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How To Write the Operations Plan Section of the Business Plan

Susan Ward wrote about small businesses for The Balance for 18 years. She has run an IT consulting firm and designed and presented courses on how to promote small businesses.

operation plan in business plan example

Stage of Development Section

Production process section, the bottom line, frequently asked questions (faqs).

The operations plan is the section of your business plan that gives an overview of your workflow, supply chains, and similar aspects of your business. Any key details of how your business physically produces goods or services will be included in this section.

You need an operations plan to help others understand how you'll deliver on your promise to turn a profit. Keep reading to learn what to include in your operations plan.

Key Takeaways

In your business plan , the operations plan section describes the physical necessities of your business's operation, such as your physical location, facilities, and equipment. Depending on what kind of business you'll be operating, it may also include information about inventory requirements, suppliers, and a description of the manufacturing process.

Keeping focused on the bottom line will help you organize this part of the business plan.

Think of the operating plan as an outline of the capital and expense requirements your business will need to operate from day to day.

You need to do two things for the reader of your business plan in the operations section: show what you've done so far to get your business off the ground and demonstrate that you understand the manufacturing or delivery process of producing your product or service.

When you're writing this section of the operations plan, start by explaining what you've done to date to get the business operational, then follow up with an explanation of what still needs to be done. The following should be included:

Production Workflow

A high-level, step-by-step description of how your product or service will be made, identifying the problems that may occur in the production process. Follow this with a subsection titled "Risks," which outlines the potential problems that may interfere with the production process and what you're going to do to negate these risks. If any part of the production process can expose employees to hazards, describe how employees will be trained in dealing with safety issues. If hazardous materials will be used, describe how these will be safely stored, handled, and disposed.

Industry Association Memberships

Show your awareness of your industry's local, regional, or national standards and regulations by telling which industry organizations you are already a member of and which ones you plan to join. This is also an opportunity to outline what steps you've taken to comply with the laws and regulations that apply to your industry. 

Supply Chains

An explanation of who your suppliers are and their prices, terms, and conditions. Describe what alternative arrangements you have made or will make if these suppliers let you down.

Quality Control

An explanation of the quality control measures that you've set up or are going to establish. For example, if you intend to pursue some form of quality control certification such as ISO 9000, describe how you will accomplish this.

While you can think of the stage of the development part of the operations plan as an overview, the production process section lays out the details of your business's day-to-day operations. Remember, your goal for writing this business plan section is to demonstrate your understanding of your product or service's manufacturing or delivery process.

When writing this section, you can use the headings below as subheadings and then provide the details in paragraph format. Leave out any topic that does not apply to your particular business.

Do an outline of your business's day-to-day operations, including your hours of operation and the days the business will be open. If the business is seasonal, be sure to say so.

The Physical Plant

Describe the type, site, and location of premises for your business. If applicable, include drawings of the building, copies of lease agreements, and recent real estate appraisals. You need to show how much the land or buildings required for your business operations are worth and tell why they're important to your proposed business.

The same goes for equipment. Besides describing the equipment necessary and how much of it you need, you also need to include its worth and cost and explain any financing arrangements.

Make a list of your assets , such as land, buildings, inventory, furniture, equipment, and vehicles. Include legal descriptions and the worth of each asset.

Special Requirements

If your business has any special requirements, such as water or power needs, ventilation, drainage, etc., provide the details in your operating plan, as well as what you've done to secure the necessary permissions.

State where you're going to get the materials you need to produce your product or service and explain what terms you've negotiated with suppliers.

Explain how long it takes to produce a unit and when you'll be able to start producing your product or service. Include factors that may affect the time frame of production and describe how you'll deal with potential challenges such as rush orders.

Explain how you'll keep  track of inventory .


Describe any product testing, price testing, or prototype testing that you've done on your product or service.

Give details of product cost estimates.

Once you've worked through this business plan section, you'll not only have a detailed operations plan to show your readers, but you'll also have a convenient list of what needs to be done next to make your business a reality. Writing this document gives you a chance to crystalize your business ideas into a clear checklist that you can reference. As you check items off the list, use it to explain your vision to investors, partners, and others within your organization.

What is an operations plan?

An operations plan is one section of a company's business plan. This section conveys the physical requirements for your business's operations, including supply chains, workflow , and quality control processes.

What is the main difference between the operations plan and the financial plan?

The operations plan and financial plan tackle similar issues, in that they seek to explain how the business will turn a profit. The operations plan approaches this issue from a physical perspective, such as property, routes, and locations. The financial plan explains how revenue and expenses will ultimately lead to the business's success.

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Home » Parts of a Business Plan

How to Write a Business Plan Operations Plan [Sample Template]

What is a business operations plan, why write a business operations plan, writing a business plan operations plan section – sample template, writing a business operations plan for service firms and retail stores, writing a business operations plan for manufacturing companies, the production process, the supply chain, more on parts of a business plan.


Operations Plan

The operations section of your business plan is where you explain – in detail – you company's objectives, goals, procedures, and timeline. An operations plan is helpful for investors, but it's also helpful for you and employees because it pushes you to think about tactics and deadlines.

In the previous course, you outlined your company's strategic plan, which answers questions about your business mission. An operational plan outlines the steps you'll take to complete your business mission.

Your operations plan should be able to answer the following:

In this session, we explain each item to include in your operations plan.

Goals and Objectives

The key to an operations plan is having a clear objective and goal everyone is focused on completing. In this section of your plan, you'll clearly state what your company's operational objective is.

Your operational objective is different than your company's overall objective. In Course One , you fleshed out what your strategic objective was. Your operational objective explains how you intend to complete your strategic objective.

In order to create an efficient operational objective, think SMART:

Operations plan goals and objectives

Different departments will have different operational objectives. However, each department objective should help the company reach the main objective. In addition, operational objectives change; the objectives aren't intended to be permanents or long term. The timeline should be scheduled with your company's long-term goals in mind.

Let's look at the following example for a local pizza business objective:

Sales department operational objective: To increase delivery sales by 30%, by targeting 3 of Massachusetts's largest counties.

Production Process

After you create your objectives, you have to think strategically on how you're going to meet them. In order to do this, each department (or team) needs to have all the necessary resources for the production process.

Resources you should think about include the following:

In addition to the production process, you'll also need to describe in detail your operating process. This will demonstrate to investors that you know exactly how you want your business to run on a day-to-day basis.

Items to address include:

Operations plan timeline

Creating a timeline with milestones is important for your new business. It keeps everyone focused and is a good tracking method for efficiency. For instance, if milestones aren’t being met, you'll know that it's time to re-evaluate your production process or consider new hires.

Below are common milestones new businesses should plan for.

When you completed your Management Plan Worksheet in the previous course, you jotted down which key hires you needed right away and which could wait. Make sure you have a good idea on when you would like those key hires to happen; whether it’s after your company hits a certain revenue amount or once a certain project takes off.

Production Milestones

Production milestones keep business on track. These milestones act as "checkpoints" for your overall department objectives. For instance, if you want to create a new app by the end of the year, product milestones you outline might include a beta roll out, testing, and various version releases.

Other product milestones to keep in mind:

Market Milestones

Market milestones are important for tracking efficiency and understanding whether your operations plan is working. For instance, a possible market milestone could be reaching a certain amount of clients or customers after a new product or service is released.

A few other market milestones to consider:

Financial Milestones

Financial milestones are important for tracking business performance. It's likely that a board of directors or investors will work with you on creating financial milestones. In addition, in startups, it's common that financial milestones are calculated for 12 months.

Typical financial milestones include:

In summary, your operations plan gives you the chance to show investors you know how you want your business to run. You know who you want to hire, where you want to work, and when you expect projects to be completed.

Download the attached worksheet and start putting your timelines and milestones together on paper.


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What Is the Operational Plan Section of the Business Plan?

Learning what an operation plan is and learning how to make it is something critical to any business. 3 min read

An operation plan section of the business plan is an essential part of any business. Learning what an operation plan is and learning how to make it is something critical to any business. Here are the main things you need to know about an operation plan.

Definition of an Operation Plan

An operation plan is a guiding path for the business to follow in order to achieve all of its goals and objectives described in the general business plan.

The operation plan mainly includes details about the people responsible for completing the required actions, and all the costs and KPIs (key performance indicators) for these actions to be accomplished.

In order for any business to be stable in the long run, the operation plan must be updated regularly in order to ensure the stability of the business.

What Is the Operations Plan Section and How to Properly Make It

The section of the operations plan which is included in the business plan mainly specifies all the physical requirements for the operation of the business. These physical requirements mainly include equipment, facilities, and location.

In order to make a complete business plan , three things need to be clarified to the reader:

Operating Section of the Business Plan: Stage of Development Section

While you're developing the stage of development section, you should begin with the previous procedures that have been taken so far, along with mentioning what is best to be done in the future, it should be as follows:

What Are the Key Components to Include in an Operational Plan Regarding the Business Organization?

Here are the main components to be included in the operational plan:

In the end, one could conclude that the success or a failure of a business depends heavily on the quality of the business and operation plan put forward.

If you need help with operation plan samples, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.

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Small Business Plans

Operating Plan

Account for all of the resources that will be required to make your products, or provide your services., presentation & organization.

Executive Summary

Sales & Market Potential

Management Team & Operating Plan

Financial Forecasts

Closing Details

Your Operating Plan is where you account for all of the resources that will be required to make your products, or provide your services. The objective is to think through the requirements for every step and communicate in your plan how you will meet these requirements. The question to be answered by this section is, “Has the business owner anticipated everything that will be required to create a fully functional business capable of serving customers and generating revenue?” The concern would be that something was overlooked, only to become obvious after the business was started.

Most of us remember starting that first Kool-Aid stand with dollar signs in our eyes, only to realize after the table was set up and the sign was made that we would need Kool-Aid, a pitcher, ice and some cups. Something was always missing. An operating plan would have saved the day!

Business Plan Outline for Operating Plan Should Include:

Finish Your Business Plan in One Day.

Business Plan 1 Day Template Round

Important Considerations

Overview of the Customer Engagement. In this section, you can refer briefly to your Sales and Marketing plan (which covers how you will generate new business), and quickly turn your focus to the point where a prospect becomes a customer. Describe the steps the customer will take to request, receive and pay for their purchase.

For example, if your business is providing bookkeeping services, your overview might say:

Our marketing plan identified how we will generate local inquiries for small-business bookkeeping services. Prospects will typically complete an online form requesting a call, or they will call us directly for more information. Prospects who become clients for our bookkeeping services will expect to be able to send us information related to their expenses on a daily basis, via fax and email. The information will need to be received, scanned and entered into the proper accounting records. Customers typically expect to be able to speak by phone to a knowledgeable person familiar with their books, the same day they call. On a monthly basis clients would expect someone to sit down with them individually and review the prior month’s financial statements. Minor corrections are made, and final statements are reviewed by a senior accountant before being emailed to the client. An invoice is prepared and sent each month with the final statements. All client information has to be stored securely and backed up offsite on a daily basis.

In a succinct paragraph, we have addressed how customers send their information, the level of support they expect, how their work is processed, the quality control process, and billing. The reader can now follow along as you describe the required labor, facilities, equipment and outside resources.

Labor Requirements. Your labor requirements should describe a position, the number of people required in that position ,and a brief description that lets the reader link this person back to your overview. By looking at your labor summary, the reader should be able to see that every aspect of the product or service delivery has been addressed.

Using our previous example of the bookkeeping service, below is an example of the level of detail recommended for each position.

Finance Administrators, 2

Each finance administrator will have two or more years’ experience with a major accounting software application, including data entry, reconciliations and preparation of financial statements. They will be the primary contact for up to 20 customers each.

Facilities Requirements. Our bookkeeping company indicated that they need to have a place to receive phone calls and email, perform accounting data entry, and meet with clients. Maybe all of this could be done remotely with client meetings held at the client’s site. What is your plan? Show in this sub-section that you have the facilities to provide the products or services described in your business plan.

For manufacturing or retail businesses, this becomes much more important. You would want to show that you have the right location, the right size facility, proper zoning and any other requirements for physical space.

Equipment Requirements. Even in our simple example of the bookkeeping service, we indicated a need for a telephone system, fax capabilities, computers, secure data storage and backup capabilities. Will client meetings require a conference room? How will that room be equipped? Will the offices have access to wireless Internet? How will the team’s computers be networked? What kind of tenant improvements will be required to prepare the office?

Again with retail and manufacturing businesses, the requirements will be more exhaustive. Will your business require delivery vehicles, special racks or storage equipment, climate control? Think through all of the significant requirements for your business and include them in this section.

Outside Resources. In today’s competitive marketplace, businesses are turning more and more to outside resources for non-core activities. Here are just a few examples.

Ten years ago, a small-business phone system could easily have cost $5,000 or even double that. Today, a small business can set up a virtual phone system, with an automated receptionist, “follow-me” call routing, dial-by-name directory, voice mail, individual fax numbers and more for less than $100 per month.

Instead of having a delivery vehicle, a retail business might use an outside courier service for local deliveries. While that might not work for a pizza restaurant—where fast delivery is a core task—it might work extremely well for an upscale retail clothing store, or furniture consignment shop.

Some computer equipment makers never touch the products you might think they “make.” Parts are manufactured by several suppliers, shipped to another outsource partner for assembly, and shipped directly to the customer without any component ever entering the company’s warehouse.

Look for ways to make your business more efficient by outsourcing non-core tasks. This is not about “cutting corners;” rather, it’s about finding ways to get the product or service to the customer better, faster or cheaper, while conserving cash.

Note the Critical Requirements. In the previous subsection we addressed outsourcing non-core tasks. In this subsection, identify the specific nonnegotiable, core requirements of your operating plan. If you’re running a retail business, you could find a cheaper location, but talk about why the ideal location is essential. If you’re opening a limousine service, support your decision to purchase or lease a specific type of vehicle. If you’re a manufacturer, is low cost the primary driver of your component or ingredient selections, or will your strategy be driven by quality issues?

When writing your critical operations requirements, look back to your SWOT analysis.

The Most Important Consideration for Your Operating Plan

When you’ve written and fine-tuned your operating plan, be sure that it is in sync with your financial projections. Everything you’ve outlined in your Operating Plan must be accounted for in your financial forecasts. As we said at the beginning of this section, the reader will want to be sure you’ve “thought of everything.” Their next question will be, have you budgeted for it?

Want a small business plan template you can complete in one day?

Click “Get it Now” to the right to access our great fill in the blank business plan. Our template is in-depth and covers all the details you need to develop a foundation for many businesses of various industries. We are so confident you will like this plan that we even offer a full money back guarantee.


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How do you write operational plan in business plan

How to write an operational plan in business plan?

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What is an Operational Plan in Business Plan?

An operational plan in a business plan is explaining how you will achieve your business goals. An operational plan discusses everything from management, employees, products or services , project management, and supply chain to HR. 

The details of an operational plan business plan will be different for every business, depending on its type, size, and product. 

A business operational plan should also show that you understand the manufacturing or sourcing of the product you are going to sell and you have already progressed in your business.

operational business plan

What Goes Into Operational Plan In Business Plan

An operational business plan is needed for the business as a whole and for each department separately too. For a small business, these three criteria can help develop an operational plan.

Set Goals and Build Operational Plan Around Goals 

You have already set goals for your business; it is time to set goals for different departments or divisions. 

The department goals will align with business goals and help the company achieve them. 

After setting goals in an  operational plan in business plan , you will break down the process of achieving them into small, measurable, tasks. You have heard about SMART goals ; the SMART goals principle is applicable everywhere in the operations plan business plan. 

The small and measurable tasks we mentioned before are also called key performance indicators (KPIs). A KPI shows a measurable value contributed towards achieving business goals.

Assign Responsibilities and Tasks 

So far in your  operational plan in a business plan, y ou have set your business goals and department goals. You have broken it down into SMART tasks and KPIs. It is time to assign these tasks and responsibilities to the right people. 

A goal without a deadline is just a dream; set a timeline for each goal. Also, explain to your team if this is an ongoing or a single-use plan. 

You can understand single-use plans in terms of a project and an ongoing project in terms of the tasks you do when you don’t have a project.

Outline Resources 

Define the resources you need for each goal. These resources may include spending on software, tools & equipment required to work, training, etc. 

Determining resources requirement when writing an  operational plan in business plan  helps you plan well and increase the efficiency of the team.

operational plan for business plan

How Do You Write Operational Plan For Business Plan?

You will have a top-notch operation plan in business plan when you write about these aspects.

Risk Management: In the operational plan in a business plan,  Identify the risks you are facing and prepare a contingency plan when needed.

Set Quality Control Processes: Quality control is used to maintain and improve product quality. Assign quality control systems building and management to an employee or create a department for better management. 

Develop Management Plans: Management plans are an overreaching framework for the company management, department management, project management, etc. See how many management plans you need to make for your business.

Set Timelines and Milestones: Milestones are the big achievements. Setting milestones and timelines will help your team understand what they need to achieve and how much time they can take for it.

how to write operational plan in business plan

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Operational Plan For Businesses With A Physical Product

When you are going to sell a physical product like shoes, clothing, tool, etc, you will need to plan the manufacturing or sourcing process. 

Many businesses opt for manufacturing at their facilities while others may prefer OEM manufacturing. In both cases, you need to outline the process and establish policies. 

Here are the parts of an  operational plan in business plan  for a business selling physical products. 

Discuss how you will manufacture products for your business. If you have a manufacturing facility, explain the manufacturing capacity of your business. 

If you are sourcing your product from a manufacturer, discusses who is the manufacturer or how you will select a manufacturer.

Industry Association Membership

Approach industry associations like chambers of commerce or organizations of the manufacturers for the same/similar products as you. 

Getting into industry association memberships help you with networking, exploring new opportunities, understanding the market better, and preparing you for the long term.

Supply Chain

A supply chain is important for every business selling a product. 

A supply chain is a network between a manufacturer and a seller. It includes manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, shipping, and fulfillment to the seller location. 

Even when you are manufacturing products for your business, you will need to establish a different supply chain. You will need to build materials sourcing supply chain. You will also need to plan how the products will be shipped to the retail locations from your warehouse.

Quality Control 

Explain your quality control process in detail when writing an  operational plan in business plan . 

A quality control process is aimed at maintaining or improving product quality. Quality control is set up with safety measures to make sure faulty products don’t end up with the customers. 

Quality control processes are different for every business and largely depend on the product type.

Still, need help? Get our Professional Business Plan Writing Services and get your business plan done by professionals. 

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operation plan in business plan example

operation plan in business plan example

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W hen creating a business plan, it’s important to understand the key types of plans to determine which will most benefit your specific business needs. Some plan types include operations plans, strategic plans, and tactical plans, each of which has a different focus and purpose. All three can fit together as part of the overall management planning process, although your business may need only one or two different plans. Here’s operational planning information and strategies to help you create them.

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What Is Operational Planning?

Operational planning involves defining and outlining the actions individuals will take to support the plans and objectives of the executive management team. An operations plan is extremely detailed , describing the who, what, where, and when involved in managing the day-to-day tasks and low-level activities of the business. This type of plan supports the tactical plan, which is more of a mid-level plan.

What are the criteria of an operations plan?

To qualify as an operations plan, the plan itself needs to meet certain criteria. We’ve listed important criteria below:

Operations plans subdivisions

Operations plans can be further segmented into two categories:

Strategic, Tactical, and Operational Plan Differences

A strategic plan is a business plan created by an executive management team which has a much wider scope than a tactical or operational plan. It is a plan that can outline the ambitions, future goals, and mission of an organization.

1. Strategic plans

Strategic plans tend to be broader and vaguer, although they may focus on the high-level and long-term goals that the company will work to achieve over the next three to five years. Strategic planning can also include the way an organization will measure its progress toward the established goals and any major projects that need to be completed to achieve the goals.

2. Tactical plans

A tactical plan is created by mid-level management professionals and includes the specific actions that employees must take to work toward the goals described in the strategic plan. This plan can also outline how a certain area or department of a business will support the strategic plan. A tactical plan isn't usually very detailed, but it will include more specific ideas and actions.

3. Operational plans

One of the main differences between a strategic and operational plan is the period of time covered. In a strategic plan, the goals are typically attainable in several years, while the operational plan goals are short-term ones and can be achieved during the next year in most cases.


Operations plans’ focal points

Focus areas are the foundation of your strategy. They expand on your Vision Statement and start to create some structure around how to actually get your organization to achieve its goals. The focus of the goals and objectives in each plan differs.

A strategic plan exists to outline the long-term vision of the company and how each department will work together to achieve the goals.

An operational plan focuses on specific departments and their roles in achieving short-term goals. A large department may have multiple plans to maintain a clear and detailed focus.

Differences between a strategic and operation plan

Here are the most significant differences between the two ideas:

Time period

Your strategic plan outlines long-term goals for the next three to five years. What you’ll be doing to achieve those goals in the shorter term (typically the next fiscal year) is outlined in your operational plan.

The goal of your strategic plan is to outline the company’s long-term vision and how all departments should work together to achieve it.

Because of its narrower focus on specific departments instead of the entire company, an operational plan is more detailed and outlines how to reach the outlined goals.

A strategic plan distinguishes your organization’s direction as being different from that of other companies. In contrast, an operational plan is all about being better operationally.

Who creates an operational plan?

Who creates each plan is another difference. Members of an organization's executive management team will handle the creation of a strategic plan, as those responsible for the overall vision and goals. Department heads may create an operations plan since they are the ones to implement the processes. Those involved in creating the plan are often more likely to work together to accomplish the necessary tasks.

Reporting on operations plans

Reporting is another key differentiator among the types of plans. When reporting on a strategic plan, which may happen as often as quarterly or once a year, executive management will outline how an organization is performing on specific measures. The reporting should be at a high level to avoid getting lost in details that don’t help an organization reach their goals.

An operational plan report is much more detailed and typically is prepared and reviewed more often. When you have a regular review of reporting, your team reviewing the reporting more frequently, individuals can make sure all team members remain on track and can handle the necessary tasks and processes to achieve the short-term goals related to the business operations.

Operational plans may not have specific measures to quantify results or report on, and these updates may be more qualitative or anecdotal.

Creating an Operations Plan

When creating an operations plan, you want to follow some key steps, such as:

1. Focus on goals

First, focus on important goals that pertain to the specific department or division that will follow the plan. After identifying the goals, determine any key initiatives that will help achieve those goals. These initiatives will easily enable those following the plan to understand what they must do to work toward achieving the broader goals.

An effective operational plan should also include key performance indicators that permit progress monitoring. A key performance indicator (KPI) is a measurable value that shows how well a company is achieving the key business objectives it has outlined. The KPIs in an operational plan will lead the team members involved as long as the KPIs are communicated effectively.

2. Outline responsibilities and tasks

The operations plan must also clearly define who, what, where, and when in great detail. It should outline who is responsible for which tasks, what tasks need to be completed to achieve a goal, where the individuals involved will work on their assigned tasks, and when they must be completed to maintain the timeline. You also want to discuss whether the plan is an ongoing or single-use plan. This information will help to better define the estimated timeline for completion.

3. Define resources

The final step to create an operations plan is defining the resources needed to achieve the goals. These resources may include software programs to improve processes, tools to manage new tasks, or training to bring all team members up to speed on a certain task. Determining the necessary resources can help divisional leaders know how to proceed and provide their team members with what they need to succeed.

Operations Plan Example

Don’t think that these types of plans are just for big organizations. Operational plans can be helpful in almost all industries and business structures. Your plan should be tailored to your unique business but many elements will be the same. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel - there are lots of plan examples out there. Below we've provided a simplified version to study.

Manufacturing Plant Operations Plan

Final thoughts

By creating an operations plan, a business can outline its short-term, divisional, or departmental objectives and describe the initiatives required to achieve those objectives. Operations plans work together with other types of business plans to outline the overall goals of an organization as well as how the business plans to meet these goals.


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How to Create a Strong Operational Plan for Your Business

Operational Plan

Featured Bonus Content: Download our Epic Operational Plan Checklist for FREE! Click Here To Download It.

Is there a rampant lack of unity, evident confusion among employees, and complacency of stakeholders within your organization?

The lack of an operational plan negatively impacts the attitude of your team who may feel aimless with no sense of a greater purpose. They get lost trying to accomplish your company goals. So they come to work just for the paycheck.

The lack of a roadmap wears down the morale of your team because the future seems bleak, unpredictable, and out of control. These depressing conclusions pose a threat to employment—and affect the productivity of an organization.

Everyone is more productive when they have proper guidance on what they should be doing in an organization. A strong operational plan provides direction to your team and they know what’s expected of them.

Drafting an operational plan isn’t attractive, but it’s a must for any business. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a business guru to create one. This in-depth guide will help you get it right.

Operational Plan Full Guide – Content Index

Chapter 1: what is an operational plan, chapter 2: the importance of an effective operational plan, chapter 3: steps to creating a successful operational plan, chapter 4: key items to include in your operational plan.

Chapter 5: Questions That a Good Operational Plan Answers

Chapter 6: Software to Help Implement Operational Plans

Chapter 7: operational plan examples, chapter 8: using sweetprocess for operational planning and other business processes.

Conclusion: Create a Strong Operational Plan That Supercharges Your Business

What is an Operational Plan?

You may have mapped out your long-term strategies covering at least the next five years. But your organization still needs additional planning to help it get into the future successfully. Some of the planning will take a year to develop.

To make sure your company executes against the set long-term goals and stays on track throughout, you’ll need a strong and effective operational plan.

What is an operational plan?

An operational plan is a strategic plan turned into a detailed map clearly defining what actions your company’s team members need to take on a weekly or daily basis.

It includes action milestones and items that each department or team member in your organization needs to complete before you can execute your strategic plan.

When drafting an operational plan, summarize each team member’s responsibilities for the next financial year. How long it takes to create your operational plan will significantly depend on how quickly your organization moves.

For example, if teams want to focus on the long term, then draft a detailed operational plan with an extended timeline (at least more than a year).

That said, if you’re a fast-paced team with a hastened roadmap, draft an operational plan covering at least the next half year.

What are the different types of operational plans?

An operational plan is more department-focused. Only two types of this plan exist in the business world: standing and single-use.

Single-use operational plan . As the name suggests, this is an operational plan that is only used once before being discarded when a project is complete.

Using this operational plan is favorable only when your project doesn’t match another project in your organization (or isn’t likely to be used again). The best way to get the most of the single-use is to customize it to fit your project.

Standing operational plan . Unlike the single-use, a standing operational plan is used frequently and repeatedly. The organization will use this plan for different tasks and new projects cropping up frequently.

When you have a standing plan, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time. But you will sacrifice time to make it more flexible for your project.

Operational Plan vs. Strategic Plan

Compared to a strategic plan—a long-term strategic plan covers three to five years—an operational plan is smaller in terms of timeline and scope.

The goal of the latter plan is to summarize the daily individual tasks you need to take to attain your strategic goals (in your organization).

During the operational planning process, ensure to capture specific details in the document such as:

In essence—and unlike a strategic plan—when creating an operational plan, make sure to focus on the implementation of specific (daily or weekly) actions.

What are the levels of creating an operational plan?

To effectively capture the specifics of what each team member is doing, create a detailed operational plan. For that reason, ensure to draft an operational plan at a smaller scale.

In other words, instead of creating an operational plan for your entire organization, draft one for each team member or department.

If you have a larger organization, draft a detailed operational plan for each specific initiative—more like a detail-oriented work plan.

For instance, let’s focus on your IT department and draft an operational plan explaining how the department’s daily tasks can support your organization.

In the operational plan for the IT department, make sure to capture how frequently team members meet, how they hire and equip new employees, budgeting details, and how frequently IT teams check their projects inbox.

Here are the three levels of creating an operational plan:

Timeline : Depending on how fast your organization works, your operational planning process should span six months to a year.

Stakeholders : Ensure the people involved in the operational planning process are closely related to the work so they can forecast what is to be included in the plan.

Scope : When drafting an operational plan, ensure to include the details of who, what, and when of each business activity. Zero in on a specific team member or initiative.

Operational Plan vs. Tactical Plan

An operational plan is about how things need to happen in an organization, while a tactical plan is about what is going to happen in an organization.

The tactical planning process supports strategic planning and includes tactics a company intends to use to achieve what’s outlined in the strategic plan.

An operational plan describes ongoing plans (or the daily running) in a company. The scope of a tactical plan is less than one fiscal year and can be subdivided into a strategic plan with actionable objectives.

Unlike an operational plan, a tactical plan asks specific questions about what needs to happen to accomplish certain company goals and objectives.

An operational plan asks an organization how it will carry out action tasks to accomplish its mission.

Key Components of a Tactical Plan

Creating a tactical plan greatly varies with each organization and its unique set of goals. That said, creating a successful tactical plan requires several key elements, including:

Here are a few essential things to consider when developing a tactical plan for your organization’s team members. (For the record, your tactical plan should answer these questions to help meet the objectives of your operational plan).

The Importance of an Effective Operational Plan

An effective operational plan serves as a practical manual that ensures quality management and accountability in a company’s department are attained.

Each year, companies revisit their operational plans to identify weak revenue areas, revamp workflows, and define new growth opportunities.

Other top benefits of operational planning include:

1. Supercharges accountability in your business

Each business activity within an organization requires accountability. An operational plan establishes great accountability for each operation.

It also clarifies the expectations of each employee and department, making it easier for everyone to identify the activities they’re responsible for and why.

Identifying inefficiencies in a department becomes easier when you have an operational plan in place. You just need to revisit the plan and identify where the inefficiency occurred and then fix the problem.

2. Optimizes resource management

The mismanagement of a company’s resources often leads to low productivity levels and loss of revenue. But when you allocate resources to an operational plan, resource management processes in your organization are optimized.

By improving resource management in each department, everyone can get the necessary materials to perform daily tasks as required, leading to success.

An operational plan dictates which resources are needed, what the budget should be, who should be in charge of activities, and what activities are essential in the company.

When implemented properly, an operational plan can eliminate guesswork and minimize the misappropriation of resources that leads to losses.

3. Enhances workplace productivity

To maintain workplace morale and accountability, certain key performance indicators are needed to track employee performance.

And without setting specific goals for each role in your organization, you decrease the effectiveness of both operational and workplace productivity.

An operational plan optimizes the performance of an organization and ensures each department understands how their productivity levels and work quality has a direct impact on the entire organization.

4. Clarifies what each team member is doing daily

An operational plan clarifies the activities, responsibilities, and daily tasks of department heads and managers in detail. It also illustrates how team members in an organization play a key role in achieving a department’s goals.

Without a well-defined operational plan, team members will have a difficult time measuring tasks against pre-defined outcomes.

5. Improves competitive advantages

To enhance workflow in an organization and ensure it runs smoothly, coordinating different parts of an operational plan is necessary. This coordination eventually allows team members to deliver high-quality deliverables without delay, keep their heads in the competition, and create outstanding customer experiences.

6. Boosts organization’s profits

Having an effective operational plan keeps teams and projects on track. And when operations in an organization are managed properly, team members can boost a company’s profits and bolster innovations—faster and better.

7. Increases operational efficiency

An operational plan is similar to a roadmap that aligns an organization’s activities to achieve specific goals.

It acts as a guide to decision-making and management discussions that determine resource and budget requirements. In the process, it accomplishes set objectives and increases operational efficiency.

8. Gets everyone aligned with the company’s goals and objectives

An operational plan sets up a sense of direction in which an organization must travel. It aligns everyone with the company’s goals and objectives.

Operational planning offers much more foundation to an organization and ensures it establishes boundaries for efficient decision-making, compensates team members, evaluates success, and eventually scales new heights.

9. Allows organizations to be proactive rather than reactive

Organizations wish to foresee the future and prepare for any eventualities. Through operational planning, organizations can anticipate unfavorable scenarios months earlier and safeguard against them in the future.

With a strong operational plan in place, companies can end up being more proactive rather than reacting to situations as soon as they happen.

And because of being proactive, you can keep up with the latest trends and stay ahead of competitors.

10. Helps you hit your strategic goals

A detailed operational plan defines the short-term goals you need to achieve as an organization and then guides you toward attaining long-term objectives.

In other words, a strong operational plan can help you think through the actions you need to take to help hit your strategic goals. About 26 percent of workers understand how daily individual tasks directly relate to an organization’s goals.

11. It makes success more likely

Every organization should set ambitious goals as it always gives you something to drive toward. But realizing these goals is practically impossible without a realistic operational plan in place. Creating an operational plan makes it more likely that your organization will succeed over time.

12. Improves teamwork and collaboration

When you create an operational plan, everyone, including department heads and managers, has a role to play.

