Preface

Presenting the
Business Plan Book


List of content






Presenting the Business Plan Book

Jens Graff; Steen Kaas Andersen; Hans Jørgen Lorenzen; John Aagaard: “Forretningsplanen – Håndbog for SMV’ere og iværksættere”. Forlaget SMV-literatur, 2003, 530 sider


Introduction


Market perspectives


The book is authored in the period of the burst of the IT bubble (2000-2003). Up to 2000 projects within IT and Internet were hot and relatively easy to finance. In the years immediately after 2000 it was nearly impossible to finance any projects. Venture companies were extremely reluctant to enter new projects, and banks were even more afraid of taking any risk than usual. This development made it even more important to be able to make a decent business plan to present for potential investors. 


Characteristic for the time was a surge in interest in innovation and entrepreneurship. This subject became a line in itself at the Market Economist program and auditor firms launched competitions in “Entrepreneur of the Year” and Young Enterprise. In Germany several chairs at universities were established in Entrepreneurship. Competition from low wage countries made it even more important for Western marketers to have a distinct profile and offer differentiated products and services.


Competence for authoring


The idea for this book was born at a fair for entrepreneurs and start-up companies in Copenhagen in 2001. There were different exhibitors at the fair and open seminars to attend during the three days of the fair. It was obvious that entrepreneurs had a huge need for help and guidance in starting up businesses. At the same time one of the authors of book, Jens Graff had recent experience from his lecturing at Copenhagen Business College on the Academy Economist program in entrepreneurship. He made a framework for a business plan for the students to follow when making their final thesis. If specialists could deliver theory in a short, concise form for every section in this framework of a business plan entrepreneurs would be helped a lot. 


At the fair Jens Graff listened to a speech in funding innovative projects by Steen Kaas Andersen, business advisor at Technological Information Center in Copenhagen. He contacted Steen after his speech and asked for a meeting with him about an idea for a book. Steen was professional advisor for innovators and SMEs and was an academic with auditing and finance as specialty, and he had access to a big network of specialists in the Danish business life. 


Hans Jørgen Lorenzen had a long career as director of different companies and has had his own consultancy company with affiliate in Bruxelles. His specialty is EU matters and export marketing and he has an extremely big network. John Aagaard is director at the Danish SME organization, Håndværksrådet. He has a very big network in the official Denmark and to companies. He is specialist in EU matters. Both these gentlemen have degrees in export marketing too. 


The idea of a business plan book was presented for the CEO of ErhvervsBladet, the Danish business newspaper for SMEs. The CEO became immediately interested and would market the book when it was printed. He had planned to introduce a book club for his newspaper readers, and this book would be excellent to market there. With this connection solid marketing of the “Forretningsplan” book was secured and it would target exactly the target group of the book: the SMEs.


Values behind the book


The biggest value of the book is that it follows a business plan structure so it is easy for entrepreneurs to be guided through own business plan writing. The book has contributions from 45 specialists in Denmark – people who have experience from daily work in their field. The book delivers topical text with many examples. The chapters can be read independently as they deliver a well-balanced text within each chapter. 


Summary of contents


Forretningsplanen – håndbog for SMV’ere og iværksættere has 47 chapters arranged around:


Analyses:

The business mission

The market foundation

The resources foundation

The law foundation 

The advisory services foundation


Planning:

Objectives

Strategies

Planning

Budgeting

Control

Risks

Exit


(For detailed content please see the “List of Content” link on this homepage).



Positioning of the book within its field


At the time of printing there were no books in Danish language covering the business planning process in detail. Danish Ministry of Economic and Business Affairs had published a small book on business start-up and distributed it free of charge on demand, but this book was mostly about administrative matters. For the education sector there were many books targeting the specific subjects of a business plan, e.g. accountancy, financing, and marketing. There were American books on small business matters and entrepreneurship, but they did not focus specifically on the business plan.


Forretningsplanen – håndbog for SMV’ere og iværksættere is giving good theoretical and practical advice for entrepreneurs and start-ups through the 47 paragraphs of the business plan framework. No other book on the market was seen to deliver this quality. It should enable readers to get insight in the specific field and better be able to produce their own business plan and seek informed advice on subjects of importance. The difficulty in making such a book is to find the right level of communication. It should not be so short that it would be only summaries or shallow information, and it should not be so long that it is better covered in special textbooks. By using specialists with competence from both the academic- and practical business life together with experience in entrepreneurship matters the book positions itself as a book, where specialists help entrepreneurs understand what to do when writing the business plan. Most investors prefer business plans to be written by the entrepreneurs themselves and not to be written by consultants hired for the purpose.  






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