The Definitive Business Plan

The Fast-Track to Intelligent Business Planning for Executives and Entrepreneurs

Richard Stutely

Publisher: Prentice Hall, 1999, 304 pages

ISBN: 0-273-63930-7

Keywords: Business Plan

Last modified: Nov. 27, 2007, 7:10 p.m.

In summary, the book shows you how to:

  • assess the current status of a business, including skills, resources, products, markets and competition
  • define vision, mission, values, the core objectives and operating objectives
  • develop strategic and operational plans
  • create financial forecasts, cash flow projections and operating budgets
  • put all this information together into a well-written business plan
  • determine what kind of funding is required if any
  • make use of a surplus or decide where to look for the funding
  • value a business and assess return on investment
  • obtain the necessary approvals and funding
  • use the business plan to run a business efficiently and successfully.
  1. What's it All About?
    • Have You Heard the One About…
    • Who Should Read This Book
    • A Quick Fix or a Longer-Term Tool
    • What Is a Plan Anyway?
    • Why Bother?
    • Key Objectives for Your Plan
    • Your Target Audience
    • Ten Steps to a Successful Business Plan
    • Don't Trust Consultants
    • Who Writes the Business Plan?
    • How to Use This Book
  2. A Winning Presentation
    • A Concise Communication
    • Computer Software
    • Make It Feel Good
    • First Thoughts on Layout
    • Creating an Outline Document
  3. Getting Down to It
    • Why?
    • When You Don't Want to Be a Big Fish
    • What to Do If You Have Several Businesses
    • Your List of Contents
    • The Executive Summary
    • The Conclusion
    • Responsibilities – and the Timetable
    • Be a SWOT
    • Where Now?
  4. Know Yourself
    • Taking Stock
    • Start With the Basics
    • The Central Objective
    • Are You Visionary?
    • How Did You Arrive Here?
    • Some Numbers to Please the Bankers
    • Building Up Value
    • The All-Important Management Team
    • Business Organization
    • Business Infrastructure
    • Products and Services
    • Core Competencies
    • The Next Step
  5. Know the World
    • For or Against You?
    • The Next Steps
    • Collecting Information
    • Understanding the World at Large
    • Business Partners
    • The Market – What You Are Fighting For
    • The Industry – What You Are Up Against
    • Competitive Advantage
    • Now Write About It
    • Moving On
  6. The Core of Your Plan
    • A Strategy and an Operating Plan
    • Portfolio Strategy – What Businesses Should You Have?
    • Business Strategies to Satisfy Your Desires
    • Strategies for Department Managers
    • Resource Requirements
    • Strategic Objectives
    • Documenting the Strategy
    • Creating an Operating Plan
    • Documenting the Operating Plan
    • Onwards
  7. About These Numbers
    • 'The Time Has Come' the Walrus Said, 'To Speak of Other Things'
    • Varying Views of the Same Numbers
    • The Way That Bean Counters Think
    • The Planning Horizon
    • Looking Back
    • Estimating the Present
    • Crystal Ball Gazing
    • Software Tools
    • Putting It to Good Use
  8. Getting to Gross Profit
    • Breathe Easily
    • Forecasting Sales Volumes
    • The Big Picture – The Economy
    • Up Close and Personal – Industry and Product Demand
    • Putting It All Together
    • Cost of Sales
    • Gross Profit
    • Writing It Up
  9. Getting to Net Profit
    • Where the Money Goes
    • Capital Spending
    • Capital Assets That You Already Own
    • Capital Assets That You Want
    • Accounting for Fixed Assets
    • Operating Expenditure
    • Net Profit
    • Other Income and Expenditure
    • Moving On
  10. Funding the Business
    • Balancing Your Cheque Book
    • Balance Sheets and Cash Flow Mechanics
    • Balance Sheet Headings
    • Producing the Paper
    • Watching Cash Flow
    • Using a Surplus
    • Getting It Founded
    • Debt or Equity?
    • What's the Deal?
    • Putting a Price on Success
    • Does It All Hold Together?
  11. Managing Risks
    • Identify Risks and Improve Planning
    • It's Normally Like This
    • How Many Coconuts Do You Need to Sell?
    • Marginal Likelihood of Shutting Down?
    • What You Need, When You Need It
    • Will It Pay Off?
    • What If?
    • The Economy
    • If the Worst Comes to the Worst…
    • Grand Finale
  12. Getting It Approved
    • Pulling It All Together
    • Focus
    • What Readers of the Plan Will Look For
    • Those Financials Again
    • Final Check on the Plan
    • They Don't Know What's Coming to Them
    • Preparing for the First Meeting
    • At Last, the First Meeting
    • Meeting Post-Mortems
    • Follow Up
    • Back to the Drawing Board
    • Due Diligence
    • The Contract
    • Cash in the Bank
  13. Now Make It Happen
    • Time for a Break?
    • From Plan to Reality
    • A Change of Focus
    • Communicating the Plan
    • Where Do You Draw the Line?
    • Policies, Rules and Procedures
    • Who Does What?
    • Employee Objectives
    • How Much Freedom?
    • Financial Objectives
    • Monitoring Other Objectives
    • Monitoring the World
    • Confirming and Revising Strategy and Plans
    • Don't Forget the Carrots
    • And Into the Next Business Plan
    • Trying to Catch the Tail


The Definitive Business Plan

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Excellent ********** (10 out of 10)

Last modified: Nov. 27, 2007, 7:16 p.m.

The best book on the subject of business planning, so far.

The astute editors at Financial Times and Prentice Hall has done it again, seen to it that a knowledgable author manages to create a masterpiece. Not only can this book be used in developing and writing business plans, but also in evaluating the same (or why not evaluating whole organizations?).

If you buy ONE book on business planning, only, this should be it!


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