Investaura’s new book is now available on Amazon: “Business Planning for Managers and Entrepreneurs”

Investaura Management Consultants is pleased to announce the publication of its new book on Business Planning for Managers and Entrepreneurs (ISBN 978-3-9813734-2-4), written by Pierre A. Lurin, a Managing Partner at Investaura.

The paperback edition complements the hardback edition first published in 2010, which has been updated and improved. Apart from the new cover, the book addresses a wider audience and includes a foreward where the author shares his recent experience acquired over the period 2010-2014, as well as personal insight on current and future trends.

The business case for the German Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system

One of the most controversial topics recently discussed in the political scene in Germany is the proposal by the German Ministry of Transportation to introduce a toll fee for passenger cars in the country.

In Germany until now, passenger cars pay no toll on roads and motorways. With about 60 million registered passenger cars and over 12.000 km of motorway infrastructure (‘Autobahn’), there is probably no other country worldwide that lets passenger cars take advantage of so many kilometres of roads for free and without any kind of toll.

This is about to change once the Ministry receives blessing for its proposal from the political landscape in Germany. Obviously, many aspects have been fiercely discussed already, ranging from legal issues regarding compliance with EU regulatory laws, to concerns on data privacy through to the question of the overall economics of the new system.

Business Planning Excel template for the telecoms and ICT industry

Finding a good business plan template in Excel format can be really hard, for the following reasons:

You need the right level of detail. More often than not, the templates provided by others (your corporate HQs, your boss, you name it) are much too detailed – if you work for a large company, you know what I mean. In those horrible templates, you really wonder who might ever read the hundreds and thousands of rows that try to forecast what could happen 10 years down the road….


If you are looking at an existing business, the financial projections should also take the recent past into account. Too often, the templates don’t seem to care about what happened in the last couple of years. If you haven’t analysed the recent performance of the company, how can you pretend that your 7-10 year forecast is realistic?

Forecasting ‘costs’ is hard, but forecasting markets and revenues is really a lot harder. One way to address this problem is to forecast the market in two different manners: by regions / countries on one hand, and by products / product lines on the other hand. And then reconcile them so that the two projections are aligned.

Finally, the financial plan must look good. Not only it must support the story that you are trying to sell (to your management, or to investors), but it must also be visually appealing.

In the ICT industry, there are quite a lot of software and service businesses (as well as hardware, for sure), with the added charm that gross margins can be (very) high, and working capital requirements low (who doesn’t love prepayments or annual software / service fees paid upfront?). So we have reflected these salient features of the ICT industry in the template below.

Enjoy the template in PDF format!

Download “Business Plan in the ICT industry Template”

INVESTAURA_Business-Planning-Template.pdf – Downloaded 14141 times – 1.50 MB


For access to the Excel template, you need to register as a Business Plan Starter member on ‘The Art of Business Planning’ web site. Go to the registration page

Business Planning and Costing made easy: free financial template!

Business planning and costing don’t have to be complicated. They aren’t! INVESTAURA is pleased to provide you with this simple Excel template to help you get started.

You need to register for free as a ‘Discovery’ member on this web site to download the Business Planning and Costing simple Excel template (more than 1800 downloads). Go to the registration page.

Supply side forecasting: Forget Moore’s law, there is now a better model

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it is about the future”

Nils Bohr, Nobel laureate in Physics

Yes, forecasting can be hard. But on the supply side, the good news is that many technologies display constant growth rate over time. This means that capacity is growing exponentially and when plotted on a logarithmic scale, capacity is a linear function of time. Sounds familiar? Yes, this is Moore’s law: the number of transistor per chip has been correctly predicted by to double every 2 years on average since the 1960s, giving an annual growth rate of +40%.

Our highly popular Seminar on ‘Finance for non-Financial Managers’ is coming to you

Have you ever wished that you would better understand Finance and Business Planning? Maybe with a view to take ‘Profit responsibility’ within your company?

Then this seminar is for you.

Accounting and Finance are not hard to learn, and everybody can learn them. The 3-day training will bring you up to speed with the key concepts used in Finance: the difference between cash and profit; key financial ratios; valuation of businesses and investment plans; the cost of capital, and many more.

In addition to trainer-led presentations that are richly illustrated with examples from the Telecoms & IT industry, the participants will solve a series of exercises and work on the ‘TetraStars’ case study.

