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BUSINESS PLANS

Personnel and Business Plans: Making the Most of Your Management Team

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Summarize Your Management Chapter

Like the other chapters, the management chapter starts with a good summary. You may want to use that summary as part of a summary memo or loan application document, so cover the main points. Consider what you'd say about your management if you only had one or two paragraphs to say it.

Make sure you cover the basic information first. That would include how many employees the company has, how many managers, and how many of the managers are founders. Is your team complete, or are there gaps still to be filled? Is your organizational structure sound, with job descriptions and logical responsibilities for all the key members?

Particularly with start-up companies, you may not have the complete team as you write the plan. In that case, be sure to point out the gaps and weaknesses and how you intend to fill them.

Explain Your Organizational Structure

The organizational structure of a company is what you frequently see as an organizational chart, also known as an "org chart." If you have access to a graphic of an organizational chart (from a drawing program, or one of the specialized organizational charting software packages available), that works really well. If not, you can just use the text to describe the organizational structure in words, without a chart.

Make sure you explain how job descriptions work and how the main company functions are divided up. Are your organizational lines drawn clearly? Is the authority properly distributed? Do you have jobs that include responsibility without authority? Do your resources seem in line with your organizational needs?

List Team Members and Their Backgrounds

List the most important members of the management team. Include summaries of their backgrounds and experience, using them like brief résumés. Describe their functions within the company. Résumés should be attached to the back of a plan.

Discuss Your Management Gaps

You may have obvious gaps in management, especially in start-up companies, but even in more established companies. For example, a manufacturing company without a production manager has some explaining to do, and a computer company without service has some problems. It is far better to define and identify a weakness than to pretend it doesn't exist. Specify where the team is weak because of gaps in coverage of key management functions. How will these weaknesses be corrected? How will the more important gaps be filled?

Other Management Team Considerations

Applicability depends on your company. Some questions that should be answered include: Do any managers or employees have "noncompete" agreements? Who is on your board of directors? What do the members contribute to the business? Who are your major stockholders? What is their role in management?

Copyright © 1997-1999 Palo Alto Software Inc.

Last updated: Dec 27, 1999




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