Win with words; secrets to writing business plans

Business plan consultant Gordon Pender says commercialisation of innovation has not been done well in Australia and has written a book to help make the path clearer for entrepreneurs.

After working with businesses for more than three decades, Pender’s Planning to Win, which was released last month, takes an idiosyncratic look at the work he’s been doing for the last 30 years.

Hear from the new author at the at CCI-Boffins Books Business Book Club: Planning to Win event at CCI on July 14.

Pender says businesses can learn the secrets of writing a successful business plan from his book, which tells not only what to do, but also how to do it.

“Part of it is about the clarity of the writing – producing a simple and compelling document in crystal-clear words,” he says.

“The financial model answers the questions, “How much do you need?”; “What’s that worth?”; and how to measure the inherent risks.”

Pender says it’s not easy to raise venture capital when you have a great idea but need funding to take it a step further.

“They say that venture capitalists invest in about three per cent of the proposals they see,” Pender says.

“They also say that entrepreneurs might approach 30 fund managers before they get a positive response, or else they give up.

“So, the chance of a positive response from one approach is about one in a thousand. It increases with perseverance, or if you “know someone who knows someone”, or with good luck.”

Pender says his last business plan secured an investment manager for an entrepreneur on the first go.

“It was for a great young Aussie entrepreneur and nearly got to Heads of Agreement in a few months. But it was destroyed by the greed and incompetence of the venture capital. That’s life,” he says.

“The steps are outlined in my book. But they don’t guarantee success. There are many easier ways to make money – and not to lose it – than looking for venture capital.”

 


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