writing a business case

Writing a Business Case: What It Is and How to Write

Last Updated on July 7, 2023 by IS Back Office

Writing a business case is an important step in presenting a well-structured argument for a specific business opportunity or project. It outlines the rationale, benefits, costs, and risks associated with the proposed initiative.

Business Case Essential Learning Points From This Episode

Remember to tailor the business case to your specific audience and organization. Use clear and concise language, and provide sufficient evidence and justification to support your arguments. Additionally, consider seeking input and feedback from relevant stakeholders before finalizing the business case.

  • One Size Does Not Fit All
  • Write a Detailed Plan from the Start
  • Do Your Homework
  • Stay Motivated
  • Take Advice and Insights from Others

Business plans are unique to each organization and initiative. While there may be common elements and structures that are typically included in a business plan, such as an executive summary, company description, market analysis, financial projections, and operational strategies, the specific details and content of a business plan will vary based on the nature of the business, industry, target audience, and goals.

business road map
A Business Plan serves as a road map to keep you on track and avoid losing focus.

Each business plan should be tailored to the specific needs, objectives, and characteristics of the organization and the particular initiative or project being presented. The content and level of detail within each section of the business plan will depend on the intended audience, whether it is an internal document for stakeholders within the company or an external document for potential investors or lenders.

Overall, business plans serve as a road map for an organization’s future and are unique to the specific circumstances and goals of the business. It can help you avoid losing focus on why you started your business in the first place.

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Key Business Case Takeaways

  • Start With an Executive Summary
  • Seek Out Opinions and Advice
  • It is Easier With Help
  • Be Prepared to Learn Something New

To help you create a comprehensive business case, here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Executive Summary: Provide a concise overview of the entire business case, highlighting the key points and the recommended course of action.
  2. Introduction: Introduce the business problem or opportunity that the case aims to address. Explain the background and context, and clearly state the objectives of the proposed initiative.
  3. Description of the Initiative: Provide a detailed explanation of the initiative, including its purpose, scope, and how it aligns with the overall business strategy. Describe any deliverables, milestones, or major activities involved.
  4. Market Analysis: Conduct a thorough analysis of the market, industry trends, and competitive landscape. Highlight relevant data, market size, growth potential, and any other factors that support the viability of the initiative.
  5. Benefits and Value Proposition: Clearly articulate the benefits the initiative will bring to the organization. This could include increased revenue, cost savings, improved efficiency, competitive advantage, or other strategic advantages. Quantify the expected benefits wherever possible.
  6. Cost Analysis: Estimate the costs associated with implementing the initiative. Break down the costs into various components such as capital expenditures, operational expenses, and any ongoing maintenance or support costs. Consider both upfront and recurring expenses.
  7. Return on Investment (ROI): Calculate the projected return on investment and payback period for the initiative. Compare the expected benefits against the costs to demonstrate the financial viability of the project. Use relevant financial metrics such as net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) to support your analysis.
  8. Risk Assessment: Identify and evaluate potential risks and challenges associated with the initiative. This could include market risks, technical risks, regulatory risks, or any other factors that may hinder the success of the project. Provide mitigation strategies for each identified risk.
  9. Implementation Plan: Outline the high-level plan for implementing the initiative. Include key milestones, timelines, resource requirements, and dependencies. Describe the necessary steps and actions needed to successfully execute the project.
  10. Stakeholder Analysis: Identify and analyze the key stakeholders who will be impacted by the initiative. Assess their level of influence, interest, and potential concerns. Develop a stakeholder engagement plan to address their needs and gain their support.
  11. Conclusion: Summarize the main points of the business case, emphasizing the benefits, costs, and risks associated with the initiative. Reiterate the recommended course of action and highlight the expected outcomes.
  12. Appendices: Include any supporting documents, data, research, or additional information that may be relevant to the business case. This could include financial statements, market research reports, technical specifications, or other supplementary materials.

Finally, the level of complexity, market analysis, financial projections, and strategic considerations included in a business plan may differ depending on the stage of the business.

For example, a startup business plan may focus more on market research, funding requirements, and growth strategies, while an established company’s business plan may emphasize financial performance, operational efficiency, and expansion plans. Of course, getting help from us is just a simple click away.

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