Investaura’s Network Operations Transformation model is now on the Web

Investaura has released a white paper re-visiting the financial benefits of managed services and infrastructure sharing for telcos. Building on an initial discussion and review of the relevant approaches and options available, a top-down financial simulation model has been developed to analyse and quantify the benefits of alternative options available to communications service providers (CSPs).

The model that Investaura and Implied Logic have developed looks into four transformation levers that can improve the economics of the mobile carrier and potentially create considerable value:

Re-visiting the financial benefits of Managed Services and Infrastructure Sharing

Read our latest White Paper and learn more about the following topics:

  • Managed Services / Outsourcing
  • Infrastructure Sharing (Passive, Active) / TowerCo business
  • Vendor financing, Leasing (Finance lease, Operating lease), Sale & Leaseback
  • Financial Simulation, Top-Down Modelling
  • Telecom Economics, OPEX reduction, CAPEX reduction, Value creation


Communications service providers (CSPs) in developed markets are facing considerable challenges. While voice markets are saturated in most countries, 3G/4G network rollouts require large investments, which are not always commensurately compensated by increases in revenues; data traffic is exploding but revenue per Mbyte is often decreasing faster than cost per Mbyte. The overall impact is that both EBIDTA and EBIT margins are decreasing.

Budgeting, Business Planning and Service Costing in a box: the first easy-to-use solution a post-Excel world

Do you still use Microsoft Excel for Budgeting, Business Planning or Performance Management? Microsoft Excel was good for the job 10-15 years ago, but Excel also has its limits, and you probably have come across many of them already. In particular, Excel is not a database!

Today, very powerful, easy-to-use, and affordable solutions are available on the market that can set you apart as Manager, and truly help improve your company’s performance. If you are a Financial Planning Manager at a mid-size or large company, and still use Excel for Budgeting and Forecasting, then you’ve got quite a bit of catch up to do. And most likely you know that.

Launch of “The Art of Business Planning”

Investaura Management Consultants is pleased to announce the launch of a web site fully dedicated to the topic of business planning. Our objective is to help entrepreneurs as well managers working for established companies write better business plans and create more successful and lasting businesses. The web site can be found there:


Enjoy the recipes, the cheese as well as our desserts.  And also the videos of Simon Sinek, Steve Blank, Steve Jobs, John Chambers and Philip Baddeley.

New Seminar on Business Planning and Entrepreneurship

Investaura is pleased to announce the launch of its new seminar on ‘Business Planning and Entrepreneurship’.  This is a 5-day event that can be booked by business customers and training institutes anywhere in the world, for groups of up to 15 people.

The seminar is lead by one of the Investaura Managing Consultants acting as coach to help participants develop ‘best-in-class’ business planning skills.  Up to 5 case studies are included and discussed with the participants in a highly interactive manner.  In addition, the consultant will help participants get started with their own business plan.

Business Planning, Budgeting and Costing in a box: the first end-to-end solution for telecoms service providers

Investaura Management Consultants, the telecoms consultancy specialized in Business Intelligence and Performance Management, are pleased to announce the launch of the first end-to-end Business Planning, Budgeting and Activity-Based Costing (ABC) solution for telecoms service providers. The solution was built on the Adaptive Planning platform from Adaptive Insights Inc, the world leader in Budgeting, Forecasting and Reporting. The solution combines the power of Adaptive Insights ‘Software as a Service’ platform with Investaura’s unique understanding of the needs of telecoms operators in both developing and mature markets.

To demonstrate how telecom service providers can use Adaptive Planning, Investaura has developed a fully functioning application that contains all the building blocks found in Budgeting solutions used by telecom operators. The application can easily be customized for service providers of any size, including mobile, fixed, and cable TV operators. It requires next to no IT support for its roll-out within our customers’ organizations.

‘Business Planning for Managers’ now available on Amazon

This guide is the ultimate reference for business planning practitioners.  Following an introduction, it contrains 13 chapters:

Getting started

  • Structuring a business plan
  • Case study of a UMTS service provider
  • What can we learn from the crash?Business Planning for Managers

Financial Statements and Valuation

  • Understanding financial statements
  • Valuing businesses
  • Checklist of common pitfalls

Forecasting Revenues and Costs

  • Forecasting is an art
  • Forecasting on the supply side
  • Forecasting on the demand side

Advanced Techniques

  • Knowing your competitors
  • Value chain and business model
  • Scenario planning
  • Valuing business opportunities as ‘Real Options’

Business Planning for Managers is illustrated with 100 pictures.

More info under

View the book on Amazon web site