Guest Post: Operational Information to Include in Your Business Plan

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Benjamin Franklin said that failing to prepare is preparing to fail. This is especially true when business planning. A business plan will be the road map that you follow as you create and grow your business. Central to the plan is the operational information that will link all of the parts together and transform your idea into a viable business.

Components of a Business Plan

Before focusing on one part of the business plan, it is important to understand all of the pieces that make up a good plan because they are all interrelated. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, a typical business plan will have an executive summary, company description, market analysis and marketing methodology, management, services or product, and a financial projection. Each of these parts is dependent on information from other parts. For example, financial projections will influence the speed of manufacturing and vice versa. If you can only make 10 items a day, you either need to have a high price point or a low financial projection.

Start With the Market

There are several theories for developing a price structure, but the easiest is to set your price comparable to that of the industry average. Once you have your unit prices for products or services, you will multiply this by the number that you can make in a month to get your monthly revenue. Conversely, if you know how much you want to make per month, you can divide this by your unit cost to get the number for production in the month. Since all of your financial analysis comes from revenue and revenue comes from service or product delivery, this is the first important piece of operational information that you will need.

Know the Competition

Your competition will be one of your primary operational drivers. Do not look at them as an enemy. Instead, see competitors as businesses that have already achieved a market share and use them as a model of success. Most successful manufacturing companies have their pertinent information online. For example, Apple Rubber has material guides for its o-rings posted on its site. Assimilate this data into your operational plans instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

Develop Flowcharts

There are a lot of moving parts to any business. It is one of the reasons that you want to plan it out. To truly understand the minutia of your operations, use a flowchart and plan out every element of the process from concept to delivery of products. Since one of the reasons for a business plan is to prove competency to an investor, the operations flowchart should be done with extreme detail. The ordering of supplies, quality assurance and distribution all need to make an appearance. If this is for a sole employee business, then the flowchart needs to show all of your activities, including marketing, accounting and service delivery.

The Cost of Space

The space needed to run your operation is directly influenced by the business structure, type of business and number of employees. This information also flows into your financial analysis as the purchase of a building will change the structure of your assets. Decide whether to purchase or lease and do not forget to include various fees associated with real estate. Weave all of this information throughout your plan so that it gives the most guidance possible for you and your business.

 

About the Author:

Paul Reyes-Fournier has served as the chief financial officer for social service organizations, churches and schools. He created his ownmarketing firm, RF Media. Paul holds a BS in physics and an MBA.

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Capgemini Joins Forces with Blueprint to Offer Advanced Requirements Management Capabilities for Financial Services

What’s The Combo Up To? Blueprint, an innovator and global leader in accelerating and de-risking large, complex IT projects, and Capgemini, one of the world’s foremost providers of consulting, technology and outsourcing services, today announced a resale agreement increasing the ability for strategic customer growth worldwide.

How Will Capgemini and Blueprint Work Together? Capgemini will continue to leverage Blueprint’s wide array of requirements management capabilities both for its internal product development and for its customer implementations. Blueprint’s leading-edge, enterprise solution allows Capgemini to accelerate delivery of its industry leading solutions and reduce total cost of ownership for its customers. Blueprint’s software assists in aligning business strategy with IT execution, ensuring regulatory compliance, and supporting organizational transformation.

A Note From the Executives: Martin Saipe, Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, Blueprint said, “Blueprint’s growing alliance with Capgemini represents a significant milestone in Blueprint’s channel strategy. Capgemini is a key part of our growth plan through the system integration channel. We are excited about this new resale capability and are expecting significant activity in the near-term.” 

Anand Moorthy, Vice President, Global Testing Practice, Financial Services, Capgemini stated, “Our collaboration with Blueprint provides very robust requirements and documentation tools for customer implementations and internal product development,” said . We can accelerate the requirements process for many of our customers because of pre-built, accelerator models that are refined over time, incorporating best practices which we then deploy in selected projects. Rather than creating new custom requirements for each project from scratch, we are able to be more prescriptive in our delivery helping our customers manage costs and lock-in quality.”

MY POV: This combination will help Capgemini’s clients accelerate the requirements process  because of pre-built, accelerator models that are refined over time, incorporating best practices which we then deploy in selected projects. As a former systems integrator and management consultant, I can say this is a very distinct advantage.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

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Judging at the International Career Development Conferences 4/26

Join me as a judge on April 26th for the 2013 International Career Development Conferences in Anaheim, California.

 If you have experience in the fields of accounting, finance, marketing, management, retail, hospitality, tourism or entrepreneurship, you are invited to register as a competitive event judge by completing the appropriate registration form(s) below.

By volunteering your time and expertise, you will be helping over 15,000 high school and college students that will become the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. All volunteers will receive breakfast and/or lunch, free parking at the conference site, and a certificate of appreciation to help document community service hours. To register, click on the date that you would like to volunteer.

Collegiate DECA International Career Development Conference

Hilton Anaheim Hotel

DECA International Career Development Conference

Anaheim Convention Center

Registering large numbers of volunteers from your organization? Complete the volunteer spreadsheet and send to Shane Thomas.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Shane Thomas, Director of Competitive Events, at shane_thomas@deca.org or 703-860-5000.

I hope to see you there!

At Social Business Builders,
we work with brands & software companies to deliver increased revenue and decreased costs.
Our Motto? Learn. Share. Grow!

@DrNatalie L. Petouhoff
310-919-8467

Want to see how to get an ROI from Social Media? Check out these fun videos:
Video 1: Building the Business Case for Social Media
Video 2: How to Measure the ROI of Social Media

Video 3: How Social Media Benefits the Whole Company

Here’s My book on Businesses can Drive Sales on Facebook: Like My Stuff: How To Monetize Your Facebook Fans

Want to get more info on the business use of social media? Connect with me here:
Twitter:
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LinkedIn: DrNataliePetouhoff
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