“Content Milk Cows”
The task is to prepare a written proposal for a CFO and CEO for their determination of whether a proposed project should be approved. It is not a marketing document for a customer; it is not a research paper, but rather an applied exercise using the concepts of the course.
A case entitled “Content Milk Cows” and a spreadsheet containing a data block for the case are provided. If a difference is found between the case and the data block, use the data block version. Some example reports from previous semesters will be posted.
Submit any questions in the Project discussion.
The suggested approach and relevant content are as follows:
Create an income statement.
Create a cash flow statement,
Calculate appropriate criteria,
Perform modeling analysis (based on week 10 content)
Prepare the report noting the charge given Andrew at the end of the case.
Review and refine, including a TurnItIn review
Submit the financial analysis as a MS Word document and Excel spreadsheet(s) in the assignment area of the course room (not in a discussion topic). Submit the final report no later than the end of week 11
The final report should be 8-12 pages in length. The report should include a cover page, an executive summary, and the proposal. A table of contents is not necessary. The length limit of the report includes the cover page, executive summary, the proposal and appendices if any. . The length does not include the separate Excel workbook. A length more than 12 pages will be penalized. The grading criteria is quality, not quantity.
While relevant financial statements should be in the Word document, condensed versions are often sufficient. A complete set of statementsshould be submitted in a separate Excel file.
Since this is a project for preparing a financial proposal for a CFO/CEO rather than a research paper, APA format is not required. There are not a required number of references. But there is a requirement, inherent in all writing, that if the creative work of others is used it must be cited.
Submit your finished paper to TurnItIn. Directions for TurnItIn are posted in the Turnitin discussion topic. This is required. Although students must do the submission to TurnItIn and can make multiple submissions to remove problem areas, the results will be retrieved from the TurnItIn site by the professor when the paper is graded. That is, do not submit the TurnItIn report.
Tom Sant (2004), in his book Persuasive Business Proposals, includes the following comments concerning business proposals.
First and foremost, focus on the reader, their background, and their needs from the report. Do not include any verbiage that a CFO and CEO already know, and especially not anything that tells them how to do their job.
The focus must be on the project and its relevance to the company, not you the writer. It is not a resume. Therefore, formal business proposals should not contain personal pronouns like “I”, ‘me” or “we”.
The short executive summary provides the information that the executive uses to decide whether to read any more than the summary. Focusonly on what he/she needs to know up front. Get right to the point in the first sentence. State up front the benefits of the proposal with the most important first. This includes results of evaluation criteria (financial and non-financial). Executives use this up front evaluation to decide whether to continue reading and it is referred to as an executive summary for this reason. They immediately need to know what problem will be addressed and the criteria and their results.
The body of the report contains the details that support the claims stated in the executive summary. Use data to support any claims and show how conclusions were made.
A conclusion of about a page should repeat much of what was in the executive summary, but is stated to reflect the information in the report. Do not request executives to call you with questions as they of course will do that if needed. Rather in the conclusion, summarize the potential, risks, and what the organization needs to do next, including any deadlines.
Make it compelling…
Reference: Sant, T., Persuasive Business Proposals. AMACOM, 2004.
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