The Operations Structure begins Part III of our Business Planning course. Structure and process are the bookends of every highly successful company so it's important that you clearly define in the business plan how your business will be structured.
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There are several key areas for discussion related to the operations structure. First, we'll share details on the benefits of your business interior, location and overall facility. Then we'll provide information about the hours of operation for each business channel offered by the business.
The interior of your
business is just as important as the physical location of your business. Provide information about the benefits of the interior and how it will support the future growth of the business. Some key questions to answer may include:
What is the amount of square
feet your business requires?
Will this amount of square footage allow for
requirements/modifications required for the space. Are these requirements
allowed within your lease agreement?
“The more time you spend contemplating what you should have done… you lose valuable time planning what you can and will do.”
- Lil Wayne, Rapper
Is the space attractive for displaying goods and provided services on-site?
Describe how you intend to optimize the space. How will the flow of the interior contribute to a growth in sales?
Work with your team to anticipate questions that might be asked by the reader of your business plan. The better prepared you to answer questions during your presentation, the better your chances will be to attract lenders or investors.
Next, let's discuss the physical location and hours of operation.
Operations Structure: Physical Location
The physical location of
your business is critical for some business types, for instance local retail
stores. Location is less important for businesses
such as Internet companies.
- If your
business is not as dependent on location, you may have an advantage, which
should be explained.
- If your
location has been determined, provide details about how you made that decision.
Outline the process you went through and the primary benefits the location
provides to the future success of the business.
- If no
location has been decided on, provide the process you intend to go through in making
this important decision. Give the reader a strong sense that your approach is
thoughtful and deliberate.
Examples of key
considerations for physical location might include, but are not limited to:
Define the size, type and
location you’d like to buy or lease. Explain how each factor enhances the
opportunity for growth of the business. Does the location need to be at street
level or can it be in an office building or high-rise? When considering the
needs of your employees and customers, should the location be in close
proximity to public transportation?
When comparing potential locations
for your business it’s important to consider access and traffic flow patterns.
Is there adequate parking available? Does it have sufficient security in place?
Do neighboring businesses compliment the type of customers who hope to attract?
Does the location provide
opportunity for signage that will be highly visible to passing traffic? Are
there local ordinances that limit signs in your area?
Next, be sure to address your regular hours of operation. For instance, ”Open Monday – Friday 8am – 5pm; Saturday 9am – 4pm; Sunday Closed”. If you operate on any online channels (I.e., website, call center, etc.) to service your customers 24/7/365, include this in your explanation.
Okay, we still have some information to cover related to your Operations Structure section of the business plan. In the next couple pages we'll provide key information on the organizational structure of the facility. Also, we'll identify the management team and their respective qualifications to hold key leadership positions within the business.
"A man who does not think and plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door."
Success Lesson #7
Adopt A System For Success
Systems and process are the mark of a successful business leader. Too
often businesses fail solely due to a lack of thoughtful planning.
The same type of system, order and forethought that goes into the
running of a city should go into the management of a country store.
Business owners have frequently pondered over how they could have
failed in their venture, never able to come up with one single reason
when they have inventory piled high to the ceiling that has never once
been properly accounted for.
“Just for now”, is a term that has corrupted many establishments.
Managers put off what they know they must do “just for now” and expect
to get back to it shortly, but never do.
"At all times it is better to have a method."
- Mark Caine
They put off balancing their bank statements, “just for now”; they
fail to monitor their sales strategy “just for now”; procrastination is
the bad habit that is formed under the devilish promise of “just for
Implementing systems is how successful people ensure that important
tasks are completed regardless of whether he or she is present on a
certain day or not. With a system set firmly in place, you won't need to worry about things not getting done on time.
Adopting a solid process is a great way to ensure good habits for
your organization. If the process is good, so too will be the habits of
Demonstrate in your business plan that Operations Structure is solid and that your business will be well organized for optimal production.
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