Introduction to Business - 198

                                        Summer 2007



William Wresch, Ph.D.

(920) 424 – 4151 (office)

College of Business Administration

(920) 231 – 2789 (home)

Clow Faculty 231

800 Algoma Blvd

Oshkosh, WI 54901



Course Objectives

  • To provide students with an introduction to the management of businesses. 
  • To prepare students for additional courses in business, should they decide to continue learning about business.
  • To help students determine if business is a subject they wish to pursue.



Ebert and Griffin, Business Essentials, Fifth Edition, Pearson/Prentice-Hall. (This text  is highly recommended, but not required)


Course Activities and Grading

We will begin each evening with a quiz, and end with a quiz.  So you will want to read assigned chapters carefully before coming to class.  You will also be put in a group of 2-3 students to develop a business plan for a business idea you have.


Course Activities

100 points - Individual quizzes – 5 quizzes worth 20 points each

100 points – Team quizzes  - 5 quizzes worth 20 points each

200 points – Midterm exam

250 points – Comprehensive final

250 points – Business plan – 80 points for each of the three sections, plus 10

points for the presentation of the plan.

  50 points -  Resume assignment

  50 points – on-line participation

1000 points total


Grade Cutoffs

93%    930 points      A

88%    880 points      A/B

83%    830 points      B

78%    780 points      B/C

73%    730 points      C

68%    680 points      D/C

63%    630 points      D

Less than 630 points F


All grades will be posted to D2L within 48 hours.


                                                Weekly Schedule





June 11

  • Course Introduction. 
  • Economic theory
  • Competitive strategies


Chapter One

Web site


June 18

  • Business Ownership
  • Organizational Design.
  • Professional development – resumes, internships, and the job search

Chapter 3

Chapters 5 & 6



Initial Business

  Concept due

June 25

  • Operations management
  • Cost accounting

Chapter Seven


Web site


Business Plan –

  part 1 due

July 2

  • Financial accounting

Chapter 13

Midterm Exam

July 9

  • Financial accounting review
  • Human Resource decisions
  • Financing a Business

Chapter 13


Chapter 8


Appendix I


Business plan –

  part 2 due

July 16

  • Essential record keeping
  • Marketing a product

Chapter 12


Chapter 10& 11


July 23

  • Project presentations


Business plan –

  part 3 due

Final Exam


A Note about summer Classes:  Be careful.  We have 7 weeks to cover the same material that is normally covered in 14 weeks.  You will have the advantage of having fewer classes to concentrate on during the summer, but the time still goes by very quickly.  If you fall behind, there will be little opportunity to catch up. 


Before you come to class, read the textbook pages assigned, and read the materials on the course web site (  We will start every class with a quiz.  Also watch your email.  Your teammates may need to contact you, and I may need to contact you regarding assignments.


Also note – this class has an Internet component.  We will meet each Monday evening to discuss the course materials.  I will also expect you to actively participate in the on-line component of the class during the rest of the week.  You will access this on-line component by using the Desire – 2 – Learn (D2L) web site at


Log in using your campus ID, and then scroll down to see the course. 


You should assume that you will be spending 3 hours each week in class, 3 hours each week on-line, and 6-10 hours each week reading the text, preparing for exams, and writing the business plan.


The Business Plan Project

An important element of Business 198 is the Business Plan Project.  It will require a great deal of work on your part, but we believe it will have several important benefits for you:

·        It will be an opportunity to apply many of the business concepts and skills taught in this class.

·        It will give you some initial practice in working in a business team.

·        It will give you a work product you can show to any potential employer.

·        It may help you launch a business.

To help you prepare your business plan, there are many suggestions in the course textbook, but a better resource is the Small Business Administration, a government agency that supports entrepreneurs.  Their web site for business plans is:

You will find many example business plans there, and you will find background materials to help explain aspects of business.

Another site you will find helpful in doing research about Wisconsin business opportunities is county population estimates for the next 25 year.

