Operating Plan. The operating plan outlines the physical requirements of your business, such as office, warehouse, or retail space, equipment, inventory and supply needs, labor, etc. For a one-person, home-based consulting business the operating plan will be short and simple, but for a business such as a restaurant or manufacturer that requires custom facilities, supply chains, specialized equipment, and multiple employees, the operating plan needs to be much more detailed.
Do I Need a Simple or Detailed Plan? A corporate business plan for a large organization can be hundreds of pages long, but for a small business it is best to keep the plan as short and concise as possible, especially if you intend to submit it to bankers or investors — 25-30 pages should be sufficient unless you need to include photos of products, equipment, logos, business premises or site plans, etc. Potential money-lenders or investors will be looking for solid research and analysis in your plan rather than long, wordy descriptions.
It is definitely not the most exciting part of starting a business. In fact, if you are like a lot of entrepreneurs, you are probably going to find yourself pulling a few all-nighters to get one done before heading into your first pitch for funding. Because that is the thing--your business plan is a pretty important.
A good business plan can help you secure finance, define the direction of your business and create strategies to achieve your goals. Writing a business plan is one of the most crucial elements of starting a business. However, it does not have to be the most frustrating.