The purpose of a business case bio is to show that you know how to do what you’re setting out to do. It’s not about riding your bike to school as a kid. Although that may be an entertaining story, that doesn’t do anything to prove that you know how to run this business.
Investors and bankers are looking for proof that the leadership team has the knowledge to know whether these plans are realistic, and whether the leadership team has the ability execute on their plans. It takes a domain expert to poke holes in a plan. Prove you are that expert. Having great plans is easier than doing them, prove you can do it better than the guy down the street.
Make sure you understand who your audience is for this and write this based solely on what you want them to remember about you. Readers will lose interest if you have a sentence longer than 20 words, more than 4 sentences, and more than 6 bullet points. Brevity is valuable.
Business Case Bio Format
The base business case bio format is a picture, a 3 or 4 sentence relevant professional summary, and 4-6 bullet points highlighting the successful delivery of similar projects or engagements.
Use a Picture that Says What You Want it to Say
The picture is your chance to make it personal. Depending on your audience, you may be better off with a semi-professional picture that shows you as a likable person, or as an expert. The professional headshot is OK here, but it’s a missed opportunity to add about 1,000 words worth of information. People love pictures of people, take advantage of that.
Your Role in Title Format
The title should show what your responsibility is at this company. If it’s not clear from your title what you do for the company, then you can add a 3-6 word blurb about responsibility with the title. Or get a new title. Don’t make it so confusing.
Relevant Professional Summary:
3-4 sentences which explain why you specifically are uniquely qualified to deliver this business plan. This should be tailored to tell a story about how your entire career led you here and this is a match made in business heaven. You only have 60 words. Make it Count. There are no second first impressions.
Success Bullet List:
4-6 Bullet points, all of which start with the success verbs in table 1, and the majority of which include quantification (as in, use a number) for your success. In a perfect world, you’d have a success verb and a number in every single bullet point.
Table 1. List of Success Verbs
Example 1: Business Case Bio for Leading a Technology Company
Always make sure that sections on your business case are on the same page. In the case of a bio, having a list of points wrap to the next page interrupts the storyline.
Who is the Audience?
If I was trying to prove that I can be a leader on a business that is launching a product in the data technology space for human capital:
Chief Product Strategist
My key to success has been empathy, focus on customer pain, and my ability to translate an extensive data modeling background to quantify customer values and pain. Business decisions are easy to make when you know how to get the right data. I have influenced millions of dollars of investment at 5 Fortune 500 companies and been involved in several startups. Products I have had a significant influence on are currently being sold on six continents.
- $20 Billion in product pipeline visibility
- Quantified $500 Million in customer pain
- Introduced over $200M in global product plans with extensive delivery of voice of the customer, pricing strategy, product roadmaps, and financial modeling.
- Selected to lead the Global Functional Excellence Product Planning committee for a Fortune 500 company. The team implemented best-practice procedures for how to decide what products an entire $18 Billion a year company invests in.
- Eliminated an entire class of warranty issues for a Fortune 500 company by using “Big Data” methods before “Big Data” was mainstream (Circa 2009)
Example 2: Business Case Bio for a Software Startup
Who is the Audience?
If I was trying to prove that I am the guy who can launch a company which uses statistical inference to improve business case analytics, risk reduction, and pricing:
Founder and CEO
I have set at least $200 Million in motion between 5 Fortune 500 companies through business case development and product chartering. I was asked to be the global functional excellence leader of business planning at a Fortune 500 company to improve statistical rigor in planning. I have run three of my own business startups and I have mentored several business leaders on data-driven business decision making.
- $20 Billion in global product pipeline visibility
- Introduced competitive differentiation strategy for an oil company
- Justified $6 million+ sales price by quantifying $150 million in customer pain for a Fortune Global 100 technology customer
- Introduced systematic quantification of concept value for screening of technology investment which enabled fast optimization of investment portfolio.
- Launched $30 million in annual sales forecasting with historic, market, and business data balanced using statistical methods.
- Delivered statistical inference-based project cost estimator that reduced estimate turnaround from 1 week to 30 minutes for tens of millions in project optimization.