MBA655 Entrepreneurship & Small Bus Mgt

for F1P 2009

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MBA 655 Entrepreneurship & Small Bus Mgt


F1P 2009 DL


Dr Ruth Achterhof


Adjunct Faculty


BS, Texas Tech University
MA, Western Michigan University
PhD, Capella University

Office Location

United States

Office Hours

9 AM to 9 PM Eastern Time

Daytime Phone


Other Phone



Semester Dates

August 17 - October 11, 2009

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours


  Scarborough, N.M. & Zimmer, T.W. (2009). Effective Small Business Management: An Entrepreneurial Approach (9th ed).   Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN # 0-13-615270-8

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Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

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Course Description:
MBA 655 Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management: Fundamentals of profit analysis, financial planning and management control for small business. Topics covered include evaluation of product policies, marketing and pricing strategies, and organizational structure and control mechanisms. Included also are investment requirements of operating a business and alternative ways of financing, including bank loans, mortgage financing, venture capital and public stock offerings. Prerequisite: MG 352 or equivalent approved by Program Director. (Formerly MG 655)

Educational Philosophy:

  Dr Ruth’s personal teaching philosophy is that every student contact is part of a learning commitment to keep Park University as a "school of choice." The student population is increasingly diverse; in race, ethnic background, age, ability and interests. Adult learners are focused on their personal goals and want applications based learning. 
Ultimately my teaching philosophy is to facilitate learning by reducing barriers, to help students succeed at the process of accomplishing the course objectives, and to continue their education at Park University with a positive learning experience.  

Class Assessment:
 Weekly Readings - Each week chapters from the text, a short instructor lecture and PowerPoint presentations will be assigned as required reading. The Lecture also contains links to additional handouts that are to be read that week

Discussion Questions - There will be discussion questions in weeks 1- 8.  Post your answers in the Discussion thread for that week on the course web site.  Each question should be 100-150 words single spaced in your word processor. The answer may include information from the text or handouts also should include personal experiences and opinion to demonstrate critical thinking and application. They are due on Thursday before midnight CT (Central Time).  They are posted separately in individual threads for each question. After posting your answers, begin making 2 or more  replies to other students' posts.  30 points per week.

Case Analysis - In weeks 3 and 5, there is a case analysis that is due to the Instructor via the drop box by Sunday midnight CT (Central Time). The case analysis will be roughly 1-1.5 pp single spaced in your word processor.  When citing information from the case or other sources to support your analysis, be sure to cite them. Both cases are found at the back of the textbook. 50 points per case

Journal Post - The weekly Journal (weeks 1- 8) should explain how the concepts of the course relate to your workplace or personal experience.  Something that has made you go "Aha!" Do not summarize the reading, but perhaps comment on concepts directly applicable to your workplace.  It is not enough to identify a list of chapter topics. You should be able to demonstrate that you have thought through a topic or two and can relate them to your experience. Journals will be approximately 75-100 words single spaced in your word processor and posted to the Journal discussion.  They should be sent no sooner than Friday evening and no later than by midnight Sunday CT (Central Time) in weeks 1-8.  15 points per week

Business Plan Assignment Details 

Here are the basic headings of the plan and what will typically be in each section.  You will have 3 of the big sections done by the end of week 6 which should be about half of the total length. 

You will be developing a Business Plan that has sections due throughout the course and is due in its entirety at the end of  Week 7 along with a 10-12 slide PowerPoint presentation that would be appropriate for a presentation with a bank or potential investor. See Chapter 6 of the text, especially pages 203-205 for an overview of the elements within the sections. You will use Times New Roman 12 throughout the paper.  Each Heading immediately follows the previous – do not start then on new pages.  The sections of the plan (internal headings) will include:

     I.        Title page with Business Idea or Name, your name and Park University

    II.        Executive Summary (usually written last) – this is very brief – about a half page

 III.        Mission statement – can go on same page with  I. and is often just a few sentences

   IV.        Industry overview (due in week 2; 35 points) would be added next.  1.5 pages typical

    V.        Business strategy (due in week 4; 35 points) another 1.5 pages or so

   VI.        Product/Service – a description of a half page or so

 VII.        Marketing Strategy (due in week 6; 35 points) another 1.5 pages or so

VIII.        Location & Layout – a brief description of each if they apply – may run half to 1 page

   IX.        Competitor Analysis – this one may take some research or knowledge of others with similar services – a half to a full page depending on business

    X.        Management Team – brief description (do not do full resumes, but just a description of the skills they bring to the business.  Include a manager or partner if they will be needed at start up.

