Under the operations section of your business plan you can include the following information:
- Production process – Detail the process involved in producing your products or services. This process will vary depending on your business. Cover any manufacturing processes, the people involved, any third parties involved, and details on how you deliver the product/service to your customers.
- Suppliers - List your main suppliers and detail what they supply to your business. Also explain how you will maintain a good relationship with them.
- Plant & equipment - List your current plant and equipment purchases. These can include vehicles, computer equipment, phones and fax machines. For each item include a description of the plant or equipment (make and model if applicable), purchase date, purchase price and running costs. If you have not purchased all of your equipment yet, you can include a separate table and include an expected purchase date.
- Inventory - List your current inventory items. For each item include:
- a brief description of the inventory item (including make/model, name or reference number)
- unit price
- quantity you have in stock
- total cost or value of the inventory item (Calculate unit price multiplied by quantity).
- Technology (Software) – List the technology you require to run your business. For example: website, point of sale software or accounting package. For each technology solution, detail the main purpose, whether they will be off-the-shelf or purpose built and the estimated cost of each. Although this section focuses on software (as your hardware will be listed above in your plant and equipment table), for more clarity you may also wish to give a brief description of hardware including servers, specialised technology and computer equipment required.
- Trading hours – List your normal trading hours. Detail your expected peak trading times and which times you expect to be more profitable. Also include how this will change over different seasons and how your trading hours will accommodate these changes.
- Communication channels - Explain how your customers can get in contact with you. These channels can include: telephone (landline/mobile), post box, shopfront, email, fax, internet blog or social media channel.
- Payment types accepted - List which payment types you will accept. For example cash, credit, cheque, gift cards, Paypal.
- Credit policy - Detail the terms of your credit policy for customers/suppliers. Include the length of your credit period, and your collection strategies/procedures. Also detail what credit your business receives and the terms that apply.
- Warranties & refunds - If you manufacture certain goods, detail your warranty terms and your refund/exchange policy for these goods. Learn more about Warranties and refunds.
- Quality control - Describe your quality control process. Detail any checks or balances you have in place to ensure the product or service you offer is produced to the same standard of quality. Also list the steps you take to meet product safety standards. Read more on product safety and standards.
- Memberships & affiliations – Provide details of any business memberships or affiliations such as with an industry association or club.