Business Case Development: Explained

What is it, how to calculate it, formula, why it's important

Hey there, fellow entrepreneurs and decision-makers! It's your CFO here, ready to share a thing or two about business case development. I know, I know, it might not sound like the most exciting topic ever, but trust me, it's essential to your company's success. And who knows, I might even make it fun for you!

What is Business Case Development?

Let's start with the basics, shall we? Business case development is the process of creating a detailed, evidence-based proposal for a new project, initiative, or investment. It includes assessing the current situation, defining the problem or opportunity, setting goals and objectives, analyzing options, and presenting a well-structured recommendation that explains why this proposal is worth pursuing. Think of it as a roadmap that convinces your stakeholders and investors that your idea is not just feasible, but also profitable and beneficial in the long run.

Sounds like a lot of work? It is. But it's worth the effort. A well-crafted business case can save you from wasting time and resources on projects that have no real value, or worse, harm your company's reputation and finances. It can also help you prioritize what matters the most, align your teams around a common purpose, and inspire confidence and support from external partners.

Why Do You Need It?

Okay, I might have hinted at this already, but let me be more explicit: you need business case development because it reduces the risk of failure and increases the likelihood of success. It's not just a fancy buzzword or a bureaucratic process that wastes your time. It's a strategic tool that helps you make informed and data-driven decisions that align with your vision and mission.

Here are some more reasons why you need it:

  • You need it to clarify your goals and objectives and ensure that they are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound).
  • You need it to identify the benefits and risks of your proposal and craft a compelling value proposition that differentiates you from your competitors.
  • You need it to evaluate the financial feasibility and potential return on investment of your proposal and demonstrate that it's a sound and viable business opportunity.
  • You need it to assess the organizational and operational impacts of your proposal and anticipate any challenges or constraints that you might face.
  • You need it to communicate your proposal effectively to various stakeholders, from your CEO and board of directors to your employees, customers, and partners.

How Do You Develop It?

Now comes the fun part. How do you actually create a business case that rocks? Well, there's no single recipe or formula that works for everyone. Every business case is unique, and it depends on your industry, market, context, and goals. However, there are some general principles and best practices that you can follow to increase your chances of success.

1. Start with a Strong Business Case Template

Boring? Not at all. Using a proven business case template can save you time, energy, and headaches. It provides a structure and a framework that guides you through the key components of a business case, from the executive summary to the conclusion and the recommendations. It also ensures that you don't miss any critical pieces of information and that you present them in a logical and coherent way.

You can find many business case templates online, or you can create your own based on your company's guidelines and preferences. Just make sure that it fits your purpose and is easy to use and customize.

2. Gather the Right Data and Evidence

Garbage in, garbage out. Your business case is only as good as the data and evidence you use to support it. Make sure that you collect and analyze relevant and reliable data from various sources, such as market research, customer feedback, financial reports, industry benchmarks, and expert opinions. Don't rely on assumptions or hunches, but test and validate your assumptions with real data.

Also, make sure that you present the data and evidence in a clear and understandable way. Use charts, graphs, tables, or infographics to illustrate your points and avoid using jargon or technical terms that might confuse your audience.

3. Think Like an Investor

Your business case is not an academic paper or a marketing brochure. It's a persuasive argument that convinces your stakeholders and investors that your proposal is worth their time, money, and attention. To do so, you need to think like an investor and address the questions and concerns that they might have.

For example, you need to answer questions such as:

  • What problem are you solving, and for whom?
  • What's the market size and growth potential?
  • Who are your competitors, and how do you differentiate yourself from them?
  • What's your revenue model, and what are your projected revenues and profits?
  • What's your team's expertise and experience, and how do you mitigate the risks?

Don't assume that your viewers already know the answers. Provide them with the context and the rationale behind your proposal, and show them that you have done your homework and are confident in your proposal's success.

4. Tell a Story

Humans are wired to respond to stories, not just facts and figures. So, don't just present the data as a dry and boring list of numbers. Tell a story that engages your audience's emotions and passions and connects with their aspirations and values.

You can use various storytelling techniques, such as:

  • The hero's journey, where your proposal is the hero that overcomes challenges and achieves a great victory.
  • The before-and-after, where you compare the current situation with the ideal scenario and show how your proposal bridges the gap.
  • The problem-solution, where you identify a common pain point or need and present your proposal as the perfect solution.
  • The personal story, where you share your own experience or that of your customers or employees and show how your proposal changes their lives for the better.

Remember, your business case is not just a technical document. It's an opportunity to inspire, persuade, and excite your audience about your vision and your mission.


Well, folks, that's it for now. I hope I've convinced you that business case development is not rocket science, but a strategic skill that every entrepreneur and decision-maker should master. By following the principles and best practices that I've shared, you can create a business case that rocks and gets you the results that you want. Just remember, be confident, be data-driven, and be a storyteller.

Until next time, happy business case developing!

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