   XI.        Plan of Operation- describe in half to one page what ‘operations’ will be entailed

 XII.        Financial Forecasts – do (1) an overview of what some typical start up costs would be – use the internet to get costs per square foot and your own home bills or the internet to get some ideas about insurance and utilities; if you are really serious spend more time here.  (2) do an Pro forma (your estimate of what you might have) Balance sheet for the end of year one with general headings (at least 4 assets and 6 liability categories) – these should each be about a page long

XIII.        Request for Funds or Investment – a paragraph or two of how you would accumulate your needed start up funds.

XIV.        References Page

These all should total no less than 10 but no more than 15 pages, single spaced, some space around each heading, on a continuous run of one heading after another.

The completed plan (without PowerPoint) will be at least 10 single spaced pages, but not more than 15, not counting a title page and references page.  Any sources used for content are to be cited at the point of use and referenced at the end of the business plan.  Do not exceed more than 20% of the paper in direct word for word quotes and do not use Business Plan web sites to build your plan (they are useful for ideas on content but are not to be used for the actual content of your plan).   (105 points)

PowerPoint presentation (10-12 slides) (see pp 201-202 of text).  The slides should have bulleted key points and be easy to read with a professional look.  They would be designed to be used with a potential partner or financial source as a presentation on your business idea.   (50 points)

The sections written in weeks 2, 4 and 6 are 35 points each. (105 points)

The Business Plan and PowerPoint are submitted as 2 separate files under the Assignment icon. They are due on Sunday at the end of week 7.

The Executive summary is placed in the class discussion board by Monday at the beginning of week 8 and you will comment on the summaries of 2 other students by the end of week 8 with advice you might give them to increase the likelihood of their success. (20 points for executive summary post and comments)

The Business Plan is worth a total of 280 points.

 Discussion post + participation  (30 pts each weeks 1 -8)        240

Cases weeks 3 & 5 - 50 pts each                                             100

Journal  15 pts each weeks 1 -8                                                           120

Business Plan                                                                             105

       Preliminary sections                                                             105

        PowerPoint                                                                            50

        Executive summary discussion                                             20

Total Points -                                                                               740

90% to 100% of total points= A (666-740)

80% to 89%  of total points = B (592-665)

70% to 79%  of total points = C (518-591)

60% to 69%  of total points = D (444 -517)

below 60%                   = F    (443 or less)

Final grades will be based proportionately on (a) tests, (b) activities, and (c) business plans or research papers.  Final grades may be affected directly by discussion thread participation.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late work loses 10% per day late and has no value after 7 days.   Comments to discussion assignments do not count when made after the end of the week; your classmates will have moved on to the next week.  The initial post only will have point value. 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
  MG655 - Week 1 Homework:


PowerPoint and handouts under Weekly Heading

Textbook: Chapter 1, 2 and 6

Read Syllabus; printing off is recommended

Read overview of Business Plan Assignment in Syllabus

Discussion Questions (due by Thursday midnight CT to the Discussion icon):

1.     Do you believe you have the capabilities to succeed as an entrepreneur? Why or why not? Please support your answers with information from the textbook.

2.   Why is strategic planning important to a small business?   Describe one

element of a strategic plan that you feel is important and why.

                            Make 2 or more comments to peers during Week 1.


Journal:  Post to the Discussion forum icon. Your weekly aha (due by Sunday to the

class forum- posted after Friday evening). In this week’s journal also mention the

business idea you will use to write your business plan throughout the course.

