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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. Put the Process List into order. Think about the flow of your business. Which process comes first and which processes logically follow? For example, if you have a tow truck business: your list may look like this:
    1. Finance (get funding)
    2. Product Development (buy a truck, provide services, equipment, tools)
    3. Manufacturing (maintain the garage and tow truck)
    4. Sales (make sales calls)
    5. Customer Service (answering texts, and emails)
    6. Marketing (getting referrals from friends)
    7. Accounting/Payroll (paying yourself and the bookkeeper)
    8. Legal (risk management assistance)
  4. 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.
  5. Remember to add Key Milestones to each Process Description. These will come directly from your goals.
    1. For example, key milestones for your tow truck business might be:
    2. Tow at least five vehicles daily during each week (sales/marketing)
    3. Buy a second tow truck within 6 months (finance)
    4. Add a second tow truck driver within 6 months (human resources)
    5. Buy a commercial truck within 12 months (finance/product development)
  6. 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.

Product Development

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.

Administration/Human Resources

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

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.

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