Knowing how to write a business case is a critical skill for all business people. If they do not have it, they have to quickly find someone who has it. All the best business ideas in the world will come to nothing if they can not be put down in writing. The written business plan will help in obtaining the necessary approvals and resources to make the idea a reality. Writing the business case such that it attracts the interest of "sponsors" is a real challenge. Essentially, the case will:
- promote the business idea to others
- state how and why it can be successful
- list the expected benefits focusing on financial returns
- seek approval for funding.
The Business Case Outline
- Why is a case being made for a particular project?
- What are the main features of the project?
- What are the business issues and what are the solutions?
- How much is the financial investment?
- What is the project duration?
- Would there be any implications in terms priorities and lost opportunities?
- What are some of the risk factors?
- How will performance or results be measured?
- What if the project is not undertaken?
- What are the alternatives?
Other Essential Elements
Given that the business case would have been a comprehensive document made up of several pages, it must include an executive summary. The summary would enable a quick and general overview of the key selling points. The case would then be built on an overall assessment and problem statement. This would be followed by a description of the project, the main solution and its details. It is best that alternative solutions be also identified. A cost benefit analysis, timeline for implementation together with general concluding and recommendations would complete the written business case. For better impact, it may include critical assumptions and assessment of risks. Further, as in a business plan, a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis would be helpful. In addition to ensuring the inclusion of the main elements, the written business plan must be carefully proofread and edited. In this regard, apart from the facts of the business case, particular attention must also be given to spelling and grammar.