Your plan needs to address the day-to-day running of your business. The operations section should address development and production processes.
The development section should cover the following:
- How will your product or service be made? Describe the workflow in the creation of your product or service.
- What is the quality control system within the development of your product or service? Have you created a process and checklist to ensure that quality control issues are dealt with?
- Is your work site WorkSafe BC, BC Labour Standards, municipal / building inspector ready and do you have procedures in place to mitigate risk and train staff?
- Outline which industry associations you will be or already are a member of.
- Who are your primary and secondary suppliers? Do you have any other options in case these suppliers fall through? What are their terms of payment?
The production process section should cover the following:
- What are the essential requirements of your business — building space, land, office style (home or commercial space), zoning. And if you own, lease, or rent, include the value in your start-up costs. Are these absolutely vital to the business, and if so, what makes this the case?
- When can you start producing and begin delivery to customers? How long does it take to make one unit? How much lead time do you need from order to delivery? Will you produce on spec or on demand? What are the risks of each (time to customer, competitor modes of production, etc)? Is there an economy of scale associated with production? That is, does the cost decrease as more units are produced?
- What materials do you require? How much do they cost? How are they delivered to your location and what is the lead time for delivery? Do you have on-demand access to these supplies if you receive rush orders?
- What will you do if your demand for your goods or services fluctuates?
- Have you completed a test run of your facilities? processes? with the required people? Do your competitors have any stories of struggling at the beginning of operations? Collect best practices and lessons learned within your industry.
- How will you track materials and production inventory? If your system is not computerized, how will you manage your data?
If you are a manufacturer, then your proposal should also briefly cover the:
- mechanics of work flow,
- inventory controls,
- personnel requirements, and
- production schedules.