Many investors and lenders feel the quality and experience of the management team is one of the most important factors used to evaluate the potential of a new business.

But putting work into the Management Team section will not only benefit people who may read your plan. It will also help you evaluate the skills, experiences, and resources your management team will need. Addressing your company's needs during implementation will make a major impact on your chances for success.

Key questions to answer:

  • Who are the key leaders? (If actual people have not been identified, describe the type of people needed.) What are their experiences, educational backgrounds, and skills?
  • Do your key leaders have industry experience? If not, what experience do they bring to the business that is applicable?
  • What duties will each position perform? (Creating an organization chart might be helpful.) What authority is granted to and what responsibilities are expected in each position?
  • What salary levels will be required to attract qualified candidates for each position? What is the salary structure for the company, by position?

The Management Team section for our cycling rental business could start something like this:

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Jim Rouleur, Owner and Manager

Joe has over twenty years experience in the cycling business. He served for ten years as a product manager for ACME Bikes. After that he was the Operations Manager of Single Track Cycles, a full-service bike shop located in Bend, Oregon. He has an undergraduate degree in marketing from Duke University and an MBA from Virginia Commonwealth University. (A complete resume for Mr. Rouleur can be found in the Appendix.(

Mary Gearset, Assistant Manager

Mary was the 2009 U.S. Mountain Biking National Champion. She worked in product development for High Tec frames, creating custom frames and frame modifications for professional cyclists. She also has extensive customer service and sales experience, having worked for four years as the online manager of Pro Parts Unlimited, an online retailer of high-end cycling equipment and accessories.

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In some instances you may also wish to describe your staffing plans.

For example, if you manufacture a product or provide a service and will hire a key skilled employee, describe that employee's credentials. Otherwise, include staffing plans in the Operations section.

One key note: Don't be tempted to add a "name" to your management team in hopes of attracting investors. "Celebrity" management team members may attract the attention of your readers, but experienced lenders and investors will immediately ask what role that person will actually play in the running of the business--and in most cases those individuals won't play any meaningful role.

If you don't have a lot of experience--but are willing to work hard to overcome that lack of experience--don't be tempted to include other people in your plan that will not actually work in the business.

If you can't survive without help, that's okay. In fact that's expected; no one does anything worthwhile on their own. Just make plans to get help from the right people.

Finally, when you create your Management section, focus on credentials but pay extra focus to what each person actually will do. Experience and reputation are great, but action is everything.

That way your Management section will answer the "Who is in charge?" question.

Next time we'll look at the next main component in a business plan: the ever-popular Financial Analysis.

More in this series:

  1. How to Write a Great Business Plan: Key Concepts
  2. How to Write a Great Business Plan: the Executive Summary
  3. How to Write a Great Business Plan: Overview and Objectives
  4. How to Write a Great Business Plan: Products and Services
  5. How to Write a Great Business Plan: Market Opportunities
  6. How to Write a Great Business Plan: Sales and Marketing
  7. How to Write a Great Business Plan: Competitive Analysis
  8. How to Write a Great Business Plan: Operations
  9. How to Write a Great Business Plan: Management Team
  10. How to Write a Great Business Plan: Financial Analysis