INTRODUCTION TO BUSINESS
Semester : Summer 2007
Venue : Auditorium 02, Building 6, QTSC
Time : Tuesday, 09:40am – 12:10pm
Thursday, 09:40am – 12:10pm
Instructor : Trần Nam Giang
Phone Contact : 0908 458808
Email Address : firstname.lastname@example.org
Yahoo : southriver_2000
Skype : tran.nam.giang
Office : Faculty Office – building 6, QTSC
Fundamental business principles including structure, functions,
resources, and operational processes.
ESL level 4
The primary objective is to give the student an understanding of basic
business principles. Global business, entrepreneurship, management,
marketing, technology, and financial management will be discussed.
Another purpose of this course is to provide an opportunity for the
student to learn first hand about investing through participation in a
stock market game. Upon completion of this course, the student should
be able to:
- describe the scope of business enterprise in the nation and the
- identify major business functions of accounting, management,
marketing, and economics;
- describe the relationships of social responsibility, ethics, and law
in business; and define and apply business terminology.
Boone, Louis E. and David L. Kurtz, Contemporary Business 2006,
Thompson South-Western, 2006.
Course Requirements and Grading Policy
It is the policy of the Dean of Workforce that an Incomplete may be
given only for extenuating circumstances (i.e. family illness, accident,
and an unforeseen event occurring at exam time). The grading policy is
Course Grading Grading Scale
1) Business plan (group assignment) 40% A 90 – 100
2) Presentation (group assignment) 20% B 80 – 89
3) In-class tests 20% C 70 – 79
4) Stock market game 10% D 60 – 69
5) Participation 10% F 0 – 59
1) Business plan (group)
Students should form their own group consisting of 4-5 people on the
first day of the semester to do this assignment. The purpose of this
assignment is to enable students to apply basic business principles to a
real situation. Students are required to write a business plan to set up a
new business in Vietnam, or for an existing company to provide a new
product or service to the market. Please find the suggested structure of
a business plan at page 7 of this syllabus.
Required length: 5000 words or less (Excluding Cover Page, Table of
Contents, Reference, and Appendix).
The business plan will be submitted twice:
- 1st submission: on or before 26th July 2007. 1st submission is your
chance to get feedback from the instructor to improve your
business plan. This submission accounts for 10% of the semester
- 2nd (final) submission: on or before 9th August 2007. This
submission accounts for 30% of the semester grade.
2) Presentation (group)
Each group presents what they have done/written for their business
plan to seek feedback from other people in order to improve their
business plan. The instructor will ask 5 students to form a Board of
Directors or a group of investors to judge the presentation and make
investment decision. The instructor will instruct these 5 students to play
The presentation accounts for 20% of the semester grade. Below is the
list of presentation marking criteria:
Criteria Standards %
Speaking speed Not too fast, not too slow 5
Attire Appropriate 5
Time management 20-30 minutes for presentation 5
(not including questions & answers)
Power point slides Good design, layout 5
Pronunciation Accurate, clear, loud enough 15
Professional Proper gesture, face expression, eye 20
Manner contact, audience control
Content Quality of the content presented, quality of 25
Judgment from the Have good comments and score from the 20
3) In-class tests (individual)
There are 2 in-class tests through out the whole semester. Each test
(accounts for 10% of total semester grade) includes 20 multiple-choice
questions, 20 false-true questions, and 2 long-answer questions. The
test lasts for 90 minutes. Students have a ten-minute reading time. The
instructor will announce the topics for each test later.
4) Stock market game
Students have to submit a report containing the information on your stock
portfolio. The report accounts for 10% of the semester grade. Read the
rules of the game and the requirements of the report at the end of this
5) Participation (individual)
Participation mark depends on your diligence and activeness. To get full
mark (10%), you have to attend all 20 class-sessions and be very active
in the class.
Assignment submission policy
Students should submit the assignments in hardcopy by handing them
directly to the instructor or putting them on the instructor’s desk in the
Faculty Office (Building 6, QTSC).
Assignment Extension Policy
The assignments must be submitted on or before the due dates.
Submissions made on time will be graded and promptly returned
approximately one week after the due date. An automatic extension of
up to seven (7) days after the due date is permitted without penalty. But
there is a compromise which you will accept by making use of the 7-day
- Submissions during the 7-day extension period will be marked at
the convenience of the lecturer. This means that students using
the 7-day extension might not receive their result and feedback
until the next assessable task.
- The feedback on submissions during the 7-day extension period
might be less extensive than submissions on or before the due
date. This feedback might consist of a mark and a short
statement about the submission.
Submissions without an approved extension received more than 7 days
after the due date and time will be given a mark of zero (0). No
feedback on such submissions will be given.
This approach to extensions is being used so that the lecturer does not
need to approve extensions, and so that students are not required to
ask for extensions.
