Module 5: Leadership & Management Team
🎯 Our goal in this module is to determine how you will manage your team and all the work that needs to be done in order to operate your business.
The reality of running your own business is that you will be assigning tasks, making important decisions, and working with people both inside and outside of your company—just about every day.
If, or when you have other people working with you inside your organization, you will need to have some way of organizing the work, sharing the workload, and leading motivating your team.
You have already sorted out the major tasks to be done in order to launch and operate your business in the Marketing and Operations sections of your Business Plan.
For now, just organize the work in a way that makes sense to you, and then you can modify and adapt it if needed as your business grows and you gain more experience and insight. At this stage of “pre-launch”, you can start with something simple, like this for example:
Match the various jobs to be done in your operations to whichever category that you feel they fit best.
For example, sales and customer service might go under “Marketing”; website design & maintenance could go under “IT”; payroll under “Finance & Accounting”.
Regarding salaries and wages for employees, a good place to start will be to go to one of the major employment agency websites and see what the pay range is for the different job categories that you will need.
Glassdoor, Indeed, and dozens of other job search companies have this data available online for free.
Regardless of what you decide, it’s very helpful to create a visual representation of how you plan to organize your business, both for personal reference and for showing future employees/co-founders when they join your team.
This will be your “organizational chart”.
We have created a simple chart template for you to use, but you can also Google
“free organizational chart templates” to find a different template that you prefer or a user-friendly software service to enable you to design your own from scratch.
Or, you can just draw your own chart on a sheet of paper or a poster board.
Whatever you choose, this step should take no more than 30 minutes.
So, how will you make sure that all the daily work required to operate your business is getting done and that your team is highly motivated?
If you are by yourself as the sole founder of your business, and you are not planning to hire anyone for a while, then it will fall to you to operate your business and ensure that the work is being done on time and up to standards.
You’ll be responsible for keeping yourself highly motivated.
If you have co-founders, you’ll be able to share tasks and responsibilities between one another.
Write it down and make sure that all co-founders agree, and then follow this process.
Regardless of how you choose to manage your business, it will be important to create and communicate clear expectations for each job.
You will also need to establish performance criteria for each team member.
Everyone needs to know what work has to be done and what is expected of them. Providing real-time feedback will enable team members to stay on course or to get back on course quickly.
If your team is small in the beginning—up to six people or so—then you should be able to interact with everyone on a regular basis to make sure the work is flowing well and that your team members are all rowing in the same direction and your business is on course. No need to add layers of “management”.
You can refine and improve your personal leadership style in the same way you modify and tweak your product/service and business model—get feedback from your team and people you work with and then make changes if needed.
Your Advisory Board
Before we move on to your Financials, I want to suggest that you think about including an Advisory Board as part of your team to provide you with perspective, act as a sounding board for you as you are considering strategic options, help identify opportunities for growth, and much more.
You have already met a number of industry insiders and potential customers during your primary research, and you will be meeting many more as you launch and start running your business.
If you have high respect for any of these people and feel you have a good rapport, then you could invite them to join you as an advisor.
In the beginning, you might start with a very informal relationship with your insiders, where you simply ask them if they would be willing to let you bounce some ideas off them from time to time and get their advice as you are finding your way through building your business.
I suggest that you don’t pay your insiders in the beginning.
There are plenty of excellent, experienced, capable people out there who would be happy to help you out just because they sincerely care about you and your business idea.
They will understand that you are in “startup” mode. They won’t ask for compensation and would not accept compensation even if you offered it.
Find these people.
You can buy them a coffee and maybe on occasion, lunch. See how things go for a few months. If it’s working well, you can formalize the relationship—including compensation—later down the road.
Create your Leadership & Management section.
Now go to Leadership & Management section in our Business Plan Core Template and write out your narrative.
(Click each triangle toggle to view steps)
Based on the first-year projections that you made in your Operations section, write a short introductory paragraph with an overview of what your business will look like at launch in terms of the jobs to be done and people needed to perform those jobs.
Then, explain if/how this will change as your business grows over the first year—in terms of jobs and team members.
Create an organizational chart for your first year of business showing the categories of tasks/operations that you will need to fulfill.
Make sure to add the names of your management team to your organizational chart (if you are not launching your business on your own).
You can use our example above for reference.
You could also include photos (head shots) on your organizational chart, if you want to make it more personable.
Introduce the management team you plan to launch with.
This could be just you, or it could be you and your co-founders, plus any others who will be on your team at the time your business opens.
For each team member, include a photo, title, one-two sentence biography, and a one-sentence job description.
If you plan to hire management at launch, or if you intend to add management during the first year but you haven’t found the right person or people yet, just describe the kind of person/people that you are looking for and what their responsibilities will be.
You can add a short paragraph about your leadership style and your management structure here, if you wish.
If you plan to have an Advisory Board and know who your insiders will be, provide a photo (head shot) and a sentence or two of biography for each member, similar to how you introduced your Management Team.
All this should take no more than a day or two to think through and write up.
Your narrative for this section should be about two pages long (depending on the size of your team).
Business Plan Core Template
A no-frills Business Plan template in Google Sheets. (Created by our Team)
Wages & SalariesHiring Employees
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Wages & SalariesHiring Employees
PaidFree Version Available
Wages & Salaries
PaidFree Trial Available