be introducing (convenience, shopping,
specialty, consumer/industrial); Packaging (if applicable); Branding; Product Life
Cycle

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ii. Pricing - Discuss the pricing strategy that you will employ. Will it be sold as 1 unit or
in packages. Are there discounts for bulk/pallet purchases?
iii. Place/Distribution - Discuss what kind of distribution and logistics system will be
most appropriate for the product extension as well as what kind of utility will provides
(form, time, place, etc)
iv. Promotion - Explain which elements of the promotional mix will be most appropriate
to use for your product extension and why, as well as how you would use them to
promote the product extension
 The marketing strategy section of your report should incorporate and demonstrate your
understanding of concepts..
 You will also need to provide a draft marketing budget include in sales projections and
marketing expenses estimates. In order to accomplish that successfully, you need to find out
relevant research information first. It might be useful to review competitive product offerings
or similar products in different industries.
 You may also look at some examples of marketing analyses on marketing-related websites,
such as:
 http://www.marketingteacher.com
 http://www.marketingpower.com
 http://www.bplans.com/sp/marketingplans.cfm

VII. ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGY 5 pts


 Company history - Introduce the company you are analyzing, briefly discuss how it was
initially formed and any major changes in its development (i.e. when it was incorporated,
became international, any mergers or acquisitions, or any other significant organizational
/business changes it went through)
 Market/Industry - Describe the industry your company is in and the current market trends in
it (e.g. if your company is a bank, you should discuss the latest important developments in the
banking/finance industry).
 What is the organizational structure? How will the product extension impact the
organizational structure? Will new organizational units and additional workforce be necessary?
 What employee motivational strategies and rewards systems will be used in the production of
the extension? How about deterrence for misbehavior?

VIII. MANAGEMENT STRATEGY 5pts


 Describe the company’s mission. Describe the company’s vision for its products, and how the
product extension will support or extend those
 Discuss the organization’s culture and how the product extension will fit in the culture
 Will additional leadership be acquired?
 Discuss any management issues, which may affect the introduction, production, financing, or
marketing of the product extension.
 Hint: Look at articles in the business press for insights into your company’s culture,
management approaches, labor issues, or other human resource and employee-management
issues.

 Use varied sources and preferably more strictly business-related ones, rather than general
information ones. Ask the Research Librarians at Rivera Library for help if you have trouble
finding good sources. Try to use the business databases, such as Hoover’s Online, etc., that are
available for free through UCR Library webpage. This is a great opportunity for you to get
familiar with business databases, which you will use in your careers.

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 Document your sources properly - use either MLA or APA format (preferably APA). A good
online resource with detailed information on how to use both MLA and APA format properly
is: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl - go to Research and Citation
 Do not forget to cite your sources properly IN THE BODY of your paper, as you use them.
DO NOT simply create a bibliography page, without referring to your sources in the body your
paper.
IX. COMPREHENSIVENESS & QUALITY OF ANALYSIS: 5 pts
Does the project consider and address the relevant range of course materials?
Does it provide an appropriate depth of analysis? Is it accurate? Are its
conclusions reasonable and supported by the information provided?

X. PRESENTATION QUALITY: 10 pts


Is the project well organized? Is there a smooth flow between sections? Is there
continuity and consistency across segments?

XI. Overall Impact: 5 pts


Is the project persuasive? Would the CEO of the organization want to read it?

XII. BIBLIOGRAPHY/WORKS CITED - Required


 This is required part of the final project. Your report should end with its own
bibliography/works cited page:
 List at least five different sources - you can use the company website and/or the textbook as
sources. Different sections of the same website do not count as different sources!

Group Project Submission:

 Hard copy submission: Please submit your Group Project Paper in hard copy form, typed and
stapled or bound, including all your team members’ names and section.

 Electronic submission: You will also have to submit your Group Project Paper electronically through
your main class via a discussion thread. Electronic submissions are due at the same time as hard copy
submission. Please note that ilearn reviews your submissions for plagiarism!

Grading - The above-listed guidelines regarding length, organization, content, and submission, will be
used as grading criteria. The Group Project constitutes 80 points which includes 20 points for
presentation.

2. Presentation 20 pts
Your group will deliver a 10-minute oral presentation of your extension idea to the students in your
discussion section. You need to use visual prompts, a powerpoint presentation, summarizing the key
points of your business strategy (the gist of your written report). All group members are expected to
present. Please, submit a hard copy of your presentation slides to your TA before your presentation
begins.