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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.

how to write operational plan in business plan

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

  • 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.
  • The operations plan can also serve as a checklist for startups; it includes a list of everything that must be done to start turning a profit.

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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How to Write an Operations Plan Section of your Business Plan

An Operations Plan Template

Free Operations Plan Template

Ayush Jalan

  • December 14, 2023

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 of reaching 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.

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:

  • Who is responsible for a specific task or department?
  • What are the tasks that need to be completed?
  • Where will these operations take place?
  • When should the tasks be completed? What are the deadlines?
  • How will the tasks be performed? Is there a standard procedure?
  • How much is it going to cost to complete these tasks?

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.

Supply chains

Quality control, 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:

Tools and equipment:, special requirements:, raw materials:, productions:, feasibility:, 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 Preparing an Operations Plan:

  • Offers Clarity: Operational planning, among other things, makes sure that everyone in the audience and team are 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.

  • Your operations plan is fundamentally a medium for implementing your strategic plan. Hence, it’s crucial to have a solid strategic plan to write an effective operations plan.
  • Focus on setting SMART goals and prioritizing the most important ones. This helps you create a clear and crisp operations plan. Focusing on multiple goals will make your plan complicated and hard to implement.
  • To measure your goals, use leading indicators instead of lagging indicators. Leading indicators is a metric that helps you track your progress and predict when you will reach a goal. On the other hand, lagging indicators can only confirm a trend by taking the past as input but cannot predict the accomplishment of a goal.
  • It is essential to choose the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) . It is a good practice to involve all your teams while you decide your KPIs.
  • An operations plan should effectively communicate your goals, metrics, deadlines, and all the processes.

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 an effective operations plan to convey competence to investors and clarity to employees.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

What are the factors affecting the operations plan?

  • The mission of the company
  • Goals to be achieved
  • Finance and resources your company will need

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.

About the Author

how to write operational plan in business plan

Ayush is a writer with an academic background in business and marketing. Being a tech-enthusiast, he likes to keep a sharp eye on the latest tech gadgets and innovations. When he's not working, you can find him writing poetry, gaming, playing the ukulele, catching up with friends, and indulging in creative philosophies.

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How to Write the Operations Section of Your Business Plan

Gears and cogs intertwined and running. Represents the operations of your business.

2 min. read

Updated January 3, 2024

The operations plan covers what makes your business run. It explains the day-to-day workflows for your business and how you will deliver the product or service that you offer. As part of your plan, it’s your chance to describe what you’ve set up so far and that you understand what is still left to make your business fully operational.

  • How to write about business operations

Like some of the other sections in your plan, the information you include fully depends on your type of business. If you run a subscription box service you’ll need to cover how you source and fulfill each order. If it’s a service-oriented business (like a mechanic or coffee shop) you’ll need to go into more detail about your location as well as the tools and technology you use.

The important thing is that the information here fully addresses how your business runs.

What to include in your operations plan

The components of your operations plan fully depend on what’s necessary to produce your product or service. For most, you’ll be adding details about your location and facilities, the technology being used, and any equipment or tools.

Location and facilities

The information you include about your business location fully depends on the state, city, and neighborhood you’ve chosen. This will determine the specific taxes, registration, licenses, permits, zoning laws, and other regulations you’ll be subjected to.

Once you’ve legally established your business be sure to reference the relevant paperwork and legal documentation in this section. You may also want to point to mockups of the building, copies of legal agreements, and any other supporting documentation for how valuable the property is and how it helps your business function.

Sourcing and fulfillment

How will you create your product/service and what will it cost? You’ll include detailed breakdowns in your financial plan, but here you’ll talk about what it will take, who you will work with, and any alternatives.

How and when to write about technology

Is your product or service driven by a specific technology or process? Let investors, banks, or other necessary parties know why it’s a valuable part of your business.

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  • Why you need an operational plan

Understanding your business operations makes your processes real. It ensures that you have organized steps in place to produce a product or service.

For investors, this helps prove that you know what you’re doing and can back up the rest of your plan with actual work that makes it happen. For you as a business owner, it’s a starting point for optimization. You have a blueprint for how things work. And as you run your business, can begin to identify opportunities for improvement.

If you don’t cover operations as part of your business plan, then you’re flying blindly. There’s no documented process for how things should work and no connection to the other strategic elements of your business.

Content Author: Kody Wirth

Kody Wirth is a content writer and SEO specialist for Palo Alto Software—the creator's of Bplans and LivePlan. He has 3+ years experience covering small business topics and runs a part-time content writing service in his spare time.

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Blog Business 10+ Operational Planning Examples to Fulfill your Strategic Goals

10+ Operational Planning Examples to Fulfill your Strategic Goals

Written by: Danesh Ramuthi Oct 25, 2023

Operational Planning Examples

An operational plan is a comprehensive, action-driven document that maps out how daily activities within an organization fuel the journey towards achieving strategic objectives.

Essentially acting as the nexus between high-level strategy and practical execution, this plan ensures that every department, from human resources to specific departments, operates in synchrony, aligning their day-to-day activities with the broader strategic goals.

By streamlining processes, it fosters cohesive efforts amongst diverse cross-functional teams, ensuring that both individual team members and entire departments work together harmoniously towards the company goals.

Ready to sculpt your organization’s future? Start your journey with venngage business plan maker and leverage their expertly crafted operational plan templates . 

Click to jump ahead: 

Why is an operational plan important?

10 operational plan examples, what should an operational plan include, how to write an operational plan.

  • Strategic plan vs operational plan: What is the difference? 

In summary 

An operational plan is crucial because it serves as a bridge between a company’s high-level strategic planning and its day-to-day activities, ensuring that the business operations align with the strategic goals. 

While a strategic plan provides a long-term vision, outlining the company’s objectives and goals to gain competitive advantages in the business environment, the operational plan outlines the specific actions, key elements and resource allocation required to achieve those objectives. 

For example, while the strategic plan might set a goal for revenue growth over the fiscal year, the operational plan provides a detailed roadmap, breaking down major projects, assigning responsibilities to individual team members or specific departments and setting key performance indicators to monitor progress and ensure the entire organization works together effectively.

Operational planning, in essence, transforms the strategic objectives into actionable plans, ensuring that the entire team, from department heads to diverse cross-functional teams, is aligned and works in tandem to support revenue growth, increase productivity, and achieve the desired outcomes. 

Operational plans, through a well-structured operational planning process, also provide a clear understanding of the day-to-day activities, allowing team members to know their roles, leading to better collaboration and synergy. 

Moreover, by having clear operational plan examples or templates, businesses can ensure realistic expectations, manage their operating budget effectively and track progress through key performance metrics, thus ensuring that the company stays on course to realize its long-term vision.

Operational plans play a pivotal role in the business landscape, bridging the gap between strategic vision and tangible actions. They translate the overarching goals of an organization into detailed procedures, ensuring that daily operations are in line with the desired strategic outcomes. 

In the section below, I will explore a few operational plan examples, shedding light on their structure and importance.

Business operational plan example

A business operational plan is a comprehensive document that elucidates the specific day-to-day activities of a company. It presents a detailed overview of the company’s organizational structure, management team, products or services and the underlying marketing and sales strategies. 

For businesses, irrespective of their size, an operational plan can prove invaluable. By laying down the business goals and objectives, it acts as a blueprint, guiding entrepreneurs through the creation and implementation of strategies and action plans. The planning process also incorporates mechanisms to track progress and performance. 

Additionally, for startups or companies looking to scale, a meticulously crafted operational plan can be pivotal in securing funds from potential investors and lenders.

Business Operational Plan Template

Layered on this are details about the company’s organizational structure, its products or services and its marketing and sales strategies. 

The document also delineates the roles and responsibilities of each team member, especially the management and key personnel. Given the dynamic nature of the business environment, it is imperative to revisit and update the operational plan regularly.

Related: 15+ Business Plan Templates for Strategic Planning

Simple operational plan example

A simple operational plan, often used by startups or smaller enterprises, emphasizes the basics, ensuring that the fundamental aspects of the business operations are captured succinctly. While it might not delve into the intricacies of every operation, it provides an overview of day-to-day activities, highlighting the goals and objectives the business aims to achieve in the short term.

Green Sage Simple Clean Yellow Operational Plan

In essence, this plan revolves around core elements like the company’s main objectives for the fiscal year, key responsibilities assigned to individual team members and basic resource allocation. A straightforward market analysis might also be included, offering insights into customer needs and competitive advantages the business hopes to leverage.

Simple Clean Yellow Operational Plan

Though simple, this operational plan example remains pivotal for the organization. It provides a roadmap, guiding team members through their daily responsibilities while ensuring that everyone is working together towards shared goals. It becomes especially essential for diverse cross-functional teams, where clarity of roles can lead to increased productivity.

Colorful Shape Simple Operational Plan

Modern operational plan example

In today’s fast-paced business environment, the emphasis on efficiency and innovative processes is paramount. The modern operational plan example caters precisely to this demand. Ideal for organizations aiming to streamline processes and highlight workflow, this type of operational plan emphasizes a more dynamic approach to planning. 

Modern Clean Orange Operational Plan

It not only reflects the evolving nature of business operations but also provides a modern backdrop for content, ensuring that the presentation resonates with the current trends and technological advancements. The use of modern tools and platforms within this plan enables diverse cross-functional teams to work together seamlessly, ensuring that day-to-day activities are synchronized with the company’s long-term vision.

Clean Modern Shape Operational Plan

Furthermore, such an operational plan helps the entire organization stay agile, adapting rapidly to changes in the business environment and ensuring alignment with strategic goals.

Minimalist operational plan example

The minimalist operational plan example champions simplicity and clarity. By focusing on clear and concise business strategies, it eliminates any potential ambiguity, ensuring that team members and stakeholders have an unclouded understanding of the company’s objectives and goals. 

Simple Minimalist Operational Plan

The minimalist design not only promotes easy comprehension but also aligns with the modern trend of decluttering, ensuring that only the most vital components of the operational planning process are highlighted. 

This approach leaves no room for confusion, streamlining the planning process and making sure that individual team members and departments are aligned with the business’s key objectives. 

White Clean Lines Minimalist Operational Plan

Moreover, the flexibility offered by a minimalist design allows businesses to craft an operational plan template that is not only functional but also accurately reflects their brand image and core values, ensuring cohesion across all aspects of the business strategy.

Blue And Orange Minimalist Modern Operational Plan

Clean operational plan example

The clean operational plan example stands as a testament to this principle. Ideal for businesses that prioritize clarity and directness, this format seeks to convey goals and strategies without overwhelming stakeholders. 

While maintaining a neat and organized layout, it ensures that tasks are managed effectively, helping team members grasp their roles and responsibilities without getting lost in excessive details.

Pink Retro Clean Operational Plan

One of the primary advantages of a clean operational plan is its ability to eliminate distractions and focus solely on the critical aspects of operational planning. 

Such a design aids in making sure that diverse cross-functional teams can work together harmoniously ensuring that day-to-day activities align seamlessly with the company’s long-term vision. 

The simplicity of the clean operational plan not only supports revenue growth by ensuring efficiency but also reinforces the company’s strategic goals, making it an excellent tool in the arsenal of businesses that believe in clear communication and precise execution.  

An effective operational plan acts as a roadmap, directing how resources should be allocated and tasks should be performed to meet the company’s objectives. Here’s what a comprehensive operational plan should encompass:

  • Goals and objectives : Whether short-term or long-term, the operational plan should define clear goals and objectives that align with the company’s strategic plan. This gives direction to the entire organization, ensuring everyone is working towards a common aim.
  • Clear responsibilities for team members : It’s essential that team members understand their roles within the operational plan. By outlining who is responsible for what, the plan ensures that there are no overlaps or gaps in duties and that everyone has clarity on their day-to-day activities.
  • Assigned tasks: Alongside responsibilities, specific tasks need to be allocated to individual team members or specific departments. This granularity in assignment ensures that every aspect of the operational plan is covered.
  • Timeline: This provides a clear schedule for when each task or objective should start and finish. A well-defined timeline assists in monitoring progress and ensures that the plan stays on track.
  • Budget and resources : Every operational plan needs to factor in the budget and resources available. This includes everything from the operating budget to human resources, ensuring that the business has everything it needs to execute the plan effectively.

