Monthly Archives: November 2013

Heading into the Final Stretch

Greetings DMSers. I hope everyone had a wonderful three-day weekend.

We’re only 32 days from course completion! Since we missed class yesterday, here’s an update on our next steps:

What’s Happening Monday

  • Verbal pitch: the next level of our pitch will include a discussion of your top competitors. You want to briefly cover two or three explaining their product offering, price point, standing in the industry. Then, clearly identify how your product is superior to your competitors. Time should not exceed 7 minutes including all the other content we’ve covered to this point. And, you need to have a visual component.
  • Product reviews: A few weeks ago, we looked at your logos and home pages or startup screens for your products. At that time, I indicated that each product would require mockups that walked users through the main features you have to offer. I’m sure you’ve been diligently working on these designs. Monday, we’re going to show the products on the big screen. I’ll select a student to act as your market and walk the class through her/his expectations of your product’s UI and functionality. Bring electronic files you’ll be able to open on one of the lab computers.
  • Grade updates: I’m wrapping up the grading on Homework 4 and your final blog this week. I’ll have full updates in print for each of you in class.
  • SETs: If you have not had time thus far to do your SET for the class, we’ll have time to do it during class Monday. You should have it in your Wildcat mail account.
  • Q&A: What burning questions do you have as we head into the final stretch?

Business Plan Reviews

I reviewed several draft business plans yesterday. Below, I’ve identified some common mistakes or issues to think about:

  • Repetition: While it’s natural to have some level of repetition, you do not want to be too repetitive in the business plan. Each section should focus on specific content and provide additional insight not found elsewhere. Think strategically about what info to include where.
  • Industry overview: it’s important that you offer some insight into the general state of the industry in which your product will exist. For example, several of you are doing productivity apps. You’ll want to address things like: how many productivity apps are available on the market today? How much money is made in this section of the industry? How many Americans use productivity apps? Then, the competition section focuses on your top-tier competitors.
  • Lack of source citations: Be certain to cite sources of facts and provide links to key research, articles, etc. There are several areas of the business plan where you should be pointing to primary and/or secondary research and credible sources of data.
  • Revenue generation: A hybrid approach is necessary. Advertising only, as clearly outlined in Briggs and several other sources we’ve used this semester, will not be enough for a sustainable business model. Additionally, you need to be very specific in your planning. For example, if you’re incorporating advertising as a revenue stream, you want to cover:
    • What types of advertising will you offer?
    • How and where in your product will those ads appear?
    • How many ad spaces do you have to sell within your product?
    • How much will you charge for the various ad spaces?
  • Writing news releases: there are lots of online sources. Here’s one I’ve shared with some of you.

Have a great rest of the week!