Guide to Starting and Operating a Small Business | 2018 Guide to Starting and Operating a Small Business - Page 17

Section 3—Management and Operations Your Management and Operations section needs to focus on how the business will be run: The management team and the experience and skill they bring to the business as well as how you will manage the company, who will be responsible for running the day-to-day operation as well as the steps and processes necessary to get the work of your business done. Even the best and brightest entrepreneurs cannot do everything. Identify key work areas that will ensure customer satisfaction and company growth and make sure staff understands their responsibilities. This ranges from how the telephone should be answered to what is your return policy; from how do we reach more customers, to what is the most cost effective level of inventory? Note: Documented processes (job descriptions, training plan, activity steps, etc.) will help you develop consistency and quality in production, sales, delivery, and follow-up customer care. Human Resources Plan Who is on your management team? Consider your knowledge and experience gaps and anticipate and plan for how you will cover those gaps and manage all the important business functions. Who do you know that might help you in the early stages, and where do you need to incorporate specialized assistance such as: Financial management — accountant or bookkeeper; Legal advice — attorney; Risk management — insurance agent; Site or facilities — realtor and/or local economic d evelopment organization; Marketing and advertising — specialized consultants (graphic design, web development, marketing); Human resources — staffing service/consultant; Technology and computer systems — IT services consultant. Consider how many staff members will you hire and in which roles? How much money will you spend? What are your goals for staffing? Estimate the costs and benefits of full-time, part-time and contract employees. How will new employees be trained? Critical areas include Operations, Sales, and Finance, and each function needs to be defined. How will decisions be made? Where are your greatest strengths? What skill areas and team members need to be added? You may want to highlight the following elements within this section: • Management team • Organizational structure (chart) • Staffing objectives (job duties and basic work schedules – this may include outsourced roles) • Board of Directors, Advisory Board (if appropriate) Operations Plan You may want to highlight the following elements within this section: • Basics on how work will be processed • Use of subcontractors for work activity • Quality control • Facility needs (site and/or floor plan are helpful visuals) • Manufacturing needs (equipment, work flow) Research and Development Plan (if applicable) Plan for your company’s future and growth. Whether you will be developing new products or expanding to additional locations, a growth plan is important. What are your goals and plans in this area? What obstacles do you foresee while trying to achieve your objectives? Will you require additional financing to obtain your research and development objectives? You may want to highlight the following elements within this section: • Research and Development objectives • Milestones and contingency plans • Difficulties and risks and how to overcome them • Special budget needs 15