Read Also: 6 Steps to Create a Strategic HR Plan [With Templates]

As businesses evolve, it’s essential to have a comprehensive and adaptive operational plan in place to navigate the complexities of the business environment. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you craft an effective operational plan:

Step 1: Define your goals and objectives

Begin with a clear understanding of your strategic goals and objectives. This will act as a foundation for your operational plan. Ensure that these goals are in alignment with your company’s strategic plan and provide both short-term and long-term visions for the business.

Step 2: Determine roles and responsibilities

Identify the key stakeholders, department heads and team members who will play pivotal roles in executing the plan. Assign responsibilities to ensure that everyone knows their part in the planning process and day-to-day activities.

Step 3: Develop a timeline and milestones

Establish a clear timeline that breaks down the operational planning process. Include key milestones to track progress and ensure the plan remains on target.

Step 4: Allocate budget and resources

Determine the resources required to achieve your goals and objectives. This includes estimating the operating budget, identifying human resources needs and other resource allocations, ensuring you have everything in place to support revenue growth and other business needs.

Step 5: Outline day-to-day operations

Detail the day activities that are integral to the business operations. This will provide clarity on how different tasks and functions work together, ensuring efficiency across diverse cross-functional teams.

Step 6: Monitor and measure performance

Integrate key performance metrics and indicators to regularly monitor progress. Using both leading and lagging indicators will provide a comprehensive view of how well the operational plan is being executed and where improvements can be made.

Step 7: Review and adjust regularly

The business environment is dynamic and as such, your operational plan should be adaptable. Regularly review the plan, comparing actual outcomes with desired outcomes and adjust as necessary to account for changes in the business environment or company goals.

Step 8: Document and communicate

Create an operational plan document, potentially using operational plan examples or an operational plan template for guidance. Ensure that the entire team, from individual team members to the entire organization, is informed and aligned with the plan.

Related: 7 Best Business Plan Software for 2023

Strategic plan vs operational plan: What is the difference?

When running an organization, both strategic and operational planning play pivotal roles in ensuring success. However, each has a distinct purpose, time horizon and scope. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between these two essential business plans:

  • Strategic plan : This plan sets the course for the organization’s future. It embodies the long-term vision and mission, detailing the objectives necessary to achieve it. The essence is how everyone, from C-suite executives to individual team members, collaborates towards realizing this vision.
  • Operational plan : This is the roadmap for the day-to-day activities of the organization. While the strategic plan looks at the bigger picture, the operational plan hones in on the tactics and execution. It is crafted to support organizational goals with a focus on short-term activities specific to departments or functions.

Time horizon :

  • Strategic plan : Long-term in nature, usually spanning three to five years.
  • Operational plan : Concentrates on the short-term, with plans laid out yearly, quarterly, or even monthly.

Modification and updates :

  • Strategic plan : This evolves over longer intervals, typically three to five years. There might be minor adjustments year over year based on changing business needs and the external business environment.
  • Operational plan : Due to its short-term focus, it requires frequent assessments. Plans might be adjusted yearly, quarterly or even monthly to ensure alignment with the strategic objectives and current business environment.

Created by :

  • Strategic plan : Crafted by the upper echelons of management – think CEO, CFO and other C-suite members.
  • Operational plan : These plans come to life through mid-level management and department heads, ensuring alignment with the broader strategic vision while catering to specific departmental needs.
  • Strategic plan : Broad in its outlook, it takes into account external factors like market trends, competition, customer needs and technological innovations.
  • Operational plan : This narrows down the focus to the internal workings of the organization. It revolves around technology in use, key performance indicators, budgeting, projects, tasks and the allocation of responsibilities among team members.

As we’ve traversed through the importance of operational planning to various operational plan examples, it becomes evident that having a detailed and efficient operational plan is pivotal. 

From the business-centric to the minimalist approach, every operational plan serves as the backbone, guiding team members and ensuring that day-to-day activities align with the long-term vision and strategic goals.

By knowing what should be included in these plans and how to craft them, businesses can navigate the complexities of their operational environment with greater confidence.

For those looking to refine their planning process or start from scratch, the world of digital tools has made it significantly easier. Venngage offers business plan maker and operational plan templates designed to simplify the process. 

Whether you need to create an operational plan or draft a business strategy, their intuitive platform can guide you every step of the way.

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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.

how to write operational plan in business plan

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Operational Plan Template

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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 will 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 action 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 in operations management : your strategic and operational plans must be aligned. Based on that principle, here are seven steps to make an operational plan.

  • Map business processes and workflows: What steps need to be taken at the operations level to accomplish long-term strategic goals?
  • Set operational-level goals: Describe what operational-level goals contribute to the achievement of larger strategic goals.
  • Determine the operational timeline: Is there any time frame for the achievement of the operational plan?
  • Define your resource requirements: Estimate what resources are needed for the execution of the operational plan.
  • Estimate the operational budget: Based on your resource requirements, estimate costs and define an operational budget.
  • Set a hiring plan: Are there any skills gaps that need to be filled in your organization?
  • Set key performance indicators: Define metrics and performance tracking procedures to measure your team’s performance.

Free Operational Plan Template

Leverage everything you’ve learned today with our template. This free operational plan template for Word will help you define your budget, timeline, KPIs and more. It’s the perfect first step in organizing and improving your operations. Download it today.

ProjectManager's free operational plan template for Word.

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 could run out of resources to execute its normal activities. You can use our free operating budget template for Excel to track your operating costs.

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 processes .

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.

business operations data on a Gantt chart

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.

business operations reporting

Related Operations Management Content

  • Operational Strategy: A Quick Guide
  • Operations Management: Key Functions, Roles and Skills
  • Operational Efficiency: A Quick Guide
  • Using Operational Excellence to Be More Productive

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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how to write operational plan in business plan

Operational planning: 5 steps to create a better business operational plan

Learn how to conduct operational planning to enhance collaboration, streamline workflows, and unlock peak productivity in all your company’s teams.

how to write operational plan in business plan

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Operational planning enhances collaboration and streamlines workflows to unlock peak efficiency.

Transforming a strategic vision into business success demands meticulous planning. It requires navigating unexpected obstacles, coordinating team activities with long-term goals, and implementing practical steps to realize organizational objectives.

Organizational planning plays a pivotal role in this context by translating high-level strategies into actionable day-to-day tasks.

But an operational plan is more than a structured to-do list — it’s a comprehensive framework that outlines roles, responsibilities, and timelines. By breaking down grand strategies into executable actions, operational planning ensures cohesive teamwork and transforms ambiguous business strategies into achievable realities.

What’s operational planning?

Operational planning is how companies organize day-to-day tasks to align with broader strategic goals. It’s a road map guiding teams through operational decisions about daily operations, ensuring every task contributes to the company’s long-term and high-level objectives. This typically involves setting short-term objectives, defining key activities, and establishing clear timelines.

In practice, operational planning often blends traditional and innovative methods to maximize efficiency. Conventional strategies like Gantt charts and flowcharts help leaders visualize data , tasks, and timelines to make complex projects more manageable. And digital tools like enterprise project management software introduce automation, real-time collaboration, and data analytics into the mix. These platforms enable agile plan adjustments and offer insights through predictive analytics.

By integrating these mixed methodologies, operational planning helps enterprises build a system that’s efficient and responsive to evolving business needs. It bridges the gap between meticulous organization and the agility needed in a fast-paced business environment.

Benefits of operational planning

Operational planning offers a structured approach to decision-making, but its advantages extend beyond planning. Here’s why it’s a crucial tool for achieving organizational goals.

Clarifies goals

Operational planning turns abstract ideas into concrete objectives. It encourages setting explicit goals with definitive timelines. This clarity benefits leadership and the entire team, ensuring everyone understands what needs doing, who’s doing it, and by when.

Enhances productivity

An operational plan enhances productivity by establishing timelines, outlining objectives, and allocating resources. This structure helps team members prioritize their work and manage their time efficiently because they have clear deadlines to guide them.

By defining precise objectives, the plan ensures every team member understands their specific tasks and expected outcomes, preventing unnecessary work and deviations from the plan. And knowing what resources are available helps team members prepare realistically for their taskwork.

Improves efficiency

A well-crafted operational plan boosts efficiency by optimizing workflows and streamlining organizational processes . By mapping out immediate and long-term objectives, the plan establishes a clear blueprint for task execution. As team members better understand their roles, task sequence, and the rationale behind each, they can execute them more seamlessly. This clarity and structure are also invaluable for onboarding new team members and allow them to integrate and understand the workflow with less friction.

Strategic planning vs. operational planning

Both plan types are distinct yet essential components of an organization’s overall planning process. Let’s break down the primary differences:

  • A strategic plan defines your company’s “what,” outlines your business’s direction, and sets broad, long-term objectives. It’s a high-level overview that articulates your mission statement, establishes key business objectives, and outlines strategies for achieving them. This plan typically spans several years into the future and aligns the company’s efforts with its overarching vision.
  • An operational plan focuses on the “how” by detailing how to execute the strategies and goals laid out in the strategic plan. This is where you get into the specifics — setting milestones, crafting a detailed road map, and establishing short-term, incremental goals that steer your company toward achieving strategic objectives. And at this point, you’ll focus on more immediate factors, like dealing with daily management and task implementation, that are necessary to achieve strategic organizational goals.

Types of operational plans

Departmental goals and needs vary significantly, and tailored operational plans ensure you optimally manage each area. While a sales department might need a plan focused on customer engagement and retention, an IT department might emphasize technology upgrades and cybersecurity . Combining various plan types — like a couple of those that follow — ensures optimal management and effectiveness in each area, aligning departmental activities with broader objectives.

Project operation plans

Project operation plans are indispensable documents for breaking projects into actionable milestones and assigning teams to relevant tasks. A well-developed project plan organizes tasks and anticipates resource requirements such as personnel, infrastructure, and time. By identifying these requirements early on, project operation plans provide planning foresight that helps avoid resource shortages and last-minute scrambles to ensure projects progress smoothly and stay on track.

Say you’re designing a website . Your project operation plan will outline key steps, such as user research , wireframing , user testing , and launch. Each step would have assigned teams, deadlines, and specific objectives, like establishing focus groups by a certain date and finalizing prototypes. The project manager would monitor progress to ensure resource availability and timeline adherence.

Enterprise operation plans

Enterprise operation plans translate broader strategic goals into smaller, manageable milestones. They involve assigning responsibility for these milestones to department directors to ensure accountability for each plan segment.

When creating an enterprise operational plan, it’s vital to identify resource gaps, dependencies, and other potential obstacles to ensure seamless execution. This lets you set realistic, achievable milestones and achieve smooth interdepartmental coordination. Involving directors from the start is also crucial because their insights can reveal critical aspects you might otherwise overlook.

Consider a web design agency planning to expand their service offerings to include mobile app development over the next year. The enterprise operational plan might include milestones such as hiring app developers, training current staff in responsive mobile design , and marketing these new services to potential leads. You might also ask the development head to oversee recruitment and training and involve the marketing director in developing strategies to promote the new services.

IT operation plans

IT departments confront unique challenges due to rapid cybersecurity threats and their critical role in every business sector. Unlike other departments focusing on sales and marketing, IT departments must ensure the organization’s technological structure is robust, secure, and current.

IT operation plans typically outline how the department will adapt to business changes, like scaling up for new hires, migrating from a legacy system to a new one, and safeguarding the organization against evolving cybersecurity threats.

If you’re preparing for a major server infrastructure upgrade, for instance, an IT operation plan will outline steps like evaluating current server and hosting capacities, selecting new hardware and infrastructure, and scheduling website migration to new servers. The plan would include specific timelines — such as completing server evaluations by the end of the first quarter and starting the migration in the second quarter — to ensure minimal downtime and a smooth transition for all hosted websites.

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Key elements of an operational plan

No matter the type you’re creating, most operational plans include the following core traits.

Operational plans should be clear and to the point. While comprehensive coverage is important, elaborating too much risks misinterpretation and becoming bogged down in the details. Focus on concise, direct explanations and allow the details to unfold during project execution.

Team buy-in is essential for success. Instead of leaving the executive team to dictate the plan exclusively, involve team members in its creation. A collaborative approach helps garner buy-in and fosters feelings of ownership and responsibility toward the plan’s objectives. This involvement translates to increased motivation and commitment because team members feel more likely to invest effort in a plan they helped shape.


Consistency in operational plans is crucial for their effectiveness and for establishing organizational trust. It involves applying the same standards and procedures uniformly across all departments and teams. By consistently applying rules and policies, you ensure every organizational element operates under the same guidelines, enhancing fairness and reducing confusion. Consistent execution of your operational plan also streamlines progress and success tracking because the criteria and methods used for each remain uniform.

