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By W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne

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The planning team It goes without saying that one person must be tasked with full responsibility for leading the planning team. Not a team of two or three with equal responsibility, but one manager, backed up by an email from the managing director delegating responsibility to that person. In a small business or start-up, of course, that ‘manager’ will be the owner, you! indd 18 25/08/15 4:01 pm 1 ■ Essential preparation 19 One person must take charge, not only for purposes of assembling all the data and analysis to be fed into each chapter, but also for ­establishing a consistent, coherent style and message throughout the main document.

Each of these businesses may have a substantial turnover. Each business will serve a number of different product/market segments, some more profitable than others. indd 24 25/08/15 4:01 pm 1 ■ Essential preparation 25 to the backer – and to relegate those that do not matter as much to appendix status. A business currently turning over £100,000 and forecast to reach £275,000 in three years’ time is ripe for an upbeat business plan and backers may be queuing up to get involved. But if that business is part of a large company with a turnover of £100 million, it may well reside in the appendix.

Risks to such unambitious forecasts must be extremely unlikely. I worked in an investment bank for a number of years and had many a memorable session with credit officers. One thing never ceased to amaze me. No matter how conservative you are in your downside case, the credit officer will always go a shade or two more c­ onservative – no matter how unlikely. So be prepared, and well-armed with the counterargument. A business plan for board approval The majority of business plans fall into this category.

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