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Business Networking for Entrepreneurs - Make Connections - Not Deals

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, April 4, 2013, In : Business Networking 
So you're an entrepreneur and you hate networking....

Get over it.

Great video by Kauffman Foundation on how to go about creating a network of influence that will help your start-up flourish.

 



Business Plans

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The 5 Critical Steps to Funding Business Growth

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, April 4, 2013, In : Funding Business Growth 

Often raising funding is a life or death issue for businesses seeking to grow. Even the most successful businesses get to a point where they need to raise capital in order to move to the next level.

 


 

If you want to...

·         grow locally or internationally,

·         prepare for a major marketing push,

·         access funding via grants, debt or raising capital,

·         a step by step process to raising the funding you need.


This session will provide you with 5 concrete things you nee...

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Business Planning HQ Customer Grid Tential Raises $1m in Equity Funding

Posted by Marcus Shane on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, In : Raising Capital 

Roda Group, the venture capital investor that’s the largest shareholder in the biofuel companySolazyme Inc. (SZYM), is backing a startup using advanced production techniques to improve storage performance of standard lead-acid batteries.

Gridtential Energy Inc. received a $1 million seed investment from Roda, the San Jose, California-based battery company said today in an e-mailed statement. It will use the money to develop and test a prototype product by next year, with the goal of starting...


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Acquiring Customers Online - Panda and Penguin

Posted by Marcus Shane on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, In : Customer Acquisition 
One of the most effective way of obtaining new customers that are interested in your product or service, is to originate leads online.

So, you've built a great website (or you are planning to build one).  The concept of build it and they will come definitely doesn't work online.

Buying traffic is expensive (usually costing more than $1 per click), and with average conversion rates below 2 in 100, the direct cost of Pay Per Click Marketing online is $50.  The issue with this is that if you build...
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5 Steps To Funding Business Growth

Posted by Marcus Shane on Friday, March 22, 2013, In : Funding Business Growth 
In this informative funding video, Business Coach, David Guest interviews Business Planning HQ Founder, Marcus Tarrant about what practical things need to happen in order to fund business growth.

Duration: 45 Minutes
Interviewer: David Guest, Managing Director, David Guest Coaching
Interviewee: Marcus Tarrant, Managing Director, Business Planning HQ


 
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6 Questions You Must Be Able To Answer Prior to Pitching For Investment

Posted by Marcus Shane on Wednesday, January 2, 2013, In : Pitching for Investment 

Pitching for investment is one of the most important tasks you'll ever face in creating a successful, and well capitalized business. While you may feel ready to field any question investors throw at you, you should carefully think through and practice your responses. "More often than not, it's the obvious questions people fall down on because they haven’t effectively thought through all the issues," says Marcus Tarrant, Managing Director, Business Planning HQ.

 1. What do your customers ne...


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The London Startup Show

Posted by Marcus Shane on Monday, November 26, 2012, In : Business Plan in 1 Day 
We exhibited at the London Startup Show at Olympia.  There were over 350 exhibitors and we were strategically positioned next to the Business Planning workshop series sponsored by Sage Accounting.



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Equity Based Crowdunding and the Jobs Act

Posted by Marcus Shane on Sunday, October 7, 2012, In : Crowdfunding - Jobs Act 

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For Immediate Release - Olay! Aussie Matador of Business Planning delivers for Mexican Startups

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, September 27, 2012, In : Business Plan in 1 Day 

For Immediate Release

Thursday 27th September 2012

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne Based Business Planning HQ creates 10 Business Plans in 1 hour from 13,000km’s away.

Business Planning HQ, delivered 10 Business Plans in 1 hour for a “Group Virtual Consulting Event” at “The Wayra Space” in Mexico City earlier today.  The event was held for South America’s leading incubator/accelerator Program, Wayra (A division of the Telecommunications giant Telefonica).

When initially workin...