Specify the processes and methodologies each department should use. If the design team uses an agile, iterative process , for instance, implement similar practices in other departments like IT. This standardization enables smoother collaboration and operational harmony.

Key performance indicators

Every operational plan needs well-defined key performance indicators (KPIs) from the outset. These should include:

  • Leading indicators provide early insights into your strategy’s effectiveness by signaling shifts and trends ahead of their full realization. By monitoring these indicators, you can gauge your strategy’s immediate impact and proactively adjust your approach. Indicator examples include customer satisfaction levels, changes in market share, and fluctuations in sales figures.
  • Lagging indicators reflect the outcomes of your operational efforts by providing historical data on your plan’s efficacy after execution. Key lagging indicators include metrics like the time taken to complete projects, support ticket volumes, and total expenses incurred. Analyzing these metrics also helps identify improvement areas, like optimizing resource allocation, enhancing customer support processes, and streamlining operational workflows.


Acknowledge any assumptions and constraints within your plan, such as technological limitations, tight deadlines, and regulatory requirements. Being upfront about these factors is essential for setting realistic expectations and guiding effective task execution. And it ensures everyone involved understands the framework they’re operating in.

Say you’re building an agency website in the European Union (EU). A critical constraint would be compliance with data protection regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). You must keep this constraint in mind as you develop your operational plan because it affects the technology and processes used for data handling and shapes your website’s design and functionality. For instance, you’ll likely need to integrate clear consent mechanisms for data collection, prominent user data management tools into the website’s layout, and GDPR-compliant technologies for data processing and storage.

The 5 steps of the operational planning process

Enterprises develop operational plans through five strategic steps, each essential for shaping an actionable and effective strategy. Let’s explore what this planning process looks like.

1. Set goals

Establish specific, immediate business goals that align with your strategic plan. This might include launching a redesigned website, increasing online sales by a specific percentage, or reducing digital marketing expenses.

Make these goals ambitious yet adaptable, allowing for flexible responses to unexpected challenges. This step lays the foundation for your operational strategy and aligns every subsequent action toward these well-defined objectives.

2. Allocate resources

After establishing your goals, evaluate your capacity to achieve them. Analyze your current resources and identify what additional expertise, technology, and budget you require. This step isn’t just about highlighting what’s missing — it’s about strategizing how to scale your business to accommodate these needs.

3. Define KPIs

Select KPIs that align closely with your operational goals and ensure they reflect key aspects of your strategy. These KPIs should include leading indicators, like website traffic and user engagement rates for predictive analytics, and lagging indicators, such as satisfaction scores post-launch, to evaluate past performance. Consistently apply these KPIs throughout your project to monitor progress and keep the team focused on core objectives.

Consider using digital analytic platforms like Google Analytics to track KPIs. These tools offer detailed insights into traffic and user behavior. And you can set up dashboards to visually represent these metrics to help spot trends and patterns without combing through data.

Suppose you notice rising bounce rates on a specific webpage — this might indicate user disinterest or navigational issues. In response, you might pivot to revise the page’s copy, restructure its visual hierarchy , or simplify the navigation structure to make it more engaging and user-friendly.

4. Prescribe processes

Develop clear and detailed plans for how your teams should execute tasks. This clarity guides them through each stage, reducing confusion, ensuring consistency, and enhancing productivity.

To communicate these procedures to your team, use tools like flowcharts. They simplify and clarify each operational plan phase and help ensure everyone understands their responsibilities.

For large-scale projects, consider using project management software like Asana, Trello, or Jira. These platforms offer features like task assignment, deadline tracking, and real-time communication, and they provide a centralized platform for monitoring progress and maintaining team alignment.

5. Determine milestones

Create a road map that outlines clear, measurable goals and specific objectives. This map transforms your operational plan into achievable targets, helping teams visualize where they’re headed and the benchmarks they need to hit. Host regular meetings when outlining your milestones — this consistent evaluation ensures everyone moves forward in sync, maintaining the necessary momentum to achieve the plan’s goals.

In a web development project, for example, these evaluations might reveal if certain phases, like design or development, have too few or surplus resources. Identifying these imbalances lets you efficiently reallocate resources to ensure each department has what it needs to meet its milestones effectively and on schedule.

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Learn how Webflow Enterprise can be a part of your operational strategy, and harness a visual-first design platform that lets you create and adapt web content in real time.

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What is an Operational Plan? A Complete Playbook (+ Examples, Tips & More)


Without a plan, your business operations are as good as a children’s playground—everyone’s doing their own thing with no care in the world. 

An operational plan brings order to your organization. It defines the functional aspects of your long-term strategy, like goals, milestones, responsibilities and timelines, to build collaboration and make real progress toward your vision. 

Teams often overlook the importance of operational plan management, leading to miscommunication, unnecessary roadblocks and slow growth. 

If you don't want to end up in a chaotic playground with everything going south, read this start-to-finish guide on operational planning. We'll share a 6-step process of making your own operational plan with a few examples to inspire you.

TL;DR: What is an operational plan?

  • An operational plan clarifies the details of your strategy, assigns responsibilities, and sets milestones and timelines.
  • Use an operational plan to create a roadmap, assign roles, track progress, establish criteria for success, and minimize errors.
  • To develop an operational plan, create a fail-proof strategic plan, establish clear goals and budgets, define the project scope, create the operational plan, get stakeholders' buy-in, and publish the plan using the right tool.

What is an operational plan?

An operational plan is a roadmap designed to implement your business strategies. It operationalizes your strategic plan by defining:

  • Vision and objectives behind a strategy.
  • Budget and resources required for execution.
  • Weekly, monthly and quarterly milestones. 
  • Relevant metrics to track progress consistently. 

‎An operational plan clarifies all the finer details about your strategy—like what, who, when and how—to help you realize the bigger vision. It’s a work plan for transferring the available inputs into the desired outputs. 

Operational planning vs. strategic planning

While operational and strategic planning might sound the same, they have significantly different meanings. Let's take a quick look at these differences to understand what an operational plan stacks up against a strategic plan.

5 reasons why you need an operational plan

Only setting goals without a solid operational plan to implement them is like making new year’s resolutions that never come true. 

Without a clear direction of what to do and how, you’d end up wasting your resources with little to no progress to show for it. An operational plan helps move the needle for your company by clarifying the steps to success and bringing more accountability. 

Still wondering how an operational plan can keep you on track? These five benefits will clue you in:

1. Creating an airtight roadmap

If a strategic plan defines the destination, an operational plan chalks out the itinerary to reach that destination. This actionable roadmap covers all bases to streamline collaboration within the team and set up the right systems to hit your milestones. 

2. Attributing roles to all stakeholders

Making an operational plan allows you to assign responsibilities to all internal and external stakeholders. It clarifies who’s responsible for what and sets expectations from the start. This is key for bringing everyone on the same page and avoiding roadblocks once the work is underway. 

3. Tracking progress & making strategic changes

Timelines and milestones are two of the most crucial components of an operational plan in business. They empower teams to analyze their performance and review progress objectively. You can use these insights to tweak your game plan for greater success and to improve operational efficiency .

4. Establishing criteria & metrics for success 

An operational plan outlines the parameters for success and metrics to monitor the same. These metrics give you a clear picture of your progress at every stage to ensure you’re moving as per the plan. They also highlight any potential red flags that can potentially derail the plan and need your attention. 

5. Minimizing discrepancies & errors

One of the most important benefits of making an operational plan is the clarity it brings to everyone. Instead of leaving your team clueless about the next steps, this work plan clarifies how and where they can start. It also reduces errors by laying down the ground rules for every task and process.

📌 ‎ Related resource: Operations Teams: How to Assemble and Lead a High-Performing Team

How to develop an operational plan strategy

There’s no standard rulebook for creating an operational plan. It’s a fully customizable document that depends entirely on your company’s goals, resources, timelines and overall approach. 

For example, a fast-paced team can work with shorter timelines and hit more goals than a large-scale organization with more levels of checks and a bigger hierarchy.  

So, instead of replicating other companies’ operational plans, let’s help you create your own plan with this 6-step process:

  • Draw out a fail-proof strategic plan.
  • Establish clear goals and budgets.
  • Dig deeper into the project scope.
  • Create your operational plan.
  • Get all stakeholders’ buy-in for the plan.
  • Publish the plan using the right tool.

1. Draw out a fail-proof strategic plan

A strategic plan is to an operational plan what a storyline is to a movie—it conveys the essence and creates a direction for the operational plan to become a masterpiece. 

So, naturally, the first step to operational planning is creating a strategic plan; here’s how:

  • Define what success looks like for the entire organization. 
  • Evaluate organizational readiness to implement this strategy. 
  • Take inputs from people in the senior leadership. 
  • Assign responsibilities to different stakeholders. 
  • Prioritize goals against timelines. 

Once done, you can rely on this strategic plan throughout the operational planning process to prepare for what lies ahead. 

💡 ‎Use these 14 free customizable project plan templates to enhance communication, save time and achieve your strategic planning goals.

2. Establish clear goals & budgets

The next step is breaking your high-level goals into shorter, more actionable objectives. For example, you can divide the goal of achieving an X% growth in revenue into smaller targets, like increasing inbound leads, doubling down on cold outreach and rolling out a referral program. Implementing effective referral tracking within the program will allow you to monitor and optimize the success of your referral initiatives, providing valuable insights into the sources and impact of referred business.

Goal-setting makes your operational plan realistic and feasible. You're ideating the means to realize the long-term vision by hitting the right milestones. 

More importantly, once you have a list of goals, it's easier to determine the budget and resources required to achieve them. Before moving ahead, do your homework to set a solid budget that allows you to implement your strategy without splurging too much. 

3. Dig deeper into the project scope

Once you’re clear about your goals and resources, it’s time to define the finer details of your plan—specifying who’ll do what, when and how. 

Create a comprehensive project scope by outlining:

  • Department-wise goals and tasks according to the goals.
  • Different stakeholders involved within and outside your company. 
  • Responsibilities for each stakeholder with primary KPIs for their role.
  • SOPs  and  workflows  to perform a task or complete a process. 

This step brings more specificity to your operational plan. It concretely spells out each goal with details about milestones within each goal, roles and teams responsible for fulfilling these milestones and how they will work toward the end goals. 

💡 ‎ Scribe top tip: Creating a project scope document is a breeze when you use Scribe. You can use Scribe's project scope template to get cracking at the earliest. 

4. Create your operational plan

By this point, you've done all the legwork to get to work and start writing your operational plan finally.

Make it as actionable and value-packed as possible by answering these five main questions:

  • Who: People involved in different tasks. Include a list of teams and specific roles involved in the business operations and clarify what’s expected of them. 
  • What: Plan of action and targets to pursue. Create a milestone-based roadmap of the high-level goals to achieve and the smaller goals involved in the process. 
  • Where: Platform(s) where daily operations will happen. Add all the tools and frameworks you'll use to run business operations through this plan seamlessly. 
  • When: Deadlines for different tasks and activities. Map out the timelines for each job to ensure your team is on track for timely completion. 
  • ‍ How much: Costs involved in hitting the designated goals. Mention your final budget and resource allocation for different tasks.

Use Scribe's free AI Writer for Operations tool to capture and document operational procedures.

‎Additionally, a good operational plan also lists the metrics to track your progress. Pick and explain relevant metrics in your plan to show employees how you'll analyze their efforts.  ‍

5. Get all stakeholders’ buy-in for the plan

No plan is perfect and there's always scope for improving your operational plan to make it perfect. So, once you've drafted the plan, don't forget to run it by a few select stakeholders to identify the gaps you can cover. 

Actively seek feedback from people in different ranks and departments to understand the missing links in your plan. Your plan will go through 2-3 rounds of iterations before it’s finally ready to roll out. 

6. Publish the plan using the right tool

The final step in the process is publishing the plan. The most important thing to remember is that your plan should be:

  • Reader-friendly.
  • Easily accessible.
  • Quickly shareable. 

Clueless about the best way to hit all three points to roll out your operational plan? We have just the solution you need — Scribe . 

‎Scribe is a documentation tool designed to create intuitive documents, like an operational plan, in a few seconds. It significantly reduces the time spent on creating such documents and improves team efficiency in more ways than one.

‎You can create a single Scribe to explain a process or compile instructions with SOPs in a single place with Pages. You can even ask the AI to write your operational plan — just add a simple prompt and your Scribes, and the AI will build a customized document!

