Business Planning – WHAT, WHY, HOW, WHEN*

Margaret Pastuszko, M.B.A.

Margaret Pastuszko can be reached in the Dean's Office, ext. 89041, if you need further advice or help in developing a business plan.

Business Planning

WHAT – planning for a specific idea or project

WHY – helps you think through the future; helps management make decisions

HOW – write a business plan

WHEN – determine whether you can complete at least three elements of a business plan

Elements of a business plan

  1. Description – What am I proposing? Why would anyone be interested? What is its value to the department/institution/community?
  2. Background – Has this been tried before? What are your short-term (e.g. 1 yr) and long-term (e.g. 5 yrs) goals?
  3. Organization/Governance – Who will oversee the program? Partnerships with other departments? Who will handle staffing issues?
  4. Market analysis – Is there a need? Who else is doing what I want to do? Who are the customers? What is the project growth of the demand for the service? What are the strengths/weakness/opportunities/threats (SWOT)
  5. Financial analysis – What are the potential sources of revenues? projected expenses – salary and non-salary? What are one-time start-up costs? ongoing expenses?
  6. Explain your assumptions, e.g. did you extrapolate from current experience, did you use market benchmarks, interviews?
    • Data sources for assumptions

    • Overall – Finance office, Department administrator, hospital, internet, billing records, HR, other
    • Clinical – AAMC, HCFA, SPARCS, UHC, other
    • Research – NIH database, Foundation, GCO, Tech Transfer Office, other
  7. Issues to be addressed – legal/regulatory/space/IT issues that will affect the outcome? Does success depend on certain assumptions?
  8. Recommendation/Conclusion – implications (financial, political, etc), returns, implementation plan; is the project taking advantage of a limited window of opportunity? will it expand/improve the institution's mission? is there a quality/satisfaction opportunity?

*The final version of the experts' presentations have been edited by Sandra K. Masur, Ph.D. (WFG President), Miki Rifkin, Ph.D.(WFG Vice President) often from notes of Kathryn Kaplan, Ph.D., MSSM Consultant, Organizational Development.

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