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 you are on your own in the beginning, you’ll be providing leadership and motivation to yourself and managing the workload alone :)
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.
Your next step will be to establish how you will manage all these tasks, who will do what, and who will be responsible for making sure that the work is getting done.
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.
Again, it’s not critical to get this perfect now—it will be easy to move things around and re-organize if you discover a better fit at any point in the future.
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.
The main thing is to create a visual representation of how you plan to organize tasks and delegate responsibilities.
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.
Important: If your co-founders will be involved in decision-making, be sure to create a clear and detailed process for how this will work.
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”.
Regarding Leadership: Make sure that your vision for your company is shared by your team, and then keep everyone motivated to realize that vision. Of course, this is easy advice to give, but this will be your fundamental role as the leader.
Suggestion: Develop your own leadership style based on your personality and who you are, rather than try to adopt someone else’s style.
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.
Suggestion: Start with no more than two or three insiders—maybe that’s all you will ever have.
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)
Scroll left-to-right across the table below to view all columns. Click on any item in the leftmost column to open that specific resource page.
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
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