Guide 03

Business Planning

Learn why having a plan, and a planning capability, is so fundamental to your future business success. In this guide, you will learn what a good business plan looks like, how to develop a business planning process configured to work for you and leave with a plan for the plan!

If there is one, single determining factor as to whether a business owner is going to achieve their goal of value release within a defined period of time it would hinge on this … whether they can point to an actual, shared plan. Not a conceptual one in their head, or an un-captured set of discussions (that are invariably remembered differently by everyone) but some actual documentation of clear targets, timelines and responsibilities. This guide explains the reasons for that as well as the optimal balance between ‘planning’ and ‘doing’. With detailed illustration, it explores what a good plan looks like as well as a description of how to build an ongoing planning capability in your business.

This guide also picks up, in some detail, the fundamental aspect of ‘leverage’ within a professional service firm – as introduced in Guide 02. Through a number of ‘Case Study Corner’ elements, the guide steps the reader through the process of developing a robust plan: vision, mission and objectives, market/competitor analysis, developing service propositions, strategy execution, financial analysis and risk analysis. This is a thorough guide which will leave the entrepreneurial reader perfectly set to develop their own plans further.

Resources and Downloads

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  • R0301 Business Plan Template icon

    R0301 Business Plan Template

    A Microsoft Word document template that follows the illustrative Business Plan headings/structure described in Guide 03.

    Download Resource
  • R0302 Risk Register icon

    R0302 Risk Register

    A Microsoft Excel tool to support the identification, analysis and management of your key business risks (and opportunities!).

    Download Resource

(3 member reviews)

  1. Sanjaylondon on said:

    A very useful book which I carry around with me at the moment as I am in that stage of developing my business. Dom provides real clarity in some topics however, unfortunately some of the areas where I could do with more help is covered in guides which have yet to be published. However, overall it is more than enough to get anyone going. Good job!

    • Sanjay … thanks for kind comment. I still plan to add to the series and remarks like this are a useful reminder to get the next ones off the desk! I trust you have contributed to the ‘vote for next guide’ poll to direct my prioritisation in this regard.

  2. grant whitbourne on said:

    Thanks Dom – great reading.

    I am using a product called LivePlan to put together a business plan…and following your structure to a T!

Related Services

Clearly, you should never outsource your business planning to a third party … it is really important that a business plan is built and owned by the team charged with delivering it. Dom is available, however, to provide ‘critical friend’ business plan reviews, to facilitate multi-person planning exercises, to train your staff in the key aspects of business planning and, perhaps most beneficially, to help you develop and embed a permanent planning capability within your company.

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The guides are being published as they are completed. The completed (foundational) guides are available on this site with the remainder of the series still to be written ... according to reader feedback and direction. Please vote below to influence the chronology in which the remaining guides are produced.

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