The organization and management section of your business plan should summarize information about your business' structure and team. It usually comes after the market analysis section in a business plan. It's especially important to include this section if you have a partnership or a multi-member limited liability company (LLC). However, if you're starting a home business or are writing a business plan for one that's already operating, and you're the only person involved, then you don't need to include this section.
What to Put in the Organization and Management Section
This section of your business plan covers two main areas:
- The organization, or how your business is structured and the people involved
- The management team, or details about what your team brings to the business
Within these sections, you have specific areas to cover about how your business is structured and who's involved.
In the opening of the section, you want to give a brief summary of your management team, including size, composition, and years experience (i.e., Our management team of five has more than 20 years of experience in the widget industry.)
The organization section sets up the hierarchy of the people involved in your business. It's often set up in a chart form. If you have a partnership or multi-member LLC, this is where you indicate who is president or CEO, the CFO, director of marketing, and any other roles you have in your business.
If you're a single-person home business, this becomes easy as you're the only one on the chart. While technically, this part of the plan is about owner members, if you plan to outsource work or hire a virtual assistant, you can include them as well. For example, you might have a freelance webmaster, marketing assistant, and copywriter. You might even have a virtual assistant whose job it is to work with your other freelancers. These people aren't owners but have significant duties in your business.
The Management Team
This section highlights what you and the others involved in the running of your business brings to the table. This not only includes owners and managers but also your board of directors (if you have one) and support professionals. Start by indicating your business structure (i.e. partnership or LLC), and then list the team members.
Provide the following information on each owner/manager/member:
- Percentage of ownership (LLC, corporation, etc.)
- Extent of involvement (active or silent partner)
- Type of ownership (stock options, general partner, etc.)
- Position in the business (CEO, CFO, etc.)
- Duties and responsibilities
- Educational background
- Experience or skills that are relevant to the business and the duties
- Past employment
- Skills will benefit the business
- Awards and recognition
- Compensation (how paid)
- How each persons' skills and experience will complement you and each other
Board of Directors
A board of directors is another part of your management team. If you don't have a board of directors, you don't need this information. But even a one-person business could benefit from a small group of other business owners who might be willing to provide you with the feedback, support, and accountability that comes from an advisory board.
This section provides much of the same information as in the ownership and management team sub-section.
- Position (if there are positions)
- Involvement with the company
Especially if you're seeking funding, let potential investors know you're on the ball with a lawyer, accountant, and other professionals that are involved in your business. This is the place to list any freelancers or contractors you're using. Like the other sections, you'll want to include:
- Background information such as education or certificates
- Services provided to your business
- Relationship information (i.e. retainer, as-needed, regular)
- Skills and experience making them ideal for the work you need
- Anything else that makes them stand out as quality professionals to have helping you in your business such as awards
Writing a business plan seems like an overwhelming activity, especially if you're starting a small, one-person business. But writing a business plan can be fairly simple and straightforward.
The point of this section is to be clear to yourself, and those who work with you or for you, or will be funding you, who's involved and in charge of what, as well as the background and skills that will be contributing to the success of the business.
Like other parts of the business plan, this is a section you'll want to update if you have team member changes, or if you and your team members receive any additional training, awards or other accolades that benefit the business.
Because it highlights the skills and experience you and your team offer, it can be a great resource to refer to when seeking publicity and marketing opportunities. You can refer to it when creating your media kit or pitching for publicity.