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Mexican Giant Telefonica to Power Startups with Melbourne Based Business Planning HQ

Posted by Marcus Shane on Sunday, September 23, 2012, In : Business Plan in A day - Event Series 

Following an 3 month technology evaluation crossing Australia, Spain, Mexico and the United States, Business Planning HQ has signed an agreement with Telefonica to deliver its unique Business Plan in 1 day event in Mexico City on September 27th.  This will be delivered on-site at “The Wayra Space”, in Mexico City by Business Planning HQ’s San Francisco based representative, David Brown.  Document process and servers for the event will be provided from Business Planning HQ’s headquarte...


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If Only Billabong Had A Business Plan

Posted by Marcus Shane on Monday, August 27, 2012, In : Business Model 
Did anyone see the new Billabong CEO?  

Not exactly what I would have expected.  
Surfie? No  
Aussie? No

Under 50? No
Cool and Funky? No

She has only been in the role for a few months so can't yet be blamed for the terrible financial results of the company that just posted a $274m loss.

BILLABONG has revealed it will close 82 more stores as it unveiled an unexpectedly large $275.6 million loss after booking more than half a billion dollars in asset write-downs and restructuring costs. ...
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Our Experience at the Franchise and Business Opportunities Expo

Posted by Marcus Shane on Tuesday, August 21, 2012, In : Franchise Business Plans 
We spent a very wintery weekend at the Melbourne Franchise and Business Opportunities Expo.  As the vast majority of our business is done online, this was a great opportunity for us to engage directly with Start-Up businesses, Franchisees and Franchisors.

There were approximately 3,000 attendees at the show in varied stages of business development.  Some were looking for franchises to purchase, other already had an established master franchise or license arrangement from the United States or E...
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See Us at The Franchise and Business Opportunities Expo

Posted by Marcus Shane on Wednesday, August 8, 2012, In : Franchise Business Plans 
Business Planning HQ is a proud exhibitor at the Melbourne Franchise and Business Opportunities Expo - 17th -  19th August.

Come and see us on stand D6 at the expo.  We have been working hard on developing some outstanding packages and deals for this exhibition.  Come down and see us, you won't be disappointed.

Our decision to exhibit at the show has been as a result of recent success in the franchising industry, predominantly in the United States, where we have been asked to hold business Plan...
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4 Tips on Start-Up Business Planning

Posted by Marcus Shane on Monday, July 2, 2012, In : Start-Up Business Planning 

A must read article for all Business Founders interested in doing Startup Business Planning.  Planning the development of your start-up can be one of the most complex and ambiguous pieces of strategy development that many business founders will ever face.  Due to the difficulty of start-up business planning, many business founders prefer to put the process off. Not only do they not know where to start, but the level of ambiguity an number of options for their start-up makes the process quite ...


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Is a Franchisee an entrepreneur?

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, June 28, 2012, In : Franchise Business Plans 

One of the most frequent questions we receive about business planning is related to the question, is a franchisees an entrepreneurs and does it take entrepreneurial skill to make a franchise successful.

In today's job market many people considering franchising as an alternative to keeping an existing job in the corporate world. There're many different reasons for this many people are interested in flexibility they want worklife balance or other financial gains not typically associated with t...


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Creating a franchise business plan to evaluate investing in a franchise system

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, June 28, 2012, In : Franchise Business Plans 

Franchise businesses have a key advantage over existing companies. 
 
 Franchise Business PlanOne of the most effective ways of evaluating any franchise is to create a business plan. By using the right business planning tools you will be able to determine key business model gaps within the franchise system, and better determine the suitability of the franchise for your own requirements.  Ideally you should create a business plan for each franchise system you are evaluating.

Your business plan should explain what you...


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First US Based Customer Becomes First US Distributor for Melbourne Based Business Planning HQ

Posted by Marcus Shane on Tuesday, April 3, 2012, In : US Distributors 
After successfully appointing 12 leading consulting, accounting and legal firms as agents in Australia, Business Planning HQ appoints its first US Authorised Agent, Patty Smith Worldwide of Philadelphia.

Patty Smith Worldwide, a leading Strategy and Risk consulting firm based in Philadelphia was the first US based Customer of the Business Planning HyperQuestion™ Toolkit in April 2011. After planning their own business in the tool, they found the results to be of such significance, that they ...

