0897 Understanding Business/Business Planning
Dr. Michael König, MBA
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
11/25/22 to 11/28/22
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Bachelor Programs
Day Date Time Room
Tuesday 11/29/22 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.002
Thursday 12/01/22 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.002
Tuesday 12/06/22 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.002
Tuesday 12/13/22 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.002
Thursday 12/15/22 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.002
Tuesday 12/20/22 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.002
Thursday 12/22/22 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.002
Tuesday 01/10/23 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.002
Thursday 01/12/23 01:00 PM - 03:30 PM D5.0.002
Thursday 01/19/23 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.0.10 Audimax

We will delve into the very core of the entrepreneurial DNA. Learning from best and worst cases, we will explore the foundations needed by any successful entrepreneur, using varied learning technologies, ranging from formal lectures to entangled exercises. We will experience the enigma of entrepreneurial success from manifold perspectives.

We will employ sound theory and practice insights for turbulent, uncertain, novel and ambiguous settings in an increasingly AI and digitalized world. We will talk about the entrepreneur malgré lui, passionate and with a deep understanding of what a "business" really is, in the 21st century.

This course is meant to give you a business vademecum for forthcoming challenges and for your future in management practice. Afterwards, some of you will be longing to fulfill their entrepreneurial drive. But even if you will never create a venture on your own, which is absolutely fine, you will certainly be marvellously equipped with a thorough understanding of a business and know what it means to do reasonable business planning in turbulent times. You will hence be exposed to the essential elements of business administration from an entrepreneurial perspective, divided into five main sections:

I.    De Initiis: Founding real Companies, not just fancy Start-up's

  • Introduction to the course
  • Business Models and Business Plans
  • Turning rich or becoming king? Fundamental decisions and founder's tradeoff
  • The expanded life cycle of a company
  • How to start and why legal structures are important

detailed content tbc

II.   History and Histrionics: Analysing the Past of an Enterprise

  • Financial statements (income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement)
  • Financial statement analysis (break-even analysis, ratio analysis, cost accounting)
  • Issues in cash flow management along the life cycle of a company
  • The experience trap and other fallacies
  • How it all hangs together (an entrepreneurs' cockpit for financial and cost accounting)

detailed content tbc

III. There is more than meets the Eye: Experiencing the Present of an Entreprise

  • Crunching the numbers for investment opportunities (static and dynamic decision making, quantitative cases, opportunity costs and portfolio decisions).
  • Raising capital (debt and equity financing, crowdfunding and alternative approaches)
  • The entrepreneurial finance matrix
  • How to deal with harsh decisions!

detailed content tbc

IV.  The Pattern that Connects: Creating the Future of an Enterprise

  • A primer on market analysis and segmentation
  • How to conduct a strategic swot analysis and re-visit it throughout the life cycle of a company (static versus dynamic, the toolbox, filters and decision making, qualitative and quantitative inputs)
  • Simple scenario analysis (probabilistic scenarios)

detailed content tbc

V.    Entangled Futures: Synthesizing the Past, the Present, and the Future of an Entreprise

  • Strategic Foresight along the life cycle of a company (tame, wild, feral futures for the start-up, vuca, tuna and further)
  • There is no such thing as a life cycle
  • Welcome, Artificial Intelligence!
  • Bringing it all together: A take on the entrepreneurial DNA

detailed content tbc

Learning outcomes

Students gained insight on how to translate a new business idea into a business model and a business plan and how to carry out business planning as an ongoing activity in a dynamically evolving business. Students understand Business Planning as a continuous process of reviewing progress on business goals and targets as well as setting new goals and targets (related to strategy, marketing, production, financing, organization design) for a viable development of the business while considering the interests of involved stakeholders.

More specifically, the learning outcomes are:

  1. Students gained first insights on how entrepreneurs spot market opportunities for new businesses, and how such opportunities are exploited.
  2. Students have understood business planning as the process of determining a commercial enterprise’s objectives, strategies and activities to ensure its viability from the perspective of all involved stakeholders
  3. Students are able to apply basic business planning techniques and they understand how these techniques relate to each other in enabling professional business planning:
  • Students know how to conduct simple market analysis (market size, segmentation, trends, market growth, product life-cycle)
  • Students can apply simple strategic/competitive analysis tools
  • Students know the most common types of legal structures of businesses and why their choice is important
  • Students know the basics of how to obtain debt and equity financing for a new or an established business
  • Students can translate planned business activities into planned/projected cash flow and income statements
  • Students are able to do simple breakeven analysis
  • Students understand how different planning/forecasting tools (sales forecasts, cash flow forecasts, planned operations) relate to each other.

