Use this page for advice when formatting a business case. By following these simple suggestions, you have a greater chance of formatting professionally and getting your business case approved.
A business case can be a daunting and time-consuming project. With many components and people involved, it’s almost easy to overlook or become overwhelmed with how you will format your business case. However, with these suggestions you can avoid rejection based solely bad formatting or layout.
Knowing how to use standard office software will be key in creating and presenting an appealing business case.
- Most business cases are completed in a word processing program, like Microsoft Word.
- In addition to simply handing out a business case, you might need to present to a group or individual.
- Instead of using the same word document, create a presentation with software, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, to provide a visually concise option.
- Utilize white space on your document to avoid overload.
- Maintain consistent margins.
- Use double spacing and approapriate spacing before and after headings (such as 14pt font with double space).
Avoid text blindness
- Giant blocks of texts are exhausting to read and make it difficult to refer back to a specific point of interest.
- Limit use of paragraphs and keep them only a few sentences long.
- Use bullets points and numbered lists
Be selective in your font
Believe it or not, your font choice has an impact on the formatting and readability of your business case.
- If you have a company-specific or branded font, use it! If not, choose an easy to read font.
- If your document is lengthy or requires use of paragraphs, a serif typeface is more legible in large blocks of text vs sans-serifs. This is why serifs are used in book publishing.
- Sans-serif type fonts are appealing in headings.
- Remain consistent in your font size.
- Use standard font size – 10 or 11pt – for text.
- Use 12-14 pt for headers and remain consistent throughout
Print and digital copies
Always include the name of the business case, the date, and the authors. If presenting multiple times, use the version number.
- If printing your business case, get it bound professionally.
- You want to be taken seriously, show you are serious in your presentation of the materials.
- This can be done at any office store with print services.
- If going digital, include a title page that meets your company brand colors/standards.
- Change your format to something everyone can view. You don’t want to email a business case that nobody can open. Go with a PDF or Word document.
See our page on Business case writing advice: