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Master Plan

This course is modular (approximately 12 X 3 hourly sessions ideally once a week) and can be completed in 36 hours. It is advisable to have between 15 and 24 participants per group.

1. Business Simulation

1.1 What’s Business Simulation?

The game is in essence not a game at all. It is a carefully constructed business skills development tool masquerading as a game.

The game is interactive and experientially based. It simulates real market conditions and business scenarios in the training room.

The process gets participants to weigh up information, make decisions and react to the consequences. Participants see the results of their actions and experience the thrills and spills of real life business activity.

The game is a facilitator’s dream because it practically runs itself. As participants compete with each other to succeed in business, the debates get intense, decisions get weightier and the results provoke emotions of success and failure. The result ? Light bulbs flash, paradigm shifts occur and vital learning points stick.

Hundreds of business development organisations worldwide incorporate the game into their own training programmes.

1.2 Why the game works?

  • Participants play in three teams that each represent a business. The simulation is played with ‘real’ money that is borrowed from the bank and has to be repaid with interest, at the end of the ‘month’.
  • The winning team is the one that best manages and grows their business in the face of stiff competition and unexpected crises.
  • Every lesson is learned from the players’ actual experiences in the game
  • Players learn by group discussion
  • Only basic literacy and numeracy skills are required
  • It takes only two hours to set up, play and discuss each module
  • It’s great fun to play!

1.3 The Teaching Methodology

The Discovery Learning method used is experiential in nature – it is about learning through doing. By playing the simulation, participants learn lessons for themselves from their decisions and mistakes.

Implementation

The Business Simulation is supported by facilitator training (contact . for international use, or www.entrepreneurship.co.za for South African use). Everything needed by a facilitator to run the programme is in each Business Simulation hold-all bag, including:

  • A Facilitator’s Manual that easily leads the trainer through the programme, explains the theoretical business concepts, and provides instructions to be given to participants
  • Step-by-step instructions for how to run the simulation
  • All other materials for the simulation
  • Learning activity work-cards for participants

2. Money Planner

Money Planner challenges participants to draw up financial statements using the costs and sales data generated by the business simulation.

2.1 Participants:

  • build a cash-flow statement based on the transactions conducted during one month of business.
  • create an income statement to reflect their profits (or losses).
  • create a balance sheet to reflect the growth (or contraction) in the value of their simulated businesses.

This is an invaluable tool to empower employees to grasp the impact of their own productivity on their company. Money planner also challenges participants to draw up a personal budget.

3. Business Planner

Building on the experience of the Business Simulation, Business Planner challenges participants to apply thirteen business planning concepts to their experience of the simulation.

Participants then use the same concepts to write a business plan for their own business (or business idea). Participants take away their own simple business plan for a micro or small business

3.1 Planning Concepts

  • Business strategy
  • Business partners
  • Features and benefits
  • Customers
  • Competitors
  • Promotional plan
  • Fixed Costs
  • Variable Costs
  • Pricing and Margins
  • Profitability
  • Break-even
  • Cash flow
  • Profit and loss

4. Business Ideas Generator – BIG

The BIG is a creative brainstorming module for the development of new product and service ideas.

4.1 The Business Ideas Generator (BIG):

  • is designed primarily for people who want to start a business but haven’t yet decided on a business idea.
  • challenges participants to identify opportunities for products and services based on:
  • their skills;
  • the networks of people they know;
  • activities they enjoy;
  • places they know well;
  • individuals whose needs they understand.

5. Plan It!

This is a thorough course in business plan development for business loan applicants who need to write a business plan in order to secure a business loan.

Core learning materials include a range of case studies which show participants samples of good and bad business plan pages.

Participants combine their experience of the business simulation with their discussions and criticisms of these virtual business plans.

In this way they discover how each business planning concept affects a business, and what kind of thinking is required to write the content of their own business plans.

Master Plan recognizes that the business planning process is non-linear. It is designed to challenge participants to consider an issue today and to make and record preliminary decisions in light of current knowledge. But it is also designed to challenge participants at every step in the process to reconsider earlier decisions in light of newly discovered information, knowledge and ideas.

The BluePrints are effectively a comprehensive set of assignments which demand mindwork (thinking), legwork (research) and paperwork (recording of answers to questions and research findings).

This 74 page book of blueprints directs participants to do all the mind work and leg work required to complete a comprehensive business plan.

5.1 The Entrepreneur

  • Commitment
  • Competence
  • Character Assets

5.2 The Enterprise

  • Market Need
  • Customers
  • Competitors
  • Situation Analysis
  • Estimates

5.3 Marketing

  • Positioning
  • Promotion
  • Location
  • Distribution
  • Price

5.4 Operations

  • Start-up Plan
  • Production Plan
  • Operational Plan
  • Accounting
  • Costing

5.5 Financial

  • Breaking even
  • Profitability
  • Cash Flow
  • Assets & Liabilities
  • Capital & Collateral

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