Attendance requirements

This is a core course in the first semester. It is recommended to attend all classes. There is, however, a minimum attendance of at least 8 out of 10 (80%) classes in order to pass the course successfully. Please inform the course lecturer well in advance of your absence.

Teaching/learning method(s)

This course is held as a formal lecture, combined with guest lectures, inverted classroom elements and group assignments as well as pre-readings and online tasks.


Mid Term Poster Presentation: 30%

Final Written Exam: 45%

Insights book: 20% 

Participation during classes: 5% (Remarkable People Series)

Total = 100%

All parts must be achieved, there is no re-sit for individual parts (PI).

Students will be provided with slide sets, reading and other materials in advance of the respective lecture modules I to V. Everything will be available via learn@wu.

Please note: It is NOT necessary to purchase any of the recommended books. They are intended to serve as additional reading for those who want to deepen their knowledge on the topics covered. We will deal with some of their contents, but you will find them ALL on the lecture slides and on the additional material, however.

Excellent (1): 87.51%<100.00%
Good (2): 75.01%-87.50%
Satisfactory (3) 62.51<75.00%
Sufficient (4) 50.00%<62.50%
Fail (5) <50.00%

Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

Ideally, you have already passed the introductory phase of the programme. So, bring an open mind and enthusiasm :)

1 Author: Rogers

Entrepreneurial Finance: Finance and Business Strategies for the Serious Entrepreneur

Publisher: McCraw-Hill
Remarks: Excellent introduction to the finance side of the equation
Year: 2014
Recommendation: Reference literature
Type: Book
2 Author: Miller-Nobles/Mattison/Matsamura

Horngren's Financial & Managerial Accounting

Publisher: Pearson
Remarks: Everything you need to know as an entrepreneur about financial and managerial accounting
Year: 2018
Recommendation: Reference literature
Type: Book
3 Author: Bhimani/Horngren/Datar/Rajan

Management and Cost Accounting

Publisher: Prentice Hall
Remarks: For those who want to go one step further
Year: 2015
Recommendation: Reference literature
Type: Book
4 Author: Johnson/Whittington/Scholes/Angwin/Regnér

Exploring Strategy: Text and Cases

Publisher: Pearson
Remarks: All you need for strategy, in one book
Year: 2017
Recommendation: Reference literature
Type: Book
5 Author: Tetlock/Gardner

Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction

Publisher: Crown Publishers
Remarks: A good primer on forecasting
Year: 2015
Recommendation: Reference literature
Type: Book
6 Author: Ramírez/Wilkinson

Strategic Reframing: The Oxford Scenario Planning Approach

Publisher: Oxford University Press
Remarks: The art of scenario analysis, from probabilistic to plausible scenarios
Year: 2016
Recommendation: Reference literature
Type: Book
7 Author: Osterwalder/Pigneur

Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game-Changers, and Challengers

Publisher: Wiley
Remarks: This is a classic on business models
Year: 2010
Recommendation: Reference literature
Type: Book
8 Author: Ries

The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Publisher: Currency
Remarks: An alternative view on how to start
Year: 2017
Recommendation: Reference literature
Type: Book
9 Author: Gassmann/Frankenberger/Csik

The Business Model Navigator: 55 Models That Will Revolutionize Your Business

Publisher: FT Prentice Hall
Remarks: A lot of models assembled in a nutshell
Year: 2014
Recommendation: Reference literature
Type: Book
10 Author: Hisrich/Ramadani

Effective Entrepreneurial Management: Strategy, Planning, Risk Management, and Organization.

Publisher: Springer
Remarks: There will be a new editon early 2019
Year: 2017
Recommendation: Reference literature
Type: Book
Availability of lecturer(s)

Course instructor: Michael König

Course tutor: tbc

Last edited: 2022-06-07