Therefore, they won’t need to step into each other’s toes when handling day-to-day tasks. That’s the beauty of the operational plan as it clearly pinpoints who is responsible for what task, and sets expectations on how and when these tasks are achieved.

Steps to Creating a Successful Operational Plan

To create a successful operational plan, evaluate tasks your team is working on and everything you’re doing on a day-to-day basis to achieve your company goals. Here are key steps to successful operational planning.

Step 1: Set up your strategic plan

The first step is to create a strategic plan if you haven’t already. You need to have a vision and goals in place before you can break them down into daily tasks.

So, how do you create a strategic plan?

Step 2: Narrow down your scope

To create a successful and detail-oriented operational plan for your organization, narrow down your scope to a smaller department or team. However, this will significantly depend on the size of your organization.

If your company has several departments, you need to break down your strategic plans into action plans to fit all these departments.

For example, your marketing team is responsible for web promotion, content creation, social media, product marketing, and design.

To capture daily tasks within each marketing team, create an operational plan for each smaller marketing team.

Step 3: Identify your main goals

Identify and prioritize your main goals to create a simple operations plan. A simple operations plan is more likely to succeed than a complex one. Why? Because your company’s marketing team can easily follow it to the letter.

When identifying your main goals, focus on three to five initiatives likely to contribute to your long-term goals and objectives. Then develop metrics to measure your key performance indicators (KPIs).

Step 4: Select the right KPIs

Predictive measurements or leading indicators are great key performance indicators that can help you predict the future. Compared to measurements of the past or lagging indicators, they’re more helpful in guiding you to make early adjustments as you go.

Think of operational planning as a car where the windshield is the leading indicator and the rear-view mirror is the lagging indicator. Leading indicators look into the future while lagging indicators look back.

Step 5: Involve major stakeholders

When drafting an operational plan, think of the people you want to include in the operational planning process.

The members drafting the plan for your organization should be those close to the actions that the plan seeks to describe and execute.

For example, the head of the design team should be involved in the creation of the design team’s operational plan. Once the plan is successfully created, the head of marketing should make the final approval.

Step 6: Write the operational plan

Your company’s operational plan details all the actions your team members will undertake to achieve your set goals within a given timeframe. To create a successful operational plan, make sure to include:

If you’re struggling to come up with details to outline in your operational plan, ask yourself these four questions:

Step 7: Update your plan

Once you have an operational plan in place, share it with your team members to lend them visibility of the goals and specific tasks needed to get your company to success. Then systemize the operational plan’s updates through a real-time progress tool.

Just like any other project planning tool, things will someday take a different turn and change.

So, to make sure key stakeholders and team members are updated regularly, make sure to actively monitor your operational plan and report on its progress.

Key Items to Include in Your Operational Plan

Every company’s functional operational plan has key elements accentuating its purpose and direction.

Some of these essential elements include:

Mission Statement

An operational plan is more of a tactical tool that implements an organization’s strategic plan.

A strategic plan complements the mission of an operational plan, answering the “why” for any activity, process, task, and project.

Without the mission statement, an organization will simply draft an operational plan but with no clear direction or purpose. Think of it as planning a journey without a real destination in mind. The efforts are futile.

Goals and Objectives

If an operational plan is complicated to grasp, team members in your organization won’t follow it to the letter—and for a good reason.

The best way to avoid creating a complex operational plan is to set specific goals then break them down into small objectives.

Imagine creating an operational plan covering the next one year, and a goal to scale your sales by about 25 percent yearly. It’s difficult to achieve such a goal.

But if you subdivide this goal into monthly objectives such as improving conversion rates in January, generating leads in February, increasing website traffic in March, and so on, your company’s marketing team will quickly achieve this goal with ease.

Value Proposition

Why should someone become your company’s partner, client, or customer? A value proposition is a brief description that answers this question.

Your company’s value proposition explains to potential customers why your products offer more value for money than your competitors’ offerings.

However, in the context of operational planning, a value proposition emphasizes your company’s mission and strength, helping your team members to focus on why the organization is doing business in the first place.

Drafting an operational plan is just half the journey. You should create an operational plan that can measure the effectiveness and success of your organization—or, better yet, a plan that clearly defines a list of metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs).

Predictive indicators are the best metrics and KPIs to measure because they show what a team expects in the future.

By predicting future outcomes, predictive indicators allow a company’s marketing team to make early adjustments before it is too late.

Constant Communication

Your operational plan is only as good as the people willing to execute it. Before you begin operational planning, take time to discuss the selected KPIs with your company’s team and relevant departments.

Being in constant communication with these people will ensure they fully understand why particular KPIs were selected, their importance to your organization, and how they’ll help your organization achieve its goals and objectives.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis—strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis—helps you to identify crucial aspects, happenings, and threats within your organization.

Running a SWOT analysis will provide you with clear insights into the daily operations of your organization.

Your organization’s weakness might be the inability to attract local customers, while its strength could be its ability to enhance smooth business operations. Knowing this can help you improve certain areas of the organization.

Chapter 5: Questions Answered By a Good Operational Plan

red By a Good Operational Plan

If you’re a first-time business owner or have never created an operational plan, you may not know where to start. If that’s your current dilemma, here are four top questions every good operational plan should answer:

#1: What yearly goals do we need to accomplish? 

This question compels you to be clear about the specific goals you want to achieve as an organization.

Your goals should be reachable and challenging but not overwhelming that you have to tirelessly work yourself and your team to the bones to achieve them. More information about your goals should come from your strategic plan.

#2: What daily tasks do we need to complete to hit those goals? 

Daily tasks could be anything you’re currently doing in your organization or new work that needs to be kicked off right away. Daily individual tasks could be divided such that each includes one clearly defined action.

Completing a specific task every day brings you closer to hitting your goals because you’ll end up making progress while having small accomplishments every day.

#3: Who is responsible for those daily tasks?

This question addresses a crucial aspect of any project in an organization: Who will take responsibility if any of those tasks fail?

Make sure someone in your team is responsible for each daily task. That way, there’ll be no confusion about who to go to for questions or updates. When operational planning, be clear on who your teammates are, how they work, and the role they play.

#4: What are our success metrics?

This question is of utmost importance, and something many organizations forget to consider. If you cannot measure progress, you can’t rally your teammates toward achieving specific goals for your organization.

To find out the right metrics for your organization’s success, make sure your goals follow the SMART framework , which dictates that your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound.

Software to Help Implement Operational Plans

To improve efficiency and implement an operational plan in your organization, you need a comprehensive tool (or software) to help you share files with team members, maintain project budget, manage resources, create workflows, and track projects.

Here’s a list of software to use to help develop your operational plan:

Monday has a rich list of features with a simple user interface.

If you’re new to the software, you’ll have little trouble learning how it works. The best part? It has a unique presentation that puts it ahead of the competition.

This top-rated software boasts a unique proprietary task management and dashboard system, which is designed to help you manage every step of a project, including budgeting, resource management, time tracking, and task management.

Despite being valuable, Monday fails in the pricing department. The most basic paid option (for three seats) starts at $24 (per month). The good news is that there’s a free trial and even a free option for two seats.

Asana is designed with team members in mind.

It’s accessible to everyone in an organization and provides useful team collaboration features and task management options.

In an organization, Asana empowers all team members in a project to work closely, communicate, and collaborate with their managers.

The most notable Asana feature is the workload management feature. It uses notifications and graphs to notify managers when members in an organization are assigned more work than they can realistically handle.

Asana lacks project reporting and budgeting features.

Trello boasts a healthy list of features with a simple learning curve.

This software is ideal for all kinds of teams and projects in an organization, including HR tracking, sales pipelines, customer support tracking, software development, marketing projects, and content teams.

If you’re just developing an operational plan for your company, managing projects in Trello is fun. The software is ideal for mapping out and tracking your process.

4. SweetProcess

SweetProcess gives you the systemization to scale and grow your business.

Whether you’re managing a team or you’re hiring your first employee, SweetProcess helps you focus on the work that matters—including document processes, procedures, and tasks—and puts them in one place so you can focus on growing your business.

This software documents how team members need to do their job by harnessing the culture of defining and improving business operations.

If you have SweetProcess and you combine it with the right team members, there’s nothing that may limit how far and wide your organization may go.

Wrike is scalable and flexible. It helps you track and manage tasks.

This simple software is designed for fast-paced projects with continuously changing demands and needs. And when it comes to functionality, Wrike delivers in spades despite having a plain user interface.

Compared to its competitors, Wrike boasts project reporting and budget management features which can be useful when creating an operational plan.

Having a business plan is not enough. A business plan should have (or complement) an operational plan.

To put it another way, if you don’t set action plans and strategies (for your business operations), your business functions will not be complete. Here are examples of business operational plans:

Business Operational Plan Template

Business Operational Plan Template

Source: template.net

File format: Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and Pages

Operational Plan Template

Operational Plan Template

Startup Operational Plan Template

Startup Operational Plan Template

Basic Operational Plan Template

Basic Operational Plan Template

The usage of these documents can (positively or negatively) influence the operations of your business. An operational plan simply peeks into the quality standards and metrics you need to consider to attain operational success, goals, and objectives.

Using SweetProcess for Operational Planning and Other Business Processes

SweetProcess can help you manage operations in a super-easy way. It’s a standardized, online operational manual that processes documents, procedures, and tasks in one place so you can focus on growing your business.

So, whether you manage a team or you’re hiring your first employee, SweetProcess will systemize operations and help you scale your business.

Here are real-life examples of how the SweetProcess platform streamlined operations for different companies.

A Dental Clinic Streamlined Its Operations Post-COVID Shutdown through SweetProcess

The Dentist Off Main, a dental clinic based in Oregon, wanted to improve its patients’ dental experience by systemizing its business operations.

Dr. Olesya Salathe and Alex Jacks (who both run the dental clinic) started to document their business processes on Word documents only to realize it’s a tedious process. They now needed a better system to help enhance the efficiency of their employees.

And that’s how they came to learn about SweetProcess.

SweetProcess platform came in handy and they were fascinated that it could streamline their operations . But they had not done much until the emergence of the COVID-19.

“… We didn’t dive deep [into SweetProcess] until the pandemic hit, and then we were shut down. The idea of coming back without clear processes when the scary virus is out there solidified that we literally cannot work without systems and processes”.

SweetProcess helped them achieve success (and change a lot of things post COVID-19 pandemic) and ensure the safety of their patients and employees.

SweetProcess Improved an Australian Brewing Company’s Performance and Operations

Stone & Wood, an Australian brewing company, was in dire need of maintaining quality assurance and enhancing smooth operations.

The company was working with binders and Microsoft Word documents to resolve the problem to no avail.

The absence of an effective system made it impossible to achieve their desired success. After trying several outdated systems, they finally found a solution in SweetProcess .

Thomas Parker, the company’s quality assurance and sensory coordinator, said SweetProcess was the right fit for Stone & Wood. It enhanced the efficiency of his team members with hands-on information to systemize tasks successfully.

