Business plan training for the established company

The Business Plan Game

Start up business plan training

Other options – KPI training, SOP training, Contingency plan training    

Ibis offer a combination of distance learning and in-company seminars for specific aspects of business plan training. Residential courses are held every year in April/May and September/October.

They are designed to be tailored to particular company requirements, though each has a series of common components. All courses (except the business plan game and start up planning) are linked to the basicbusiness plan outline.

Because they are normally delivered in-house, they provide a cost effective introduction for key staff to all the vital elements of the development and management of the business plan.

Business plan training for the established company

Training within established companies speeds growth and improves profitability. Two options are available, a one day seminar or three day course. Each attempts to provide skills in answering the three central questions for business planning:

Where are we?

Where do we want to go (and when)?

How are we going to get there cost effectively?

The one day seminar

This enables operational units to gain control over their activities and provides a “bottom up” rather than a “top down” approach by concentrating on providing tools to improve performance, focused around the concept and development of the knowledge centre. It comprises 4 steps:

1. Modular creation and review of existing company data in eight key areas:

Financial monitoring and ratio analysis

Personnel management


IT management

Product and competitive management

Sales and marketing management

Production/ logistics and service supply

New product development

This introduces the concept of key performance indicators, benchmarking and departmental monitoring.

2. Balanced scorecard creation for operational units and enterprise. This builds on the operational analysis to develop individual and corporate objectives, and uses real company data to identify existing positions and desired outcomes over the planning horizon.

3. Investment appraisal and project management. This introduces two key skills in achieving new objectives.

4. Source and application of funds. This identifies the cash inflow and outflow for each department over the planning period and demonstrates the financial consequences of each investment decision.

What is the outcome of the one day seminar?

Participants will have identified the key performance indicators for their division and will have an awareness of the need to research benchmarks unless these are already available;

They will have created a monitoring system which will be of immediate value in measuring divisional performance and provide a platform for future plan creation;

They will be able to define the balanced scorecard over the planning horizon for their division and as a group will be able to identify overall corporate objectives;

They will have a clear understanding of how investment appraisal and project management techniques will aid in decisions of future directions;

They will have seen the implications of investment decisions on the cash flow of the unit and the overall business.

Course materials:

PowerPoint slide copies

Typical key performance indicators for 7 knowledge centres

Balanced scorecard approaches for each knowledge centre


Ibis business notes

Business plan template

Course preparation requirements:

The completion of a questionnaire which will provide the participant with the background needed to apply the training material to the needs of their own enterprise.

Three day course

The three day course is far more exhaustive and uses a mixture of case studies and seminars to enable participants to work through the development of a fully integrated planning system, reviewing investment options and their impact on the overall shape of the business. It ends with the need to translate plans into concrete actions which can be monitored and reviewed, ensuring that the plan is a working document rather than a theoretical exercise.


Short lecture sessions followed by worksheet development focusing on the dynamics of participants’ enterprise to demonstrate how the Ibis approach can be effectively applied to the development of the business plan.


To provide delegates with a structured way of answering the three basic questions of business planning: Where are we? Where do we want to be (and when)? How are we going to get there cost effectively?;

To introduce the concept of expert systems into business planning through a structured step by step guide;

To enable participants to work through the planning issues in their organisation through a series of workshops;

To provide a standard operating procedure which participants will take with them to introduce and maintain high quality business planning and control in their enterprises, driving profitability, growth and reducing risk.



Session 1. Introduction to course and delegates. What is best practice in business planning? Central concepts: Pareto’s Law, Dunbar number, Rule of eight, Ranke’s Syndrome, Abacus principle, KISS, Gatekeeper, Seven Management Sins, Chesterton’s Fence, SCORE, Abilene paradox

Session 2. Authority and responsibility in the development of the business plan. Creating the team, understanding the project, the planning horizon and planning cycle.

Session 3. Getting to grips with the overall shape of the business – business model, vision statement prioritization, core competence, critical success factors, focus, corporate governance, health and safety, investment appraisal – Worksheet 1 for your business


Session 4. The 11 dimensions of competitive advantage, key performance indicators and benchmarking. Worksheet 2 for your business

Session 5 Understanding risk and assumptions in the development of the plan Worksheet 3 for your business

Session 6 Where have you got in wrong in the past – successes, failures lessons learnt, forecast error Worksheet 4 for your business

Session 7. Choosing the forecasting systems for key areas of the business (qualitative, quantitative – the forecast grid) Worksheet 5 for your business


Session 8 Controlling the business, structure, key staff, motivation, succession planning Worksheet 6 for your business

Session 9. Controlling the business – the role of the knowledge centre. Worksheet 7 for your business

Session 10. Controlling the business – getting the information system right for the business. Worksheet 8 for your business

Session 11. Controlling the business – market drivers, golden circle, implementation options. Worksheet 9 for your business


Session 12. Strategy, portfolio model, portfolio analysis, balanced scorecard. Worksheet 10 for your business.

