The Definitive Business Plan
The Definitive Business Plan
The Definitive Business Plan
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The Book – Written For You

This book is for planners and plan users. It is designed to be accessible to readers anywhere in the world.

Frustration with the lack of a practical guide to business planning – initially for my own use and later to give to others – led me to write this book for you. You might be:

  • the chief executive of a successful enterprise wanting to take along hard look at your planning process;
  • running a business, perhaps going through a rough patch, maybe struggling with the effects of recession or changing market conditions – and wanting to find a fast route back to rosier days;
  • labouring in a large company a notch or two down the corporate ladder having just landed the job of writing a business plan – a task that needlessly strikes terror into hundreds of thousands of people just like you at this time every year;
  • planning to throw off the shackles of corporate life and join the growing team of entrepreneurs starting their own businesses – perhaps looking for venture capital for the first time ever;
  • a director of an organisation, wanting to ensure that the management is doing its job properly;
  • reviewing business plans with an eye to granting approvals, providing funding, or making a personal investment; or
  • a student – which is where we all started – coping with concepts that might sometimes seem complex because they are new, but which you will soon know are simple in reality.

I think that it is fair to say that I have worn all of these hats, plus some others that are also relevant. For example, I once grappled with public expenditure planning and control at HM Treasury – the UK Finance Ministry – in perhaps one of the largest of all business planning exercises.

Why am I telling you this? I want you to understand that I am entirely on your side. I have prepared and contributed to business plans for boards and bankers. I have tailored plans to suit the predilections of a succession of venture capital providers. I have reviewed business plans when sitting in comfortable ivory towers of bankers and cramped city offices of stockbrokers and investment advisors. My mission here is to try to pass on to you what I have learned about drawing up and writing plans – and reading and interpreting them.

You are probably an expert in your field, but I assume that is not business planning. In other words, you do not really need any prior knowledge to use this book, other than common sense and a bit of street cred. But bear with me. When I start telling you something that you already know, skim through it to the next section. What you know now is easy to read about. The rest is just as simple – it is just unfamiliar the first time around.

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