Business Planning – Development & Analysis Programme

Projects, Business & Management

Course Info

Duration: 2 Weeks

Available Dates


Course Details

Course Outline

10 days course




  • Why do we need a business plan
  • Plans to start a new project or venture
  • Plans to encourage an investor or business partner
  • Plans to obtain finance, government funding or grants and incentives
  • Plans that help manage the business better
  • Plans that measure actual performance compared to what was planned
  • What do business plans look like
  • How long is “long enough”

What Can Plans Accomplish?

  • Highlight aspects of the business that need special consideration
  • Identify core competencies and weaknesses
  • Identify weaknesses and threats to the business
  • Steer towards new opportunities
  • Help to understand your competitors
  • Assist with operational structure planning
  • Assist with using financial resources more efficiently and ultimately more profitably
  • Identify critical management capabilities
  • Identify human resources availability, capacity and any gaps


Business Plan Components


  • Commence with objectives, scope, statement of the problem or remit
  • Executive Summary
  • Report Body
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations
  • Supporting papers
  • What order is best for the above


Business Plan Contents


  • Does it focus properly on the recipient
  • What is the style, experience, purpose and expectation
  • What is the report’s objective – is it clear
  • What are the readers’ expected knowledge, intentions, seniority
  • What is the report meant to achieve
  • Are there any sensitivities
  • What is expected of you as the reader


Analysing The External Environment of the Firm


  • Does the Business Plan cover this in detail
  • What are external issues
  • Economic
  • Financial
  • Institutional
  • Regulatory
  • Reputational
  • Competition
  • Barriers to entry
  • Existing players
  • New entrants
  • What is the USP
  • On-demand or Committed
  • Raising Debt
  • Raising Equity
  • Equipment Funding – various possibilities
  • Infrastructure funding
  • Property funding
  • Project finance
  • Trade finance
  • Syndications


Financial Analysis of The Plan and Its Creator


  • Funding requirements
  • Financial Projections – at least three years and subjected to a full conventional analysis
  • Full set of previous accounts and balance sheets
  • How recent are the figures
  • Management or audited
  • What are the assumptions made
  • Is there a margin of safety
  • Do the figures make sense, appear realistic and seem convincing
  • Cash flow projections
  • EBITDA and other key ratios
  • Leverage and gearing
  • Any mezzanine element
  • How much and for how long
  • Debt or equity or a hybrid
  • How much “skin in the game” has the client invested
  • The macro-environment
  • Existing capital structure
  • Proposed “new” capital structure
  • Rights of various parties
  • Inter-creditor and where applicable tripartite agreements

Analysing the Corporate and Business Strategy Set Out in the Plan


  • What is the “mission statement”
  • Are the objectives clear
  • What is the corporate strategy of the business
  • What time scale; short medium or long term
  • How will success be benchmarked
  • Who will drive the vision and who will implement it
  • What is the business strategy
  • How will business goals be achieved
  • Are they realistic
  • Who will accomplish this
  • How will success or failure be measured
  • Does it make sense
  • Do you have confidence that both objectives can be achieved
  • What does progress so far and the track record to date tell you


Industry Analysis – What does The Plan Cover


  • The current state of the industry
  • The target market
  • Reference materials
  • Spreadsheets
  • pie charts
  • bar graphs
  • Other relevant data.
  • Historical data about the nature of the industry
  • Growth potential based on economic factors and conditions.
  • A list of the major competitors in the industry
  • A brief summary of their operations and similar products or services.
  • A summary of the nature of the industry
  • Specific information and statistics about growth patterns, fluctuations related to the economy and income projections made about the industry.
  • A forecast for the industry.
  • Data and industry predictions for the next five, 10 and 20 years.
  • Government regulations that affect the industry.
  • Is there a Competitive Analysis and Unique Selling Proposition as well as data for the direct and indirect competition
  • Is there a realistic list potential stumbling blocks.


An Analysis of Management


  • The board and the non–executives
  • The Chairman and the CEO
  • Senior Management
  • For both the above
  • Track record
  • Reputation
  • Skillsets
  • Age and Experience
  • Qualifications
  • Previous roles
  • The risk/reward proposition
  • Can they make it happen in your view
  • Is there a disconnect
  • Does all management buy-in to the Plan
  • Were key players consulted
  • What is your experience of dealing with the team
  • What do your existing respected clients say about them
  • What is the industry view
  • Is the chain of command optimal
  • Flat or top-down or bottom-up style
  • What is your view of them
  • If there are any meaningful doubts, walk away


Target Market in the Plan


  • What is the target market
  • Is there a group of customers that have a similar need for the product or service
  • Will those potential clients buy the product
  • Is the business satisfying an existing need or creating a new product
  • Demographics analysis
  • Geographic analysis
  • Psychographic analysis – Why do they buy?
  • Behaviouristic: What makes the target clients decide to do business with you
  • Can this be achieved
  • What is the evidence to date
  • What have competitors done

Competition Analysis


  • Who are the most important competitors?
  • What are their main strengths and weaknesses?
  • How can this business be different?
  • How can the product or service be more competitive?
  • What are competitors’ pricing policies?
  • How do these affect the projected sales strategies?
  • Are main competitors and their estimated market shares listed and understood?

Human Resources & Operations in the Plan


  • What is the existing Management Structure
  • What management tools are used
  • Who actually runs the business
  • How many people are employed and will be employed (Full Time / Part-Time)
  • What types of skills and/or experience are already in place.
  • What is needed
  • What training will the workforce require to be able to meet the future plans?
  • What measures will be adopted to ensure employee loyalty?
  • Incentives & compensation systems – will they help drive value creation
  • How soon will it be necessary to expand the workforce?

Implementing the Plan


  • What Balanced scorecard will be used
  • Is it tried and tested and fit for purpose
  • Change management capabilities
  • Key drivers
  • Key responsibilities
  • KRI’s & KPI’s
  • How will success be measured
  • What will the early warning signs be
  • Who will have strategic control and oversight responsibility
  • What MI or data will be made available to enable stakeholders to review progress