Small Business WebQuest

Step 1 || Step 2 || Step 3 || Step 4 || Step 5 || Step 6

Take charge of your future....You'll be shocked at the results!

If you can't find work, why not create your own job! In our own area, where there aren't many well paying jobs for young people, you could be the solution to the unemployment problem. You may have the key idea that starts a small business which not only provides you with a job and an income, but also provides employment for others in our area.

Your task is to get creative, use your imagination, and dream up a unique small business that you think could work (survive, flourish, make a profit) in this area. Using a variety of resources, you will need to look at the information available to determine whether your idea would work or not. Proving that your idea would not work may be just as valuable as proving it would work.

Your final product will be a PowerPoint presentation that describes the business you proposed, the information that you found supporting it, and a short business plan.


Step 1

The most important part of this assignment is your creative idea. I know that sometime in the last few years you have said "you know what business this area really needs?". Now is your chance to take a virtual step at creating a small business. Your first step is to complete the following statement:

"The area I live in really needs a __________________, because..."

Be specific. List the reasons that this area needs the type of business you are proposing. If you are having a hard time thinking of an idea visit the IdeaCafe website for a look at what others are doing.


Step 2

Now do some dreaming about this small business. Complete the following statements, as best you can right now, to help you better visualize your business:

My business is called:

The main thing my business will do is:

Customers will choose my business over my competitors because:

My business is located at:

The operating hours of my business will be:

My business will have this many employees:

Per year, I think my business can earn:

Per hour, I would like to pay my employees:

I would describe my business logo as:

The slogan I answer the phone with will be:

When writing a report, you might use note cards to keep track of information that you find. For this WebQuest it will be very helpful for you to keep a MS Word WebQuest journal to record your information. During your research, and before each class period ends, save the information that you have found into this journal. Your journal will be turned in to your teacher when you give your presentation. Check with your teacher to see what format is required for submitting the journal (print, floppy disk, server folder, etc.) The journal will count as 5% of your grade.


Step 3

There are many internet sites available to assist you in being successful in a small business. Visit the Small Business Administration's website and carefully read the following pages. Record your answers to the questions in your WebQuest journal. Many of the questions that you need to answer will be useful for your PowerPoint presentation.

Four easy steps to starting your own business

Read all of these FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

FAQ #1 FAQ #2 FAQ #3
FAQ #4 FAQ #6 FAQ #15
FAQ #17 FAQ #23 FAQ #28
  FAQ #31  

Getting discouraged with all of the details and requirements? Don't let it get you down. Remember that you may have THE unique idea that this world is waiting for. Your drive and independent nature will take you far. A lot of the other details will fall in place once you get going. Take a break and read one or more of these articles about creative entrepreneurs who have gone far.

The Bargain Hunting Entrepreneur

Art Outfitters

Doing Well by Doing Good

Snack Machines with a Personal Touch

There is nothing stopping you from doing something like that too! Reading about the unlikely success of other entrepreneurs may help you to develop the persuasive arguments for your presentation.

If you are really getting into this and need more information, then check out the Detailed information about starting your own business



Step 4

First, carefully read about the need for business plans. Then you need to go to the text version of the "Business plan roadmap to success". Print this file out. Although this is a large amount of information, it will be very beneficial to you if you can work your way through the material. There are several sections that are in worksheet format. Filling in these pages will greatly help you to get a vision of what your business will need.

These items will have information that you will need to include in your PowerPoint presentation:

Marketing Plan

  • What makes your product/service unique?

  • Why would people go to you instead of your competitors?

  • Who is your target market?

Financial Plan

  • Include a monthly cash flow statement with explanations

  • How much money are you going to need and what will you do with it (be specific)?

Look here for an index of sample business plans. Read through a couple that are close to your business idea. What can you learn from what they have included?



Step 5

How much do you really know about the businesses that are in your area? Look through these links to get a better understanding of what people do around here:

Don't forget to look through the local and county phone books, and the local newspaper want-ads for existing businesses.



Step 6

Your final task is to put all of the information that you found into a persuasive PowerPoint presentation. Click this link if you need to see a tutorial on how to create a PowerPoint presentation. Your goal is to convince the banker (your teacher) to loan you the virtual dollars to start your business. Virtual dollars are able to be converted to points if so desired (conversion rate subject to fluctuation of the economy). The top three (of all students participating) viable business ideas will be funded.

Review the following rubric for an idea of how your presentation will be graded.












Fonts & Graphics


Very few slides created. No variety. No graphics used.
Fonts used straight from template. No variety in font sizes. Little or no graphics used.
Font used may not be easily legible. Font sizes vary slightly from slide to slide. Graphics are included.
Fonts used are appropriate for the topic. Font sizes are consistent throughout. Graphics used enhance presentation.


PowerPoint Goodies

Animations, sounds, and/or transitions are not used.
Animations, sounds, and/or transitions are used ineffectively and/or annoyingly.
Animations, sounds, and or transitions are used adequately.
Animations, sounds, and/or transitions are used very effectively.



Multiple spelling and/or grammar errors.
Several spelling and/or grammar errors.
Few spelling and/or grammar errors.
No spelling and/or grammar errors.


Flow of Ideas


No logic to order of slides. Lack of intro, body, or conclusion.
Presentation is choppy. No attempt at idea transitions.
Presentation flows from intro to conclusion. Slight roughness in idea transitions.
Presentation flows logically and very smoothly from intro to conclusion.


Business Idea


No idea presented.
Idea has been done before.
Interesting idea which may or may not be possible. Idea tried before, but presented in new manner.
Incredibly unique and possible idea.


Supporting Details


No data presented to support or reject business idea.
Little data to prove that business idea is/is not possible.
Some data to prove that business idea is/is not possible.
Large amount of data to prove that business idea is/is not possible.



No attempt to persuade viewer of business idea. I don't think so.
Slight attempt to persuade viewer of business idea. I'm not so sure.
Fairly persuasive presentation of business idea. I'm convinced.
Very persuasive presentation of business idea. I'm really convinced and want to invest in this.



No conclusion of WebQuest experience.
Weak conclusion that considers parts of the WebQuest experience.
Adequate conclusion that sums up most of the WebQuest experience.
Strong conclusion that sums up entire WebQuest experience.


Teacher Page

Note: This WebQuest meets many of the California Challenge Standards for Career Preparation - Business Education; item 6 - Entrepreneurship.

Page last updated: 04/10/2001