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Business Planning MasterClass Goes to Silicon Valley

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, March 29, 2012, In : Silicon Valley 
Following the success of Business Plan in 1 day in Melbourne and Sydney, we have now re-branded this event as the Business Planning Masterclass.

To deliver this event we are proud to have partnered with The German American Business Association in San Francisco and The Plug and Play Tech Centre in Silicon Valley.

The event will be held on April 20th 2012.
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Business Planning HQ To Exhibit at Demo Spring 2012 - Silicon Valley

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, March 29, 2012, In : Silicon Valley 

We’re getting ready for DEMO! Join the Business Planning HQ April 17-19, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Silicon Valley as more than 70 companies from around the world launch new products and services to an audience of global press, VCs, angel investors and IT buyers.

The DEMO product launches are the main event. But attendees also come for the sage advice from VCs, technology leaders, and veteran entrepreneurs who will provide insights into the latest technology consumer, mobile, enterprise, soci...


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Business plans and the invisible business model

Posted by Marcus Shane on Monday, January 16, 2012, In : Business Model 
There have been many developments made in recent years in the development and explanation of a start-ups business model. Why is it that business plan templates and business planning software ignore these developments? This leads to sub optimal business plans but don't communicate as effectively as they should.

The old business planning paradigmThe 4P's of marketing have been very effective over the years, however they no longer adequately explain the complexity of business models that are evol...

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4 Tips On Business Planning For Beginners

Posted by Marcus Shane on Tuesday, December 6, 2011, In : Business Planning For Beginners 

Authored By:  Marcus Tarrant,  Managing Director,  Business Planning HQ

Abstract

A must read article for all Beginners interested in  understanding Business Planning.  Not everyone has written hundreds of business plans. Many business founders or entrepreneurs are preparing a business plan for the first time. The diversity and complexity of a business plan can be daunting whether you are doing it for the first time, or you have prepared many business plans before.  Many founders and entrepr...


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Business Plan in 1 Day does it again in Sydney

Posted by Marcus Shane on Friday, November 18, 2011, In : Business Plan in 1 Day 

Testimonials from Business Plan in 1 day, Sydney Wednesday 16th November.

 Absolutely Fantastic!  I have purchased thousands of dollars of other business plan software to write this plan an I’ve just finished it on the dame day I started it for less than 1k.  It forces you to focus intently on the plan at hand and not get caught up in the details.  The session helped me to ink the first plan for a new venture that I have been trying to do for six months.  Would love to see more of these ev...


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What did the 76 Companies at Business Plan in 1 Day think of our approach?

Posted by Marcus Shane on Tuesday, October 11, 2011, In : Business Plan in 1 Day 
Testimonials
Sydney October 6th 2011

 

Within half a day using the Business Planning HQ Toolkit I produced a business plan that would have otherwise taken me around three months.
The result is by far a most highly leveraged business plan. With very little time input I had a very comprehensive forty page end product.

 
Nick Burke - Property 4 Profit Pty Ltd


 
I was a bit sceptical about being able to complete a useful business plan in one session – having put off doing one for years. The process was...

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World First Entrepreneurs Event - 50 Business Plans Created in 1 Day

Posted by Marcus Shane on Monday, October 3, 2011, In : Business Plan in A day - Event Series 
Sydney Australia:    Business Planning HQ has been commissioned by a leading network of entrepreneurs to create 50 X STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLANS in a SINGLE DAY on the 6th of October 2011

This is believed to be a world first event, enabled by a new virtual consulting approach known as HyperQuestions.

Marcus Tarrant, founder of Business Planning HQ, who has worked as a venture capitalist and consultant with Deloitte Consulting says, "It has taken 12 months of development to enable this event to eve...

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Television Casting Call For Innovators

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, September 15, 2011, In : Innovators for TV 
Business Planning HQ agent, The NSW Innovation Advisory Service is looking for Innovators for a new Television program.