Another site you will find helpful in doing research about business opportunities is the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.  It will tell you about wages for various jobs, the availability of workers in various parts of the country by occupation, and business costs.  (It is also a good place to find the current version of Occupational Outlook Handbook which tells you what the odds are of finding a job in various fields, and what you can expect to be paid).

The project you will be creating for this class will be completed in six parts.  Each has its own due date.  Here is the schedule and a description of the parts.

NOTE:  For each of these assignments, include a cover sheet that names the members of your team, and explains what percentage of the total work was done by each member of the team.  Also, since each assignment builds on previous work, include previous sections with each new assignment.  These assignments will be graded based on completeness, specificity, and professionalism.

1.  Overview.  Due at the beginning of class, June 18.  In one single-spaced page answer these questions:

  • What service or product does your business provide and what needs does it fill?
  • Who are the potential customers for your product or service and why will they purchase it from you?

NOTE:  While bars and “clubs” are legitimate businesses, I have never had a student group propose such a business and pass the course.  There is something about such businesses that seems to make groups ignore the obvious and use very poor business judgment.  Therefore, be warned, that while you may select this type of business, it probably will lead to your failure in the course.

2. Plan part 1 - Your competitive Position (80 pts) Due at the beginning of class, June 25.  In three to five single-spaced pages answer these questions.

  • How will you organize and operate your company?
  • What equipment will you need?
  • Describe the production process for a product, or the delivery process for a service. 
  • How will you connect to suppliers or distributors? 
  • How will you measure quality? 
  • Conduct a SWOT analysis for your plan – use supporting data, not just your group’s opinions (this is a good time to check the BLS web site).
  • Evaluate the industry you are planning in terms of Porter’s five competitive forces.
  • Which of the generic competitive strategies will your business pursue.  Why?


3. Plan – part 2 - Accounting and Human Resources (80 pts) Due at the beginning of class, July 9.   In six to eight single-spaced pages include these sections of your business plan:

  • Estimate the production costs of your business -- with a breakeven analysis.  This should be done in a table, with a page of explanation indicating why your approach is likely to be profitable (including the number of sales required for profitability and your reasons for expecting those sales to materialize). 
  • Create a balance sheet and an income statement that you expect to see at the end of your first year in business.  Make sure your balance sheet balances, and that your income statement includes all expenses (don’t forget rent and the payments you need to make on any loans).  Explain both statements and provide reasons why your estimates are likely to be correct.
  • Identify by job titles the jobs you will need to fill to run your organization.
  • Write a job description for one of those jobs.
  • How will you recruit individuals to staff your organization?  What criteria will you use to select who to hire?  What training and compensation systems will you implement?


4.  Plan – Part 3.  Financing your business and marketing your goods or services (80 pts) Due at the beginning of class, July 23.  In five to eight single-spaced pages explain these parts of your business:

  • How much money will it take to get this company up and running for the first year, and where will you get the money?  Connect your financing strategy to accounting information you created in the last part of the plan.  How much will financing cost you?  Why would someone give you money for your business?
  • Make a list of the records you will need to keep for your company.  For instance, what customer information will you need?  How will you record receipts and expenditures?  What will you do with that information? 
  • Describe your marketing strategy for your company, completely identifying each market segment you will target and the 4Ps you will use. 

5. Presentation (10 pts) July 23.  You will create a PowerPoint Presentation of 12-18 slides that describes your business, how it will be organized, why it will be profitable, to whom you will market, and how the business will be financed.  Print the slides and append them to your final business plan.  Also bring a disk to class so that your team can make a five-minute presentation to the class. 

6. Complete Business Plan.  July 23.  As you resubmit assignments 1-3 and the new assignments 4 & 5, add a cover sheet with a short summary of your business plan, and a table of contents.  This final copy should look like something you might want to show a potential employer during a job interview.  Also, email a copy of the plan (all sections) to so I can grade it online.

Plagiarism.  A large number of business plans are available on the web.  Feel free to review them for ideas.  But if you copy any portions of those plans, every member of the team will receive an F in the course.