Keep the business case simple, so other’s will understand
No one ever said it was easy to write a successful business case. Whether you are starting a new business, struggling with drought, securing funding for expansion or a new product launch, there will always be asking yourself if the whole project is worthwhile. Instead of giving up, keep your head up and look for your business case to inspire and motivate you during the rough patches.
Writing a business case can seem like a daunting task. It is an easy task to keep avoiding until it is needed and you have to scramble. If you need to prepare a business case, start today with a few well-chosen headings. When the business case is required you are ready to go, so start putting your thoughts down now. And of course, go with confidence.
A business case should be a compelling and credible tool which projects the rationale, justification, credibility. It should also include financial information and other business consequences of your business decision.
A business case should address the question“What happens if we take this action and where are the business benefits, costs and risks”? It should give decision makers and stakeholders holders and decision makers understanding and confidence to act.
A simple, but a well thought out business case can make all the difference between a project’s success or failure.
Essential topics might include
- Describe the case. Write a clear and concise purpose statement. Outline the vision and objectives and how these align with the strategy. What must be delivered to meet the goals must be identified along with important benefits. Describe the current business situation and what success of the project will mean.
- Outline the scope of the project. Explain how the project will be controlled and managed. Identify decision makers, critical success factors and the stakeholders who will be accountable. Show the growth or outcomes which will follow as a result of a successful implementation. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will be important.
- Identify the risk management process. Identify potential weaknesses and threats and outline contingencies should they be required. Explain how implementation and ongoing operations will be managed and monitored. Explain the process to warn stakeholders should the schedule slip, or cost overruns threaten. Identify competitive forces and any potential employment issues.
- Support for the business case. Will there be any partnerships and alliances involved? Discuss their level of commitment. What technology will be utilised?
- Provide financial justification. What are the funds and resources you are seeking? Include a cost-benefit analysis and return on investment analysis for the Include cash flow projections with financial metrics such as ROI. Explain the methods for estimating costs, and describe how they will keep within the budget. Identify payback period if appropriate. Explain the process for advising stakeholders any risks or expense overruns.
Be careful not to over-engineer your business case. Simplicity is better than complexity.
Never let your business case confuse investors
Keep in mind investors do not have lots of time to read and one-page can get your idea across quickly and succinctly. When investors want more information, you can be sure they will ask for the detail they need. In fact, you can take this as a positive sign of their interest.
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right”. Henry Ford
“I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. Maya Angelou