How Business Plans Work

Management Structure: Staff Positions and Management Section

The first thing many investors may look at in your plan is the management structure. If you're not looking for investors, this section will still help you plan your organization's structure and help you make sure you have the skill sets you need to succeed. Investors want to make sure you have the necessary resources to properly plan, organize, control and lead your business. They will look for weaknesses in your management team's experience, so before they can do that you should do it. Assuming you already have your technical staff in place, set up a management team that has good experience and track records in marketing, finance and operations. It can make the difference in whether your business plan works or doesn't work. In fact, 98% of small business's that fail do so because of weaknesses in their management staff.

Minimum Staff Positions

The staff you'll need to run your business will really depend a lot on the type and size of your business, and the scope of what you are offering. As a general guideline you'll need:

  • Technical staff to develop and build your product or service
  • Staff who can manage your finances
  • Staff who can market your product
  • Staff who can oversee your operations
  • Administrative staff

Writing the Management Section

Start with a summary of your overall management philosophy. Identify your company founders and board of directors. Answer the obvious questions such as how many employees you will have over given periods of time, how many of those will be managers, what their experience and credentials need to be, etc.

For the key players you already have in place, provide summaries of their resumes highlighting pertinent experience and achievements, salary levels, and their areas of responsibility. For positions you are still trying to fill, summarize your minimum requirements for likely candidates along with the responsibilities of those positions. Or, contract those positions out to professionals who specialize in the area you need. You may find that contracting work out is the best solution initially anyway. Be sure you include the credentials and track records of your contracted help. Also, remember to include time tables for hiring additional staff.

Include a section on outside support, such as your CPA, your attorney, your banker, and your insurance broker. Also include any other outside resources such as your board of directors or management consultants.

Look at your management plan critically and search for weaknesses in your organization Spell those weaknesses out here, and identify your plans to address them. Even if you don't see the weaknesses, it is very likely that your potential investors will.