Posted: March 12th, 2023

feed back on a business plan

 this is a business paper and this part is the action plan. please read and add neccesary ffeedback

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2. What part(s) of the paper are the least effective?

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4. List the major points of support that demonstrate the paper is evidence-based.

5.  Which sentences or paragraphs seem out of order, incompletely explained or otherwise in need of revision?

6.  Where are citations needed?



DWELL Business Plan

Ryan T. Rasmussen

Department of Business, UMass Global

BUSU 640: Capstone

Professor Ginger Silverman

February 26, 2023

Section 1

Executive Summary

Dwell is a general contracting company founded in April 2023 by two individuals with extensive knowledge and proven building experience in the residential construction marketplace. The firm specializes in accessory dwelling units (ADUs) utilizing refurbished shipping containers as the backbone of their models. Dwell provides prefabricated, modular ADU designs that are faster to build than traditional stick build construction. More importantly, Dwell provides a comprehensive turnkey process that includes customized home site reviews, design options, engineering and plan development, agency permitting, and complete building construction.

Located in the heart of Orange County, Dwells facility is based in Santa Ana, California where it serves its clientele in Orange, Los Angeles, and Riverside County. Dwell was set up as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) with Ryan Rasmussen owning 73% of the company with the remaining 27% being owned by Frank Berry. As primary owner, Ryan Rasmussen will serve as Dwells President where he brings 18 years of construction experience as a residential builder and land developer. With over 40 years running a successful general contracting business in Orange County, Frank Berry will serve as CEO where he will provide financial assistance and a network of relationships in the industry. Dwells owners will be supported by six key employees that will oversee various capacities within the organization.

In a state that is in the middle of a housing crisis, accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are one clear choice that California homeowners now have where state legislature zoning reforms have removed barriers as it pertains to their development. Since 2019, an ADU revolution has begun where “ADU permits issued across California increased from almost 6,000 in 2018 to more than 15,000 in 2019” (Chapple et. al, 2020, p. 5). With minimal land opportunities for large housing developments, California has the potential to build 1.5 million accessory dwelling units to hit their housing shortage head on.

By combining this housing crisis with softening zoning regulations, Dwell looks to enter a relatively new ADU housing market where homeowners are looking for multi-generational living, remote office space, and long-term rental income investments. These three key drivers will allow Dwell an opportunity to capitalize on this market while offering sustainable and unique building concepts through the use of shipping container designs. By building with a purpose, homeowners who choose Dwell are provided with a turnkey investment that saves them time and money while minimizing their carbon footprint through sustainable design. With four unique and customizable model designs that are factory built, quality control yields are much higher than traditional stick build construction that is often delayed by weather, workable light, and noise ordinances. With work from home assignments becoming more of the norm, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented a lucrative business venture for upstart ADU builders looking to provide customers who have the capability of working from home but need remote office space. Furthermore, ADUs now provide California homeowners a new opportunity to expand their current home site without paying more for homes located on the suburban fringes that come with high price tags, increased tax rates, longer work commutes, and separation from their existing neighbors and loved ones.

Dwell will enter the Orange County ADU market relatively lean in order to minimize initial startup expenses. Initial capital of $750,000 will be funded by both owners with an anticipated break-even point within eighteen months of launching its business. By providing high-quality ADU models with exceptional service that meet or exceed schedules and budget, Dwell anticipates achieving a majority of the Southern California modular ADU market by its third year in operation. More importantly, Dwell has the staff and warehouse space to double its production units between year one through year three. Based on these growth patterns, opportunities for warehouse expansion and the addition of specialized positions will be added as Dwell moves from the launch phase to the growth phase.

Section 11

Action Plan

Prior to the start of a business, a comprehensive action plan is an important planning guide where leaders begin to manage time lines in a manner that aligns goals and tasks towards a specific purpose. Prior to starting Dwell, it’s owners identified a specific need to help combat the California housing crisis through designing, building, and selling sustainable accessory dwelling units (ADUs). A strategic business plan was carefully crafted as the owners began to prove out the feasibility of their business. Dwells action plan was formulated to establish business milestones, consider competitive advantages amongst its competition, confirm their target market, verify the validity of its assumptions, determine if the venture is feasible, consider financial needs, and to weigh its decisions against various opportunity costs. Through these processes, a formal business plan was formulated in the goal of building a profitable business within a span of three years. Dwells analysis was crucial to effective decision making prior to their business launch where repositioning and fine tuning was made to ensure that the business was launched in the most effective manner. Having a plan and process, Dwells business owners “are better equipped to prepare for the future” (Chron, 2020, para. 1).

