Browsing Archive: November, 2010

Business Planning – why is a good business model critical?

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, November 25, 2010, In : Business Model 

A business model explains to the reader what all the elements of your business are and how they fit together.  The business model, of outlined correctly can also make clear on a single page, what the business does, what its core cost based might be, what its products are and how it can earn revenue from its activity.

Business models are often not well described in business plans.  Many standard business planning templates do not even have a section where the business model can be outlined an...


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Business Planning – how should I handle financials?

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, November 25, 2010, In : Financials 

One of the most important yet challenging components of a business plan is the financial section.  Many first time business planners are overwhelmed by the prospect of converting their business intentions into financial analysis.  For many business plans, this section is often provided by a consultant or financial service provider (eg. Accountant).

Pro-forma financial worksheets are another option.  This option requires a basic level of understanding of financial concepts.  Some times the ac...


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Don’t let words get in the way when preparing your business plan

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, November 25, 2010,

Many first time business planners have the following issues in preparing a business plan:

·         Deciding on the document structure that best suits their business and planning requirements

·         Writing an executive summary

·         Waffling about their businesses that obscures the core messages to the reader

·         Understanding where to start with the financials

The core problem with the standard business planning process is that it is open ended.  Even templates don’t...


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What is Hyper Question Based Business Planning?

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, November 25, 2010, In : Hyper-Questions 

After years in senior level consulting positions, and creating hundreds of business plans, we have found the secret to a successful business plan.  The critical business planning secret, is asking the right questions.  As the business founder, you need to be asking the questions that an investor, banker, potential partner, or customer would ask.

Whilst a high grade consultant can assist you by asking these questions, this approach can be quite cost prohibitive for many businesses, with plans...


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The 4 key reasons that people build business plans

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, November 25, 2010, In : Why Build a Business Plan? 

There are a number of different reasons why people create business plans. Understanding the reason for your plan can help you better target your message.  Whilst all plans are largely similar, the key areas of focus should differ slightly based on the reason for building your business plan.  The business plan should clearly articulate the opportunity represented by your business and the approach you propose will best capitalize on the opportunity.  Investor focused plans should also include a...


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Should I use a consultant to create my business plan?

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, November 25, 2010, In : Business Planning Consultant 

A consultant can help you to better define your business strategy and succinctly outline this in plan.  Whilst you may believe that a consultant led planning process may deliver an improved result, is it worth the cost?

Business Planning Key 1 - How clear is your business strategy?

If you are unclear about how you intend to enter or grow your market, then consulting assistance can help with your planning process.  Sometimes business owners are too close to the issues and a series of careful...


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Should I buy a business plan online?

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, November 25, 2010,

There are a number of things to consider when either engaging a consultant to build your business plan, or purchasing a business planning template.  A primary reason for looking online for assistance is to reduce the cost associated with the development of a business plan.

Sites such as Elance offer the ability to post your specific business planning requirements online.  Interested consultants then respond to your business plan enquiry, often providing a quotation for business planning serv...


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How can Hyper-Question based business planning reduce planning timeframes?

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, November 25, 2010, In : Hyper-Questions 

Business planning involves more than just writing a lengthy document.  Much of the core value in a business plan is derived from the business strategy, business model and the effective communication of these to the intended target audience.

After consulting on the creation and development of hundreds of business plans, Business Planning HQ has developed a faster approach that the vast majority of businesses can now afford.

A survey of businesses involved in the business planning process rev...


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How can Hyper-Question based business planning improve planning quality?

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, November 25, 2010, In : Hyper-Questions 

Not all business plans are created equal. 

After creating hundreds of successful business plans, we have come to understand some of the key elements that determine planning success.

Many first time planners focus on the template or layout of the plan.  Whilst a clear, well presented plan is important, it is not sufficient to raise capital, obtain a loan, or interest partners or collaborators in your business.

The business concept, business model and execution approach are at the heart of...


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How to write a killer business plan executive summary

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, November 25, 2010, In : Executive Summary 

The executive summary is the most read and often hardest to write section of a business plan.

A great executive summary can be used as a teaser to prospective investors, collaborators or partners.  It needs to sell the concept without giving away too much to the reader.  It is a teaser that summarises the core outcomes of the opportunity without fully disclosing how it will be done.  Ideally it will convince the reader that potentially it is possible to achieve what is outline, but leave the...


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About Me


Marcus Tarrant Marcus Tarrant is a leading or management consultant, entrepreneur and thought leader. He has worked for leading consulting firms including Deloitte Consulting, leading major strategy development and business planning initiatives. Business Planning HQ was developed to bring the advantages gained by employing a consultant, without the associated cost. We have developed the “Question Led Approach” to simplify the process of creating a high quality business plan. Our clients agree with our claims that we have reduced their planning times from over 1 week, to less than 4 hours.