Business case vs. business plan

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Define business case

Business is defined as the justification of a proposed project. It is developed whenever an organization plans to finance a given project whereby the business case supports the necessity of the project. The business case offers clear information regarding the return of investment for the project in consideration including the breakeven as well as the period to arrive at the breakeven among other information.

Differences between a business case and a business plan

A business case provides the information concerning the potential market opportunity for a given products on which an organization wants to venture.  Also, a business case tells the company, at the product level, whether to continue with the production of a new product that can compete with the existing products in the market or not (Ford, Joseph& Joseph, 1999).  On the other hand, a business plan offers information regarding a potential business opportunity, at the level of the company, in light of the production of a given product to the target market. It can be said to be an assessment carried out at the company level that provides the information for making a decision of whether to create a company that can compete with other existing companies or not (Sahlman, 2008).


Why the details of a business case are important and justify the funding

The Executive Summary

The executive summary section of a business case includes the explanation for the issue that the new project is intended to solve as well as the required resources, the main considerations and the desired outcome of the new product venture. It is also in this section where there is an overview of the expected return on investment and the projection concerning the particular time when that return on investment will have the achievement. It also summarizes the contents of the entire business case so as to help the executives that may not have time to go through the entire document (Ford, Joseph& Joseph, 1999). Thus, because it represents the entire business case, in a nutshell, it can justify the funding for the new product.

The project name

The project name part is the one that identifies the name of the project being considered for development. If the name were lacking from a given project, the stakeholders and other parties interested in the project will not understand the project. That is because even the other subsequent sections will be making a reference to this project name. The name section is the most important section as it helps us to decide if we need the project or not. It can also be aid that the name is the subject of that business case, and it is imperative because it defines or shapes almost every content in the business case (Ford, Joseph& Joseph, 1999). Thus, its presence will determine the funding.

The Business objectives and strategic business alignment

The section named above is another section that is paramount in a business case because it outlines what the project is aimed at achieving in case the business case will be approved. It is also in the section the essence of supporting the business case and how it will be helpful in improving the organization or how it helps that organization meet its objectives. The purpose of every project is to aid an agency in improving certain areas and accomplish its vision, mission, and objectives. Thus, the section will be necessary to acquire the funding for the project.



Market Analysis

The market analysis section is also important to acquire funding because it illustrates the knowledge of the market trends that are useful in supporting the need for the project at hand. That description of the market trends helps to set out the target for the market share as well as create strategies that can bring the anticipated returns.

Competitive Analysis

The competitive analysis section can also help in acquiring funds for the project being considered for implementation because it is the section that identifies the competition of the enterprise by product line and the market segment.  The knowledge concerning the competitors and the competitive landscape aid an organization in planning the strategies they should employ so as to have a competitive advantage (Dyllick & Hockerts, 2002).

Financial Analysis, Investment Needs, Break-Even Analysis, ROI

The above is another section that is crucial for obtaining funds because it helps the stakeholders to have the knowledge concerning the expenses of the project and the outcomes. That clear analysis will help the project financiers to decide if to fund the project or not to depend on the comparison of the expenses versus the returns.

Business Case Templates



I chose template three because it very much comprehensive as compared to the other templates, and thus can be useful in convincing the financiers of the project to provide funds for the same. According to Schmidt (2003), a business case should be as compelling and credible as possible and incorporate a description of the compelling facts as well as the logic that can make the senior management approve it.  It entails a corpus of data helpful in the project funding because its details can doubtless convince the senior management that the new project is worth venturing.


Dyllick, T., & Hockerts, K. (2002). Beyond the business case for corporate sustainability. Business strategy and the environment, 11(2), 130-141.

Ford, J. B., Joseph, M., & Joseph, B. (1999). Importance-performance analysis as a strategic tool for service marketers: the case of service quality perceptions of business students in New Zealand and the USA. Journal of Services Marketing, 13(2), 171-186.

McMaster University (n.d). Business case template.

Sahlman, W. A. (2008). How to write a great business plan. Harvard Business Press.

Schmidt, M. (2003). Business case essentials: A guide to structure and content. A Solution Matrix Limited white paper. (2009). Business case template. (n.d). Business case template.

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