‎It's the easiest way to bring your team on the same page and power up your operations! 

✨ ‎See how operations teams use Scribe to tackle even the most daunting operational challenges.

3 operational plan examples (& why they work)

If you’re looking for some inspiration to get cracking with your planning process, looking at a few operations plan examples can help big time! Let’s look at three great examples, see why they work and how you can replicate the results. 

1. Carter Supply’s risk management plan

This detailed risk management plan by Carter Supply covers several aspects of managing risk at the organization. This 10-page document lists the key components of this plan, like a summary, the approval process and the end-to-end risk management process. 

As an operational plan, it gives the entire team clear insights into the risk management plan, highlights why it’s in place and explains how this plan will be used. 

This plan also covers different aspects of the plan and lays down the process of working on each element. For example, for risk quantification, the plan specifies that the risk manager will work with the risk owner to understand the exposure. 

2. Upscope’s go-to-market plan

Upscope ’s go-to-market (GTM) plan is another excellent example of operational planning. The SaaS company created this plan to execute its strategy for breaking into the co-browsing market. 

Pursuing this goal, the team created an airtight plan with a rundown of its target audience, pain points the product solves and the buyer journey. 

The Upscope marketing and sales teams could use this GTM plan to launch targeted campaigns and reach the right people. They were also well aware of the main value propositions to share with the target buyers, nudging them towards a purchase. 

📌 ‎Related resource: How Product Operations Can Help Your Team Build Better Products 📌 ‎

3. SmartNet’s project quality management plan

The quality management plan by SmartNet is a detailed document explaining the company’s entire operations framework, from the management structure to project reporting, risk assessment, deliverable production and more. 

Instead of a single department, this operational plan documents the complete business operations. Despite being so lengthy, the document is easy to read and understand—exactly how the plan should look like.

It also includes all the critical information to guide new employees about the company's operations from scratch.

Make operational planning your road to success 

When done right, operational planning can be a game-changer for streamlining your operations. It’s an in-depth roadmap to work toward your vision and hit all goals. 

Even though making an operational plan isn’t the most exciting task and it can get extremely time-consuming, the right process and tools can do the trick for you. Follow the six steps we’ve highlighted in this guide and when you’re ready to roll, use Scribe to put the plan in place. 

Scribe takes the pain out of documentation to empower teams for seamless operational planning. Try it today to see how it works!

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How to Write the Operations Plan Section of Your Business Plan

  • Written By Dave Lavinsky

operations plan business plan

The Operations Plan is a component of your business plan that is like the engine of your car. The operations plan holds the key parts of your business and it shows how those parts work together to keep the business running. If you are starting a business or your business is growing, the operations plan also shows that your business is more than just a good concept. It shows why the business is running smoothly and how key milestones ahead will be met as the business grows. The operations plan is the powerhouse engine in your business plan . Let’s start that engine together.

What is the Operations Plan in a Business Plan?

The key to putting your operations plan together is choosing which processes show how your business works and what the expected outcomes will be as a result. Include the processes that you believe are most important even if they are basic or simple. And, if you think your business is too new to create an operations plan, think again. Every business has processes, no matter how large or small they may be. Your operations plan may be considered by potential investors or lenders; make it the best it can be.

Components of a Comprehensive Operations Plan

The best operations plan includes a list of key processes with short explanations that detail each process. Some explanations will also include a brief sentence explaining how the key process will help the business meet the expected key milestones. For example, “Our Marketing team will post on social media each time our product sales reach one of our sales goals. This will drive new customers to our product offering.”

Main components of an operations plan:

Product Development

Describe how the product is being developed and if it is currently offered or is on target for launch. Include the production process for testing, improvements or revisions.

Key milestone : Note the forecast for new product development to expand the product line.


Describe the process of manufacturing, from the first step to the delivery of products. This may include several bullet points. Add facilities maintenance in this section. Also, include the management processes of the staff.

Key milestone : Include a brief forecast with plans to increase manufacturing capabilities.

Administration/Human Resources

Include a description of day-to-day activities that are overseen by staff members, including facilities management, safety, reports and compliance, hiring staff and training.

Key milestone : Add a sentence regarding staff training for leadership as the business grows.

List the process of purchasing parts, services, products, and raw materials. Include a sentence about financial oversight of expenditures to control costs.

Key milestone : Indicate how the staff is preparing for purchasing increases to meet higher manufacturing demands.

Customer Service

List the processes that comprise customer service, including any customer relationship management software (CRM) or other processes that interact with customers. Provide details on processes for customer retention.

Key milestone : Add a sentence describing staff training to build customer relationships.

Describe how your business conducts sales, whether through online channels, via wholesale or retail sales, or by other means. Explain why the process works for your business and how it is positioned to be successful because of the sales process.

Key milestone : Indicate how planned sales strategies will expand to meet key milestones.

Note the process of current marketing campaigns and the response of the target audience. Note how responses are scored on social media.

Key milestone : Include operational plans for building brand awareness, key selling points, and entry positions.

At this stage of business, the finance process should be clearly outlined, with current and any expected funding included. Also, include a sentence about how the business has structured a repayment plan for any loans and is making on-time payments.

Key milestone : Describe any anticipated funding options that have already been put into place.


Describe in a few sentences how timely accounting is completed on a regular basis. Add a sentence about the payroll system and the software that runs it.

Key milestone : Add a note about increasing software programs in accounting to increase performance during growth.

Include a sentence about the process of oversight for the business. Add the process of documentation, filings, and oversight of any copyrights, patents, or trademarks. Include any licensing payments that add revenue to the business.

Key milestone : Include a description of the legal process already in place to accommodate expansion and long-term growth.

How to Write the Operations Plan For Your Business

Now that you’ve read about the main components in a business operations plan, it’s time to connect them in writing your own operations plan. To do this, you can follow the easy steps ahead as you construct each process.

Remember, you may not need all of the processes listed here. You will want to choose those that make sense for your business and, if needed, add some others. When completed, your operations plan will flow smoothly from start to finish.

  • Consider your Business Goals . Write out each goal. Read them as you decide which processes to include in your operations plan and think about how soon you will want to meet the company goals.
  • Create a Process List . Look at the list of components and decide how to make them into a list for your own business. Don’t write out full descriptions yet. We’re building the list first. How do processes start in your business?
  • Finance (get funding)
  • Product Development (buy a truck, provide services, equipment, tools)
  • Manufacturing (maintain the garage and tow truck)
  • Sales (make sales calls)
  • Customer Service (answering texts, and emails)
  • Marketing (getting referrals from friends)
  • Accounting/Payroll (paying yourself and the bookkeeper)
  • Legal (risk management assistance)
  • Start filling in the Process Descriptions . Use the examples above to describe the processes of your business. A few sentences that explain each process are all you need in the operations plan.
  • For example, key milestones for your tow truck business might be:
  • Tow at least five vehicles daily during each week (sales/marketing)
  • Buy a second tow truck within 6 months (finance)
  • Add a second tow truck driver within 6 months (human resources)
  • Buy a commercial truck within 12 months (finance/product development)
  • Finish your Operations Plan . Re-read each Process Description and complete the Key Milestones for each operations section.

Sample Operations Plan for Badger Drains & Plumbing

Badger Drains & Plumbing, based in Milwaukee, WI, is dedicated to providing top-notch residential and commercial plumbing services. Our operations plan outlines the key processes that make our business run smoothly and how we plan to meet our key milestones as we grow.

Our services, instead of physical products, are continuously refined based on customer feedback and technological advancements in plumbing. This includes adopting newer, more efficient ways to conduct pipe repairs, installations, and maintenance services.

Key milestone : To introduce environmentally friendly and cost-effective plumbing solutions within the next year.

Our staff handle day-to-day operational tasks, prioritizing safety, efficiency, and regulatory compliance. This includes everything from scheduling service calls to conducting routine safety checks and equipment maintenance.

Key milestone : Implement a leadership development program for senior technicians to prepare them for managerial roles as the company expands.

We procure high-quality plumbing materials, tools, and technologies from reputable suppliers, ensuring we have the necessary inventory to meet customer demand without excessive expenditure.

Key milestone : Strengthen relationships with key suppliers to negotiate better prices and ensure priority fulfillment as service demand increases.

Customer service is a pillar of our operations, involving not just resolving issues but proactively enhancing customer satisfaction through follow-ups and feedback collection using CRM software.

Key milestone : Introduce a loyalty program by the end of the next quarter to increase customer retention rates.

Sales efforts are directed through personal client interactions and digital marketing to generate leads, with a strong focus on the benefits of choosing Badger Drains & Plumbing for reliability and professionalism.

Key milestone : Achieve a 20% increase in annual contracts by targeting commercial entities in the Milwaukee area.

Our marketing is focused on local SEO, targeted ads, and social media engagement to connect with the Milwaukee community, emphasizing our quick response times and quality service.

Key milestone : Launch a community-oriented campaign to increase brand visibility and customer engagement by participating in local events and sponsorships.

Our current financing includes business revenue and a small business loan, with a diligent approach to budgeting and a clear plan for loan repayment and future investments.

Key milestone : Secure a line of credit to fund an expansion of services within the next two years.


We use modern software solutions to ensure accurate and timely financial and payroll management, allowing us to focus more on serving our customers and less on back-office tasks.

Key milestone : Transition to a more comprehensive software suite that integrates CRM and finance for better overall management efficiency.

Our legal framework encompasses regular reviews of compliance, documentations, and the management of any intellectual property, ensuring all operations are above board.

Key milestone : Establish a retainer partnership with a legal firm specializing in small businesses to prepare for interstate licensing and expansion.

By following this operations plan, Badger Drains & Plumbing aims to enhance its service offerings, optimize operational efficiency, increase productivity, and achieve sustainable growth, maintaining its commitment to being Milwaukee’s trusted plumbing service provider.

If You Aren’t a Writer or Have No Time to Write…

The truth is, not all of us are writers and some of us don’t have time to spare. The good news is that we have a solution for you in the newest software designed for entrepreneurs and business owners who need a complete business plan–without having to write one.

If you would like to easily create a comprehensive business plan, you can join over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business leaders who’ve created their business plans with PlanBuildr.

Why do we offer PlanBuildr? We are business owners. We know your time is valuable. And, we know a comprehensive business plan is vital when it’s time to obtain funding or secure investors. Not all of us are writers, but we all know good value when we see it. Try PlanBuildr for free !

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Operational Plan: Everything You Need To Know (2024 Guide)

Download our free Operational Strategy Template Download this template

The old way of planning no longer works in complex and unpredictable business environments, and companies are struggling to find their feet on shaky ground. As we’ve seen with many of our customers and strategies in Cascade, organizations can no longer count on executing three or even five-year strategic plans.

The new reality forces companies and their operations teams to adapt their operational plans more frequently and within shorter time frames if they want to reap benefits faster than their competitors. Organizations need to work on their strategic instinct and fast adaptability to enhance their operational efficiency .  

And that requires big changes—including building a flexible operational plan, supported by the right tools and systems that help you achieve real-time centralized observability and empower a strategic response to external disruptions.

Read this article to build a bulletproof operational plan that includes all the key elements necessary to overcome unpredictable business chaos. You’ll also get free templates that will help you rapidly adapt and align your teams.

✨Bonus: We’ve included pro tips from business leaders in our network to help you identify gaps in your strategy execution and build resilient business operations.

Free Template Download our free Operational Strategy Template Download this template

What Is An Operational Plan?

An operational plan is action and detail-oriented; it needs to focus on short-term strategy execution and outline an organization's day-to-day operations. If your operations strategy is a promise, your operational plan is the action plan for how you will deliver on it every day, week, and month.

Put simply, an operational plan helps you bridge the gap between business strategy and on-the-ground execution and ensures that the organization is on track to achieve its long-term goals.

Benefits of operational planning

  • Clear definition of relationships between cross-functional teams in different departments and responsibilities for each to eliminate duplicated efforts.
  • Tighter alignment between corporate or business unit strategic plans and on-the-ground execution, helping the organization meet its business targets.
  • Strong operating system that enables the company to quickly adapt, deliver operations goals, and monitor performance.

Operational planning vs. strategic planning

Operational planning deals with the day-to-day details and short-term goals, while strategic planning focuses on the big picture and long-term direction of an organization.

To put it in simpler terms, operational planning is about the "how" of daily tasks, while strategic planning defines the "what" and "why" for future success.

