It's good to have a solid concept, strong product and ambitious goals, but to grow a successful company, you will also need a detailed understanding of job roles, company structure and the day-to-day running of your operation.
This section of the plan is often the most detailed, there are many considerations that must be taken into account, overlooking just one could be harmful when it comes to launching a company or seeking investment.
- Where will your business be located?
- Why have you decided upon this location and for how long do you expect to be there?
- Are you going to buy a building outright or will you rent?
- Are you considering working virtually?
Determining location is key, not only because it means you can allocate budget accordingly, but because it allows potential lenders to understand your situation. Do you have room to expand, and who will be responsible in the event of a fire etc? These are the questions investors will want answers to.
It may also be worth mentioning the convenience of your location too. Note the nearest train/bus stations, as well as how long it takes to reach major motorways and airports.
- How have you chosen your suppliers and what will they bring to the overall operation?
- Are they the only choice?
- Are you tied into a long-term contract, or could you switch suppliers should a better deal come to light?
- What are the contract terms?
When discussing suppliers, you must show that all necessary bridges have been crossed, all considerations have been taken into account and all transactions can be justified, both in terms of finance and necessity.
This section will include suppliers, but its main purpose is to highlight the overall production process:
- Will anything be outsourced?
- Is there potential for delays or technical hitches?
- Have you fully considered how many units you wish to produce?
- Are all suppliers in a position to provide what you want?
Getting all of this information may require some additional legwork on your part, but it's essential that all sections of the production line have been investigated.
- How will you distribute your products and where will they be stored?
- Do you have additional warehouse facilities?
- Are you going to be selling the product online or will it be placed on supermarket shelves?
It is vital that you understand:
- How many employees you need
- What their roles will be
- How you will recruit them
You may have financial constraints such as how much you can offer in terms of wages, but you must also assess the potential number of staff against the number of tasks they can carry out. Consider if some tasks that would traditionally require two people be merged into one role for example.
This section will cover:
- Their roles, responsibilities and constraints
- Where there's room to develop once the company matures
You may not need someone to run your social media output on day one, for example, but after a year of solid development this may be required. By understanding the company's different departments and what roles they will play, both you and your potential investors will have a far better idea of strengths, weaknesses and growth opportunities.