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Writing a Business Plan: Convincing Operations Plans
The operations plan section of your business plan comes late in the outline of most plans, but should not be considered an afterthought. This is your chance to show readers that you understand your industry's best practices and have considered how you will grow from the small or one-person operation you may start as into a larger organization that takes advantage of economies of scale.
The operations plan should detail the various functions that your business must execute to be successful. This shows readers your clear understanding of what running your type of business will entail. You should go on to describe which roles you and other managers will fill at the beginning or what staff will be hired to fill others.
This is the place to describe the key operations systems, whether they are technology-driven or people-driven, that you will use to save money and ensure consistent quality of your products or services. These may include sales systems, bookkeeping systems, quality control, inventory, etc. It is not necessary that every aspect of your plan contain breakthrough ideas, and this is one of those places where showing that you will work in the same way as other similar businesses can be to your advantage. If you are experimenting with new and untested operations systems, readers may feel it increases the risk of investing with your company rather than lowering costs as you intended.
A list of milestones shows an understanding of the long-term operations processes. These may include the introduction of new products or services, key revenue targets (i.e. $1 million in annual sales), key partnerships achieved, or the hiring of additional employees. This information is best presented as a chart, with narrative to describe any milestones which are not self-explanatory.
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