A business plan is a plan setting out business objectives while detailing how they are to be reached in practice and the assumptions used to build it. The resources required as inputs for these goals to be attained, as well as the expected outputs and the financial returns are also laid out. Business plans, usually undertaken for new business ventures, are typically undertaken for timespans of 1, 3 or 5 years, but may vary depending on the nature of the business or the project being planned for, its capital intensity and the time required to gear up for operations in the target market.
A business case, on the other hand, is usually constructed in the context of an existing operation that is assessing whether it would be beneficial for it to expand into a particular market in which it currently it is not, whether to undertake a particular investment or a stream of investments to complement an existing business, or whether it would be beneficial to tweak any operational aspects of an existing business activity with a view to be able to register improvements in the attainment of its business objectives.
Both a business plan and a business case may need to be addressed to different audiences, including investors, financiers, bank staff, regulators and public authorities, management and shareholders. They can therefore be either externally or internally oriented, and need to be pitched for the right audience(s) to succeed.
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A business case requires a meticulous articulation of the problem being addressed or the opportunity that has been identified. Following the scoping out of the endeavour for which the business case is being built, information needs to be collected in relation to the potential impacts, the technical aspects of the endeavour and the existence of hard data that can be utilised to simulate hypothetical situations that need to be analysed for the business case to be built. Following a simulation of the status quo and a simulation of the situation under the different possible scenarios, a business case normally provides a comparison of the different scenario results, together with an analysis of the risks and sensitivities within the model built for the purpose of conducting the comparisons. Although it is normal for a business case to rely on quantitative analysis, it is also important for a business case to capture the qualitative aspects of a proposed action.
A business case is ultimately a decision-making tool that provides all the information to enable the decision-makers within an organisation to make an informed decision rather than one that is based on gut feel.
Our business cases leverage our expertise in economics and econometrics, data modelling and business management to deal with the complexities inherent in deciding on business actions. In providing you with our business case services, we take care of all the complexities of the situation at the back-end of the business case model ourselves, while making sure to provide you with an interactive tool that accurately describes the impacts of your variable choices and makes the implications of your choices easy to understand, while making it possible for you to audit, tweak or eliminate the interrelationships between the variables and to add any other variables to it yourself at a later stage if this becomes necessary later.
When dealing with complex many-to-many relationships within the modelled parameters, we also make it a point to capture the complexity of the many-to-many interrelationships between the variables so that the business case can be as accurate a representation of reality as possible and so that you can test the isolated implications of changes in set parameters on the bottom line. Unlike many of our competitors, we do not adopt reductionist approaches to simplify what is inherently complex, cutting corners and making our lives easier in the process, but deal with all the complexities that need to dealt with in our adamancy not to sacrifice accuracy and expose you to unnecessary business risks, while making it simple for you to understand at the front-end.
Our business case reports, which build on the interactive models we craft for the purpose, usually take the form of presentations, although full-fledged reports can also be provided on request.