Writing a Business Plan: Operating Plan
The operations plan is a vital section of business plan writting as it describes the physical requirements of your business’s operation, such as the physical location of your business, facilities and equipment. An operations plan should explain how customer needs will actually be met on a day-to-day basis, including the actual creation of the product or service, and its final delivery to the customer. Some business plans may have a relatively short operations section (such as for a manufacturing firm which supplies wholesalers and retailers), however, any differences from standard practice within your industry should be explained in enough detail, so investors know what they might expect, or why you plan to achieve the results set forth in your plan. Firms which are more devoted to manufacturing or other production as the chief part of their operations might include information about quality control initiatives (Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, etc.) which are typical for their business in this section as well.
Here is a simple outline of a one-page operations plan that you can put when writing a business plan. This outline is a general template, which you can use as is or modify to customize it for your specific business.
For writing an effective operational plan in business plan writting, you can divide the section into two having the stage of development and production process section.
Stage of Development Section
When writing this section, it is important to include what you have done to date and what still needs to be done. Ensure you include the following in stage of the development section of your business plan.
- Production Workflow
Describe the production process of your product or service and also identify the problems that are likely to occur during this process. Create a subsection that also outlines the potential problem that is also like to disrupt the production process and the measures you are going to take to avoid it. This sub-section can be titled “Risks”. At any stage production process, if there is a tendency for your staffs to be exposed to any hazard, ensure you describe how your staff will be professionally trained to deal with a safety issue. Also, describe how you are going to safely store and dispose of hazardous materials if they will be used.
- Industry Association Memberships
This section should include a brief discussion on which organization you plan to join or already a member. It should also contain steps you will take or have taken to adhere to laws and regulation that bounds your industry. This way, you will be able to show your business awareness and its compliance with local, regional or national standards.
- Supply Chains
Make a detailed as well as brief description of who your suppliers, their terms and condition and most importantly, their price. State other alternative measures you are going to take in case these suppliers let you down.
- Quality Control
The quality control measure should be stated and a detailed plan on how you are going to accomplish it.
Production Process Section
When writing a business plan, your day to day operation should be included in the production process section. Ensure you include the following
Include hours of operation and other information that does not fit into any other categories.
- Facilities and Equipment:
As a small business owner, you may be operating your business out of your home. However, you might require facilities for events, to include general information about how you will fill that need. Also, include general information about the equipment you need for your business and it’s maintenance.
- Materials and Production
If you have a physical product, discuss how you will acquire it. If you are producing the product yourself, explain the materials you need, where you get those materials and on what terms, as well as the production process itself.
Explain briefly how you will track the inventory of your product and/or services. For example, if you have an online store, this is where you would explain what services you are using to handle this.
- Organization Chart with Key Roles and Responsibilities
This section will make up the bulk of the operations plan. An organization chart is optional, although it is a good way to organize this information. Include all aspects of the business such as customer service, accounts payable, accounts receivable and sales. Also, include any external relationships you have with other companies you are outsourcing to or partnering with.
Discuss skills and competencies that are required. Outline a broad training plan for any areas that need to be handled.
Again, this template is a general guideline to get you started with an operations plan in business plan writting. It may have triggered some things you haven’t given much thought. It will certainly help you organize the things you need to deal with on a daily basis. Take a little time and put together a basic, one-page operations plan for your business.
If you would like to learn more about how Taylor Mason can help you with your business planning process, please contact us.