📚Recommended reading: Strategic vs. Operational Planning

Kickstart Your Operational Planning Process: Lay The Foundation

The quality of your operational plan will depend on your input. A successful operational planning initiative will consider these aspects:

  • Who will be involved? Identify and include employees, customers, and the management team in the planning process to gain valuable insights from the front lines, ensuring better strategy and execution buy-in.
  • What are your internal capabilities? Assess internal capabilities by conducting an internal analysis , including resource requirements, operating budget, and talent skills. Talent management and employee engagement are just a few of the many challenges that COOs will have on their operations agenda.
  • What environment are you operating in? Conduct an external analysis (e.g., PESTLE or Porter’s 5 Forces ) to inform your approach and identify optimization opportunities and risks, keeping you agile in a changing market.
  • Is it aligned with your organization’s strategy? Ensure alignment of your operational plan with your organization’s strategic plan to actively support the company's long-term vision and contribute to key business metrics.
👉🏻 Once you’ve gathered this information, you can develop an operational plan to help you execute business strategies.

Key Elements Of Your Operational Plan

Enough chit-chat; it’s time to put your operational plan together. We've built this based on our proven and tested approach, used by over +45,000 Cascade users.

See how Cascade Strategy Execution Platform enhances operational efficiency by reducing duplication and aligning teams toward common goals. It effectively eliminates waste resulting from misalignment, fostering smoother operations and improved performance.

Here’s a recap of the five key elements your plan must consider:

Choose key metrics aligned with the company goals

Selecting your operational plan's key metrics isn't a mere exercise in tracking numbers; it's about laser-focused alignment with your business needs and objectives. These metrics are the tangible indicators of your organization's efficiency and performance. They serve as the compass, guiding your daily decisions and actions toward achieving concrete results.

By precisely aligning these metrics with your company's core objectives, you ensure that every initiative and action within your operational plan directly contributes to achieving tangible results.

An aligned operational plan makes it easier to:

  • Communicate roles and responsibilities to all employees so they know how their efforts contribute to overall business success.
  • Identify and address operational bottlenecks and inefficiencies that could derail strategy execution.
  • Motivate and engage employees to work toward strategic objectives and deliver on business outcomes.
Remember that the role of operations is to close the gap between your organization's strategic goals and what is being done on a daily basis to make them happen.

👉🏻 How Cascade can help:

With Cascade’s Metrics Library , you can bring your operating and financial business-level goals together with your strategy under one single roof. This makes reporting & governance easy, accurate, and less time-consuming by connecting your business data to your key business initiatives.

cascade metrics library

Through Cascade’s integrations , you can consolidate your metrics in one place, importing your data directly from business systems, data lakes, BI tools, or even spreadsheets.

Define the focus areas of your operational plan

The focus areas of your operational plan are the key areas of the business that the plan will address.

This will depend on your business plan. Think about how the business operates and how it succeeds. Do you need to pursue short-term cost reductions while simultaneously pursuing longer-term growth and transformation initiatives? Your operational plans must be built on these strategic priorities.

For example, you can prioritize your focus areas based on the most relevant business strategies or by specific departments. Some examples of focus areas could be:

  • Administration
  • Human Resources

💡Tips to help define the focus areas of your operational plan:

  • Identify the business's key challenges and opportunities.
  • Consider the business's overall long-term strategy and key metrics and how the operational plan's focus areas can support these objectives.
  • Bring other people on board to help you identify what needs to be addressed by the operations plan.

Create strategic objectives for your operational plan

Strategic objectives are specific goals aligned with the operation’s strategy and focus areas. They represent what you want to achieve in each focus area and will serve as the building blocks of your plan, ensuring that it’s focused and actionable.

Some examples of strategic objectives:

  • Reduce costs by 10% within the next year by implementing more efficient processes and streamlining the supply chain over the next year.
  • Launch three new products in the next fiscal year to expand your product lines and increase revenue.
  • Increase customer satisfaction scores by 5% within the next six months.

💡Tips for defining strategic objectives include:

  • Ensure your objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
  • Consistently align objectives with your operational plan's focus areas and the company's goals.
  • Don’t be afraid to get input from other people about your objectives.

Identify and prioritize projects

It’s time to identify and prioritize the projects that need to be executed. Remember, projects are action plans to help you achieve your strategic objectives.

Project planning should include thinking about time frames, task assignments, and deliverables (and prioritizing).

Here are some examples of project ideas:

  • Localize sourcing for critical semi-finished materials.
  • Streamline the supply chain to reduce costs and improve efficiency.
  • Find and develop an alternative logistics channel.
  • Implement a new customer service training program to improve customer satisfaction scores.
  • Implement a new technology that will enable end-to-end supply chain visibility.

💡Tips for defining and prioritizing projects:

  • Identify the specific actions and activities needed to achieve each strategic objective.
  • Prioritize the projects based on their importance, feasibility, and potential impact on the business.
  • Involve stakeholders in defining and prioritizing the projects to ensure their needs and concerns are heard.

Identify and track key performance indicators (KPIs)

Finally, you’ll need to know if your operational plan and day-to-day activities result in outcomes.

Set KPIs for key initiatives and strategic objectives to measure success, ensure alignment, and identify performance gaps in your operational plan.

Some examples of operations KPIs are:

  • Inventory costs
  • Costs of goods sold
  • Revenue growth
  • Employee retention rate
  • Customer satisfaction score

💡Tips for defining and tracking KPIs:

  • Align KPIs with your strategic objectives and focus areas so that you can track the plan's progress against these specific goals.
  • Add both lagging and leading indicators .
  • Instead of using multiple disconnected spreadsheets and project management tools, consider live dashboards or reporting systems to track the KPIs and monitor progress over time.

👉🏻 How Cascade can help build your plan:

Cascade’s planner feature enables you to build your operational plan with structure and ease by breaking down the complexity from high-level initiatives to executable outcomes. Define your key elements (focus areas, objectives, projects, and KPIs), and share the plan with your teams. You’ll get full visibility of the plan’s progress in real-time, allowing you to identify gaps, quickly update the plan, and communicate the change with your team with a single click.

cascade planner view example

👉🏻 If you don’t want to start building the plan from scratch, use our free Operational Plan Template pre-filled with examples of focus areas, objectives, projects, and KPIs that you can customize to meet your organization’s needs.

Operational Plan Examples & Templates

Here are five operational plan examples to help you create plans for your teams. You can use one master operational plan or set up an operational plan for each department.

Master Operational Plan Example

operational plan free template

This Operational Plan Template will help you close the gap between business goals and day-to-day operations. You'll be able to set goals and KPIs for your top priorities and work with the operations team to deliver operational excellence and business results.

HR Plan Example

This HR Operational Plan Template can be used to meet staffing requirements, manage human capital and align human resources activities with your strategy. HR managers in any industry can create a clear operational plan that can be constantly monitored, adapted, and improved.

IT Plan Example

If you’re in the IT team, try out this IT Plan Template to get your IT operational planning up and running fast. It comes prefilled with focus areas and KPIs relevant to IT operations; you can easily customize workflows and deliverables to your needs.

Marketing Plan Example

This Marketing Plan Template can help you efficiently understand and plan your digital marketing operations using best practices. Use it to quickly set up priorities and get your social media and marketing teams moving on tasks that will make an impact.

Finance Plan Example

This finance-focused template is ideal if you want to get on top of your finance operations plan. Use it to allocate and distribute financial resources across your organization and get real-time updates through your dashboard and reports—which are great tools to create a visually compelling financial summary that clearly shows your key metrics.

💡Pro Tip: To ensure successful execution, it's crucial to align not just your master operational plan with your overarching strategic plan, but also all the operational department plans.

With the Alignment Maps feature, you’ll be able to visualize how your top-level business strategy breaks down into functional and operational plans. This empowers COOs and CFOs to consolidate their operational plans in one place, creating tighter alignment between the finance and operations teams and improving cross-collaboration to build more resilient operations.

alignment map view in cascade

Want to dig deeper? Use the Relationships feature to see the relationships between connected objectives from your plans and understand how your different department goals contribute to the core business metrics and goals. This view will allow you to clearly map dependencies, blockers, and risks that may lie along your journey.

relationships view in cascade

5 Tips For An Effective Operational Plan And Its Execution

1. don’t underestimate the power of transparent communication.

Regularly communicate the operational plan and progress to all relevant stakeholders to build the necessary buy-in and support. Your employees must know your goals and the roadmap, and team members should understand their role in its execution. This business transparency will help everyone row in the same direction.

“Clarity regarding strategy is one of the key drivers of autonomous execution. If people understand what you’re working toward and have guardrails in place, they can be empowered to make their own decisions and don’t need everything to be ‘run up the chain’ to get approved. This allows you to move fast and at scale.” — Sam Sterling , Chief Strategy Officer, Akqa

2. Keep moving forward and adopt a growth mindset

Keep the momentum going and ensure that the plan is executed effectively. Regular monitoring and reviews can help identify and address any challenges or obstacles that may arise.

Schedule regular reviews and check-ins and provide the necessary support to ensure projects are on track and moving forward.

“I think adopting a growth mindset is super important. This means having the confidence to fail fast, try something new and empower people to do that.” — Ken Miller , General Manager, Azure Intelligent Cloud at Microsoft

With the Team Updates functionality, every team member can post updates on key measures, actions, and objectives. This will give you real-time visibility into performance and help you identify possible risks before it’s too late—without having to schedule extra meetings or nag your team members for updates.

3. Make strategic moves and change fast when you need to

Your operational plan should be flexible, adaptable, and open to adjustments. This means keeping an eye on progress, making corrections if needed, and being willing to adapt the plan to changing circumstances or new opportunities. As McKinsey suggests, you can consider creating a team that will be able to collect data, link analysis with action, and offer quick responses to rapid changes.

“Traditionally, companies would have taken that piece of paper and gone out and said: we're going to execute it, start to finish. Then get into the formulation of the strategy, what we need to hit, and what the end product result will be like. But what we do know is that’s never the case. Along the way, you're going to have bumps, and inevitably, you’ll need to change from that original picture.” — Annie Lucchitti , Marketing Manager, Unilever

4. Empower your operations team and boost efficiency

Effective operational planning requires the engagement and empowerment of your team. Involve stakeholders in the planning process and provide them with the necessary resources. Give them context and an opportunity to set goals and prioritize initiatives. This will help you boost engagement and hold them accountable for progress.

“I think it just works at every single level. Are people allowed to be themselves at work? Personally, are they at peace? Are they happy? Productivity happens when people have the right skills, but also when they are engaged and happy. If one of those fails a bit, productivity will start decreasing.” — Joan Torrents , Global Sourcing Manager, TESCO.

5. If it isn’t measured, it isn’t managed

Don’t underestimate the importance of tracking and measuring progress against the operational plan's goals and objectives. Set milestones, enforce KPIs, and stay on top of progress. Doing this will help you stay on course, empower you to act quickly, and provide valuable insights into what is going wrong.

“Data is a foundational element in the strategy definition phase as well as in the strategy execution phase as it helps create a baseline, identify key priorities, set goals, and measure progress.” — Erica Santoni , Principal, Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Intuit

Use Cascade’s Dashboards to monitor your day-to-day progress on key metrics and critical business and strategic information in real-time.

example of an operations strategy dashboard in cascade

Compile the information in powerful reports and executive summaries in seconds with pre-built templates. Share them with your key stakeholders —internal and external— and invite them to collaborate on your strategy together.

Execute Your Operational Plan With Cascade 🚀

What good is an operational plan if no one executes it? If your organization wants to operate at a higher level, static tools like Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoints, Google Docs, and/or project management tools aren’t the solution.

❌They aren’t designed for adaptive strategy and planning.

❌They often lead to siloing and hinder effective cross-collaboration.

❌They make it challenging to measure progress and slow down decision-making.

With Cascade as your central operating system, you can stop running business operations blindfolded and embrace rapid, coordinated, and data-driven decision-making.

Get your Operational Plan Template to get started with a dynamic plan that will lead to actual outcomes for your business and see faster results from your strategy.

Or take Cascade for a spin! Start today for free or book a 1:1 product tour with Cascade’s in-house strategy expert.

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Operational Planning: How to Make an Operational Plan

June 6, 2022 - 10 min read

Yuvika Iyer

Having a strategic plan is essential to any company, but it’s not enough. To ensure that the broader organizational goals are within reach, you need an operational plan for day-to-day work. 