“I did look at several different options online. I can’t recall the specifics, but ultimately, it did boil down to a couple, and I liked SweetProcess from its ease of use and how flexible the sign-up was.”

SweetProcess simply repositioned the organization’s operations for the better, enhancing its performance tremendously by simplifying employee training, creating a centralized knowledge base, and customizing operations.

A Canada-Based Law Firm Used SweetProcess to Structure Its Business Operations

Resolute Legal, a law firm based in Canada, had a poor business structure and it became a serious concern for David Brannen, the founder and managing lawyer of the law firm.

Initially, David juggled all the tasks in the early days of his business. Disorganization soon caught up with him and he now desperately needed help.

Afraid that his business would not scale to new levels unless he created proper business structures, David started looking for an effective system that could systemize his business operations . And that’s how he discovered SweetProcess.

“I had someone tell me probably in the six months to a year before I got SweetProcess that I would never be able to be successful or grow this business if I didn’t get out of my way. Basically what he told me is: you got to systemize things.”

SweetProcess helped David become successful in his business. He scaled up from being a lone ranger to “having a real business with a bunch of employees.”

Create a Strong Operational Plan That Supercharges Your Business

Anyone can create a good operational plan, but drafting a strong operational plan that supercharges a business to broader levels? That’s a whole new ballgame.

Strong operational planning helps your organization achieve its broader vision. It’s a roadmap guiding you to accomplish a set goal.

To create a strong operational plan that supercharges your business, you should:

Operational planning isn’t something you can whip up in half an hour on your lunch break. You need to set aside hours (or days) to do the legwork, meet with stakeholders and department leaders, and create a strategy with detailed action steps.

If that sounds challenging, don’t worry. SweetProcess will help you get it right, saving you precious time and money.

Adopting SweetProcess will streamline all your business operations and soar your business to newer levels.

Sign up for a  14-day free trial  today (no credit card required), and download the “Epic Operational Plan Checklist That Ensures You Don’t Miss a Thing”, that covers actionable steps to help you draft a smooth and effective operation plan.

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How to Write an Operations Plan Section of your Business Plan

Operations Plan Section

Your business plan is an elaborate set of instructions stating how to run your business to achieve objectives and goals. Each section describes a part of the process to reach your desired goal. Similarly, the operations plan section of your business plan explains the production and supply of your product.

An operations plan is formed to turn plans into actions. It uses the information you gathered from the analysis of the market , customers, and competitors mentioned in the previous parts of your business plan and allows for the execution of relevant strategies to achieve desired results.

Operations Plan Template

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In this article, you will learn how to create an operations plan, its key elements, and an example to help get started to draft one for your business plan.

What Is an Operations Plan?

An operations plan is an in-depth description of your daily business activities centered on achieving the goals and objectives described in the previous sections of your business plan. It outlines the processes, activities, responsibilities of various departments, and the timeframe of the execution.

The operations section of your business plan explains in detail the role of a team or department in the collective accomplishment of your goals. In other words, it’s a strategic allocation of physical, financial, and human resources toward reaching milestones within a specific timeframe.

A well-defined operational plan section of your business plan should be able to answer the following questions:

An Operations Plan Answers

How to Write an Operations Plan Section?

Creating an operational plan has two major stages, both addressing different aspects of your company. The first stage includes the work that has been done so far, whereas the second stage describes it in detail.

1. Development Phase

Development Phase

In this stage, you mention what you’ve done to get your business operations up and running. Explain what you aim to change and improvise in the processes. These are the elements your development section will contain:

Production workflow:

Explain all the steps involved in creating your product. This should be a highly informative, elaborate description of the steps. Here, you also mention any inefficiencies that exist and talk about the actions that need to be taken to tackle them.

Write down the risks involved in the productions and potential problems you may face later down the line. State the safety measures employees take to avoid any misfortune while working. Explain how you store hazardous material and discard waste.


It is essential to include this information to convey to the reader that you are aware of the organizations and associations in your industry. If you are a member of any, make sure to mention them. You can also include the names of the association you wish to be a part of. Finally, here you can also elaborate on the laws and regulations that you abide by in your industry.

Supply chains:

Here, you mention the vendors you work with to sell your products. Give a quick rundown of the agreements you signed with them. Mention the terms and conditions, prices, and timeframe of the contract. You can also mention if you have any backup suppliers if the existing ones fail to fulfill the requirements.

Quality control:

Describe the measures you’re taking to assure and verify the quality of the end product. If you are working towards getting a product certification, explain the steps you take to meet the set standards.

2. Manufacturing Phase

Manufacturing Phase

The development stage acquaints the reader with the functioning of your business, while the manufacturing stage describes the day-to-day operation.

This includes the following elements:

Outline of daily activities:

Create an outline of the day-to-day activities of the production process. This includes the hours of operation, days the business will be open, and whether the business is seasonal or not.

Mention the location of your business , other branches you have, and their locations. You may also include images or drawings of the buildings, lease documents, real estate agreements, and other relevant documents. If you include these in your plan, mention why they’re crucial.

Tools and equipment:

Describe the tools and machinery you use. You should also include the cost of the equipment; these will be important to predict financial requirements.

List down all your assets. These include land, buildings, tools, machinery, vehicles, and furniture. Include a legal description and the value of these assets.

Special requirements:

If you require any additional facilities like water supply or power requirements, you mention them here. Specify what you need to do or have already done to acquire permissions for these requirements.

Raw materials:

Mention your raw material suppliers. If you need any extra materials, you can also include that in your operations plan. Here, you also mention the contracts and agreements with your suppliers.


Explain the production process and the time required for you to produce one unit. Include the factors that may disrupt the production flow. Further, mention your strategies to tackle these inefficiencies to avoid delays in manufacturing.

Here, you state the process of storing manufactured products, managing the stock, and the costs of the storage spaces. Stringent management of inventory is essential to maintain product quality and assure customer satisfaction.


Specify any tests that your product has undergone. This can include prototype tests, product or service tests, price testing, etc.

Include the pricing strategy for your products or services . You can also include the final prices of your products.

Why Do You Need an Operations Plan?

An operations plan is essentially an instruction manual about the workings of your business. It offers insight into your business operations. It helps investors assess your credibility and understand the structure of your operations and predict your financial requirements.

An operations plan reflects the real-time application of a business plan.

Internally, an operations plan works as a guide, which helps your employees and managers to know their responsibilities. It also helps them understand how to execute their tasks in the desired manner—all whilst keeping account of deadlines.

The operations plan helps identify and cut the variances between planned and actual performance and makes necessary changes. It helps you visualize how your operations affect revenue and gives you an idea of how and when you need to implement new strategies to maximize profits.

Advantages Of Operations Plan:

Offers clarity.

Operational planning, among other things, makes sure that everyone in the audience and team is aware of the daily, weekly, and monthly work. It improves concentration and productivity.

Contains A Roadmap

Operational planning makes it much easier to reach long-term objectives. When members have a clear strategy to follow: productivity rises, and accountability is maintained.

Sets A Benchmark

It sets a clear goal for everyone about what is the destination of the company and how to reach there.

Operations Plan Essentials

Now that you have understood the contents of an operations plan and how it should be written, you can continue drafting one for your business plan. But before doing so, take a look at these key components you need to remember while creating your operational plan.

Now you’re all set to write an operations plan section for your business plan . To give you a headstart, we have created an operations plan example.

Operations Plan Example

Operations plan by a book publishing house

Track and Accomplish Goals With an Operations Plan

Drafting the operations plan section of your business plan can be tricky due to the uncertainties of the business environment and the risks associated with it. Depending on variables like your market analysis, product development, supply chain, etc., the complexity of writing an operations plan will vary.

The core purpose here is to put all the pieces together to create a synergy effect and get the engine of your business running. Create effective operations plan to convey competence to investors and clarity to employees.

operation plan in business plan example

Frequently Asked Questions

1 what role does the operations plan play in securing funding for a business.

The operations plan defines the clear goals of your business and what actions will be taken on a daily basis to reach them. So, investors need to know where your business stands, and it will prove the viability of the goals helping you in getting funded.

2 What are the factors affecting the operations plan?

3 Can an operations plan be created for both start-up and established businesses?

Yes, both a startup and a small business needs an operations plan to get a better idea of the roadmap they want for their business.

Ayush                                                         Jalan

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Operational Plan Template

This operational plan sample is structured with important details for your organization. It comes ready to print, but since most organizational details and structures are different, you can simply edit the fields by putting your own organization information. Also, using the Jotform PDF editor template, you can quickly add and delete fields, choose your own color options, etc. Finally, you can share your draft with your team members via email.

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Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan

Focus on the future and keep your company moving forward with Jotform’s Strategic Plan Template. Simply fill in the attached form with your company overview, delve deeper with a SWOT analysis, and finish off by determining your strategic goals, actions, and financial plans. Our fully-customizable template converts submitted information into polished PDFs, which you can download, print, or share instantly.You don’t need a degree in design to build a professional strategic plan. Change fonts, update colors, and add your company’s logo in an instant — with Jotform’s drag-and-drop PDF Editor, customization is a breeze! Establish goals, set your priorities, and draw up solid action plans as polished PDFs with our Strategic Plan Template. By clearly defining your goals and the steps you’ll take to achieve them, you can keep your company on track and grow your business faster.

Single Page Business Plan

Single Page Business Plan

A single page business plan is just as it sounds: a summary of business objectives displayed on a single page. Single page business plans are typically used to pitch ideas before writing longer, more detailed business plans for potential investors and partners. Instead of starting from scratch, use our free Single Page Business Plan PDF Template to outline company goals in a professional, accessible PDF document. Once you’ve filled out a simple form with details regarding your company’s overview, objectives, challenges, and strategies, this Single Page Business Plan Template will automatically convert that information into a professional PDF that can be read at a glance. With your single page business plan saved as a PDF, you can easily download it for your records, email the file to coworkers, or print out copies for company meetings.This Single Page Business Plan Template already has a stunning design, but you can quickly customize it to meet your business needs with our drag-and-drop PDF Editor. Easily add fields for additional information such as milestones, market or competitive analysis, and financial summary. Don’t forget to represent your business by adding your logo and changing the fonts and colors to match your branding. No matter what modifications you make, your custom Single Page Business Plan Template will create an impressive, brief breakdown of business objectives to help steer your company in the right direction.

Marketing Brief

Marketing Brief

A marketing brief can make or break your campaign. But writing a brief for every new campaign eats up time you simply can’t afford to lose. With this free Marketing Brief Template, you can quickly and easily draft marketing briefs without ever having to start from scratch. Simply fill out this simple online form with client information and project details such as objectives, budget, and materials, and the template automatically creates overviews as PDFs — easy to download, print, and share with the rest of the marketing team. Since each marketing campaign is unique, why not make your marketing brief unique as well? Luckily for you, customizing your Marketing Brief Template is a breeze with our drag-and-drop PDF Editor. You’ll be able to change the text or any graphic element in just a few clicks. Feel free to get creative — change the fonts and colors, upload your own background image, or add your company logo for a professional touch. Each time you submit details about your new marketing campaign, your custom Marketing Brief Template will display those plans in easily-accessible PDFs. With PDF marketing briefs in hand, your marketing team can get right to work promoting your products and building your brand.