Please note that this 7-day extension policy is applicable only to this
Makeup test is not allowed. If any class session is canceled, the
instructor will discuss with students to arrange a makeup class.
Attendance and Withdrawal Policies
Class attendance is important. Generally, the course material is covered
in the text; however, lectures and small group exercises augment and
clarify the textbook material. You are encouraged to get to know your
fellow students in order to have a source for lecture notes and handouts
if you cannot attend a class session. Students are expected to assume
the responsibility for learning. Your instructor will assist you, but the
actual responsibility rests with you. Students are also expected to
devote their energy to attaining the skills and knowledge required for
their particular career goals. Disruptive activity that hinders other
students' learning or deters an instructor from effective teaching will not
be tolerated under any circumstances.
In accordance with SaigonTech rules, the instructor has the authority to
drop a student from any class after the student has been absent for
periods equivalent to 6 hours. However, the student has the ultimate
responsibility to withdraw from the course. Attending class lectures is
vital to understanding, integrating, and applying the concepts discussed
in class. Attendance will be kept according to SaigonTech rules. If there
are extreme circumstances that require absence from class, it is the
student's responsibility to notify the instructor before the class period.
Students absent from class are still responsible for all material assigned
and/or covered during the missed session. Students arriving late or
leaving early should notify the instructor ahead of time, and sit in a
seating location that is least likely to disrupt the class.
Students are responsible for conducting themselves with honor and
integrity in fulfilling course requirements. Penalties and/or disciplinary
proceedings may be initiated by SaigonTech officials against a student
accused of scholastic dishonesty. Please visit this site for more details
about Academic Dishonesty Policy:
Other Student Information
Go to URL: http://boone.swcollege.com for student resources.
GRADE APPEAL, REFUNDS, DISCIPLINE ISSUES
Refer to the Student Handbook, Catalog and Schedule.
SUGGESTED STRUCTURE OF A BUSINESS PLAN
1.0. Executive Summary
1.3. Keys to Success
2.0. Company Summary
2.1. Company Ownership
2.2. Start-up Summary
2.3. Company Locations and Facilities
3.1. Competitive Comparison
3.2. Sales Literature
4.0. Market Analysis Summary
4.1. Market Segmentation
4.2. Target Market Segment Strategy
4.2.1. Market Needs
4.2.2. Market Trends
4.2.3. Market Growth
5.0. Strategy and Implementation Summary
5.1. Competitive Edge
5.2. Marketing Strategy
5.2.1. Positioning Statement
5.2.2. Pricing Strategy
5.2.3. Promotion Strategy
5.2.4. Distribution Strategy
5.2.5. Marketing Programs
5.3. Sales Strategy
5.3.1. Sales Forecast
5.3.2. Sales Programs
5.4. Strategic Alliances
6.0. Management Summary
6.1. Organizational Structure
6.2. Management Team
6.3. Management Team Gaps
6.4. Personnel Plan
7.0. Financial Plan
7.1. Important Assumptions
7.2. Key Financial Indicators
7.3. Break-even Point
7.4. Projected Profit and Loss
7.5. Projected Cash Flow
7.6. Projected Balance Sheet
7.7. Business Ratios
8. Other Issues
8.1. Legal Issues
8.2. Social Benefits
STOCK MARKET GAME
Have you ever invested in the stock market? Maybe you've heard of someone
who made a lot of money buying and selling stocks – or lost money the same
During this class, you'll have some firsthand experience with a stock market
game where everyone in class starts with the same amount of money. But
where everyone finishes – well, that's a story that hasn't been written yet.
What You'll Learn
- Risks and rewards of investing in the stock market
- How to obtain information and analysis about companies and industries
- How to read and interpret corporate financial and non-financial
- Different approaches for making the best stock selections – and when
to buy or sell them
- How to buy and sell stocks
- How to track the progress of your stocks
- How to stay informed about any news or actions that may affect the
value of your stocks
How to Play
To increase the value of your stock portfolio more than any other student in
your class by the end of this class. Stock market game officially starts on 19
June and ends on 24 July 2007.
1. On the first day of the game, you will invest a total of $30,000 in any stocks
listed on markets in the United States. No transaction fees will be charged for
your initial purchases, but fees will apply to any sales or purchases made
during the game (see rule #3).
2. You must initially invest equal amounts of $10,000 in three different stocks.
3. You may sell any one of your stocks on any day and buy another stock in
its place (please note that in reality you can buy or sell stocks at any time).
You can sell or buy one stock not more than once a day at the closing
price. However, you must pay a transaction fee of $10 per buy or sell order.
Here's an example:
After a month, you decide to sell one of your stocks that has declined in value
from the original $10,000 to $8,000. After deducting $10 for the transaction
fee to sell, $7,990 remains. You then purchase shares of another company
valued at $7,980 ($7,990 minus $10 purchase transaction fee).