Using templates to manage your operation plan can help simplify your complex processes and save you time. You know how a shopping list helps you remember what to buy at the store? Templates are like that for your work. And Wrike has many templates ready to go for different kinds of jobs. 

For example, you can use the retail trade template to see what step comes next when adding something new for customers to buy. Then there’s the business operations templates , which helps you and your team keep track of your business plan without getting wires crossed. And when you need to manage bills, you can use the invoice tracking template . All these templates are great tools for keeping an operational plan ticking over.

In this blog post, we’ll explain what an operational plan is, show you how to create one without feeling overwhelmed, and provide you with an example of an operational plan. We’ll also share our prebuilt templates to get you up and running quickly.

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.

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Here are the key elements of a functional 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 needed

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:

  • Who should be working on what?
  • How can we mitigate those risks?
  • How will resources be assigned for different tasks?
  • Are there any internal and external risks facing the business?

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

Boost your organization’s efficiency by ensuring every project starts off on the right foot. Wrike’s award-winning project management tools can help you create and execute operational plans with various prebuilt templates . 

Establish your plan, monitor progress, and be prepared to pivot if necessary. With Wrike, you can share real-time data, making all milestones crystal clear for your team and helping them stay updated and on track.

These templates keep processes running smoothly so you can focus on doing your work well. Want to try them out? They’re just a click away.  

Choose the most suitable template and start a free two-week trial of Wrike today!

Yuvika Iyer

Yuvika Iyer

Yuvika is a freelance writer who specializes in recruitment and resume writing.

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Work Skills You Need on Your Resume in 2021

Work Skills You Need on Your Resume in 2021

Navigating the highly competitive job market can be brutal. In a recent Jobvite survey, nearly three in four respondents said they believe finding a job has become much harder following the pandemic.  It’s clearer now more than ever how important it is for your resume to stand out. In fact, nearly 24% of hiring managers spend 30 seconds or less reviewing a resume to determine whether a candidate is qualified for a position or not. You quite literally have seconds to catch their attention before your resume ends up in the recycling bin with the rest of the candidates that didn’t make the cut. So, how exactly do you set yourself apart and stand out from the crowd? Highlighting your work skills on your resume is the best place to start. We did some digging and pulled together some work skills examples in various categories to inspire you to revitalize your resume.  Important social work skills for the workplace What are social work skills? Social skills, otherwise known as interpersonal skills, are essential in helping us communicate with one another in the workplace. These skills allow us to build relationships, interact, and communicate with those around us in a meaningful and effective way. This includes verbal and nonverbal cues.  Social work skills are essential in every job. Whether you work on a team, are in a client-facing role, or are an individual contributor reporting to a direct manager, solid social skills will help you succeed in your position.  Let’s take a look at some of the most important social work skills for the workplace:  1. Empathy One of the best ways to interact well with others is to put yourself in their shoes and understand how they feel. Empathetic people can understand how others are feeling and can identify with those feelings in some way.  Having empathy is a vital trait, especially for those who hold leadership positions. Being empathetic isn’t something you can force, and it doesn’t happen overnight if it doesn’t come naturally to you. This skill takes a conscious effort to build and will help you forge and maintain stronger workplace relationships. 2. Active listening Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation with a colleague and felt like they weren’t paying attention to a single word you were saying? Or have you ever been chatting with a coworker and felt like they heard you and gave you their utmost attention? The latter is known as active listening.  Active listening involves giving someone your full, undivided attention and it allows you to build trust and strong relationships with your colleagues and clients. Active listening requires practice, but it is a skill that can be acquired with proper training and effort. 3. Emotional intelligence At a high level, emotional intelligence refers to recognizing and being aware of the emotions of both yourself and other people. Those with high emotional intelligence are known for being self-aware and can practice self-regulation, particularly in stressful and potentially overwhelming situations at work. Emotional intelligence is critical in the workplace because it contributes to strong, long-term relationships and can help you manage and appropriately tailor your reactions.  4. Conflict resolution According to recent research, 65% of workers experienced conflict with another coworker. Conflict is inevitable in the workplace, which means developing a solid set of conflict resolution skills can help you manage and navigate these situations efficiently.  Conflict resolution is the ability to address the root cause of disagreements and devise a solution that works for all parties involved. You can use various techniques to help resolve conflicts, so it’s essential to learn and understand how to address different disputes. 5. Written communication Social skills refer to how we communicate with one another, which means written skills are a must. Some forms of written communication include emails, instant messages, documents, reports, slide decks, and your resume. Using appropriate grammar, proper spelling, and following formatting guidelines will allow you to communicate effectively with others. 6. Nonverbal communication When it comes to communication, it’s easy to think about what we are saying, but we don’t always focus on how we are saying it. Nonverbal skills can dramatically impact the way your message is received.  Your body language, eye contact, facial expressions, and tone can completely change the message you are trying to deliver to your coworkers. It’s important to be aware of these subtle cues so that you can make sure your message isn’t misconstrued or misinterpreted.  Work-related skills for virtual environments You might not be working with your colleagues side-by-side in the same office. In addition to the skills we discussed above, remote work requires some different skills and disciplines.  Below are a few competencies that you’ll definitely want to have when collaborating in virtual work environments:  Self-motivation: There’s a big difference between in-person office environments and virtual workplace settings. At the office, your manager can simply stop by your desk or quickly check in to see how things are going. While your supervisor can technically do the same via email or instant message, you ultimately don’t have anyone looking over your shoulder 24/7 at your home office (unless you have pets, children, or spouses nearby!). That means self-motivation and knowing how to hold yourself accountable to get your work done are vital to helping you thrive in a virtual role. Adaptability: Adaptability is beneficial in any setting, but it’s a particularly beneficial skill in virtual environments. Whether you’re working with a distributed team and constantly trying to navigate time zones or your presentation gets interrupted due to an unreliable internet connection, adaptability is an important skill to help you navigate the unexpected and ever-changing conditions you may find yourself running up against. Digital and technical knowledge: In virtual environments, employees work remotely and generally rely on several tools to collaborate and tackle their to-do lists. Between project management software, instant messaging, video conferencing, document sharing, and email, there are many different technologies to navigate daily. If you’re working in a virtual environment, it’s essential to feel comfortable using these platforms if you want to keep up with the pace of your work. It’s also worth mentioning that, while you still may be able to reach the IT help desk, you may not receive assistance as quickly as you would in an office setting. That means you might have to do some troubleshooting and problem-solving on your own. What teamwork skills are important for 2021? Teamwork makes the dream work, right?  Teamwork skills are a subset of skills that enable us to work well with groups of people (meaning, our teams) to achieve a shared goal or outcome. In 2021 and beyond, as we see a shift toward hybrid work models, honing in on your teamwork skills can help you land your dream gig. Here are the teamwork skills that are important to develop for 2021 and beyond: 1. Reliability Being reliable is arguably the most crucial teamwork skill. Those who are reliable can be depended on and trusted to do their part time and time again. They show a certain level of commitment to their work and colleagues, meet deadlines (or even get work in early), and follow through on any action or task they say they will do.  You want to be a reliable teammate so your colleagues and your employer will have faith in you. And the more trustworthy you are, the more responsibility you will be trusted with over time, which may boost your career growth in the long run. It’s even more important to showcase your reliability in a virtual workplace environment through clear and frequent communication. 2. Accountability Accountability goes hand-in-hand with reliability. But beyond being reliable, accountability is all about taking responsibility for one’s work — even when that includes mistakes or failures.  There’s no room for the blame game or pointing fingers on teams that work well with one another, which means you have to hold yourself accountable and take fault when necessary. Your teammates will likely think more of you if you’re willing to admit you’re wrong, as opposed to constantly shifting blame or pointing fingers when issues arise. 3. Respectfulness A little bit of respect goes a long way, especially at work. According to Indeed, respectfulness in the workplace reduces stress, increases productivity and collaboration, improves employee satisfaction, and creates a fair environment. You need to respect your team members, manager, and clients to do your best work together.  Acts of respect include acknowledging others and calling them by name, encouraging and exchanging opinions and ideas without judgment, giving credit where it’s due, and listening to and understanding your teammates. 4. Collaboration There is no successful teamwork without collaboration. Collaboration is working together with one or more people on a project or toward a shared goal.  When employees can work together and collaborate successfully, they can share ideas and come up with practical solutions to complex problems. Brainstorming, open discussions, workshops, and knowledge sharing sessions are all examples of collaboration that lead to great teamwork.  5. Persuasion Have you ever worked with a teammate who insists on working their way, even if the rest of the team agrees to pursue another route? How do you keep making progress on your project or goal if one team member isn’t on the same page? That’s where your skills of persuasion come in handy.  Sometimes you might have to persuade a team member to see another point of view and change their mind to benefit the rest of the group. But persuasive skills are more than just getting someone to change their mind and see your perspective — it’s about doing so in an empathetic and respectful way in order to maintain a healthy working relationship. 6. Constructive feedback for improvement You should be able to offer your teammate constructive feedback to help them improve and vice versa. Exchanging feedback not only benefits individuals and the team as a whole but also adds value to your organization by creating an opportunity for constant growth.  Giving feedback requires offering suggestions for improvement in a positive way, while receiving feedback requires listening with an open mind and a willingness to change.  Work skills that work on any resume Sure, there are specialized skills for different roles and industries. Engineers add their programming skills to their resume, project managers add project management certifications and relevant skills, and HR professionals add the performance management and HRIS systems they’ve previously used. While there are specialized skills you’ll want to emphasize on your resume based on your industry and role (and trust us, those are important), there are also some work skills that are relevant on any resume. These include:  Creativity: Creativity is an essential component of innovation and complex problem-solving. In its most basic form, creativity requires thinking about a problem or task differently and using your imagination to form and test new ideas. Problem-solving: All employers value problem-solving abilities because they want to hire people who can break down problems and develop effective solutions. To showcase your problem-solving skills, you might possess a range of qualities such as analysis, evaluation, decision-making, and communication. Time management: No employer wants to hire someone who doesn’t make good use of their time and will have a hard time getting their work done. Your future employer wants to know that you’ll be able to meet deadlines, effectively use your workday to get tasks accomplished, and handle your workload without a lot of babysitting. Examples of specific time management responsibilities include goal setting, prioritizing tasks, meeting deadlines, and minimizing or eliminating distractions for optimal focus. Leadership: Showcasing how you’ve demonstrated leadership in your previous roles can demonstrate to your future potential employer what type of employee you are. Being an effective leader can increase your advancement opportunities within your organization. Use specific examples of successful leadership on your resume for the most significant impact.  So how do you showcase these skills on your resume? Now that you know what work skills for resumes employers want to see, you’re bound to have this question: Where do you put them? Keep in mind that the goal of your resume is to prove that you’re a qualified, no-brainer fit for the role you’re applying for. That’s why your smartest move is to tailor your resume to a specific job. Take a fine-tooth comb to the job description and identify words or skills that are repeated or emphasized. Those are traits that you should be incorporating in your own resume (provided you honestly possess them, of course). The most important skills should go as close to the top of your document as possible, because remember, hiring managers are only skimming for a few seconds. As for where you can work these skills in, you have a number of options, including:  Your professional summary at the top of your document A dedicated key skills section where you can bullet out your most relevant abilities Your past positions, where you can demonstrate how you applied your skills in previous jobs Finally, remember that many of your work skills and social work skills — from communication and time management to problem-solving and active listening — will be on display throughout the hiring process and your interviews.  So, it should go without saying, but show up on time, respond to messages promptly and respectfully, and treat everybody respectfully. After all, when it comes to your work skills, employers want you to show — and not just tell.

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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 updated on February 01, 2023

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:

  • Everything was done for the business from the start to reach its current position
  • Acknowledgment that you know exactly what should be done for any business to get off the ground
  • Full awareness and understanding of the delivering and manufacturing processes of the service or the product you offer.

