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The reader of your plan will scrutinize the capabilities of the operational management very closely. In many cases investors are actually looking at the founders more so than the plan itself. That’s because many startup companies with strong market knowledge find that they must change and adapt to rapidly changing consumer preferences. The ability of the operating managers to find solutions and to make optimum decisions is paramount to a successful business.

Organization Structure

How the business is organized has a great influence on the management structure. Investors looking at a high-performing enterprise often expect to see a competent management team of individuals each bringing key skills into the enterprise. If the business is owned solely by the founder, a structure should be in place to allow for the delegation of key areas of responsibility. It’s difficult for one person to keep tabs on everything needed to successfully grow a business, so readers of your plan will want to know how control is maintained as the business expands.

Duties and Responsibilities
Managing is a circular process. Planning – Organizing – Leading – Control is done over and over again throughout the business. Each step of the process is important to the next and any shortfall in one can lead to a subpar end result.

Ownership and Decision Making
Good managers can interpret a wide range of issues and make decisions when less-than-perfect information is available. When the manager is the only owner there is little conflict. In organizations were more than one person has ownership and management input, the process can become messy and burdened with ineffective decision making. It is critical for the smooth flow of the organization that a clearly defined decision making process be developed. Leaders need to be able to make effective decisions using critical thinking skills, training, research, and the ability to key in on the most important issues of complex situations.

Ongoing, Expansion & Succession Management

Small organizations with a handful of employees seldom need a formal organizational structure, but large firms must have an efficient and effective structure in order to succeed. As the small business owner grows he/she need to hand over some of the duties to others. Some entrepreneurs find that delegation of responsibilities to be a difficult transition. Readers of your plan will want to know how you are going to “scale” or grow the business and the process that will be used to develop a systematic control structure.