Chapter 9: Business plans, business models and elevator pitch competitions
As a pedagogical tool, the business plan is at the heart of many entrepreneurship programs. The popularity of this tool is rooted in at least four qualities of plans. First, they represent an initial reality check, requiring a student to translate a conceptual idea into something that is more structured, tangible and numbers based. Second, plans force the student to think in more comprehensive terms, moving from a product or service idea to a functioning business. Third, a plan is inherently integrative and cross-functional, as the student must consider how accounting, marketing, economic, managerial, financial and other issues impact and are impacted by one another. Finally, the plan is a vehicle for facilitating the adaptation process that is central to any entrepreneurial venture. It offers a context in which the student can test assumptions, play with the numbers, realize what will not work (at least in theory), and make modifications and adjustments. At the same time, there is concern in some quarters that too much emphasis is placed on business plans.
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