These templates are suggested forms only. If you're using a form as a contract, or to gather personal (or personal health) info, or for some other purpose with legal implications, we recommend that you do your homework to ensure you are complying with applicable laws and that you consult an attorney before relying on any particular form.

Business Plan Templates

Plans, strategies, roadmaps – Businesses rely on these things to gain perspective on what’s about to happen. Milestones laid down in strategic and careful planning for growth and expansion, visions of where the company’s headed 10 years from now, goals that should meet timelines, all these require a smart, prudent and calculated planning.

Whether you’re a startup, an SMB, or close to a Fortune 500, a solid business plan is crucial. And of course, writing business plans is a huge task. But, what if you needed something that requires input from others though? Say, an online form or a PDF template where responses from your colleagues and managers matter? Well, here’s a collection of PDF templates for business planning.

These are beautifully designed templates, specifically tailored for businesses and companies who don’t know where to start. The hard part was already done and that’s designing the template. These will serve as boilerplates for whatever milestone your business needs. You won’t need to worry on building something from scratch, you just need to focus on the content. Some of these templates will contain or collect executive summaries, opportunities, expectations, execution, financial plans, forecasts, the whole nine yards.

Business plan templates help give a clear vision of what lies ahead. They help you get things organized, planned out, and help you check off items from your to-do list more efficiently.

Focus on the future and keep your company moving forward with Jotform’s Strategic Plan Template. Simply fill in the attached form with your company overview, delve deeper with a SWOT analysis, and finish off by determining your strategic goals, actions, and financial plans. Our fully-customizable template converts submitted information into polished PDFs, which you can download, print, or share instantly.

A single page business plan is just as it sounds: a summary of business objectives displayed on a single page.

Operational Plan

Operational Plan

This Operational Plan Sample is structured with important details for your organization. It comes ready to print, but you can simply edit the fields by putting your own organization information.

Managing a marketing campaign or promotion is a challenging task. You need to have a marketing plan in order to execute the campaign smoothly with the time and budget provided. Creating a Marketing Brief is very beneficial because it summarizes the marketing strategy for a specific campaign.If you are in the advertising agency or part of the marketing department, then this Marketing Creative Brief Template is for you. This well-designed template contains the client information, project information, and the marketing materials that will be used. The project details explain the project title, description, objectives, target audience, budget overview, advertising guidelines, and competitors.

Glamping Business Plan

Glamping Business Plan

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Lean Business Model Canvas

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Business Model Canvas

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Creative Brief

Creative Brief

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What are the seven parts of a business plan?

How do you write a business plan?

Your business plan should be a realistic roadmap that helps you build a successful company. When writing it, take a balanced approach so that you’re not blind to the potential pitfalls and risks. You’ll draft each of the seven sections previously discussed.

Tackling these sections can be overwhelming, so some people like to start with a one-page business plan that includes short paragraphs for each element. Another way to give yourself a head start is by working from a business plan template. Once you have a good start, you can expand each section to make a compelling case for your business.

Can I write a business plan myself?

Yes, you can. However, depending on your writing experience and goals, you may want outside help. If the business plan is for internal use with the purpose of improving business functions, you’ll likely be OK tackling it alone. But if you’re trying to secure funding from a bank or investors, a professional business plan writer can give you a leg up.

Even if you decide to do it yourself, have a trusted friend or business mentor review your plan and provide feedback. An objective point of view will help you refine your work.

What are the four types of business plans?

What are the common mistakes in business plans?

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Operational Planning: How to Make an Operations Plan


The operations of your business can be defined as the sum of all the daily activities that you and your team execute to create products or services and engage with your customers, among other critical business functions. While organizing these moving parts might sound difficult, it can be easily done by writing a business operational plan. But before we learn how to make one, let’s first understand what’s the relationship between strategic and operational planning.

Operational Planning vs. Strategic Planning

Operational planning and strategic planning are complementary to each other. This is because strategic plans define the business strategy and the long-term goals for your organization, while operational plans define the steps required to achieve them.

What Is a Strategic Plan?

A strategic plan is a business document that describes the business goals of a company as well as the high-level actions that’ll be taken to achieve them over a time period of 1-3 years.

What Is an Operational Plan?

Operational plans map the daily, weekly or monthly business operations that’ll be executed by the department to complete the goals you’ve previously defined in your strategic plan. Operational plans go deeper into explaining your business operations as they explain roles and responsibilities, timelines and the scope of work.

Operational plans work best when an entire department buys in, assigning due dates for tasks, measuring goals for success, reporting on issues and collaborating effectively. They work even better when there’s a platform like ProjectManager , which facilitates communication across departments to ensure that the machine is running smoothly as each team reaches its benchmark. Get started with ProjectManager for free today.

Gantt chart with operational plan

What Is Operational Planning?

Operational planning is the process of turning strategic plans into operational plans, which simply means breaking down high-level strategic goals and activities into smaller, actionable steps. The main goal of operational planning is to coordinate different departments and layers of management to ensure the whole organization works towards the same objective, which is achieving the goals set forth in the strategic plan .

How to Make an Operational Plan

There’s no single approach to follow when making an operation plan for your business. However, there’s one golden rule: your strategic and operational plans must be aligned. Based on that principle, here are seven steps to make an operational plan.

Let’s take a look at each of these elements in more depth.

What Should be Included in an Operational Plan?

Your operational plan should describe your business operations as accurately as possible so that internal teams know how the company works and how they can help achieve the larger strategic objectives. Here’s a list of some of the key elements that you’ll need to consider when writing an operational plan.

Executive Summary

An executive summary is a brief document that summarizes the content of larger documents like business plans, strategic plans or operation plans. Their main purpose is to provide a quick overview for busy stakeholders.

Operational Budget

An operational budget is an estimation of the expected operating costs and revenues for a given time period. As with other types of budget, the operational budget defines the amount of money that’s available to acquire raw materials, equipment or anything else that’s needed for business operations. It’s important to limit your spending to stay below your operational budget, otherwise, your company would run out of resources to execute its normal activities.

Operational Objectives

It’s essential to align your operational objectives with your strategic objectives. For example, if one of your strategic objectives is to increase sales by 25 percent over the next three years, one possible operational objective would be to hire new sales employees. You should always grab your strategic plan objectives and turn them into one or multiple action items .

Processes & Workflows

Explain the various business processes, workflows and tasks that need to be executed to achieve your operational objectives. Make sure to explain what resources are needed, such as raw materials, equipment or human resources.

Operational Timeline

It’s important to establish a timeline for your operational plan. In most cases, your operational plan will have the same length as your strategic plan, but in some scenarios, you might create multiple operational plans for specific purposes. Not all operational plans are equal, so the length of your operational timeline will depend on the duration of your projects, workflows and processes.

Hiring Plan

Find any skills gap there might be in your team. You might need to hire a couple of individuals or even create new departments in order to execute your business workflows.

Quality Assurance and Control

Most companies implement quality assurance and control procedures for a variety of reasons such as customer safety and regulatory compliance. In addition, quality assurance issues can cost your business millions, so establishing quality management protocols is a key step in operational planning.

Key Performance Indicators

It’s important to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the productivity of your business operations. You can define as many KPIs as needed for all your business processes. For example, you can define KPIs for marketing, sales, product development and other key departments in your company. This can include product launch deadlines, number of manufactured goods, number of customer service cases closed, number of 5-star reviews received, number of customers acquired, revenue increased by a certain percentage and so on.

Risks, Assumptions and Constraints

Note any potential risks, assumptions and time or resource constraints that might affect your business operations.

What Are the Benefits of Operational Planning?

Every plan has a massive effect on all team members involved, and those can be to your company’s benefit or to their detriment. If it’s to their detriment, it’s best to find out as soon as possible so you can modify your operational plan and pivot with ease.

But that’s the whole point of operational planning: you get to see the effect of your operations on the business’s bottom line in real time, or at every benchmark, so you know exactly when to pivot. And with a plan that’s as custom to each department as an operational plan, you know exactly where things go wrong and why.

How ProjectManager Can Help with Operational Planning

Creating and implementing a high-quality operational plan is the best way to ensure that your organization starts out a project on the right foot. ProjectManager has award-winning project management tools to help you craft and execute such a plan.

Gantt charts are essential to create and monitor operational plans effectively. ProjectManager helps you access your Gantt chart online so you can add benchmarks for operational performance reviews. You can also create tasks along with dependencies to make the operation a surefire success.

A screenshot of a gantt chart in ProjectManager

Whether you’re a team of IT system administrators, marketing experts, or engineers, ProjectManager includes robust planning and reporting tools. Plan in sprints, assign due dates, collaborate with team members and track everything with just the click of a button. Plus, we have numerous ready-made project reports that can be generated instantly, including status reports, variance reports, timesheet reports and more.

project status report builder

Related Operations Management Content

Operational planning isn’t done in a silo, and it doesn’t work without the full weight of the team backing it up. Ensure that your department is successful at each benchmark. ProjectManager is an award-winning pm software dedicated to helping businesses smooth out their operational plans for a better year ahead. Sign up for our free 30-day trial today.

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12+ Business Operational Plan Examples – PDF, Word, Docs

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Define goals with an operational plan template

operation plan in business plan example

Employees who understand their roles and how they contribute to overall company success tend to be more invested and feel more valued. That engagement can lead to more productive and satisfied employees.

One way to proactively ensure employees feel fulfilled is by creating a strategy on an operational plan template, a tool that can propel your company’s short and long-term success. Before we share what this template looks like, however, it’s always good to refresh ourselves on its purpose and how it can drive results.

Get the template

What is an operational plan template?

An operational plan template defines company goals and creates detailed outlines for how each employee, team, or department contributes to efforts. A smaller business may use these templates to outline an employee’s daily tasks while larger organizations might create outlines on a department or team level.

Why should you use operational plan templates?

Operational plan templates provide a transparent view of your company’s daily procedures and highlights how each department’s roles contribute to a smooth operation. By using an operational plan template, you can understand how your company ticks and develop a solid structure to ensure all cogs move in the same direction. An operational plan template:

You can increase the benefits of operational plan templates by including as much detail as possible when designing or using them. Though you may also want to create custom templates for specific uses, having examples on-hand can help inspire which areas to focus on for your business operation.

What are some examples of operational plan template

Operational plans are important to businesses in a variety of contexts. An entrepreneur might create an operational plan so they have a series of guideposts and a better understanding of the company mission, vision, and values when launching a startup. A well-established business might use an operational plan as an overall  path for the future. The following operational plan templates can help you create a robust business structure:

Single-use operational plan template

You can apply a single-use Operational Plan Template to goals, visions, or transitions outside normal operations. You might create a single-use operational plan when you start your company, expand to an additional location, or undergo rebranding. Other goals that may call for this type of operational plan include:

Having a plan for one-time or short-term company goals can help you define, achieve, and measure success. Individual departments may also create single-use operational plans to drive specific efforts. Human resources, for example, may create a hiring plan.

Ongoing operational plan template

An ongoing operational plan template defines long-term organizational goals. It can create transparency into how your company delegates and achieves daily tasks under normal conditions. The beauty of an ongoing operational plan is that you can update it as you achieve goals or gather new research and metrics that support more informed decisions. For example, if you conduct new research that determines that one of your goals cannot be met with the resources you have available, you can update your ongoing operational plan to indicate the challenges and steps to take to get your organization’s goals back on track.  An existing operational plan can easily grow and change with your organization.

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Map your road to success with monday.com’s operational plan template

Define goals with an operational plan template

Our customizable template lets you create documents that suit your organization’s unique needs and goals, whether you’re working toward a one-time objective or detailing ongoing daily operations. Pair the template with other work productivity tools on monday.com to make business planning streamlined and effective in real-time. On monday.com you can:

Using the above features plus several others, our operational plan template pairs help you better understand your goals and map the road to success in detail. But of course, an operational plan template isn’t the only business planning resource necessary for success. There are several other templates that can be more useful for specific applications.

Related templates to operational plan templates

An operational plan template can help you detail daily tasks and assign them to employees. From there, other operations templates can help you increase productivity and manage specific aspects of your plan. Let’s take a look at a few supplementary templates.

Facilities request template

Your facilities management and operational teams are constantly in motion, working hard to go over questions, complaints, and work requests. Our facilities request template can help ease their workload by streamlining requests. Use the facilities request template to:

Finance request template

Our finance request template helps you stay on track by setting deadlines and receiving notifications for due dates. It also helps you gather finance requests in a single location for an at-a-glance financial summary, while color-coding and other visual cues can indicate priority requests.

Business plan template

Business and operational plans work hand-in-hand to support your company’s vision and goals. You can use a business plan template to outline your goals and detail how the company will work toward them. Our business plan template provides a breakdown of every applicable section for easier plan creation.

A business plan and operational plan serve similar purposes, however, they’re two separate but complementary documents.

A business plan details long-term goals and the tasks or milestones necessary to achieve them. An operational plan details the daily tasks required to be successful with long-term goals. Get more information about what’s included in an operational plan in our FAQs below.

FAQs about operational plan templates

What should you include in an operational plan.

An operational plan should include:

Ongoing operational plans should focus on the daily details required to keep the company moving forward. One-time operational plans should concentrate only on specific short-term objectives.

What is an operational plan example?

An example of an operational plan is a document created by a clothing manufacturer to lay out a plan to increase its presence on social media. The company may have noticed that referrals come from social media and it wants to capitalize on this trend. The basis of its operational plan may include:

From this starting point, the operational plan would detail each of those tasks, including how to allot resources and employees. For an outline of what to include in an operational plan, check out monday.com’s operational plan template.

How do you write an operational plan?

To write an operational plan, you should:

Align daily tasks and goals with monday.com’s operational plan template

An operational plan template lets you align daily tasks with your company’s short- and long-term goals. Using the template simplifies plan creation by ensuring you don’t miss a single detail.

Once your plan is ready, put it into action with our powerful Work OS. Ensure team members can see tasks and other information in views that work for them, and manage assignments and workflow automations on monday.com to make it easier to complete the tasks required to reach your goals.

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operation plan in business plan example

Business Plan Example and Template

Learn how to create a business plan

What is a Business Plan?

A business plan is a document that contains the operational and financial plan of a business, and details how its objectives will be achieved. It serves as a road map for the business and can be used when pitching investors or financial institutions for debt or equity financing .

Business Plan

A business plan should follow a standard format and contain all the important business plan elements. Typically, it should present whatever information an investor or financial institution expects to see before providing financing to a business.

Contents of a Business Plan

A business plan should be structured in a way that it contains all the important information that investors are looking for. Here are the main sections of a business plan:

1. Title Page

The title page captures the legal information of the business, which includes the registered business name, physical address, phone number, email address, date, and the company logo.

2. Executive Summary

The executive summary is the most important section because it is the first section that investors and bankers see when they open the business plan. It provides a summary of the entire business plan. It should be written last to ensure that you don’t leave any details out. It must be short and to the point, and it should capture the reader’s attention. The executive summary should not exceed two pages.

3. Industry Overview

The industry overview section provides information about the specific industry that the business operates in. Some of the information provided in this section includes major competitors, industry trends, and estimated revenues. It also shows the company’s position in the industry and how it will compete in the market against other major players.

4. Market Analysis and Competition

The market analysis section details the target market for the company’s product offerings. This section confirms that the company understands the market and that it has already analyzed the existing market to determine that there is adequate demand to support its proposed business model.

Market analysis includes information about the target market’s demographics , geographical location, consumer behavior, and market needs. The company can present numbers and sources to give an overview of the target market size.

A business can choose to consolidate the market analysis and competition analysis into one section or present them as two separate sections.

5. Sales and Marketing Plan

The sales and marketing plan details how the company plans to sell its products to the target market. It attempts to present the business’s unique selling proposition and the channels it will use to sell its goods and services. It details the company’s advertising and promotion activities, pricing strategy, sales and distribution methods, and after-sales support.

6. Management Plan

The management plan provides an outline of the company’s legal structure, its management team, and internal and external human resource requirements. It should list the number of employees that will be needed and the remuneration to be paid to each of the employees.

Any external professionals, such as lawyers, valuers, architects, and consultants, that the company will need should also be included. If the company intends to use the business plan to source funding from investors, it should list the members of the executive team, as well as the members of the advisory board.

7. Operating Plan

The operating plan provides an overview of the company’s physical requirements, such as office space, machinery, labor, supplies, and inventory . For a business that requires custom warehouses and specialized equipment, the operating plan will be more detailed, as compared to, say, a home-based consulting business. If the business plan is for a manufacturing company, it will include information on raw material requirements and the supply chain.

8. Financial Plan

The financial plan is an important section that will often determine whether the business will obtain required financing from financial institutions, investors, or venture capitalists. It should demonstrate that the proposed business is viable and will return enough revenues to be able to meet its financial obligations. Some of the information contained in the financial plan includes a projected income statement , balance sheet, and cash flow.

9. Appendices and Exhibits

The appendices and exhibits part is the last section of a business plan. It includes any additional information that banks and investors may be interested in or that adds credibility to the business. Some of the information that may be included in the appendices section includes office/building plans, detailed market research , products/services offering information, marketing brochures, and credit histories of the promoters.

Business Plan Template

Business Plan Template

Here is a basic template that any business can use when developing its business plan:

Section 1: Executive Summary

Section 2: Industry Overview

Section 3: Market Analysis and Competition

Section 4: Sales and Marketing Plan

Section 5: Management Plan

Section 6: Operating Plan

Section 7: Financial Plan

Section 8: Appendices and Exhibits

Related Readings

Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to Business Plans. To keep learning and advancing your career, the following CFI resources will be helpful:

operation plan in business plan example

Operational Planning: How to Make an Operational Plan

The presence of a strategic plan is essential to any company, but it's not enough. You need an operational plan for day-to-day work to make sure that the broader organizational goals are within reach.

Operational plans are not only for large enterprises — small businesses and individuals too can benefit from operational planning. According to University Lab Partners , a lack of planning is one of the top reasons that startups fail. What's more, a survey by Gallup  found that only about half of employees know what is expected from them at work. Without a robust operational plan in place, organizations are risking losing their best workers and their business success. 

In this blog post, we will explain what is an operational plan and show you how to create one without being overwhelmed.

What is an operational plan?

An operational plan is a document that outlines the key objectives and goals of an organization and how to reach them.

The document includes short-term or long-term goals in a clear way so that team members know their responsibilities and have a clear understanding of what needs to be done.

Crafting an operational plan keeps teams on track while guiding them in making crucial decisions about the company's long-term strategy.

Operational planning vs strategic planning

Though related to each other, these two planning strategies differ in their focus.

Operational planning is the process of the day-to-day work to execute your strategy. It ensures you have all the resources and staff necessary to get work done efficiently.

On the other hand, strategic planning is about looking ahead into the future, identifying the upcoming pipeline, and figuring out how you can prepare for it.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, nearly 7 million Americans are self-employed, with an additional 10 million employed by small businesses. 

If you're working at a large corporation, chances are your company will have some form of strategic goals in place. However, if you're one of the millions who work remotely and independently, your success will rely on operational planning instead.

What are the key elements of an operational plan?

The success of operational planning largely depends on setting realistic expectations for all teams.

Here are the key elements of a functional operational plan:

Ensure all teams understand the parameters of success. Doing this shows how their work contributes to wider company goals and ensures better decision-making for the business operation.

How to create an operational planning process

Think of an operational plan as a key component in a team puzzle. It provides employees with a manual on how to operate the company.

It should be created in tandem with other foundational documents like an organizational mission statement, vision document, or business strategy. Daily, it can help answer questions such as:

To create a successful operational plan, it's important to define goals clearly. Here are several steps that will help you develop a functional operating plan:

Start with the strategic plan

Before defining an operational goal, make sure your strategic objectives are in place and relevant.

Prioritize the most critical activities first

Once these goals have been decided on, prioritize the most critical activities required to achieve these aims.

Stop diluting team efforts and let them focus on the most important goals first. Doing this means everyone works on a smaller set of tasks, instead of spreading themselves thin in multiple areas. It also helps in optimizing available resources.

Use predictive indicators

For a robust operational plan, consider using key performance metrics or indicators that can help you determine project progress and lend visibility to team activities. 

While lagging indicators look backward, leading indicators look to the future. Think of the plan as a car — the rear-view mirror would be a lagging indicator, while the windshield would be the leading indicator.

A leading indicator could be a new product, higher customer satisfaction levels, or new markets. Examples of lagging indicators include the number of people who attended an event or the monthly operating expenses for specific departments. 

Instead of lagging indicators, use leading indicators. Lagging metrics will show that your efforts are falling short only after you execute the operations.

Leading KPIs include predictive measures that allow early identification of problems before they become critical and impact business performance negatively.

Get team buy-in

The key to defining appropriate KPIs is involving the whole team in the process. Meet to discuss the business goals and figure out what measurements are right for the team instead of working independently or outsourcing them.

Ensure consistent communication

Communication is key. By understanding your company's metrics and what they mean, you'll be able to work together more effectively with colleagues to reach common goals.

Operational plan example

Let’s say that a company plans to increase production volume by 50% at the end of a fiscal year.

When the company goal is clear, the team will make a strategic plan with three main components: marketing, sales, and operations.

This can be further broken down into an operational plan, which will assign resources, teams, budgets, and timelines for different departments such as manufacturing, sourcing, accounts, finance, and logistics to achieve the increase in production. Such a plan should include a financial summary and financial projections as well.

Operational plan template

Think about the example above. The goals and parties involved are clear as part of the operational plan. At the same time, to remain on track, the plan requires continuous analysis and reviews. An operational plan template can be extremely helpful to achieve that.

An operational template can be a simple document that is reused for different plans by the same organization. However, it is also possible and extremely helpful to make use of project management software tools to create one.