4. Maintain a file containing the following information on your stock portfolio:
- Brief company profile for each stock you own during the game. Include
a summary of the company's products, where it operates, strengths
and weaknesses – especially in comparison to competitors, and copies
of the most recent annual Income Statement and Balance Sheet
(obtained from the company's annual report or other source).
- Reasons for buying a stock, both initially and during the game.
- Reasons for selling a stock during the game.
- Number of shares of each stock you own at the close of the market
- Current stock price of each stock you own at the close of the market
- Detailed record of any buy or sell transactions: Date of transaction,
name of company for shares sold, number of shares sold, price per
share sold, value of shares sold after deducting transaction fee, name
of company for-shares purchased, number of shares purchased, price
per share purchased, value of shares purchased after deducting
- Summary statement at the end of the game stating the total value of
your stock portfolio, including the number of shares in each stock and
the price per share on the last day of the game.
Recommendation: Yahoo! offers a free service for tracking your stocks. You
can set up an initial stock portfolio, add or remove stocks you buy or sell, and
obtain printouts that display performance charts, total increases and
decreases in stock value and other useful information. It's easier than doing
all the calculations yourself. To get started, just follow these steps:
1. Go to Yahoo! Finance (http://finance.yahoo.com/) and select
Once you've registered, you'll see a new option on the Yahoo! Finance home
page: "Portfolios." Select "create" from the Portfolios section.
How to Select Stocks
If you ask 100 experts what stocks to buy, you would probably get 100
different answers. In a humorous experiment, someone threw darts at a
newspaper page of stock listings. The companies hit by the darts
outperformed the choices of many experts. So, there is no single method to
recommend for making your selections. The best advice we can offer is to
read expert opinions with caution and learn as much as you can about a
company that interests you, including its financial data, products, competitors,
customers and the industry in which it operates.
You may be wondering where to get started. There are actually many places
to go for ideas. One approach is to read some of the daily business news
ws) or general business news
ns) . Perhaps you'll read a story about a growing industry or consumer trend
and you then find companies that are poised to take advantage of the
Another approach is to browse through the recommendations of stock market
analysts and writers. Here are some of their sites:
Briefing.Com (http://www.briefing.com/) Learn about SmartMoney
individual companies, industries and trends/analysis of (http://www.smartmoney.com/) Select the
the stock market. "Stocks" section for recent articles and
Doh.com (http://www.doh.com/) Quirky site that bills SiliconInvestor
itself this way: "the website that takes the Homer (http://www.siliconinvestor.com/stocktalk/)
Simpson out of stock picking and investing." Includes Browse forums on stocks which are
stock picks and stock advice. organized by industry, such as
"Computers," "Specialty Retail" and
"Banking and Finance."
The Online Investor
Daily company spotlight and recent company
One final word on stock market analysts: At the end of their analysis of a
company, they may issue a recommendation: "Strong Buy," "Buy,"
"Accumulate," "Hold," "Sell" etc. However, most analysts work for stock
brokerage firms, which often make money financing the same businesses
their analysts are evaluating. So, they may be reluctant to actually give advice
to "sell" a company's stock, even though their analysis reveals significant
problems with that company. Focus more on the body of their analysis, not
their final recommendation.
Before you make any final decisions, gather plenty of information about the
companies you've targeted by using the resources in the next section.
Hoover's (http://www.hoovers.com/) Lists information on "more than 11,000 of
the largest public and private companies in the US and around the world.
Each capsule includes a description of the company, address, officers, sales
and employment figures and hyperlinks to more information, like financial
reports, stock quotes, SEC filings and news searches." Even though the
company descriptions for each capsule are brief, they include links to: news
stories about the company, the company's Web site and major competitors.
Business Wire (http://www.businesswire.com/) Select "Industry Specific
News" or "Company Specific News" from the menu of topics to search for any
previous stories by Business Wire about a specific industry or company.
Inter@ctive Investor (http://www.zdii.com/) Information about technology
Corporate Financials Online (http://www.cfonews.com/) Central location for
linking to financial news from companies. Only a small fraction of all publicly-
traded companies are listed, but maybe one that currently interests you is
Fortune 500 (http://www.fortune.com/fortune/fortune500) Fortune magazine's
annual profile of the 500 largest U.S. corporations. For summary information
on a company, select "Company List" and then click on the company of your
Look up news about companies by entering the ticker symbol or company
Tips for Reading An Annual Report (http://www.zpub.com/sf/arl/arl-read.html)
by the Annual Reports Library.
----Stock Basics and Business/Investment Glossaries
srv/business/longterm/glossary/glossary.htm) Look up a definition of a term
you've encountered during the stock market game. Whether it's "Earnings Per
Share," "Dividend Yield," "10-K Report" or some other term, you're likely to
find it in this glossary. NOTE: registration for the site is required and free.
Glossary of Investment Terms
(http://www.cigna.com/retire/general/glossary.html) by CIGNA.
------Live Stock Market Updates