A business is only as strong as the people who breathe life into it. Your management team and staff can be the difference between a successful business and one that fails. Therefore, it is important to include a section in your business plan that outlines the skills that your team members possess and how these skills will help bring your product or service to market.
The Team section of your business plan should include:
Management Team Profiles & Ownership Structure
No matter how large or small your business, good management is key to its success. It is important to think through and identify all management categories, necessary skill sets and possible job titles. It is not necessary to fill each position with a different person. You should, however, identify the people who are capable of assuming roles when necessary, whether it be yourself or someone else. It is suggested that you provide a current copy of everyone's résumé in addition to including profiles of each member of your management team (even if the team is just you) that demonstrates his or her unique skills. Describe how each person will add to the team's success.
Management Team Profiles & Ownership Structure section should cover the following:
- What are the major categories of business management in your company (i.e. marketing, sales, research, administration)? Include an organizational chart of your business or explain the functions of yourself and key team members.
- Who are the people who have agreed to work with your business? (Attach complete resumes of management team members) What are their job descriptions?
- What positions are still unfilled at your company?
- What skills and job experience will the people who fill these positions have?
- What skills do you personally have (include any skills from last job or business - how do these skills correlate with your business?)?
- Describe the compensation package for yourself and the management team (e.g. salary, benefits, profit sharing schemes etc.)
- What work contracts, non-competition agreements and other contractual agreements have you put in place for your management team? (Include contracts in Appendix)
- Describe the ownership structure of your business, mentioning percentages controlled by management team (if applicable).
No matter what size your company, creating a board of advisors for your company is an excellent way to benefit from the skills and expertise of people you may not yet be able to afford to employ. By outlining your Advisor's credentials, you can help to enhance the credibility of your management team. Therefore, it is important to include a section of your business plan on your board of advisors.
The Advisors section of your business plan should cover the following:
- Outline who is on your board of advisors. List names, titles, employment, education, expertise and how their guidance will positively impact your business.
- If you have not yet assembled your board of advisors, describe the types of people you will approach. (It is important to make sure you look for board members who can supplement skills your business may be lacking for example, if your business is technology based, try to include people with marketing and finance backgrounds.)
Another important aspect of your business plan should be a section that lists all the professional support services - such as your lawyer, accountant, banker and consultants - that your company will use. This list will show not only that you have considered all facets of your business, but also that you have a strong network of talent that will help your company grow. If you haven't already investigated professional services, consider asking others in your industry for recommendations of support services and read trade magazines to find possible contacts.
The Professional Services section of your business plan should cover the following:
- Who are your company's key outside advisors (e.g. accountants, lawyers, consultants, bankers)?
Human Resources Requirements
Once you have defined your management team, you need to include details on the other employees your business may or may not need and what their function(s) will be. In the beginning it may be just you and a selection of freelance, contract or part-time help.You will need to think ahead and consider all the options you may be faced with.The purpose of this section will be to ensure that you have considered the labour situation in the area and industry in which you're starting the business and have made allowances for the compensation and training of this staff.
The Human Resources Requirements of your business plan should cover the following:
- How many people do you require for your business?
- What specific skills do these employees need to possess?
- What is the compensation package for each employee?
- Are your employees protected by workers' compensation coverage? Is your business registered with your provincial workers' compensation board/commission? Most businesses - by law- need to be.
- Is there sufficient local labour? How will you recruit people if there is not?
- How much does this labour cost now? In the future?
- How will you train your staff?
- What is your policy for ongoing training for your staff? Remember to include safety training.
To see The Team section of a sample business plan, click on any of the company logos below: