Is Planning to Win for You?

Planning to Win is for people who are the best in their field, or are planning to be.
This Guide is for you if your project is complex and challenging. You may need to raise equity capital and/or a bank loan. You may be planning a new venture (if you are very brave). You may want to win a competitive government grant or loan (if you are very patient). You may be planning a joint venture or a new export business. Perhaps you need to show your parents you can take over the family business – and succeed. Or you may want to write the best business plan in your management course or workshop.

What’s in Planning to Win?

Planning to Win describes all the things you need to consider to prepare a really good, professional business plan.

It has four sections:

  1. The basic Guide to writing the plan, in six parts
  2. A “model” business plan
  3. A tutorial that explains in detail how to prepare the financial spreadsheet model
  4. The financial spreadsheet model – available free as a Microsoft Excel

To see what’s in these four sections, and the six parts of the Guide, click here.

THE GUIDE

The six parts of the Guide to business planning and financial modelling are:

Part 1 – Business Planning Basics

  • The purpose and benefits of business planning
  • Planning, management, and the planning process
  • Expected results, understanding your audience, and planning your plan

Part 2 – The Introductory Chapters

This part describes each of the introductory chapters of a business plan, including:

  • Introduction
  • Background
  • The products and services to be offered, and their markets
  • An optional chapter on technology – your intellectual property and R&D program
  • A strategic analysis of the business, from which is derived the competitive advantage and objectives of the business you plan to build

Part 3 – Operations Plans

Operations plans include, at least:

  • People (or Organisation) plan
  • Sales and marketing plan
  • Production (or service delivery) plan
  • Management plan

Part 4 – The Financial Plan

Describes the financial forecasts set out in the financial spreadsheet model, including:

  • Capital expenditure forecast, leading to a summary of assets and loans
  • Profit and Loss forecast
  • Cash Flow forecast, and
  • Balance Sheet forecast

Part 5 – Structuring the Deal

This section of the business plan presents perhaps the most interesting aspects for both the author and the reader – for the owner(s) and potential investor(s). It includes discussion of:

  • The amount of new investment sought
  • Possible forms that investment might take
  • Valuation of the business
  • Returns on investment to both the owner(s) and investor(s)
  • An analysis of the risks inherent in the project, and
  • How to structure a proposed deal for new investment

Part 6 – Presentations

  • Planning and marketing
  • The Executive Summary
  • Polishing the plan
  • Personal presentations

Novel features in Planning to Win

Planning to Win is different – very different – from your average text-book or “how to” guide on business planning.

It is idiosyncratic – meaning its style reflects my 25 years practical experience in business planning, and the joys and frustrations of working with clever (sometimes difficult) people. Every section is illustrated with examples (like this) of what does happen in the real world.

It is rigorous. It demands the highest level of excellence applied to every element of the planning process. It hopefully demonstrates that rigour in its explanation and examples.

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Most textbooks and guides on business planning tell you what you should include. Mine tells you how to do it – in specific detail applied to every part of the business planning process.

Planning to Win sets out a novel but practical approach.

  • It encourages (and illustrates) a style of writing that is clear, concise and free of jargon and exaggeration. That is what professional readers prefer, and what influences them positively. The written plan shows the excellence of your planning.
  • The financial model that underpins the plan – and which it describes – is of the highest professional standard, yet it is unique to your particular business or project. It instils among those who review it a quiet confidence in your ability and competence.
  • Your whole approach to “marketing” your proposal is based on understanding the needs of your readers – not just promoting you, your project or your technology.

Planning to Win proposes and shows you how to implement many aspects of business planning and financial modelling that I have not seen in other texts or guides:

  • It gives specific advice on how to ensure that all changes made to your financial spreadsheet model – by you or your reviewers – flow through to the “bottom line”.
  • My approach to risk analysis is novel for SME business plans (though widely used in financial modelling). It estimates the effect on the results from changes to all the key variables in the financial model. It can now be easily performed on PCs. It results in sensible estimates of the likely variation in results – such as returns on investment,
  • It took me many years to make much sense of popular management theories – from Management by Objectives to SWOT analysis and key performance indicators. I hope my discussion of strategy development at the end of Part 2 at last achieves that.
  • The tutorial on how to build a financial spreadsheet contains many practical tips – from my experience of constructing dozens – that should save you lots of time.
  • My suggestion that the structure of an equity investment “deal” can be based on a sensible split of returns on investment between owners and investors provides a different and defensible approach to what is often little more than horse-trading.

How to get your copy

Planning to Win is available in e-book format from Apple or Amazon, or in hard copy or e-book format from me at gp@gordonpender.com