Pender reveals tricks of the trade

07 July, 2017

Need to write a business plan to raise venture capital, get a bank loan or even win a government grant?

Gordon Pender’s first book Planning to Win will help you put together a winning plan and understand your business better.

He says raising venture capital is not something entrepreneurs do often, but it’s not something they should find terrifying either.

He should know, he’s been a business plan consultant for more than 30 years.

And with venture capitalists only investing in about three per cent of the proposals they see, it’s important to pull together a top business plan, to give themselves the best chance.

“So, it’s a bit like buying a house, or having surgery – you need someone who’s done it before to help and guide you. But, like all those things, you should manage the process yourself,” Pender says.

He says the best entrepreneurs already have the whole business plan in their heads, while others need help to get it down on paper.

“They only need to write it down if they require outside funding,” he says.

“If they are good at it, they don’t need me. But the financial model is as important as the written plan. Some are good at both, and many are very keen to learn. Others are not; they know it all. That often applies to university start-ups and businesses.

“It’s a specialised area, like legal agreements or surgery, that normally require help. But many people think they can do it themselves.”

Pender says the most important chapters in his book are about products and markets, technology and strategy development.

“They cover what investors say are their most important considerations. And all in about 10 pages,” he says.

“But, a business is a system to make money. I think most investors, if they get past the executive summary, probably go straight to the deal. “My book explains how to develop and propose a fair and practical deal. It’s also a good basis for negotiation.”

Pender says he’s had much pleasure and some pain working for 30 years with people who have run their own businesses.

“What happens in the “real world” is often not known or talked about. I hope new entrepreneurs will benefit by knowing what can really happen, and often does.”

Planning to Win is available from Boffins Books in Perth, RRP $29.99.

►Hear from the new author at the CCI Boffins Books Business Book Club: Planning to Win event at CCI on July 14.