The Operations Plan
“In the end, all business operations can be reduced to three words: people, product, and profits.”
― Lee Iacocca
By now your reader will have learned about everything relating to your core offering, who your customer is, what the market opportunity is, and who some of the other big players in the industry are. However, they’re probably wondering just how you plan on running the company day-in and day-out. As in where are you in terms of execution of the plan and how will you go about creating and delivering your product or service.
The Supply Chain
Let’s start with the workflow that you’ll have to deal with to make your ideas a reality. Some of the things you’ll want to touch on are:
Suppliers - Who will be providing you with all the materials that you won’t be manufacturing yourself?
Facilities - Where will you house your inventory (if any) or which office will you be working out of?
Personnel - How many staff will you require your daily operations? What will their duties look like?
Equipment - What tools and technology do you require to be up and running or to take your company to the next level? (This could include everything from computers to office desks and everything in between)
Shipping and Fulfilment - Here you’ll have to outline whether you’ll be handling all the deliveries on your orders or if you’ll be using a third-party fulfillment partner.
Inventory - Here you’ll highlight how much you’ll keep on hand, where it’ll be stored, and how you’ll have it shipped to third-partners if applicable. Also, an important detail to note is how you’ll keep track of everything going in and out.
Customer Support - How will support requests, refunds, and customer complaints be considered and integrated in your business workflow?
The Production Process
You’ll also want to get more specific into your entire production process, and that means covering:
How long it will take you to produce a single unit or a predefined number of units?
What measures have been put in place to integrate customer feedback into your product or service? As in, have you allotted time to create and test prototypes, pricing, or delivery mechanisms?
How will you deal with major influxes in demand, as in what procedures or steps will you have in place when you offer a sale and orders come flying in?
This section should signal to the reader of your business plan that you’ve got a good handle of running your business and the contingency plan you have in place to account for uncertainty in the marketplace. Next comes the fun part, your financial plan. Get ready to have fun with nothing more than a spreadsheet, some paper and maybe a calculator.