Everyone has a plan for their business. For many owners, the plan is just in their head. Few businesses prepare a formal business plan unless they are forced to, usually to raise money. If you need to do that, I can help.
A formal business plan is just a budget with words. For a detailed, professional plan – suitable to submit to a professional investor – the “budget” is an integrated financial model. It includes forecasts for Profit & Loss, Cash Flow and Balance Sheets. It quantifies all the key assumptions and can use them – and their likely variability – to estimate the risk inherent in the result, usually the rates of return on funds invested (or to be invested) in the business.
The text of the business plan simply describes the business and the results of the model. It should be a comprehensive but brief document – practical, believable and compelling. It must demonstrate a good understanding of the audience to whom it is directed.
Many professional investors are ill-informed, often arrogant, with little real practical understanding of business. The venture capital industry has been the weak point in the commercialisation of innovation in Australia since the 1980s. You need a good business plan to “sup with the devil”. You also need a sound plan to manage and control your business.
I have been a business plan consultant since 1983. In that time I have worked with some great Aussie entrepreneurs from whom I learnt a great deal about how business works, and should work. I developed a rigorous methodology for business planning. It is outlined in my book, “Planning to Win – a guide to business planning and financial modelling” – see Planning to Win
My business planning services include writing business plans for SMEs, especially business plans for raising venture capital; general help with business plans and business planning; and writing business proposals for other purposes
Raising Risk Capital
Business Plans which have raised risk capital totalling more than $20 million include:
- Business plans for Lang’s Meats to build a new abattoir and to buy an existing one
- Financial modelling for a financial services consortium including Macquarie Bank
- $3 million for S.D Reid and Sons to grow Japanese variety cherries in Tasmania
- A $2.9 million government grant to support Netball Tasmania’s strategic plan
- $2 million in equity for Strathclyde Pty Ltd from NSW Investment Corporation
- Start up equity and bank loans for Parle Foods Pty Ltd and a grant for expansion.
- Commonwealth Development Bank equity funding for Bidgee Valley Produce
- A grant and an Austrade loan for Fletcher International’s wool processing plant
- Two capital raisings plus government funding for Cowra Export Packers Limited
- Innovative Agricultural Marketing Program loan for Glenmore Exports Pty Ltd
- Business Victoria establishment grant for Cedenco Australia
- loan finance for restructuring the trust which owns Namoi Rural Traders
- $0.4M equity, $0.4M loan and $0.2M grant for Huon Valley Mushrooms
- a government grant for expansion and job creation for Retorque in Tamworth
‘Due Diligence’ and Business Analysis Reports
I have also worked for those who provide risk capital for small businesses – I have walked “both sides of the street”. That included reviewing many business plans prepared by others.
Gordon Pender and Company reviews business plans and investment proposals, and prepares other business analysis reports, for a number of finance providers including:
- Contract investment management of unlisted equities for Australian Ethical Investment Limited
- Due Diligence reports for CVC Investment Management’s various funds
- Investment appraisal report for Deutsche Asset Management
- Investment recommendation report for van Eyk Capital
- Reports on loan recipients for NSW Department of State Development
- Preparation of Commercial Referee’s reports on applications for R&D Start loans
- Preparation of Commercial Referee’s reports for Austrade concessional loans
- Review of economic development plans in Broken Hill for NSW Premier’s Dept