The Management Team Section of Your Business Plan

The-Management-Team-Key-Elements-of-a-Professional-Business-Plan

Over the last 20+ years, we’ve written business plans for over 4,000 companies and hundreds of thousands of others have used our business plan template and other business planning materials.

From this vast experience, we’ve learned exactly what you must include in the management team section of your business plan.

The Goal of the Management Team Section of Your Business Plan

Your management team plan has 3 goals:

  • To prove to you that you have the right team to execute on the opportunity you have defined, and if not, to identify who you must hire to round out your current team
  • To convince lenders and investors (e.g., angel investors, venture capitalists) to fund your company (if needed)
  • To document how your Board (if applicable) can best help your team succeed

What to Include in Your Management Team Section

There are three areas to include in your management team business plan as follows:

Management Team Members

For each key member of your team, document their name, title and background. 

Their backgrounds are most important in telling you and investors they are qualified to execute. Detail what positions each member has held in the past and what they accomplished in those positions. For example, if your VP of Sales was formerly the VP of Sales for another company in which they grew sales from zero to $10 million, that would be an important and compelling accomplishment to document.

Importantly, try to relate your team members’ past job experience with what you need them to accomplish at your company. For example, if a former high school principal was on your team, you could state that their vast experience working with both teenagers and their parents will help them succeed in their current position (particularly if the current position required them to work with both customer segments).

Management Team Gaps

In this section, detail if your management team currently has any gaps or missing individuals. Not having a complete team at the time you develop your business plan. But, you must show your plan to complete your team.

As such detail what positions are missing and who will fill the positions. For example, if you know you need to hire a VP of Marketing, state this. Further, state the job description of this person. For example, you might say that this hire will have 10 years’ experience managing a marketing team, establishing new accounts, working with social media marketing, have startup experience, etc.

To give you a “checklist” of the team members you might want to include in your Management Team Members and/or Gaps sections, below are the most common management titles at a growing startup (note that many are specific to tech startups):

  • Founder, CEO and/or President
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • VP of Sales
  • VP of Marketing
  • VP of Web Development and/or Engineering
  • UX Designer/Manager
  • Product Manager
  • Digital Marketing Manager
  • HR Manager
  • Business Development Manager
  • Account Management/Customer Service Manager
  • Sales Manager/Sales Staff

Board Members

If you have a Board of Directors or Board of Advisors, you would include the bios of your Board members in this section.

A Board of Directors is a paid group of individuals who help guide your company. Typically startups do not have such a board until they raise VC funding.

If your company is not at this stage, consider forming a Board of Advisors. Such a board is ideal particularly if your management team is missing expertise and/or experience in certain areas..An advisory board includes 2 to 8 individuals who act as mentors to your business. Usually you meet with them monthly or quarterly and they help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. You typically do not pay advisory board members with cash, but offering them options in your company is a best practice as it allows you to attract better board members and better motivate them.

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