Business operations are the major activities of the organization, which brings in revenue. In writing a business plan, an operations plan plays an imperative role in defining the objectives, goals, timeline, and standard operating procedures.
A business operation plan helps provide clarity to stakeholders external to the organization and the internal participants such as employees. The operations plan is one part of the business’s long-term mission broken down into achievable targets and objectives. Ideally, an operations business plan would define the daily activities of the business and assign responsibilities.
Here are important things to include to create a solid business operations plan:
After the business’s direction has been set in the strategic part of the market plan where the mission is defined, the mission is broken down into actionable tasks called objectives. Achieving goals is like moving ahead on the road and reaching another small milestone after completing every objective.
To achieve goals and objectives, the first step is to identify and define the business’s objectives. The rule of thumb for defining objectives is to make them set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.
Specific objectives mean that the business should clearly define the objectives without any ambiguity. The performance in achieving these goals should be measurable according to defined criteria.
The goals should not be unrealistic or too difficult to achieve and should be bound by time. If objectives fit the given criteria, there is a high chance that the business can become successful. Each department of the business would have its separate list of objectives.
Moving on from defining objectives, the task at hand is to implement them. To implement the goals that each department has defined, the business will require resources. This is one of the most important parts of the operational business plan as it converts ideas into reality. Think about all the required resources in terms of human resources, technology, investment, working hours.
You might require extra hands to turn the plans into action, which needs to be included in the plan. In the current era, no business would experience exponential growth without the aid of technology.
Each department would have its requirement of IT infrastructure, which needs to be provided. For instance, the marketing team would require research software, the sales team would need to record and track sales, and the human resource department would require AI technology for hiring employees.
These resources will come at a price that will require investment poured into the business, which should be mentioned in the business plan’s operations section.
“Time is money” is a common phrase used in the business world which means the sooner you start operations, the more money you will make. If the implementation of the plans is delayed, the business is going to have an opportunity cost.
It is vital to highlight the required time for the implementation of the business plan. Timelines keep the business on its toes to meet the deadlines that have been decided in the business plan. The schedule needs to be created to hire human resources listed in the previous part of the plan along with timelines for other tasks. There needs to be a schedule for the revenues that the business will generate.
4. Setting Milestones
It is essential to set milestones to check the progression of the business. To set the milestone for production, an organization can set the target to produce a specific amount or attain a certain number of customers. For marketing milestones, you can check the number of partnerships that have been signed or conduct competitor analysis to see where you stand in the landscape.
Financial milestones also need to be set, usually for 12 months, to track the business’s performance. The essential parts of financial milestones are profits, investment, costs, and transactional goals. There is no fixed template for a business plan, but it should provide a clear picture in the minds of the investors and the employees about the business in all aspects.
Operations business plans are most likely to include goals, operational needs, timelines, and business milestones. Goals are small components of a mission that need to be achieved to move ahead. Objectives should be defined using the SMART framework, after which the cost of implementation of the objectives is estimated.
Afterward, the timeline for achieving the business goals is set to measure progress, and milestones are set for each department.