Undergraduate course BUSS 3049
The aim of this undergraduate course is to give you a framework for understanding the processes involved in developing plans for new venture start-ups or for new projects being launched by existing businesses. The output is a "blueprint" for developing an entrepreneurial venture or as a document for raising finance. At the end of this course, you will have developed a comprehensive entrepreneurial business plan for raising finance.
What is special about this course
Most business planning courses (and entrepreneurship texts) assume that you have a continuing business and are writing a business plan for that venture - in that situation, you have a trading history on which to base your plan. This course addresses the much more challenging situation where you write a professional business plan for a new business idea (that does not already exist, and where there is no operating or trading history). This course draws on recent research into business planning processes that work in this situation,. The resulting business plan is designed to raise finance from an angel investor to launch the new venture.
This is a "free elective" (BUGE course): This is a business elective for those who are enrolled in degrees in the Division of Business. This is also a "free elective" for those enrolled in other divisions. This course is available to people from all campuses. You may need to check with your Program Director if you have space for such an elective in your degree, and if you are eligible to do this course (the coordinator of this entrepreneurship course cannot check this for you). You can enrol online for this course in the same way that you enrol for your other courses. If you have any problems in enrolling, contact Campus Central.
Are you studying at another university? If you are enrolled in another university and you have space in your degree for an elective course, then you can apply through your own department to take this course as a cross-institutional transfer student. We have a number of people doing this already. You will also need to get the form signed by the course coordinator.
Do you just wish to attend the lectures? If you do not have room in your degree, you can apply to attend this course as an audit student, but there is a fee attached. UniSA Campus Central (8302 0511) can provide information about this option and the fees. The HECS fee for this course is at 'Band 3A'.
Do you have a timetable clash? You may have a timetable clash with one of the lecture/seminar sessions, and this may stop you from enrolling in this course. You can get an over-ride form from the Campus Central office, complete it, sign it and give it to Campus Central staff. You do not need any other signatures. This will allow you to enrol.
Next scheduled: This course is offered at City West in Study Period 6. Download the detailed course timetable. Put the seminar and workshop dates in your diary! This course is run in intensive mode only (face to face). We regret that this course is not available in external or online mode because of its reliance on intensive teamwork.
Prerequisite: Entrepreneurial Enterprises (BUSS 3043).
You cannot be enrolled in BUSS 3043 Entrepreneurial Enterprises and BUSS 3049 Entrepreneurial Business Planning in the same study period.
Course coordinator: Peter Balan.
Course home page: follow this link Please note that the key dates (census and withdrawal dates) for all courses are on the "Class Timetable" page that you can access from the course home page.
Course teaching and learning arrangements
This course is run in intensive mode only (face to face). We regret that it is not available in external or on-line mode. Lecture/seminar sessions are conducted over four days, and these are followed by optional workshops conducted over the next 4 weeks (check the detailed timetable). Altogether, these formal sessions are equivalent to a standard semester-long course. Lecture/seminar and workshop sessions are supplemented by independent study, and teamwork. This course therefore requires 120 hours of your time - which is the same as a standard semester-long course. Check the answers to FAQ for this course for detailed comments about course delivery.
The aim of this course is to give you with a framework for understanding the processes involved in developing plans for new venture start-ups or for existing.
On completion of this course, you should be able to:
- describe the components of a business plan
- explain why many business plans fail
- develop your own quality business plans
- present your business plan effectively to angel or venture financiers.
- Entrepreneurial planning frameworks.
- Feasibility planning.
- Vision, goals, and strategies
- Information searching for business plans.
- Business plan financials, and "grassroots" finance.
- The entrepreneurial business team.
- Presenting the business plan.
- Product and service development.
- The commercialization process.
- Operations planning and management.
- Evaluating business plans.
- Individual Assignment (completed as a class test): 15%
- Individual report (an account of an interview with an entrepreneur): 35%
- Team project report (an entrepreneurial business plan): 50%
This course is based on a book of readings that are drawn from the research into business planning for new venture start-ups.
You may find it useful to refer to the textbook for Entrepreneurial Enterprises, the prerequisite for this course Timmons, JA & Spinelli, S 2009, New Venture Creation: Entrepreneurship for the 21st Century, 8th edn, McGraw-Hill/Irwin, New York, NY). The book is useful background material, but doesn't have a lot of detail on business planning for a new venture that does not already exist. It will therefore be supplemented with other course materials, particularly the readings, but also:
Noel Lindsay, Justin Craig, and Gail Geronimos (2005). Business Opportunities Made Investor-Ready. Extracts from this book are available on the course website.
There are many textbooks and handbooks on business planning. They are all quite similar, and none really stands out. Most are from US publishers, and the information they contain is not all relevant to Australia. There are about 10 such books in the City West Library, mostly classified under 658.4012, on the 4th floor. Why not go and browse through them?
One excellent Australian book is: Max Coulthard, Andrea Howell, Geoff Clarke (1996). Business Planning: The Key to Success. Macmillan Australia. 5 copies in the City West library, 4th floor, 658.4012 C855. This is one of the clearest books of all, but is now somewhat out of date. Though the principles of business planning in Australia haven't changed in the 10 years since the book was published, a lot of details have changed.
There are also a number of online manuals on business planning. One of the best is the US government's Small Business Administration startup guide ( a series of web pages). Another is Writing an Efffective Business Plan, from Deloittes (546kb PDF - Click here to download Adobe Reader).
Software for business planning is also widely available. Much of this takes the form of Excel templates: you simply fill in the blanks, and the software creates all the necessary documents. While very convenient, this approach doesn't provide any understanding, so we don't recommend using it until after you have completed most of the course.
Apply for the Pank Prize
All students who have participated in undertaking a business plan as part of an UniSA course are encouraged to apply for the Pank Prize, valued at $15,000.
Sessions and modules
This course is conducted over a week. Each session will consist of several modules, with each module lasting about one hour. Each module has 5 main components:
- Introduction to the topic - not covering anything substantive: the exact topic covered by this module, how it links in with previous and forthcoming topics, resources available for it (textbook, readings, etc.), and work required. Ends with questions and discussion.
- Lecture on the topic. The key issues, and how they fit together. This is an overview, and does not go into detail
- Exercise on this topic - working alone, or in small teams of 3 or 4 .
- Feedback from groups to whole class, with responses by lecturer.
- Comment by lecturer on practical outcomes, contribution to theory, and answers to further questions.
Details of courses and sessions
|The nature of entrepreneurial business plans||Introduction to the course
(and team allocation)
The business idea for the class
Entrepreneurial growth ventures
The nature of entrepreneurial business plans
Readers of business plans and what they seek
How the business plan is evaluated
|Business mission, environment and strategy||The business mission
Environmental analysis - Advanced information search
Venture capabilities and SWOT summary
Innovative growth strategies
Innovative competitive strategies
The business model
|Entrepreneurial organisation||Business structure
The entrepreneur and the team
|Putting together the business plan||Business planning financials
How to put your plan together
Workshops follow the lecture/seminar sessions, and these are for teams to work together on their business plan. The lecturer will attend to answer any questions and give assistance.
For more information about this course, please see this page of Frequently Asked Questions.