Assignment

Assignment 1 is worth 30 percent of your overall mark for the course and is the basis for Assignment 2, which is worth 60 percent. It should be submitted after you complete all the learning activities for Lessons 1 through 3.

Generating ideas is a relatively simple procedure, the end result of which is a number of potential business opportunities that may or may not have a chance of becoming successful ventures. You undoubtedly have a few concepts in mind that you think could represent possible alternatives for a prospective new venture. If not, you might talk to friends and family who may have some suggestions for you to think about.

List five specific businesses or types of businesses that you think you might want to own and operate. Try to be as descriptive as you can in describing the core concept of the business and its potential market (i.e., provide a description of each business idea) in 25 words or less.

Idea 1:

 

Idea 2:

 

Idea 3:

 

Idea 4:

 

Idea 5:

 

As discussed earlier, Richard Buskirk of the University of Southern California has designed one framework you can use to evaluate the pros and cons of your potential business ideas.  This model is described on pages 53-57 of your textbook. It is built around what he calls the Ideal or Model business. His framework contains 19 distinct factors that affect the chances of success for any new business. Very few ideas will conform precisely to the specifications of the model, but the more a business idea deviates from the Ideal, the more difficulties and greater risks you are likely to encounter with that business. Testing your concepts against the model will also help identify the areas in which you might expect to have difficulties with your business. These factors are listed on page 56 (Table 2.2).

 

Select your three best ideas and evaluate each of them against the factors described in the model. This assessment will illustrate how well each of these ideas fit with the characteristics of the “ideal” business. Use the templates below to guide your analysis. First, enter a brief 25-word description of each idea you plan to analyze. Then, indicate how you would rate each idea on each of Buskirk’s factors by circling the appropriate number from 1 to 10, with 1 indicating a very poor fit with that criterion and 10 indicating an excellent fit. Keep in mind that the idea that rates the highest on the Buskirk assessment will be the basis for your feasibility study in Assignment 2. (Note that franchising ideas will not be accepted in Assignment 2).

 

 

 

Description of Idea 1:

 

Factor

Poor

1  2  3

Average

4  5  6  7

Very Good

8  9  10

No investment
Recognized market
Perceived need
Dependable supply
No government regulation
No labour force
100% gross margin
Frequent purchase
Favourable tax treatment
Established distribution
Great publicity value
Payment in advance
No liability risk
No technical obsolescence
No competition
No fashion obsolescence
No physical perishability
Impervious to weather
Proprietary rights

 

 

Description of Idea 2:

 

Factor

Poor

1  2  3

Average

4  5  6  7

Very Good

8  9  10

No investment
Recognized market
Perceived need
Dependable supply
No government regulation
No labour force
100% gross margin
Frequent purchase
Favourable tax treatment
Established distribution
Great publicity value
Payment in advance
No liability risk
No technical obsolescence
No competition
No fashion obsolescence
No physical perishability
Impervious to weather
Proprietary rights

 

 

 

Description of Idea 3:

 

 

Factor

Poor

1  2  3

Average

4  5  6  7

Very Good

8  9  10

No investment
Recognized market
Perceived need
Dependable supply
No government regulation
No labour force
100% gross margin
Frequent purchase
Favourable tax treatment
Established distribution
Great publicity value
Payment in advance
No liability risk
No technical obsolescence
No competition
No fashion obsolescence
No physical perishability
Impervious to weather
Proprietary rights

 

 

TOTAL SCORES:                    Idea No. 1 ________

Idea No. 2 ________

Idea No. 3 ________

 

 

Finally, you must answer the two questions below. Limit your answers to a total of 750 words (i.e., approximately 375 words for each question).

 

  1. Which of the above ideas represents the most significant new venture opportunity?

Justify your response.

 

  1. Did the idea you picked score Average or Poor on any of Buskirk’s factors? If so, can you think of any way to overcome that situation or other possible solutions to the problem?

 

 

 

 

Marking Rubric for

Assignment 1: The “Ideal” or “Model” Business

 

1. Structure of Your Assignment – 20%

Your assignment should be well written and look professional. It should:

–          be free of spelling, typographical, grammatical, and punctuation errors.

–          communicate in a clear manner with good sentence, paragraph, and section structure.

–          appear polished and professional looking.

–          be brief and clear, with little redundancy.

–          stay within the allocated word limits.

 

2. Description and Overview of Each of Your Three Ideas – 20%

Your assignment should:

–          provide a clear and concise description of each of the three ideas to be evaluated using the Buskirk Model.

–          describe each idea in no more than 25 words or so.

–          include three distinct, unrelated ideas to be evaluated by the Model.

 

3. How Realistic is the Evaluation and Assessment? – 20%

Your assignment should provide a reasonable and realistic assessment of each of the three chosen ideas on all the factors included in the Buskirk Model. The evaluation should:

–          be completed accurately and as instructed.

–          result in a summary score for each idea based on the Model.

–          appear to be logical and make sense.

–          look like you gave some serious thought to the issue.

–          appear to be a realistic appraisal.

 

4. Justification for Selection of the Chosen Idea – 20%

Your assignment should indicate which of the assessed ideas you prefer. Was the chosen idea consistent with the ranking by the Buskirk model? If not, why not?

 

Were you able to provide any other reasonable justification for selecting the particular idea beyond its ranking by the model?

 

Limit your answer for this section (question #1 at the end of the assignment) to 375 words.

 

5. Ways to Overcome Weaknesses and Problems – 20%

The paper should indicate that you were able to identify some criteria in the model on which their best concept rated “Poor” or “Average.” Were you able to identify some creative ways to offset that factor or overcome the situation?

 

Limit your answer for this section (question #2 at the end of the assignment) to 375 words.