Creating a Company

This module takes you through the steps for creating a own company: identifying objectives, creating a misson statement, market research and analysis, business letter writing, marketing/advertising plans, and evaluation of your plans.

 

Track Industry Mission Stmts. Business Plan Marketing Advertising
Inventories Pricing Strategy Business Letters Evaluate Company Evaluate Writing

 

Assign students to small groups depending on their interests, and have them create a company. You could ask them to select a popular product from their native country that does not exist in the United States and to market it here. This exercise could take a month or more, but since the activities are not lock-stepped, you can pick and choose as you wish and make this a short one week project.

Many of these activities come from BizEd's virtual factory: a case study on a balloon company. BizEd is a fantastic resource! It provides teacher guides with full explanations of business functions for those (instructors or students) with little or no business background. Student worksheets can be printed and distributed in class. Each worksheet comes with a teacher's version complete with answers. Even if you do not use the activities below, I promise that you will profit from taking a look at BizEd website!

A. Tracking the Health of the Industry

Here are some sites that will be helpful for tracking the health of the industry or type of business they decide to create, to help them decide which individuals, and geographical territory, they will target.

Dismal Scientist Packed with statistics! Economic profiles on any zip code in the U.S., Daily updated economic indicators, interesting articles on current trends.
U.S. Census Bureau For stats on American people, businesses, and geography.
EFL/ESL Business World Money Matters contains a list of world currencies, currency converter, and a conversion table for the Euro.

B. Identifying Objectives and Preparing Mission Statements

Send students to BizEd to look at the Mission Statements of some real life companies OR print out a few mission statements and distribute them in class. Students can use those as a model for creating their own statements and objectives. For a good contrast in mission statements see the Body Shop, Unilever, and British Petrole.

SECTIONS D, E, F, AND G USE ACTIVITIES FROM BIZED'S VIRTUAL FACTORY. This is a valuable resource! Each contains complete lesson plans. Click here for an Instructor's Itroduction to the site, then follow the steps in each section below:

C. Developing a Business Plan

Visit The Business Plan worksheet (instructor version). Some small adjustments need to be made for students who wish to market their product in the U.S. since this site was created for Brits. The student version of the worksheet can be found here.

D. Introduction to Marketing/Market Research and Analysis

1) Go to the Theories section. Here you will find links to marketing segmentation, The marketing mix, and the product life cycle.

2) Next visit the Marketing Explanation section. (You may or may not want to go into the details of finance.)

3) Visit the Market Segmentation section for instructors. Bascially, this is a "completed" worksheet that is based on the reading students did in the above sections. (There is a link for printing the student version of this worksheet.) It also provides follow-up questions that can be used in classroom discussion or for essay writing.

4) Go to the 4 Ps of Ballooning. You'll find the same type of question/answer pages as in the Market Segmentation section.

SOURCES FOR RESEARCH that students can use to find information about their industry or similar companies:

Computer Mediated Marketing Environments Extensive bibliography hyperlinked to cited works.
Academic Marketing Journals and Magazines Bonus: online sources are noted, altho most are not online.
Advertising World The ultimate marketing communications directory by U of Texas.
Hitbox's Statmarket Global internet market data. Sign up to receive free internet market news via email.

ADDITIONAL LESSON PLANS FOR MARKETING ACTIVITIES that you may want to use in class:

Consumer Behavior Project Designed by Dr. Richard Easley Great outline of materials to be covered in a long-term student project on consumer behavior. Very thorough.
Market Research Project Another by Dr. Easley on market research, detailed instructions.
Integrated Marketing Assignment by Dr. Carolyn Siegel on Integrated Marketing. Questions hyperlinked to the resources containing information and answers.

E. Creating a Marketing/Advertising Strategy

Before getting started, you may want to do some analysis of advertisements in the classroom to make students aware of some creative strategies advertisers use. Take some ideas from the lesson plan called Writing an Ad to be found at Dave's ESL Cafe.

Now take advantage of BizEd's comprehensive Advertising for Fun section, a more business-oriented approach. It includes:
Basic Marketing Tools information sheet
A Lesson Plan for Instructors with lots of links to the information you'll need, as well as links to two  student worksheets: the Basic Marketing Tools worksheets and the Advertising Campaign sheets.

F. Learning about Inventories. (stocks is a synonym not to be confused with financial stocks)

Use the BizEd explanations and worksheets:
What are stocks?
Theories & Further info about stocks.
Worksheet on stocks

G. Pricing Strategy

Pricing Strategy Game by Amit Pazgal. A free game for downloading.

H. Writing Business Letters

Business Letters 100 business letters on line. A great way to see how to write polite letters in English for just about any business occasion.
Purdue Writing Lab Guides and samples for writing memos and report abstracts.

I. Evaluating Companies

Have students make presentations of their companies to the class. I suggest they create their own website and publish all written materials, charts, and/or graphics on the internet. This may motivate them to work harder, since they know their materials will be accessible.

J. Evaluating Student Writing

Penn State English Dept Grading standards by which student papers can be evaluated. Great guide for students as they write and useful for having them evaluate each other's work for peer feedback.

To other Business English pages: