Organizations and companies often take on new projects or create new business ventures. This is quite a regular task for executives and partners but it’s not done quickly. When an organization wants to start a new project, they need to prepare several documents to present how the project is going to be beneficial for the organization along with the features it will have and the resources it will require to complete. By looking at these and many other elements, stakeholders can decide if the project will be profitable or not. The document includes all of these elements about a project or new business in the business case. These days, it’s very often to see a business case in day to day-to-day lives of employees directors, and partners. This way it makes more sense to use a readymade template rather than creating the entire document from scratch every time there is a new project.
Guidelines for preparing a Business Case with these Templates:
- Add an Executive Summary:
An executive summary serves the same purpose in a business case as a cover letter in a job application. When you apply for a job, you add your contact details, experience, achievements education, and skills but it can take a lot of space on the application. To make it easy and quick to understand for employers, you add a cover letter that summarizes the entire application. While writing a business case, the executive summary plays the same role. In most cases, stakeholders and potential investors won’t have time to go through the entire business case in the first meeting. They will only read the executive summary. Keep in mind that it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes to read the entire summary and the general rule is to keep it to just one page.
Free Business Case Templates
Here are 20 Free Business Case Templates in MS Word Format to help you prepare your own Business Case quickly.
- The core purpose of the Project or Business Venture:
When you decide to start a new business and you are looking for investors, it’s possible that the same business already exists in the market. These days the competition among organizations and manufacturers is so high that potential investors look for unique ideas and extraordinary concepts. This means you need to add a particular section on the business case that only describes why you want to start the business and how it’s going to be different than the competition. You can either talk about addressing a problem from a whole new perspective or you can explain how you can bring innovation to an existing product or service.
- Provide Alternatives:
When stakeholders and investors go through business cases, the one thing that they don’t find quite often is alternate plans or options to execute a project or a different approach to a business. Yes, you indeed had an idea and you want to build an entire business or product line around it but the stakeholders might not be able to see the potential in the business from your perspective. To explain why this idea will work, you need to give some alternatives or options as well. This will show that you at least looked at solving a problem from different perspectives and then you selected this option.
- Project alignment with Organizational Goals:
In case you are adding a project to an existing business, it’s really important to discuss how this project is going to match the overall goals and objectives of the organization. In this section, you can also talk about how the project is going to bring improvements to the existing business and how it will enhance the primary objectives.
- Timeline and Costs:
The key purpose of a business case document is to find new investors and stakeholders which means when they take a look at this document, they would want to see how much time it will take to complete and how much it’s going to cost. Keep in mind that you should include an actual timeline and exact expenses to execute the project because adding false figures might get you the investors but it’s going to create serious problems for you in the future.
Business Case Format Guidelines
The first section of a business case is the executive summary. The executive summary is a concise overview of the case that outlines the purpose of the document and why the reader should read it. In two to three sentences, it should provide an overview of the problem and the proposed solution, as well as its financial information and risks. The executive summary should be written last, but the rest of the case should be written first. Following the guidelines for this section will ensure your business case is read by decision-makers.
In addition to following the guidelines, you should remember that your business case document will have some unique elements. It is advisable to take a break from writing it for a while, then come back with fresh eyes. Add to your checklist any new items that you think may have been missed. Then, review your document again and determine if everything is organized correctly. It should be easy to read, logical, and free of errors. Spell check, while useful, can sometimes miss types of errors.
Key Elements of Business Case
The length of your business case depends on the scope of your proposal and the number of stakeholders who are likely to review it. Smaller projects may only take two or three pages, while larger ones can be as long as 100 pages. Your business case should remain on topic, provide relevant information, and support management decisions. Depending on the size of your project, you may want to include an appendix to provide additional information. The overall aim of your business case is to provide a basis for continuous assessment of the progress of your project.
The next section of your business case is the problem statement. This section of your document describes what the project is supposed to solve for the business. Often, it’s inefficiencies in the existing system, an underwhelming response from customers of the current product, or a market opportunity that has been identified. In the problem statement, you should outline the benefits and risks of the project. Finally, make sure to include a summary of the project as well as accountabilities for each activity.
Remember, you’re not the salesperson presenting your business case. Most people will not read a business case in its entirety. Therefore, you should be prepared to make an elevator pitch for your business. A good business case should be compelling enough to convince the CEO. If your presentation is based on facts and figures, you may be successful at presenting your idea to your stakeholders. Make it memorable and impactful. If you aren’t prepared to make the pitch, consider the following tips to make it a hit.
The benefits section of your business case is an important part. It should summarize the progress of your project and convince your stakeholders that it’s the best option for their organization. People often worry that presenting risks in detail will dissuade decision-makers, but the truth is that all projects come with risks. The risks you present will vary depending on your project, and a risk log is an essential part of your case. So, take the time to consider this before you write your business case.