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:

  • Production workflow : In this, you will describe in detail the exact steps of how your service or your product will be made, along with the acknowledgment of any possible problem that could be faced during the process.
  • In addition, you will include details about how to train the employees to solve any upcoming problem and avoid any risks as much as possible. Along with mentioning any dangerous equipment that will be used, and the proper ways of using and storing these pieces of equipment.
  • Supply chains: In this section you clarify the identity of the suppliers, the prices they offer, and their terms and conditions, In addition to providing the possible alternatives in case it doesn't work out with the current suppliers
  • 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:

  • Most of the tasks in the operation plan are carried out by the company's managers and the employees under them, so it is essential that to clarify their identity, describe their qualifications, and describe the jobs and tasks which they will be responsible for.
  • Providing an organizational chart to describe the structural hierarchy of the business.
  • The philosophy and tactics of the company, and the role they play in the development and stability of the business.
  • A statistical measurement of the performance of the employees and managers, and the ways of reward and punishment.
  • Explain the methods that you will use to find the right employees, putting into consideration the required qualifications needed, the job description of each one, and the compensation rates that you will offer.
  • In case the business will need any outside consultants it should be noted, along with the specific functions required from any outsider consultant or employee.

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.

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Expertly Writing the Operations Plan Section of Your Business Plan

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Operational Planning

Operational plans are important for any effective business plan . They provide a roadmap for how the company will operate on a day-to-day basis. The operational strategic plan should outline the company’s goals and objectives, as well as the strategies and actions that will be taken to achieve them.

Business Operations Section of a Business Plan

The operational plan or operations section of a business plan is where you describe how your business will function on a day-to-day basis. This includes everything from the resources you’ll need to run your business, to the people who will be responsible for carrying out various tasks, to the processes and procedures you’ll use to get work done.

Purpose of the Operational Plan Section of a Business Plan

An operational plan is essential for any business because it provides a roadmap for how it will function. It ensures that everyone involved in the business is on the same page and knows what their roles and responsibilities are. Having an operational plan also makes it easier to track and accomplish goals, while driving cost reduction and improving overall results. Finally, your operations plan section helps show readers that you can turn your vision and goals into reality.

Benefits of an Operations Plan Include:

  • Identifying the key processes your company must perform to achieve its goals
  • Mapping out short-term and long-term milestones so you have specific goals and a roadmap for achieving them
  • Understanding the human and other resources required to execute your vision

Writing an Operations Section of a Business Plan

When writing the operations section of a business plan, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, be sure to describe the resources that will be required to run your business. This includes everything from office space and equipment to human resources. Next, detail the processes and procedures that will be used to get work done. Be as specific as possible so that there is no confusion about how things should be done. Finally, identify the people who will be responsible for carrying out various tasks. This includes both employees and contractors.

Tracking Key Performance Indicators with Operational Planning

As a business owner, it’s important to track your progress against your company goals. This is where KPIs come in. KPIs are performance indicators and an important part of creating a strategic plan that can help you track your progress and identify areas of improvement. You should document your KPIs in the operation plan of your business plan

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing KPIs for your business:

  • Make sure that the KPIs you choose are relevant to your company’s goals.
  • Choose KPIs that can be easily measured.
  • Avoid choosing too many KPIs, as this can be overwhelming. Stick to a few key ones that will give you the most insights into your business’s progress.
  • Set realistic targets for each KPI. This will help you track your progress and identify areas of improvement.
  • Review your KPIs on a regular basis to ensure that they are still relevant and accurate, while also being in line with strategic plans.

Some Examples of KPIs that You Could Track with an Operational Plan

When creating an operations plan, it’s important to track key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure your progress against your company goals. Some examples of KPIs that you could track are:

  • Sales growth
  • Delivery times
  • Customer satisfaction ratings
  • Product Quality
  • Production Process
  • Employee retention
  • Operational costs

Creating an operational plan with KPIs will help you track your progress, identify areas of improvement, improve strategic planning and make necessary changes to reach your company’s strategic objective.

Example of an Operations Section of a Business Plan

Here is what an operations plan example might look like:

The XYZ Company will require the following resources to operate:

  • 1,000 square feet of office space
  • $10,000 for office furniture and equipment
  • 3 full-time employees
  • 2 part-time employees
  • 1 contractor

The XYZ Company will use the following processes and procedures to get work done:

  • All new clients will be contacted within 24 hours of the initial inquiry
  • Initial consultations will be scheduled within 48 hours of contact
  • Proposals will be presented within 10 days of the initial consultation
  • Work will begin within 2 weeks of proposal acceptance

The following people will be responsible for carrying out these tasks:

  • John Smith, full-time employee, will contact new clients
  • Jane Doe, full-time employee, will schedule initial consultations
  • John Smith and Jane Doe will conduct initial consultations
  • John Smith and Jane Doe will prepare proposals
  • John Smith and Jane Doe will manage projects
  • Joe Johnson, contractor, will provide support as needed

An operations plan is a critical part of any business planning work. It provides a roadmap for how the business will function on a day-to-day basis. This includes everything from the resources you’ll need to run your business, to the people who will be responsible for carrying out various tasks, to the processes and procedures you’ll use to get work done. Having operational plans in place will ensure that everyone involved in the business is on the same page and knows what their roles and responsibilities are. It will also make it easier to track and accomplish goals.

Key Takeaways

A few key things to remember when writing your operations plan:

  • Describe the resources that will be required to run your business
  • Detail the processes and procedures that will be used to get work done
  • Identify the people who will be responsible for carrying out various tasks

Following these tips will help you create a comprehensive and effective operations plan for your business.

A strategic plan is one of the critical components of any successful company. The operations plan outlines the roadmap for your business, outlining the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. If you’re not sure where to start, we can help. Our team of experts has created a comprehensive business plan template that will guide you through the process of creating an operational plan tailored to your specific business needs. Ready to get started? Download our template today and get access to all the tools and information you need to create a thriving business.

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A quote attributed to baseball great Yogi Berra should be top of mind for entrepreneurs interested in expanding their business: “If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” Do you know where your business is headed and how you’ll get there?

One way to reach future long and short term goals is to have a detailed strategic plan, and one important element to include in your strategic plan is the operational plan.

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What is an operational plan?

An operational plan outlines the day-to-day basis of a department’s work. It establishes the daily operations of each department and aligns these operations with the business goals of the whole company.

When you take the steps to create an operational plan for your company, you should ensure that it addresses the below concerns:

  • The delegation of tasks and strategic work shared among departments
  • The delegation of the above to individual positions within a department
  • Recurring deadlines for each task and strategy
  • Costs anticipated for each task and strategy

Why is an operational plan important?

A thorough operational plan ensures that all your employees know their daily work requirements. It also tells your employees how to best complete their work within a specified timeframe. With these duties appropriately delegated and mapped out, your company can more easily achieve its business goals.

How do operational plans differ from strategic plans?

In some cases, operational plans and strategic plans are one and the same. In other cases, strategic plans are broader than operational plans. That’s because strategic objectives are long-term business goals, whereas operational objectives are milestones regarding the systems through which your company achieves its strategic goals. In either case, writing an operational plan is a key first step for developing a fruitful small business strategy.

Steps for how to write an operational plan

This section will help you determine what needs to be done to reach your vision. To get started, keep the SMART guidelines below in mind. Your plan should be:

M easurable

A ttainable

When completed, your plan should clearly outline the day-to-day operations required to run your business successfully. The steps for how to write an operational plan are:

1. Focus on important goals

It can be tough for a busy entrepreneur to narrow down business goals . Prioritize the ones that are attainable and will help strengthen your business.

For example, if you own a bakery, you might set a reasonable goal of increasing business 20% by introducing new and creative menu items. An unattainable goal might be to relocate to an expensive high-rent neighborhood without a plan to increase profits and cover the higher expenses.

Lofty goals are great but you don’t want to cause frustration if they’re just not realistic. Create goals that can be reached with your current employees and available resources.

2. Set KPIs

Put key performance indicators (KPIs) in place to measure your success. KPIs can be financial, like increasing your net profit, or non-financial like increasing website traffic or improving customer service quality.

While there are a large range of KPIs you can measure, knowing where to focus your attention when evaluating your business can help you be more effective and use your time wisely. Small Business Trends has an article to help you choose the KPIs you should measure: 14 Key Performance Indicators That Matter.

3. Communicate and discuss KPIs with employees

Research from Harvard Business School found that 95% of a typical workforce doesn't understand the strategy and goals of the business they work for. How can employees perform at a high level if they don’t know this important information? You want your team to make the right decisions based on your operational plan to help you meet your objectives.

There are several ways to engage with your employees . You can hold a good old fashioned brainstorming session when you’re putting your operational plan together. You can also hold regular company-wide meetings to discuss where the company is headed.

The SmartBiz Loans team is updated on goals and where the company stands during a monthly OGSM meeting. OGSM stands for objectives, goals, strategies and measures. Management presents their results and employees are encouraged to ask questions and make comments.

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4. Discuss the production process

Here’s where you outline how your product is produced or the resources needed to implement your services. The production process section of your operational plan may include:

  • Necessary resources like computers, phone systems, and software
  • Required equipment like machinery used for production of your product or service
  • Cash and cash equivalents
  • Special requirements you might need such as zoning permits, drainage, ventilation, etc.
  • Materials you need to produce your product and the suppliers you’ll use to secure them.

5. Address costs

What funds are needed for your team to successfully complete their jobs and meet KPIs? Are there ways to reduce costs and still meet goals? Don’t forget to add in the costs of payroll taxes and benefits, equipment repair or replacement, and legal or other fees.

6. Set a budget?

Describe in detail your operating process and budget . Here’s where you can discuss outside funding and explore how much it would take for working capital, equipment, inventory, and other important areas. Speaking of working capital:

7. Develop a hiring plan

Even the most straightforward operational plan requires a trustworthy team to execute. That’s why your operational plan should explicitly outline your hiring practices. It should answer the following questions:

  • Which positions does my business need, and by when will it need these roles filled?
  • What does the ideal candidate for each position look like?
  • How will my company find its new hires?
  • What salary will I pay my employees?
  • What benefits will I give my employees?

As mentioned earlier, you should also discuss your company’s goals and KPIs with your entire team. Once you’ve built a reliable team, you should also figure out when and where you’ll need your employees to work – and an operational plan is the perfect place to set these requirements.

8. Establish your work hours

Can you run your operation with employees working a typical 9 to 5 schedule during a 40 hour work week? Are there tasks that need to be completed in off hours? Let employees know when they are expected to work and if flexible hours are available. Remote work can help you retain employees as well.

9. Set employee location requirements

Do employees need to work in an office or onsite? Can work be performed remotely? Again, your employees need to know your expectations and how it fits in with the overall operational plan goals. Include the costs of rent and required insurance . If you run a home-based business , outline the tax breaks you might qualify for.

10. Address possible risk

The process of identifying risks, assessing those risks, and developing strategies to manage risks is known as risk management. Include a risk management plan within your operational plan. Reduce risks where possible and prepare contingency plans where necessary.

11. Set quality control measures

You don’t have to have a quality control team. Have one employee own quality control from beginning to end with a system of checks and balances in place.

12. Devise project management plans

To better control your products’ quality and optimize your production process, project management plans may prove helpful. Although no two projects are quite the same, adding loose project management plan templates or workflows to your operational plan can reduce operational inefficiencies that hinder you from achieving your goals.

For example, let’s say your company’s main source of revenue is light bulb production and sales. If you regularly develop new lights to sell, you’ll need a set of reliable constraints to work within every time you roll out a new product. These constraints can include product goals, production budget and timeline, and internal and external deliverables.

With a sturdy project management plan in place, you increase the likelihood of consistent quality, revenue, and new product releases. As such, successfully achieving your business goals may be easier.

13. Create timeline and milestones

Set project deadlines so your team is clear about their responsibilities and objectives. Clearly outline a timeline for meeting important milestones. Employee input can be valuable here. It’s good to know the bandwidth each team member has when working on deadlines.

Final Thoughts

SmartBiz Loans CEO Evan Singer has 20-plus years of business experience. He offers this advice to entrepreneurs in every stage of business planning:

“Remember that your plan doesn’t have to be perfect to achieve your goals. And possibly most importantly, don’t hesitate to ask for help. A financial professional or even members of your team can offer direction and advice if you’re feeling stuck.”

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Define goals with an operational plan template

how to write operational plan in business plan

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:

  • Helps define employee roles and how they contribute to your organization’s goals
  • Provides detailed instructions on daily operating tasks
  • Creates an understanding of how different departments’ roles come together to achieve goals
  • Potentially leads to higher job satisfaction for increased employee productivity
  • Defines short and long-term goals
  • Provides guidance on realistic deadlines for specific goals
  • Helps you draw conclusions about resource needs and make financial projections
  • Allows everyone within your organization to always be on the same page
  • Creates transparency within your organization, leading to greater trust and loyalty among employees

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:

  • Expanding your company’s online presence
  • Offering your products or services online
  • Hitting a specific sales milestone, such as reaching your thousandth sale
  • Closing any skill gaps in your existing workforce
  • Increasing efficiency in a specific department

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.

