L2 EDPS SPRING 2008/9
Enterprise Project -Notes on Construction of Plan
State what the business is and what its aims are. Provide a brief overview of the market, your product
(or service) and how you expect your business to thrive in such a market.
Provide a reasonable description of your product (or service). What are its main features? What is its
present state of development or production? How are you in a position to introduce this product at this
You are not expected to produce detailed design information, or engineering drawings, for your
product. The object of the assignment is to test your business skills in setting up a new business
venture. Therefore, as far as the product is concerned you can be reasonably inventive with a certain
amount of latitude. The product, however, must be market driven. In other words, it must satisfy a
perceived need in the market place.
What market will you sell to? Where is that market located? What size is the market? What share of
the market will you achieve over the next three years? How do you plan to enter the market? What
will be the strengths and weaknesses of your business? What competitors are already in the market
place? What is the perceived life of your product? What opportunities will there be for the business to
grow beyond the boundaries and life span of the current product?
You may want to develop a website for your company or product. If you do this then you must clearly
state on the home page that the site is part of a UG project in the Department of Electronic Engineering
at the University of Surrey and all content refers to a fictional product. You are not permitted to use
any of the logo’s etc relating to the University or place contact information of members of staff or other
students on the site. You must also abide by all of the University regulations as stipulated in the student
Try not to be too optimistic with your marketing strategy. Remember, if a business is seen to be very
successful, competitors would quickly appear on your customers’ doorsteps. Also, rapid growth could
place greater demands on your cashflow.
What will be the structure of your company? Who are the principals? What are their roles? What is
their experience? Show the organisational family tree. What additional personnel will you need?
When would they need to be recruited?
What sort of size of business premises will you need? Where will your business be located?
Consider the major items of expenditure in your business? What are the costs of the staff, the premises,
the capital equipment, the materials, components and purchases needed for your product? Consider
your other costs such as: rates, heating, lighting, telephones, cleaning, brochures, advertising etc.
Where will you show these in the figures?
Your Financial Plans will include a Sales Plan, a projected Profit and Loss account, a Balance Sheet.
To complement these figures, information should be provided, in this section, about any assumptions
made in the production of the financial plans. It will be necessary, also, to produce a few
accompanying notes when the figures are not self-explanatory.
You must first produce the Sales Plan as the basis for the revenue of your business. Using the Sales
Plan, as the starting point, deduce the costs incurred by your business in achieving these sales during
each of the months and quarters of the plan. These figures should enable you to produce your Profit
and Loss account.
How much cash is needed before the business can start?
You may need to refer to a textbook on accounting to help you with the above accounts. The EDPS
recommended textbook ‘Understanding Accounting’ by Hitching and Stone (chapters 4 to 7 and 9 to 10)
provides useful background reading for this assignment. You will also gain assistance from the
NatWest booklet ‘The Business Start-Up Guide’.
When you have produced your draft financial plans you will almost certainly need to make corrections
and changes to suit the adjustments you make to the business as you progress with the assignment. It
will be much easier for you in the long run, therefore, if you produce your financial plans on a
spreadsheet from the start. This will enable you to carry out ‘what ifs’ as ideas occur to you.
A three year plan for the business itself, in Gantt chart format, showing the major milestones in the
development of your business should be shown in the final report.
The PERT chart may be useful to each group early on in the assignment to help crystallise in the mind
of the planner those activities which would be necessary in a real life start-up business venture. It may
also assist in revealing how some of this work might be broken down into packages suitable for
understanding on an individual basis through the assignment.
Appendix to Enterprise Project
Your plan of the work undertaken during the production of the Enterprise Project should include a
statement of each group member’s responsibilities, a description of all the work packages, and a Gantt
chart showing the planned timescales for each work package.
The timescales actually achieved should be entered on the Gantt chart prior to the deadline for
These guidelines are not an exhaustive list of all that needs to be done.
Make sure that the product, or service, that you have chosen is suitable for the assignment.
Ensure that there is general agreement between your team members about the product.
Hold regular meetings and keep minutes. Get all members to agree their responsibilities. Does any
member of the group have any preference or special expertise which will be of benefit to the group as a
whole? Are you able to allocate the work amongst yourselves evenly? Part of the assessment will be
to determine whether the work was evenly distributed.
Record any important decisions made at this meeting and see that every group member receives a copy
of such records.
Your EDPS tutorials will be arranged to provide you with assistance in achieving success in your
assignment. You will be given guidance in the production of your documentation and help with your
individual and group presentation skills. Your final tutorial could be a rehearsal for your Enterprise
During the Spring semester there will be occasions when you will be able to seek the advice of
‘experts’ to help you overcome any problems which you may encounter with your Enterprise Project.
The production of the formal documentation needs to be rigorously stage-managed. Each page of text
should be produced on the same WP package. The fonts and page settings should be identical,
regardless of who did the work. Leave space in the left margin for filing. Ensure that the printer
ribbon is of good quality (a laser printer will produce a better quality of master material suitable for
printing purposes). Have an impressive cover. Does your company have its own logo?
Presentation of the financial data is important. Spreadsheets should be easy to read. Ensure that a
whole year of data is contained in just one page. Which graphics would enhance your document?
Remember that you will need to leave space for a margin on your spreadsheets, for filing purposes.
The presentation itself will also need to be carefully stage-managed. The work involved in producing
your visual aids for the table top stand should also be carried out in plenty of time. Think about the
content and construction of your presentation. Are any members of your group natural presenters?
You will not be permitted to exceed the maximum time. Time the rehearsal. Can the visual aids be
easily read and understood? Never have more than one person ‘on stage’ at a time. There will be time
for questions at the end of the presentation.
Finally, you are advised to keep to the timescales of your plan. If you lose time then this will almost
certainly result in a rushed set of documentation and, perhaps, even an under-rehearsed presentation.