FBLA Business Plan


fblaBusiness plans are an effective tool for evaluating, organizing, and selling a new business concept. A well-developed business plan can be a key component of a successful business start-up. This event recognizes FBLA members who demonstrate an understanding and mastery of the process required in developing and implementing a new business venture.

FBLA Eligibility

Each state may submit two (2) entries created by an individual or by a team of two (2) or three (3) FBLA members from active local chapters, on record in the national center as having paid dues by March 1 of the current school year. No more than one (1) FBLA team member may have competed in this event at a prior NLC. The project must not have been submitted for a previous NLC.

FBLA Overview

This event consists of two (2) parts: a prejudged report and a performance component. Participants are required to complete both parts to be eligible to win an award. A prejudged report should be developed based on a proposed business venture or current business operation. All participants will give a preliminary performance to explain the development of the business plan.

Report Content

Business plans must not have been in operation for a period exceeding 12 months before the NLC. Reports should not be submitted that evaluate ongoing business ventures. An effective business plan should include the following information:

  • Executive Summary. Provides a brief synopsis of the key points and strengths included in the plan. Convinces the reader to read the rest of the report.
  • Company Description. Includes the basic details of the business. Provides an overview of the business, its location, and its legal structure and organization.
  • Industry Analysis. Provides an analysis of the larger industry to which the business will belong. Analyzes key trends and players in the industry. Demonstrates an understanding and awareness of external business conditions.
  • Target Market. Provides a brief overview of the nature and accessibility of the target market.
  • Competitive Analysis. Includes an honest and complete analysis of the business’ competition. Demonstrates an understanding of the business’ relative strengths and weaknesses.
  • Marketing Plan and Sales Strategy. Demonstrates how the business’ product or service will be marketed and sold. Includes both strategic and tactical elements of the marketing and sales approach.
  • Operations. Provides an overview of the way the business will operate on a day-to-day basis. Includes production processes, physical facility reviews, use of technology, and processes followed to ensure delivery of products or services.
  • Management and Organization. Describes the key participants in the new business venture. Identifies the human resources the business can draw upon either as part of the management team, employee pool, consultants, directors, or advisers and the role each will play in the business’ development. Discusses compensation and incentives and details decision-making processes.
  • Long-Term Development. Gives a clear vision for where the business will be in three, five, or more years. Demonstrates an honest and complete evaluation of the business’ potential for success and failure. Identifies priorities for directing future business activities.
  • Financials. Indicates the accounting methodology to be used by the business. Discusses any assumptions made in projecting future financial results. Presents projections honestly and conservatively.
  • Appendix. In addition, many business plans include copies of key supporting documents (e.g., certifications, licenses, tax requirements, codes) in an appendix. Other examples of these types of documents might include letters of intent or advance contracts, product technical descriptions and/or illustrations, endorsements, and the like.

Report Guidelines

  • Report—General
  • Student members, not advisers, must prepare reports.
  • Two (2) copies of the written plan must be sent by the state chair/ state adviser and received by the national center for judging by the second Friday in May.
  • Reports submitted for competition become the property of FBLA-PBL, Inc. These reports may be used for publication and/ or reproduced for sale by the national association and will not be returned.
  • Penalty points will be given if the written project doesn’t adhere to the guidelines.
  • Report Cover
  • Report covers must be cover stock, index stock, or card stock and include both a front and back cover.
  • Report covers are not counted against the page limit and may contain other information unless they are cut out.
  • Covers may not be in plastic binders, be laminated, or have a plastic sheet overlaying the printed cover.
  • No items, such as labels or decals, may be attached to the front cover. Two- or three-ring binders are not acceptable report covers.
  • Cutout cover stock covers are allowed, but the page containing the cover information is included in the page count.
  • Front cover contains the following information: name of student(s), name of the school, state, name of the event, and year (201x–1x).
  • All reports must be bound (e.g., tape binding, spiral binding).
  • Report Contents
  • Table of contents with page numbers.
  • Follow the RATING SHEET sequence in writing the report. If information is not available for a particular criterion, include a statement to that effect in the report.
  • Pages are numbered and must be on 81/2” x 11” paper. Each side of the paper providing information is counted as a page.
  • Pages must not be laminated or bound in sheet protectors.
  • Reports must not exceed 30 pages. (A title page, divider pages, and appendices are optional and must be included in the page count.)
  • Copies should be sent rather than important documents. No items may be attached to any page in the report.

Performance Guidelines

  • Preliminary Performance
  • The top ten (10) entries—or an equal number from each group—will advance to the final round. The report score will be used to break a tie.
  • Five (5) minutes will be allowed to set up and remove equipment and presentation items. The chapte must provide all equipment for the presentation.
  • Visual aids and samples related to the project may be used; however, no items may be left with the judges or audience.
  • The individual or team members must perform all aspects of the presentation (e.g., speaking, setup, operating audiovisual equipment). Other representatives of the chapter may not provide assistance.
  • Individuals or team members are expected to actively participate in the performance.
  • Individuals or teams will have seven (7) minutes to describe the project and the results obtained.
  • A timekeeper will stand at six (6) minutes and again at seven (7) minutes. When the presentation is finished, the timekeeper will record the time used, noting a deduction of five (5) points for any time over seven (7) minutes.
  • Following each presentation, judges will conduct a three (3) minute question-answer period.
  • Preliminary performances are not open to conference attendees.
  • Final Performance
  • The final guidelines are the same as the preliminary guidelines described above; and the final performance is open to conference attendees who are not performing participants of this event.

Report Competencies

  • Identify the business
  • Provide information on market, analysis, organization, and development of the business
  • Write report in appropriate business style
  • Demonstrate correct spelling and grammar

Performance Competencies

  • demonstrate good verbal communication skills
  • articulate need for the proposed business
  • explain process of preparing a business plan
  • identify obstacles for the owner or business
  • explain lessons learned
  • effectively answer questions

NBEA Standards Reinforced by Event

  • Accounting: accounting process, financial statements, special applications
  • Career Development: workplace expectations
  • Communication: foundations, organizational, technological
  • Economics and Personal Finance: markets and prices, managing finance and budgeting, protecting against risk
  • Entrepreneurship: management, business plans
  • Management: business organization, financial decision making
  • Marketing: consumers and their behavior, marketing plan

Career Clusters: Business Management and Administration; Finance; Marketing

HV FBLA – We Know Business Plan

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