The NSW Innovation Advisory Service has been contacted by casting company Cast of Thousands.  They are hoping to uncover Australia’s leading inventors, innovators and designers.

 What are they looking for?  They are looking for product designers, engineers, industrial designers, inventors - anyone with an entrepreneurial ...


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Press Release: World First Entrepreneurs Event - 50 Business Plans Created in 1 Day - Sydney Australia

Posted by Marcus Shane on Thursday, September 15, 2011, In : Business Plan in A day - Event Series 

Business Planning HQ has been commissioned by a leading network of entrepreneurs to create 50 X STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLANS in a SINGLE DAY on the 6th of October 2011

This is believed to be a world first event, enabled by a new virtual consulting approach known as HyperQuestions.

Marcus Tarrant, founder of Business Planning HQ, who has worked as a venture capitalist and consultant with Deloitte Consulting says, "It has taken 12 months of development to enable this event to even be attempted, t...


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Developing a Great Exit Plan to Build Your Exit Value

Posted by Marcus Shane on Monday, September 12, 2011, In : Exit Planning 

Abstract

A must read article for all Business Owners who are considering exiting their business within the next 3 years.  Often the purpose of creating a business is to develop an asset which can be sold for a substantial profit.  The ability to create an exit plan will assist in creating windfall gains during exit.  Many people say, start a business with the end in mind.  Whilst this is a noble philosophy, it is not always possible to know exactly where your business will end up.  Therefore...


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4 Tips on Finding Angel Investment

Posted by Marcus Shane on Wednesday, August 17, 2011, In : Raising Capital 

Abstract

Many  Startup Founders are interested in  finding  Angel Funding.  Many startup businesses need funding in order to realise their plans. As a result of the downturn and GFC, traditional capital sources such as Venture Capital are less interested in investing in early stage businesses.  Many founders do not know where to look for Angel funding or what documentation they may need in order to attract angels..  Leading web based startups are using angel groups a a way of identifying and e...


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Innovativity - Manufacturing Training on Business Planning

Posted by Marcus Shane on Monday, August 1, 2011, In : Business Planning Training 

BUSINESS PLANNING HQ recently assisted the Advanced Manufacturing CRC (AMCRC) in the development of a four day innovation management training program for Australian manufacturers, designed to enhance their understanding and innovation capability.

The program – Innovativity - is designed to propel Australian innovators into global manufacturing and aims to provide Australian manufacturing companies with the innovation training to overcome one of today’s biggest growth obstacles – how to...


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Raising Capital to Fund your Capital Raising

Posted by Marcus Shane on Friday, June 24, 2011, In : Raising Capital 
Raising capital can be a time consuming and costly exercise.  It is critical to ensure you have enough funding to make it through the capital raising process.  Even small capital raisings can cost 30-50k to run.  Founders need to dedicate an average of 1 day per month for 6 months to the process, and ensure that they have sufficient funds to engage specialist advisors and lawyers to ensure that capital is raised in accordance with local legislation, and that all parties are adequately protect...
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How to Turn Your Business Idea into a Viable Business

Posted by Marcus Shane on Saturday, June 4, 2011, In : Business Idea to Reality 

Have a great business idea but not sure how to make it happen? Marcus Tarrant, business planning consultant for over two decades and creator of the Business Planning HQ Toolkit, has revealed his top tips to successfully turn your business idea into a thriving business!

The journey from idea to viable business is more often than not, a complex and frustrating journey. Understanding some of the pitfalls before you set out should make the path a little smoother, and by following Marcus’ tips ...


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Where do I go for Venture Capital in The United States?

Posted by Marcus Tarrant on Monday, February 7, 2011, In : Venture Capital 
Business Planning must have a purpose.  If you are planning to raise capital, this list of Venture Capital firms and their technology specialities, might help you to get started.
Below is a list of notable Venture capital firms. ...
Name Location Founding date Managing Partners/Directors Current Specialty Capital managed
Accel Partners Palo Alto, CA 1983 Technology
Atlas Venture Waltham, MA 1980 Barry Fidelman Technology and Life Sciences

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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.