For instance, Gantt charts can serve exactly that purpose. Using a Gantt chart as an operational plan template, it is possible to create and manage plans, track changes and edit project-related activities in real time. The chart allows clear visibility for timelines, tasks, responsibilities, and team members.

Operational planning advantages and disadvantages

Most businesses utilize an operational plan to keep track of their daily tasks. 

The plan outlines the day-to-day activities for running the organization — teams, managers, and employees are then able to visualize their contribution, which is crucial for reaching company goals.

But every process has two sides. Let’s review the operational planning advantages and disadvantages in more detail.

Operational planning advantages

Clarifies organizational goals.

An operational plan helps managers and department heads define their daily tasks, responsibilities, and activities in detail.

It also illustrates how individual team members contribute to the overall company or department goals. Without a clearly defined plan, managers and employees have no way to measure their daily tasks against predefined outcomes.

Boosts team productivity

Business owners are always looking for ways to increase productivity, which in turn translates into higher profits. One of the best and easiest ways to boost efficiency is through an operational plan.

Employees are more productive when they know their daily objectives and responsibilities. Conversely, if they're unsure of what is required of them, chances are their productivity will suffer. 

An operational plan provides this vital information to employees in each department and across the company as a whole.

Enhance organizational profitability

Having a plan helps in keeping projects and teams on track.

When operations are managed properly, teams are able to consistently increase revenue and develop new products.

Innovation pays off. A BCG survey points out that 60% of companies that are committed to innovation report steadily increasing revenues year after year. With an operational plan in place, teams are able to innovate better and faster.

Improves competitive advantages

Competitive advantages are made up of multiple levels and components.

Coordinating the different parts with an operational plan will make your workflows run more smoothly. This allows you to deliver high-quality deliverables on time, creating an outstanding customer experience and keeping you ahead of the competition.

Operational planning disadvantages

Possibility of human error.

Human error is a common problem in manufacturing that can often occur when transitioning from production to sale.

Operations management teams will need to coordinate effectively with diverse cross-functional teams such as finance, accounting, engineering, and human resources. In doing so, each team will have a clear understanding of the end goals of each department.

Interdependency amongst parts

One of the main disadvantages of implementing an operations planning process is that its success depends on coordination across parts.

Plans end up failing due to one part not working, which can have an adverse impact on the subsequent process. Disruptions in one process can end up affecting the entire process, making the entire operational plan useless.

Using Wrike for operational planning

Give your organization a boost by ensuring every project starts off on the right foot.

Wrike's award-winning project management tools help you craft and execute an operational plan template with Gantt charts and various other premade templates .

Establish your operational plan, monitor progress, and be ready to pivot if required. Wrike lets you share real-time data that makes all milestones crystal clear for your team, helping them stay updated and on track.

With Wrike, your team can create and monitor a high-quality operational plan that ensures the achievement of organizational goals. Start a free two-week trial of Wrike to put your operational plan into practice today!

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8+ Business Operation Plan Templates – PDF, DOC

As one is coming up with a basic business plan , it’s also important to know about the ins and outs of the different operations that will take place if one manages to open a business successfully. There should be a particular document which brings about the details of what is needed and who is tasked with completing certain operations that happen within a business on a daily business.

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Operational Plan Template

operational plan template

Simple Operational Plan Template

simple operational plan template

Business Operational Plan

business operational plan template

How to Create a Business Operation Plan

1. the production work flow, sample operational plan.

sample operational plan template

Business Plan for a Startup Business

untitledbusiness plan for a startup business

Outline of a Business Plan

outline of a business plan

Operational Business Plan Printable

operational business plan printable

2. Supply Chains

3. quality control, 4. the hours of operation, 5. your business’s physical structure, country business operation plan.

country business operation plan

Sample Food Business Operation Plan

sample food business operation plan

6. Equipment

7. your assets, 8. production, 9. inventory, 10. the costs, more in plan templates.

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Beautifully Designed, Easily Editable Templates to Get your Work Done Faster & Smarter.

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  1. 😂 Business plan operations plan. Writing a Business Plan. 2019-02-16

    operation plan in business plan example

  2. 37+ Operational Plan Templates

    operation plan in business plan example

  3. 😂 Business plan operations plan. Writing a Business Plan. 2019-02-16

    operation plan in business plan example

  4. 11+ School Operational Plan Examples

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  5. 😀 Operational plan for business. Operations Plan Section. 2019-01-27

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  6. FREE 10+ Simple Operational Planning Samples & Templates in PDF

    operation plan in business plan example


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  1. How To Write the Operations Plan Section of the Business Plan

    The operations plan section should include general operational details that help investors understand the physical details of your vision. Details in the operations plan include information about any physical plants, equipment, assets, and more.

  2. Business Plan Operations Plan [Sample Template for 2022]

    The business plan operations plan presents the company's action plan for executing its vision. The operational plan details the processes that must be performed in order to serve customers every day. In other words, the short term processes. It also details the overall business milestones that the company must attain in order to be successful.

  3. How To Make an Operations Plan (With Definition and Example)

    Here are a few examples of operations plans to help you get started creating your own: Example 1 Sadie's Clothing Company sets a goal to increase production by over 50% within one year. To meet this goal, Sadie would begin by developing a strategic plan that addresses components such as marketing, sales and operations.

  4. How to Create a Business Operations Plan

    Let's look at the following example for a local pizza business objective: Strategic objective: To deliver pizza all over Eastern Massachusetts. Technology department operational objective: To create a mobile app by January 2017 to offer a better user experience.

  5. 4 Examples of an Operations Plan

    The following are illustrative examples of an operations plan. Strategy Most business strategies have an operations component. For example, if a train manufacturer develops a plan to expand revenue by 50% that plan will include a marketing, sales and operations component.

  6. Operational Plan for Business Plan

    As an example, a sales operational plan can help the sales team associate its professional goals, work processes, and action plans with the objectives of the business. Annual Operational Plan for a Business Example afma.gov.au Details File Format PDF Size: 310 KB Download Farm Operational Plan for Business Plan Example ucanr.edu Details File Format

  7. How To Write an Operating Plan (With Steps and Example)

    An example of an operational plan is shown below: Objective Improve production rate by 50% next year Timeline 1 year Tasks Schedule meetings with transportation companies. Develop ways to improve the supply chain. Resources New machinery More materials Budget $10,000 Employees David Mark Henrietta Jones Leading indicators

  8. What Is the Operational Plan Section of the Business Plan?

    As an example, in case you are willing to have a specific quality control certificate, like the ISO 9000, you should identify and explain the required procedures. What Are the Key Components to Include in an Operational Plan Regarding the Business Organization? Here are the main components to be included in the operational plan:

  9. Operating Plan

    Business Plan Outline for Operating Plan Should Include: Overview of the Customer Engagement Process Labor Requirements Facilities Requirements Equipment Requirements Outside Resources (Suppliers, Outsourced Services) Critical requirements Finish Your Business Plan in One Day. Click to Learn How Important Considerations

  10. Operational Plan Types & Examples

    Operational Plan Example The following is an example of an operation plan for ABC Company. The company intends to reduce its production costs. The accompanying operational plan...

  11. How to Write Operational Plan in Business Plan in 2023?

    Build a Hiring Plan: You will need to hire people regularly. Develop a hiring plan and define who you want to hire, what will be the hiring process, will be the salaries and benefits for the employee. Set Work Hours: Determine what will be your working hours. Will you go for the typical 9-5 or you will need employees in off hours for completing ...

  12. Operations Plan Examples: What You Need To Know

    Creating an Operations Plan. When creating an operations plan, you want to follow some key steps, such as: 1. Focus on goals. First, focus on important goals that pertain to the specific department or division that will follow the plan. After identifying the goals, determine any key initiatives that will help achieve those goals.

  13. Location (operational business plan) Manmgt 2

    For our business hours, we plan to be open 9:00 AM- 7:00 PM during weekdays and 10:00 AM- 6:00PM during weekends. meter, amenities of the building or area like if it has a CCTV, fire alarm and 24 hour security, for its utilities it should have a electricity, trash/recycling and a good internet connection, and if it is an easy access or visible ...

  14. What is an operational plan? (A how-to guide with examples)

    Example 1: Jane owns a marketing business and is looking to grow her company by 25% over the next two years by working with more clients. To meet this target, she creates an operational plan: Goal: 25% increase in business growth, measured in revenue. Timeline: Two years.

  15. How to Create a Strong Operational Plan for Your Business

    An operational plan is a strategic plan turned into a detailed map clearly defining what actions your company's team members need to take on a weekly or daily basis. It includes action milestones and items that each department or team member in your organization needs to complete before you can execute your strategic plan.

  16. Creating an Effective Operations Plan for Your Business

    An operations plan is an in-depth description of your daily business activities centered on achieving the goals and objectives described in the previous sections of your business plan. It outlines the processes, activities, responsibilities of various departments, and the timeframe of the execution.

  17. Operational Plan Template

    Cloned 11,223. A Business Operational Plan PDF Template encompasses critical details of a company or an organization. To put it simply, it is what the organization or company wants to achieve, such as financials, budget planning, etc. Accountants and managers in an institution or company often take so much time to create an operational plan ...

  18. Operational Planning: How to Make an Operations Plan

    For example, if one of your strategic objectives is to increase sales by 25 percent over the next three years, one possible operational objective would be to hire new sales employees. You should always grab your strategic plan objectives and turn them into one or multiple action items. Processes & Workflows

  19. 12+ Business Operational Plan Examples

    Business Operational Plan Example Details File Format Google Docs MS Word Pages Editable PDF Size: A4, US Free Download Operation and Maintenance Plan for Businesses Example dlnreng.hawaii.gov Details File Format PDF Size: 196 KB Download Agency Business Operations Plan Example appa-net.org Details File Format PDF Size: 34 KB Download

  20. Operational Plan Template To Support Your Company Vision

    Business plan template. Business and operational plans work hand-in-hand to support your company's vision and goals. You can use a business plan template to outline your goals and detail how the company will work toward them. Our business plan template provides a breakdown of every applicable section for easier plan creation.

  21. Business Plan

    A business plan is a document that contains the operational and financial plan of a business, and details how its objectives will be achieved. It serves as a road map for the business and can be used when pitching investors or financial institutions for debt or equity financing. A business plan should follow a standard format and contain all ...

  22. Operational Planning: How to Make an Operational Plan

    Clearly define the ultimate vision or objective for the plan. Review and break down the smaller goals for the operating budget, team, and resources required to put the plan into action. Assign budgets, team members, key stakeholders, and resources. Monitor progress with consistent reports. Refine the operational plan and be ready to pivot if ...

  23. 8+ Business Operation Plan Templates

    Sample Operational Plan Details File Format DOC Free Download Business Plan for a Startup Business norcrossga.net Details File Format DOC Size: 28 KB Download Outline of a Business Plan nypl.org Details File Format DOC Size: 44 KB Download Operational Business Plan Printable scu.edu.au Details File Format DOC Size: 60 KB Download 2. Supply Chains