Week 2 Homework:



PowerPoint and handouts under Weekly Heading

Textbook: Chapters 3, 4 and 5

Discussion Questions (due by Thursday midnight CT to the discussion icon):

1.      What factors should be considered before choosing a form of ownership. 

Describe which form would you prefer, why? Apply this to a business idea you are doing for the class.

2.     When evaluating an existing business for purchase, what elements should be considered? Which 2 do you think could be considered most important, why?

      Make 2 or more comments to peers during week 2.

            Business plan: Industry overview (Due Sunday to  the course drop box. 

Include the elements from p. 203 of the text – IV. Industry Profile and Overview. 

Cite any sources used in the body and reference them at the end of the

overview. 1.5-2 pp single spaced.

Journal: Your weekly aha (due by Sunday to the class forum- posted after Friday


Week 3 Homework:



PowerPoint and handouts under Weekly Heading

Textbook: Chapter 9 & 10

Discussion Questions (due by Thursday midnight CT to the class forum):

1.     Why is a business plan important even if you are not seeking credit? Describe two typical parts of a business plan and justify why they are important.

2.     Answer the Discussion Question #4 on page 360 of the text about investing $1500 in an advertising budget.

Case: Due by Sunday midnight via the DropBox> attach a file with your last name

in the name of the file. Case 2 –Brian Scudamore & 1-800 Got Junk, p. 842-43 of textbook, answer Questions 1- 4 (not 5). 

Journal: Your weekly aha (due by Sunday to the class forum-posted after Friday evening)


Week 4 Homework:


Textbook: Chapters 7, 8, and 11

PowerPoints and Handouts under Weekly Heading


Discussion Questions (due by Thursday midnight CT to the class forum):

1.     Select 2 of the 12 ratios in Chapt 7 and make a mock example (do not use an example from the text; use your business plan setting, if possible). Explain why these 2 ratios could be important and how they would be used.

2. Answer the following -  also applying it to your business idea.  - Alan Ferguson, owner of Nupremis, Inc., a web-based application service provider, says, "We lease our equipment and technology because our core business is deploying it, not owning it,"  What does he mean?  Is leasing a wise cash management strategy for small businesses?  Explain

Business plan: Business strategy (Due Sunday to a link in the Assignment Icon). 

Include the elements from p. 204 of the text – V. Business Strategy. Cite any

sources used in the body and reference them at the end of the assignment. 1.5-2

pp single spaced.

Journal: Your weekly aha (due by Sunday to the class forum- posted after Friday evening)


Week 5 Homework:



Textbook: Chapters 14 & 15

Power Points Handouts under Weekly Heading

Discussion Questions (due by Thursday midnight CT to the class forum):

                                                 1.      Why is it often difficult for a small business owner to raise the capital needed to start, operate or expand their business? How might you raise capital for your business idea?

                                           2.      Briefly describe a loan program from the Small Business Administration, the Economic Development Administration, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Agriculture, a local development company or a typical banking institution that you might consider using. What are the benefits of this program for you?

Case: Due by Sunday midnight via the Assignment icon>attach a file with your last name

in the name of the file. Case #9 – Warren Myer and Myers Internet, p. 862-863,

do Questions 1, 2, & 4 (not #3).


Journal: Your weekly aha (due by Sunday to the class forum- posted after Friday


 Week 6 Homework:


Textbook: Chapters 12, 13, and 16

Power Points and Handouts under Weekly Heading

Discussion Questions (due by Thursday midnight CT to the class forum):

1.What forces drive small businesses into international markets? Are similar factors at work for e-commerce decisions? Give an example of a small business that could ‘go international’ either exporting or using e-commerce.   For your business idea, is international or e-commerce going to be a factor? Why or why not?

2.List what you feel are the 2 most important factors when considering a location for a business (this can be either at the regional or local location level). Why did you choose these?

Business plan: Marketing Strategy (Due Sunday to a link in the Assignment Icon). 