As an experienced construction professional, Mr. Rasmussen began exploring ADU design options due to limited housing options he encountered as a seasoned home builder. He discovered through various meetings with City planning departments, that an overwhelming emphasis was being placed on ADU housing options for new developments. Upon further research of softening legislature, rising housing prices, and growth in the ADU market, Mr. Rasmussen began formulating a plan for a new business enterprise. With the understanding that this venture would take a significant amount of capital, he began reviewing his innovation with Mr. Berry who has successfully built and managed a construction company for over 30 years in the Southern California residential market. It was during this innovation review process that a partnership was formed and a timeline was put in place to launch their company at the beginning of 2024.

Looking at available capital, both owners began formulating an estimate surrounding anticipated startup costs. As one article states, “before you undertake any venture, you have to have an approximation” of what it will take financially to get your business started (Carlson, 2019, para. 8). Over the course of one month, Mr. Rasmussen began sourcing loans through a home equity line of credit and his 401(k) to provide additional cash in addition to the $400,000 that both owners sourced from their personal savings accounts. As financing was established, Dwell filed their Articles of Organization as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) where the business was registered through the Secretary of State at More importantly, an operating agreement was completed between both owners to ensure that the operating controls of the LLC were defined which included the roles of both owners. The written operating agreement ensured “that each member abides by the rules, and help mitigate any issues or misunderstandings that can arise” (Nelson, 2020, para. 8). Once Dwells legal entity was finalized, they moved forward with registering their business license and contractor’s license with the Department of Industrial Relations.

The next key step towards successfully launching Dwells startup, is a great website. Dwells owners have a 2-month goal to select a website developer in order to design and launch its website by July 2023. Dwells domain name selected is which is important for search engine optimization. This domain name is relatively short and easy to spell allowing for potential clients to remember and type more easily. Wix will be utilized when building Dwells website which according to Website Builder Expert, rates a 4.8 out of 5 when it comes to their research on available features and usability (Carney, 2023). Utilizing a website builder like Wix is important based on its affordability where finances are limited while also having the ability to create an attractive design with built-in SEO. Another key feature that Wix provides is the ability to build in scheduling features where potential clients can set up site review meetings whenever a feasibility study is needed for their property.

Approximately 6 months prior to launching Dwells first production ADU unit, securing office space with warehouse capabilities will be necessary in order to begin staff interviews and tenant improvements required for operational purposes. Through the assistance of Dwells commercial real estate broker, they were able to finalize a lease on a 5,800 SF industrial building located in Santa Ana, CA (LoopNet, 2023). During this same timeframe, Dwells owners will begin contacting various existing and new building product suppliers to solidify pricing for future ADU units. It’s during this part of their action plan that Dwells owners will establish their Supplier Relationship Management (SRM). SRM is vital to Dwells growth and future performance as a business. By fostering relationships within Dwells supply chain, they can benefit from more consistent growth, lower risk of supply chain problems, less chance of disputes, happy suppliers, and improved planning (Causeway, 2022).

As Dwells tenant improvements (TI) are completed at their new office space, equipment, tools, and office furniture will be purchased to support future staff and operations. Due to the overall weight of each shipping container, a Gradall lift will be purchased. Purchasing a lift presents advantages over leasing since this equipment will be needed daily throughout the year to maneuver the ADUs within their warehouse. In addition, Dwell will purchase office furniture and business equipment which includes computers, plotters, and printers for staff and their design studio. In an effort to minimize initial office furniture costs, CA Office Liquidators will be utilized to source reception and lobby work stations, desks, seating, tables, and file cabinets at their location in Orange County. As the TIs are completed, Dwell will showcase their logo and signage which will be placed on their business and vehicles as another method of marketing their company.

By July 2023, Dwells website will be launched in an effort to begin their marketing campaign so that interested customers have access to their interactive website. This website is also necessary so that potential staffing candidates are able to visit Dwells website to learn more about its owners, purpose, mission, and vision. In addition, Dwells website will provide a comprehensive breakdown of their products and their processes by which each ADU is built. Their website will also provide easy access to contact information along with a career link to learn more about joining their team. At the same time, Dwell will secure a social media consultant to drive brand awareness through Facebook and Instagram. Hiring a consultant initially is important so they can be the “eyes, ears, and voice of the company online” (Shandrow, 2013, para. 1) while the owners focus on their action plan to successfully launch the business. Dwell will specifically target a consultant who is familiar with the home building industry and who may have connections with other influencers in the industry. Depending upon Dwells growth rate, an outside consultant will be utilized until it is determined that a full-time position can be created in house via their marketing department.