Session 13. Knowledge centre based control: Strategy, Legacy, Action plan, Key performance indicators, Reference material, MIS. Worksheet 11 for your business.

Session 14. Knowledge centre based control: Design for operational efficiency, Quality circles, Creativity, Standard operating procedures, contingency plan. Worksheet 12 for your business

Session 15. Knowledge centre based control: Stakeholder relations, software, training, complaints, trade-offs, cost control & budgeting, KISS, SCORE, training. Worksheet 13 for your business


Session 16. Managing and developing key customers, key suppliers. (retention, transition) Worksheet 14 for your business.

Session 17 Managing and developing key regions, products. Worksheet 15 for your business.

Session 18 Managing key projects (project risk management). Worksheet 16 for your business.

Session 19. Gap analysis (Where are we currently, what does the forecast system suggest we will reach over the planning cycle and where do we want to be with the demands of the balanced scorecard?)


Session 20 Investment appraisal, cascade investment, internal competition, cost of capital.

Session 21. Source and application of funds. Worksheet 17 for your business.

Session 22. Contingency planning. Worksheet 18 for your business

Session 23. Communication, presentation, web information. Worksheet 19 for your business

Session 24 Reality check. Worksheet 20 for your business

What is the outcome of the three day course?      

Participants will have worked through company data and incorporated it into the standard operating procedure which provides the backbone of the course material;

Critical success factors in planning will be identified;

“Best case” and “worse case” material will be studied to emphasise the characteristics of a good plan compared with examples of poor planning;

Key concepts will be introduced and summary notes will be provided as part of the standard operating procedure;

The importance of moving from planning to action will be underlined with the incorporation of key project management techniques.

Course materials:

PowerPoint slide copies

Business plan template


Ibis notes

Preparation for the course:

Participants will be provided with a questionnaire which provides the background material for the completion of the worksheets.

The Business Plan Game

Created from the linkage of key performance indicators in existing companies, the business plan game has developed as a useful training tool for larger groups within companies and organisations and at a generally lower level of management responsibility.

Course materials:

Trainers manual including questions for each group session

Decision forms for groups

Start up plan training

Start-up companies that adopt a systematic approach to planning are much more likely to reduce the time and investment necessary to achieve success.

Ibis start up training is based around the use of Business Plan Pro software, produced by Palo Alto. This is, in our opinion the best method for start up businesses to produce a comprehensive effective plan. We do not take commission on sales of this software. Ibis have created a detailed template that is available to run on Business Plan Pro, which provides the content of a comprehensive business plan.

The advantage of this approach for the start-up company is that management write the plan with the self help template and can use Ibis for on-line review and mentoring whenever they require. This both lowers costs while improving plan quality (all research showing that start ups must write their own plans to both understand and promote the content to potential investors and staff).

The training is flexible; it provides support to the start-up company when and how they want it.

The introduction to the training can be either on-site to improve overall performance, or at lower cost via the Web.

Typical course content:

Why are you building the plan?

What are vital elements in a start up plan – understanding the importance of structural elements in the start-up plan

Investment case summary – understanding what investors are requiring

Understanding project planning

Introducing Business Plan Pro – its advantages for a start up operation

Market estimation and risk



Production/ logistics or service delivery

Financial management

Monitoring modules

Action plan

What is created at the end of the training session?

The start-up company will have the material to complete, for themselves, a detailed plan which meets best practice. The plan will be a working document as it will contain the monitoring components vital for any business plan. Ibis can also mentor plan creation and implementation.

Why Ibis?

Ibis have pioneered the quantitative analysis of start up business plans and developing new approaches to business plan creation;

The Ibis template example provided for use with Business Plan Pro meets current best practice and enables the enterprise to move forward in a structured, cost effective and comprehensive way.

Course materials:

Ibis business plan template to run on Business Plan Pro

Other options

Training in the identification and use of key performance indicators (KPI);

Training in the creation of standard operating procedures (SOP);

Training in the development of a contingency plan;

The location of residential courses changes every year.

e-mail Ibis for availability and pricing.

For more information, a detailed course outline including costs,