Include the elements from p. 204 of the text – VII. Marketing Strategy using those

elements that apply. For “H. Test market results,” only describe what might be

appropriate for your business idea. Cite any sources used in the body and

reference them at the end of the overview. 1.5-2 pp single spaced.

Journal: Your weekly aha (due by Sunday to the class forum-posted after Friday evening)

Week 7 Homework:



Textbook: Chapters 17 and 18

PowerPoints and Handouts under Weekly Heading

Discussion Questions (due by Thursday midnight CT to the class forum):

1.Relate Total Quality Management to purchasing and inventory control. Give an example of at least 2 areas where improvements could occur. What impact could the improvements have?

2.Select and briefly answer (1/4 page or so each) any 2 Discussion Questions on pp.

650-651 (#1-22) that might apply to your business idea or a business with which you

are familiar.

Journal: Your weekly aha(due by Sunday to the class forum- posted after Friday evening)

Business plan: Work on completing all elements of your Business Plan and PowerPoint. It is due on the first day of week 8.

Week 8 Homework:

Textbook: Chapters 19, 20 and 22
PowerPoints and Handouts under Weekly Heading
Discussion Questions (due by Thursday midnight CT to the class forum Monday):

1.Why is it especially important for small companies to hire the right employees? How can hiring mistakes be minimized?

2. Revisit the DQ question from week 1: Do you believe you have the capabilities to succeed as an entrepreneur? Why 
   or    why not?  How has your view of small
business mgmt and entrepreneurship changed over the last 8 weeks?
Business plan:   Complete your business plan and the 10-12 slide PowerPoint presentation as described in the syllabus. By Monday midnight in Week 8, submit to the Instructor using the links in the Drop box, Week 8.

Note that you will also be posting your Executive summary for class sharing by Monday night; make comments on two or more peers’ Executive summaries (20 points)

Journal: Your course aha (due by Sunday midnight to the class forum- posted after Friday evening)

Academic Honesty:
As a learning community, the University upholds the highest standards of academic integrity in all its academic activities, by faculty, staff, administrators and students. Academic integrity involves much more than respecting intellectual property rights. It lies at the heart of learning, creativity, and the core values of the University. Those who learn, teach, write, publish, present, or exhibit creative works are advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of academic integrity and make every effort to avoid possible offenses against it, knowingly or unknowingly. Park University 2009-2010 Graduate Catalog Page 31


Plagiarism involves the appropriation of another person's ideas, interpretation, words (even a few), data, statements, illustration or creative work and their presentation as one's own. An offense against plagiarism constitutes a serious academic misconduct.  Although offenses against academic integrity can manifest themselves in various ways, the most common forms of offenses are plagiarism and cheating. Plagiarism goes beyond the copying of an entire article. It may include, but is not limited to: copying a section of an article or a chapter from a book, reproduction of an art work, illustration, cartoon, photograph and the like and passing them off as one's own. Copying from the Internet is no less serious an offense than copying from a book or printed article, even when the material is not copyrighted.

Plagiarism also includes borrowing ideas and phrases from, or paraphrasing, someone else's work, published or unpublished, without acknowledging and documenting the source. Acknowledging and documenting the source of an idea or phrase, at the point where it is utilized, is necessary even when the idea or phrase is taken from a speech or conversation with another person.

Park University 2009-2010 Graduate Catalog Page 31-32

Attendance Policy:

Professors are required to maintain attendance records and report absences. Excused absences can be granted by the instructor, for medical reasons, school sponsored activities, and employment-related demands, including temporary duty. Students are responsible for any missed work. Absences for two successive weeks, without approved excuse, will be reported to the Director of the individual graduate program, or to the Executive Director for the Graduate School, for appropriate action. Students with such a record of absences, without an approved excuse, may be administratively withdrawn from the class and notified that an "F" will be recorded, unless the student initiates official withdrawal from the class(es).Park University 2009-2010 Graduate Catalog Page 35

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:7/23/2009 9:55:13 AM