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:

  • Automate recurring tasks: monday.com lets you automate routine tasks to make better use of valuable resources, such as notifying managers when you complete a task, saving on time and resources.
  • Integrate essential tools into one platform: If your company uses multiple tools for project management, planning, or metrics — such as Slack, Google Calendar, Data Studio and more — accessing them from a single Work OS saves time and prevents confusion.
  • Collaborate with your teams: Our Work OS allows you to seamlessly collaborate with your teams or departments in-person or remotely through updates, tagging functions, automations, and other features built for fostering communication
  • Monitor performance: Our project monitoring dashboard lets you view all tasks and projects from a single screen, making it easier to see where you stand on goals and deadlines.

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:

  • Centralize facilities requests: Compiling all facilities requests in one place makes managing things easier. On monday.com, relevant employees can check on the status of requests, saving time on back-and-forth emailing.
  • Track completion time for each request: Our facilities request template has a time tracking column showing how long a request took to complete. This can help you set internal processes and future expectations accordingly.
  • Track every ticket from one place: View all your tickets and where they currently stand. You can use this information to help identify bottlenecks so you can apply proactive solutions to workflows and processes.

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:

  • An executive summary that provides an at-a-glance overview
  • Clear, well-defined goals and objectives and time frames for them
  • The day-to-day activities required to bring those goals to fruition
  • Quality standards and key performance indicators to help measure success
  • A process for monitoring progress
  • Requirements for staffing and resources

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:

  • Objective: Increase social media presence
  • Category: Single-use plan
  • Required resources: Social media training, contest prizes, additional dedicated man hours, advertisement funds
  • Tasks: Run A/B testing on social media advertisements, research trending post formats to recreate them, plan and execute referral or engagement contests, increase company engagement on social media with fans/customers

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:

  • Identify important goals, milestones, or objectives
  • Determine key initiatives to help achieve those goals
  • Define key assumptions you’re making about challenges
  • Decide how you’ll measure success
  • Clearly outline responsibilities and tasks
  • Assign responsibilities and tasks to team members
  • Create reasonable deadlines
  • Define necessary resources to accomplish tasks
  • Provide training as necessary

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.

how to write operational plan in business plan

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How to write an operational plan in business plan?

  • What is an Operational Business Plan?

An operational 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. 

What Goes Into Operational Plan In Business Plan

How do you write operational plan for business plan, operational plan for businesses with a physical product.

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

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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

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

  • Prioritize Goals: Focus on important goals only. It will be hard to decide but you should direct your time and efforts to achieve the goals with the most impact.
  • Set KPIs: KPIs are the small tasks that contribute toward achieving goals. KPIs measure the growth of your business.
  • Discuss Manufacturing Process: If you are manufacturing your products, outline the manufacturing process. Discuss manufacturing facility, manufacturing capacity, material sourcing, factory to warehouse logistics, and warehouse to sale points logistics.
  • Include Costs and Expenses: What are the expenses you will need to make to achieve these goals? Give a detailed breakdown of the costs and expenses required for each goal. 
  • Set Budgets: Set budgets for each goal. Fixing a budget will help you get creative within the resources and not overspend. 
  • 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 projects
  • Determine Employee Location Requirements: Decide if you need an employee in the office or on the site. See if you can allow employees to work from home if the need arises.

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.

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how to write operational plan in business plan

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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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An operational plan outlines the day-to-day activities and processes required to run your business. It covers areas such as production, logistics, inventory management, facilities, staffing, and other operational aspects.

An operational plan should include details about your business’s physical location, equipment and technology, production processes, supply chain management, staffing requirements, and key operational milestones or targets.

Define the production or service delivery process in the operational plan by outlining the steps involved, the resources required, and the timelines for each stage. Include details about quality control measures and any necessary regulatory compliance.

Address potential operational challenges or risks in the plan by identifying them and providing strategies or contingency plans to mitigate them. This could include backup suppliers, emergency response protocols, or alternative production methods.

The operational plan demonstrates how your business will execute its strategies and deliver its products or services. It helps stakeholders understand the practical aspects of your business, ensuring that resources are allocated effectively and operations run smoothly.

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How To Write a Pest Control Business Plan 

Featured Image

You know how the saying goes: “Fail to prepare and prepare to fail.” This rings true when it comes to running a successful pest control business. 

One powerful tool is a business plan. This comprehensive living document details the ins and outs of your business and its operations. It keeps everyone involved on the same page. Better yet, it helps you make informed decisions that move you closer to your goals. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at the purpose of a business plan. We’ll break down its anatomy and give you step-by-step instructions on how to write one. 

Finally, we’ll share four quick and easy tips you can use to get started today. 

The Purpose of a Business Plan  

A business plan is a document that acts like a map to the future of your pest control company. It includes details about your goals and how you intend to achieve them. It outlines your services, operational practices, roles and responsibilities, finances, and more. 

Articulating this information serves three important purposes: 

1. It Guides Your Growth.  

When starting or growing your pest control business, a business plan gives you a clear path to follow. It helps you define what you need to do, when you need to do it, and how you can get it done. 

This guidance is crucial, especially in the early stages of your business. 

FROM ONE OF OUR PARTNERS: How to Grow a Pest Control Business  

2. It Helps Secure Funding.  

If you need to borrow money to start or expand your pest control company, a business plan is a must. It shows lenders you have a clear direction. 

You are dedicated to your business’s success. Show that you have the tools, team, and foresight to reach your objectives. 

Your business plan will also detail how much money you need and why. It might also detail how you plan to repay loans. This can give lenders and investors peace of mind. 

3. It Keeps Everyone on the Same Page.  

Your business plan is not set in stone. It will evolve over time. 

By keeping it up to date, you can use it to communicate your vision, mission, and plan to employees, stakeholders, and even potential buyers. 

This gets everyone in the same direction, which can motivate team members. 

The Anatomy of a Pest Control Business Plan  

A business plan is a structured document. It defines in detail the critical elements of your pest control business. There are specific sections common to all business plans. Sticking to them will help ensure you don’t miss any vital information. 

Let’s look at the anatomy of an effective business plan. 

Executive Summary  

The executive summary is the first section of your business plan. It provides a snapshot of your entire operation. 

Summarize the key points detailed throughout the plan. Include your mission statement and the pest control services you offer. Also, provide a brief overview of your market analysis. 

If your business is new, mention your reasons for starting it. Though this section should appear first, write it last to ensure it accurately reflects the rest of your plan. 

Business Description  

Outline your business goals and the specific needs of the community you serve. Include information about competitors and what sets your business apart from them. 

Explain your basic services, such as insect, rodent, or termite control. Mention any special methods you use, like eco-friendly pest management. 

Management and Organization Description  

Describe your company structure. Include information about the leadership team, their roles, and their expertise in pest control. 

If relevant, outline your company’s legal structure. Discuss any human resources policies and the number of employees you plan to hire. 

Products and Services Description  

Expand on the pest control services mentioned in the executive summary and business description. Provide details about: 

  • The types of pests you handle 
  • The techniques and products used 
  • Any guarantees or follow-up services offered 

If you sell products like pest repellents or traps, describe these as well. 

Market Analysis  

Define your target audience. Be specific.  

Discuss the geographic locations you will target and common pest problems in these areas. Also, mention the typical clients you serve, whether residential homeowners or commercial businesses. 

how to write operational plan in business plan

Competitive Analysis  

While researching your market, compare your business to your main competitors. Identify their strengths and weaknesses.  

In this section, you’ll discuss how you plan to use this information to position your company in the market. Detail how you’ll address your customers’ needs better than your competitors.  

For example, environmental concerns are increasingly important to both commercial and household consumers. As a result, companies offering a wider range of eco-friendly options are gaining a competitive edge . 

Marketing Plan  

Outline how you will attract and retain customers. List your marketing strategies. 

Your approach might include a mix of traditional and digital marketing channels. Consider things like flyers delivered locally and social media ads. 

Explain your pricing structure and how it appeals to your target demographic. 

Describe your sales process from lead generation through customer follow-up. Emphasize customer service and satisfaction as key drivers. 

RELATED ARTICLE: 5 Pest Control Marketing Ideas That Generate Leads  

Operating Plan  

Explain the daily logistics of running your pest control business. Include information about your office location, storage for your equipment, and vehicle requirements. 

Discuss any necessary certifications or regulations you must comply with. Talk about your approach to service scheduling and customer relationship management. 


Provide a clear picture of your business finances in this section. Include revenue projections and budgeting for expenses. Include your existing assets that will go toward the business, such as vehicles, equipment, and funds. 

If you are applying for funding, clearly state how much is needed and how you will use it. 

Offer a cash flow projection to show how your business plans to remain profitable. If you’re expanding your pest control business, you’ll also need to include financial statements. 

This section can be complicated. Accuracy is also critical. Working with a CPA to ensure your bases are covered is usually a good idea. 

how to write operational plan in business plan

Steps To Write Your Pest Control Business Plan  

Now that you know the sections you’ll need to address, it’s time to start writing. Here are the steps to create a practical and effective business plan: 

Step 1: Define Your Business Model.  

Before you begin writing, understand what your pest control business will offer. Ask yourself: 

  • Will you focus on residential services, commercial contracts, or both? 
  • Will you specialize in certain types of pests? 
  • Will you operate seasonally or year-round? 

Knowing these details shapes the rest of your plan. 

Pro tip: Research local pest problems. Customize your services to the most common issues in your area. This can help you maintain a steady flow of work. 

RELATED ARTICLE: How to Start a Pest Control Business  

Step 2: Choose Your Business Goals.  

Set clear, achievable goals for your business. These could include financial targets, customer acquisition numbers, or expansion plans. 

Pro tip: Use the SMART criteria (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) to set your business goals. This method keeps your objectives clear and actionable. 

Step 3: Conduct Market Analysis.  

Analyze your local market to understand your competition and potential customers. 

Identify the demographics of your target market. Consider where your ideal customers live, their budgets, and what pest control services they most often need. 

Pro tip: Read online reviews of other local pest control companies. What specifically do customers like or dislike? Use these insights to better cater to your target audience’s needs and preferences. 

Step 4: Outline Your Marketing and Sales Strategy.  

There are two important points to consider in this section. 

First, think about how you will attract new leads to your business. An ongoing stream of leads is critical to your long-term success. 

You should also detail how you plan to retain customers. Customer retention means keeping customers loyal to your business . They choose you over your competitors time and time again. 

Second, write out your sales strategy. How will you turn a lead into a paying customer? What is the process from initial contact to a closed deal? 

Pro tip: Some ways to improve your customer retention rate include email marketing and loyalty programs. 

Step 5: Describe Your Team.  

Introduce your team and their roles within the company. Highlight their experience and qualifications, especially in pest control or related fields. 

Pro tip: Include bios that showcase the expertise of team members in dealing with specific pest problems. 

Step 6: Detail Your Operations Plan.  

Explain the day-to-day operations of your business. Include how services will be delivered, the equipment you’ll use, and your customer service approach. 

Pro tip: Create a checklist for each service visit to ensure consistency and thoroughness. This can help boost customer satisfaction. 

Step 7: Plan Your Finances.  

Project your financial performance, including startup costs, revenue forecasts, and profit margins. Make sure to include a budget for marketing, equipment purchases, and staff salaries. 

Pro tip: Use conservative estimates for your financial projections. This will help you prepare for unexpected costs or changes in business conditions. 

Step 8: Write Your Executive Summary.  

The summary is the first section of your business plan, but it should be written last. It summarizes all the key points of your plan, giving readers a quick overview of your business. 

Pro tip: Keep your executive summary short and compelling. 

FROM ONE OF OUR PARTNERS: A 5-Step Guide to Annual Planning for Your Business  

How You Can Start Writing a Pest Control Business Plan Right Now  

Here are four actions you can take today to get started: 

  • Gather information. Collect data about the pest control market in your area. Research common pest issues and seasonal trends. Check out IBISWorld for industry-specific reports and market analysis. 
  • Use business plan software. Simplify the business plan writing process by using specialized software. This can guide you through each section, ensuring you don’t miss important details. Try LivePlan or Bizplan . 
  • List your top three competitors. Identify three main competitors in your local area. Analyze their services, pricing, and marketing strategies. 
  • Decide on your timeline. Set realistic deadlines for your goals. 

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