Within two weeks of its website launch, Dwells owners will begin placing advertisements for potential candidates to join the Dwell team. Interviews are anticipated to occur within two weeks of placing employment ad’s where Dwell will be seeking to hire an office administrator, design coordinator, superintendent, and foreman. Once a superintendent and foreman are on-boarded, additional interviews will be conducted for two laborers. These in-person interviews will be conducted with the input from both the superintendent and foreman to ensure cohesiveness since these individuals will be managing these laborer positions directly. To ensure Dwell implements a strategic workforce plan, they will work diligently to meet with individuals who they believe share the mission and vision of its owners. As a startup, potential candidates will quickly learn that joining the Dwell team means worker empowerment, participation, and the commitment to developing and building superior products (Cascio, 2019). By on-boarding team members three months prior to launch, Dwell is able to work through any operational challenges prior to launching by January 2024.

With an active website and successful social media marketing launch, a comprehensive marketing campaign will begin targeting Dwells target market throughout Orange and Los Angeles County. Leading up to Dwells marketing campaign, its owners have been working on a well thought-out marketing plan that utilizes several different marketing channels in order to reach its customer base. Prior to launching its marketing efforts, tremendous amount of time has been involved in identifying who their customers are, what they are interested in, and what drives them to products such as Dwells. With the use of an outside marketing consultant, Dwell will begin launching their initial marketing campaign utilizing direct mail marketing ads throughout Santa Ana, Orange, Tustin, and Costa Mesa where home lots allow enough space for ADU additions. With a limited marketing team, Dwell plans to utilize MailShark for their initial direct mail marketing needs. Utilizing MailShark allows Dwell to increase potential sales with a limited budget where they can focus on their operations while these direct mail campaign experts provide the professional guidance needed to expand Dwells brand name. At the same time, Dwell will implement SEM and SEO marketing utilizing an outside marketing consultant. Utilizing Slicebread (SB) for Dwells SEM and SEO marketing needs, providing a digital marketing presence three months prior to launching will be critical in capturing new business. With limited financial resources, SB provides month to month contracts which is essential to ensure Dwell is not locked into lengthy contracts if the value is not reciprocated. SB provides an audit to ensure “that your entire operation is in line with Google’s best practices so that everything is primed for optimal success” (Slicedbread, 2023, para. 5). Lastly, Dwells owners will attend the Maxable ADU event which is Southern California’s annual expo that highlights the latest in ADU design.

As Dwells marketing campaign is released, procuring long-lead inventory will be necessary to ensuring materials are available at the time new contracts are signed. With supply chain constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Dwell will secure electrical, plumbing, stacking sliders, and solar panels that are long-lead times. By having these inventory items on hand, Dwell will be positioned to start their initial projects without any delays to customer schedules. By turning around projects more quickly, Dwell will be able to open up space within their warehouse to start new projects that otherwise could be delayed by projects that have difficulty in product procurement.

With two months before launch, Dwell and its social media marketer will begin running social media experiments to test out how well their marketing is reaching its target market. In an effort to determine whether or not Facebook, Instagram or Houzz is driving potential growth, Dwell will approach this testing based on what the industry calls growth hacking. Growth hacking “involves throwing a bunch of proverbial spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks” (Dodds, 2022, para. 21). This approach to Dwells social media marketing will help them benefit by determining which channels are connecting with their potential customers. Dwell will use this time prior to launch to define their key performance indicators (KPIs). One strategic KPI that will be monitored is how often their digital media posts are shared which is important to raise awareness of their brand. Dwell will also be able to determine how well their search engine optimization is progressing based on how many people are clicking through their website and the length of time each person stays on their site. Lastly, Dwells digital marketing campaign will also begin to look at traffic-to-lead ratio. As one article puts it, “establish your current ratio, and monitor if it changes after every site update and throughout your campaign” (Barsegyan, 2020, para. 17).

As Dwell approaches the last month before product launch, the owners and staff will meet to go over any last remaining details to ensure everyone is on the same page. During this meeting, all team members will be provided a voice where they will be able to provide clarity where both strengths and weaknesses may be known within their operational workflows. “You don’t want to be solving problems you don’t understand on the fly” (Forbes Agency Council, 2017, para. 17). In order for Dwell to be successful, all team members must be set up for success as they eagerly await their product launch. Dwell will also utilize their team to meet and discuss supply needs with their key vendors and suppliers in an effort to re-communicate Dwells strategic plan. By getting everyone on the same page, Dwell will use this last month to unify all their stakeholders to ensure a successful product launch.

