Writing a business case is one of the most important functions that sales professionals must be familiar with. It’s not enough to simply know what a business case is, you need to know how to write one as well. A business case is an argument or explanation of why your company should do something.
It can be about anything from buying new equipment to changing locations, but it all has one thing in common – money! The more serious the situation, the stronger the business case needs to be.
If yours are looking a little thin, don’t worry! That’s totally normal when writing a business case. We’ve got some tips for you here! Read on to learn everything you need to know about writing strong business cases.
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Keep it simple
A lot of people start trying to make their business cases very fancy and elaborate, which is great until they run into trouble. Starting off with the basics will save you time later!
Don’t get too flowery at the beginning, because if things go badly you’ll have wasted hard-earned resources. Make sure your arguments are clearly understood before adding any decorations to keep things smooth.
Does this sound obvious? I bet it did, so let me give you another example…
Imagine your friend goes out drinking every night and comes back completely smashed.
The first step in writing a business case is to determine what your business needs are and how much money you have for it.
You will want to make sure that you have enough budgeted time for this project, as well as adequate resources or supplements that can help you get the job done.
Once these things are guaranteed, then you can start gathering information and crafting your argument!
Business cases typically begin with an introduction and a topic or main body. After the main body, there is a conclusion that brings up all of the important points of the paper.
The conclusion usually sums up the effects of the business case and asks if the situation has been resolved to the company’s satisfaction. If so, great!
But if not, then additional actions need to be taken to fix the issue. A lot of times, companies will go back and review the initial part of the business case to see where they may have made assumptions or missed opportunities.
The first thing you must do in writing a business case is determine your goal. What are you trying to achieve with this business case? This could be achieving additional funding, changing an internal process, or creating new procedures or policies.
Your goal should be clear and measurable. You can add some extra adjectives to make it more descriptive, but making it vague is not helpful when you want people to agree with you.
2) Determine the audience for the report
You don’t need every person agreeing with you on every aspect of the report, so being aware of who will be reading it is important. Who currently has authority over the things you wanted to change? If no one does, then what level of approval do they require from higher ups before giving you permission to implement your plan?
These are just examples, so take them how you would like them to be applied to your situation.
3) Is this really needed?
A lot of times in the workplace there is a lot of talk about projects and ideas. People seem to have constant conversations about something without actually doing anything about it.
If you're talking about something that isn't happening already then maybe it's time to reconsider whether or not it's necessary.
A business case is not made until you have examined the possible end goals of your organization and determined if there are enough people in the world who want those ends. Yours may be to launch an online store, or it could be to run a marathon, or perhaps just to earn a salary doing something you love – whatever your goal is, you must determine if there are enough other people like you to make it successful.
The same goes for marketing your product or service. If no one else is offering what you offer, then how will people know about you? And more importantly, why should they pay money to join you? You need to consider this before investing time into creating and promoting your product.
There is another way to look at this – if there’s a clear winner, you can walk away. It’s better to fail quickly than to invest resources into a concept that isn’t going to succeed. This happens all the time with new businesses, especially these days when competition is intense. More likely than not, someone has done what you’re proposing already, and they’ve succeeded because they were persistent and didn’t give up.
You don’t have to go through the process described above, but you should really think hard and thoroughly about whether or not this idea has legs before spending any significant amount of time developing and promoting it.
As mentioned earlier, it is very important to know what resources you will need before writing up a business case. Make sure to include the costs of running your business, as well as the costs for supporting your proposal.
It’s easy to assume that everything will go smoothly, but life doesn’t work like that!
By including the cost of possible problems in your plan, you are being prepared for anything that may arise. It also helps ensure that no one gets left out when things do get expensive!
There are many ways to gather information about the needs of your project. You can ask around directly, or search online to find out more.
The next step in writing a business case is estimating how much time you can spend on the project and what level of completion you want to achieve. This article’s main point was to write a simple business case, but before that we needed to estimate how long it would take.
To do this, first determine if you already have everything you need within your own internal resources or if you’ll need to look outside sources for things such as equipment or supplies.
Next, create an average time frame to complete the task based on past experiences with similar projects.
Once both those steps are completed, add together all of the individual times to get a total amount of time to finish.
Now that you have determined why your proposal is important, and what it will do for your company, you need to make sure everyone else agrees. To do this, you must firstly outline the plan. This should be done in detail and clearly defined.
Step one: Introduction
Step two: The importance of the proposal
Step three: What action can be taken if the proposal is not implemented
This way, people will know exactly what the proposal is and what they will get out of it.
Writing a business case is not just a formal process, it’s also an opportunity to put your own spin on the argument by incorporating what matters to you into the narrative.
Business cases are always framed from a corporate perspective, but if you take time to add in references that connect with your beliefs as an individual then they become more persuasive.
Your colleagues may feel that reading along while you're making your case will give them a hand up on you, so make sure to include insights that help others achieve their goals too!
This isn't about being self-serving, it's about sharing knowledge and inspiring action. Your teammates will perceive you as someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty, which will win them over.
The final step in writing a business case is proving your assertion that your project or idea will work. You can do this by either producing hard evidence such as documents, numbers, and illustrations, or using logical reasoning and arguments.
When arguing reasons for investing in an investment proposal, you want to be clear about what benefits it will bring to the company and whether these benefits outweigh the costs.
Keep going until you feel that you have said everything there is to say and then backtrack to include anything important left out. Your colleagues and superiors may ask questions if you seem short on details.