Operational Plans of a Business
What are operational plans of a business?
An operational business plan is a written document that describes the nature of the business, the sales and the marketing strategy which is optimal for success. It provides the vision, directions and goals for the organisation. An operational business plan is not a means to securing financing; however it is a good step-by-step guide to running your business in order to successfully create a product or service that will make it in the marketplace.
What are Operational plans of a business like?
The operational business plan acts as a blueprint for your business processes which is an important guide to senior managers and other key stakeholders.
An operational business plan is like an orienteering map. The map helps you navigate to your destination using the easiest way possible and also guides you through certain obstacles and paths you may face. Without an orienteering map the chances of making it to the final destination are very slim and the process will be nothing but challenging and complex.
What is the purpose of Operational plans of a business?
The purpose of the business plan is to outline, in detail, the business’s operation and future growth projections. It provides a framework that outlines the management approach and also ensures it covers many aspects relating to financial, marketing, staffing and other resources required to run a successful business. There are many reasons why a business should have an operational business plan. It helps the business move from start-up to success. It would be found that without this in place the business wouldn’t be able to stay focused nor operate efficiently.
Once your business is up and running and ready to go the operational business plan is the perfect tool to developing and managing your business.
What are different types of Operational plans of a business?
To fully understand how Operational Plans of a Business work and run, the first step is to look at the overall planning process within a business. There are 3 levels of planning which include the strategic plan, tactical plan and operational plan. The below diagram provides information about these levels and what level of detail is required. It shows that the Operational Plan is very specific and detailed.
Type of Plan Created By Scope Includes Level of Detail
- Strategic Plan Top Management Entire organization Mission of the company, future goals and ambitions Very broad and general
- Tactical Plan Mid-level Management Single area of the business as a whole (e.g. a division of the company) Specific actions to support or work towards the Strategic Plan Specific actions and ideas, but not very detailed
- Operational Plan Low-level Management A unit within a single area of the business (e.g. a department within a division) Specific plans for low level and day-to-day activities and processes that will support and enable the Tactical Plan Extremely detailed (who, what, where and when).
The Operational Plan can be subdivided into two basic forms which include the single-use plan and the standing plans. A single-use plan is developed to carry out a course of action that is not likely to be repeated in the future. These plans are used once to achieve unique objectives for the business. An example of this is when a business has a particular one off event coming up, they may have a single-use plan to cover everything in relation to this event.
In addition, the standing plan is developed for activities that occur repeatedly over a period of time in order for the business to help solve repetitive problems. An example of this would be a large business that has activities repeating all the and need to be structured in a way so that everyone knows what’s going on all the time.
What’s involved with determining the Operational plan of a business?
The level of detail and formality of the Operational Plan is going to vary depending on the size and complexity of the project, therefore there could be very little or a lot that is implicated with determining what is involved.
Risk Assessment, Financial requirements, stakeholder’s priorities, Equity, Socio-cultural issues and gender are all a part of the process. The most important part of determining the Operational Plan of a business is to think about the long term future of the business. Therefore it is important to think about the estimate of the project lifespan, sustainability and exit strategies. There are also many broad things to consider when shaping an Operational plan which include the following:
- Opening and Closing Time Ordering and Purchasing
- Opening and Closing Procedures Security
- Staffing and resource requirements Human resource management
- Incident Management Advertising and Marketing
- Risk Management Clear objectives
- Calendar of events A process for monitoring progress
Without this knowledge behind what is involved with the creation of an Operational business plan then the business itself will not operate efficiently impacting on the profitability.
Where does determining of Operational plans of a business fit into process of business management?
The determining of Operational plans of a business fit into process of business management on a daily basis. It determines the daily procedures and running of the business and protocol which should be practiced and exercised often, if not every day.
Business management in structured around the Operational plan therefore without the plans put in place the business isn’t going to succeed. In order to manage a business it requires both single-use plans and standing plans.
How do operational plan of a business impact on different areas of the business?
Operational Plans of a business have a positive influence on different areas of the business. The plan that is put in place help set the goals for the business and achieve particular objectives and targets. It impacts positively on the operational side as well as the physical side in regards to staffing, how the business looks and procedures on a daily basis. Operational Plans are a great way to ensure all areas of the business are being targeted in a constructive way.
What terms are used when determining the Operational plans of a business?
There are many terms that are associated with determining the Operational plans of a business which include the following:
- Clear Objectives Processes
- Activities to be delivered Progress
- Quality standard
- Desired Outcomes
These are all broad terms that are usually associated with determining the Operational plans of a business. All of them focus on the key objectives and goals that the company needs to strive for in order to succeed.
Where can I find more information about an Operational plan of a business?
- 1. Management Fundamental: Concepts, Applications, Skill Development By Robert Lussier http://books.google.com.au/booksid=iekGAAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
- 2. Operational Plan Alison Job, December 21, 2012 http://www.entrepreneurmag.co.za/advice/business-leadership/setting-up-systems/operational-plan/
- 3. The difference between Business, Operational and Strategic Planning Kristin Arnold http://www.extraordinaryteam.com/the-difference-between-business-operational-strategic-planning/
Who would most benefit from this knowledge?
The articles that were gathered all target people with no experience in this area as well as existing workers wanting to learn about some missing knowledge gaps in this area. The job level that this knowledge is most needed is primarily for the business staff, team leaders and senior management. It is important for all of them to recognise what is required and how the Operational business plans will be presented. It is important information for them to understand however it is mainly focused towards senior management.
Many organisations would find this information relevant to them especially small to medium enterprises, corporations and Non-profit organisations. Everyone running a business, whether it is a large or small company needs to know the fundamentals about having a business plan of some sort. All of them would find this information relevant to them as they all should have a direction they are heading and goals they are wanting to achieve.