With inventory on hand, staff in place, and new customer contracts finalized, Dwell will solidify their product launch with a team dinner to celebrate the Dwell story. Dwells owners will utilize this time to affirm each of their employees and to thank them for their trust and partnership with providing the most sustainable accessory dwelling unit on the market in Southern California. Ultimately, this final celebration meeting will be conducted to reassure the goals and vision of the company so that each member of their team has a full picture of what Dwell does, why they are bringing this product to the market, and how they get to be part of the growth and building of this unique business. In an effort to summarize Dwells action plan, the following exhibit provides clarification surrounding each actionable item, due date, responsible person, and discussion points.

Action Item

Date Due

Person Responsible


Innovation study by Principal owner


Principal owner

Finalize strategy to communicate business opportunity 

Review innovation with potential business partner


Principal owner & potential partner

Communicate plan to business partner

Determine capital funding, secure loans



Review financial sources, Start loan application process

Create legal entity & operating agreement



File Articles of Organization as LLC

Register business license and State contractor’s license


Principal Owner

Register business with Department of Industrial Relations

Create interactive website


Owners & Website developer

Officially launch website by 7/1/23

Secure office space and warehouse



Finalize lease terms, begin tenant improvements

Contact new & existing suppliers – secure materials pricing


Principal Owner

Communicate plan and supply needs to existing suppliers

Purchase equipment, tools and office furniture/supplies



Set up office in preparation of staff interviews

Launch website, secure social media marketing expert


Owners, Website developer, 3rd party social media expert

Meet and create ad’s for Facebook, Instagram

Place employment ad’s and network 6 potential industry candidates



6 positions needed

Interview candidates


Owners & Superintendent

Interview candidates

Hire and on-board candidates 


Owners & Superintendent

Hire candidates

Business advertising begins


Owners & 3rd Party marketing rep

Launch direct mail, magazine ads, signage, attend trade shows

Order inventory and attic stock


 Principle Owner, Admin & Superintendent

Order long-lead standard options

Social media posts


Marketing consultant

Drive visibility through social media ads

Pre-launch operations meeting


Owners and personnel

Ensure operations are on track for launch date.

 Review material procurement with supply chain


Owners & Superintendent

Reconfirm product availability, make changes as necessary

Final meeting before launch


All staff & owners

Confirm everything is ready to go for launch date.

Section 12

Conclusions & Recommendations

Based on the financial projections associated with this business opportunity combined with a California housing market that is desperately in need of new housing opportunities, Dwell is a business that should be pursued as a viable product launch. With financial backing from a seasoned contractor with years of supply chain and residential building relationships, Dwell has tremendous upside when it comes to sustainability and revenue growth. With a financial break-even point at eighteen months and a positive net income of $347,276 by the end of year three, Dwell will have the necessary cash flow to reinvest in their operations, marketing campaigns, and develop new product ideas based on customer feedback and industry trends.

As cash in-flows begin to exceed cash outflows, Dwell will be able to increase its 8% of revenue marketing budget to hone in on its strategic marketing campaigns. Depending upon the viability of its outside marketing consultant team, Dwell may be poised to create its own internal marketing and sales team as it benefits from consistent positive net income. By its third year in operation, Dwell will have the portfolio and experience its needs to market to new team members in order to expand its business while providing its owners the capacity it needs to focus on product development. During the first three years in the ADU industry, Dwell will prioritize relationship building across all facets of their business inclusive of all their stakeholders. Most importantly, Dwells success will require a position of growth and speed with regards to the number of ADU units it produces each year. These variables will need to be met and maintained without jeopardizing its quality and craftsmanship that customers in Southern California require.

Lastly, Dwell presents an innovative ADU housing design through the use of refurbished shipping containers that are finished with energy-efficient and sustainable finishes that meet current and future Title 24 building requirements. These competitive advantages are positioned well where homeowners continue to search, vet out, and select builders who are driven and focused on sustainability measures. With a product that is prefabricated, Dwells ADUs offer its clients a cost-effective and easy to install ADU model that traditional stick build homes can’t offer. In fact, one article insists that “new technologies such as panelized and modular construction, shipping container homes” will be at the forefront to ADU designs (Horgan, 2022, para. 11). Looking ahead, Dwell presents a wonderful opportunity to enter a niche ADU market that is still in its infancy stage with respect to the latest California legislation. With a sustainable product that provides endless multi-generation housing options, rental opportunities, and home office space, Dwells four models are positioned well as it launches its product in 2024.


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