Friday, 23 December 2011

Business Plan – You and Your Team


Now you may be a one man band or you may already have 10 partners with different experience and expertise or you may already have a work force in place. The point is this is the section where you need to sell yourself and show what you bring to the business and how you are going to fill gaps in the experience. This section is important when it gets to getting funding, because people are not only investing in your business and the idea, but also in you as a person. So they need to be sure that you have the right skills and background to get this done.

Your Teams Skills

It needs to clearly lay out the skills you have in your management team and your staff, concentrate on the strengths in your team and show how you are going to deal with obvious weaknesses. Please note the word obvious, if you have no one with marketing experience and this is clear then yes discuss how you are sending the GM on a marketing course to fill this knowledge gap. But you don't want to discuss the GM's love of holidays and so he takes time off every 5 weeks. Only talk about what is glaring and what needs answering.
The Management Team

This can sell your business and get you that much needed investment so how do you do it! Explain who is involved, how they fit into your organisation. Include a C.V. For each key individual in the appendix and a paragraph on each person in this section. Concentrate on RELEVENT experience, skills and qualifications. Also include the greater support network, financial advisers, accountants, lawyers and specialist advisers.

In order to secure funding this section must prove to potential investors that you have the right mix of skills, determination, drive to make the business a success, with a keen focus on the business related aspects including operation and market experience, sales and marketing, financial and possibly man management these are just as important in market specific skills.

This section is where you show your commitment to this venture so give it your all, let your excitement, commitment and personality come through this will help you emotionally connect with investors.

The last thing you should discuss in this section is how much money will each individual draw from the business, this is very important for an investor as they use this to determine how much of a stake will be left. It is important to leave a substantial percentage for business development, especially in the first 3-5 years, this shows a long term commitment to this venture.

Your people

Give information regarding the size and demographics of your workforce, break them down by department if that is appropriate assign responsibilis and talk about any branch of the business which will be outsourced. If you are already established important stats include retention rates, productivity, average salaries and sales per employee if appropriate.

This section should also contain information about your recruitment and training processes, it should show a commitment to your people and should indicate time-scales and costs involved.

Be realistic about motivation and loyalty of your staff, we all know cold calling sales has a high turnover, but what investors want to see is how are you going to improve staff morale and improve commitment.

We will next be talking about the operation section of the business plan.

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