Your LivePlan Small Business Plan – Assembling Your A-Team

PART OF PROPOSITION 2: DEVELOP A PLAN
The subject of this section of your LivePlan small business plan is extremely important if you are looking for outside financing. Investors and lenders are typically betting on your business’s team as much, if not more, than they are on your business’s product or service.
Your LivePlan Small Business Plan - Assembling Your A-Team

On the flip end, you may not think it is important to document information about your team if you are starting a small business and will be doing everything yourself in the beginning.

However, documenting your vision for a team, both in its current and future states, is a good idea in just about any situation.

In this post I will explore why and what your small business should consider when it comes to describing your team.

Vince Lombardi was a pro football player and coach, best known for leading the Green Bay Packers to multiple super bowl championships.

Management Team

This section will vary widely depending on the size of your Company and who your audience is.  

If you are starting your business and have partners or will hire a fair number of employees, you will want to list the names and roles of any partners and any key employees and describe their position.

If you are writing the plan to secure financing from investors or a bank, you will want to describe the qualifications of the key individuals in your Company.  

As I mentioned in the opening, most investors believe they are investing in the management team of a business just as much, if not more, than they are in the business idea.  

So, if you are submitting your plan to investors or bankers, sell yourself and the rest of the management team in this section by clearly and concisely describing why you are the team that will take the business to where you want it to go.

On the other hand, if you are a “solopreneur” who is funding your business, are the only one running the business or have one or two employees, and are writing this business plan for yourself, this section can be as formal or as informal as you would like.

I recommend completing this section either way.

Even if you are writing this LivePlan for yourself, being able to articulate why you are the best person to run your business is a good idea.

The E-Myth

One recommendation I would make no matter which of these categories you fall under is to employ the advice in the book The EMyth Revisited by Michael Gerber.

If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.

In the book, Gerber recommends that all businesses map out all the positions their business requires currently and will require as it grows.  

If you are starting out and you are the only person in your business, you will be wearing many hats; bookkeeper, marketing manager, customer service specialist….the list goes on.  

Even if you have a few employees, each one will likely be filling multiple roles when you are first starting out.  

Take the time to map out a hierarchy of all the positions you believe your Company has and will have, even if you are filling them all in the beginning, and document what is required of the positions in a systemized way so that you can keep any growing pains to a minimum.  

As you grow, you can slowly fill these positions with other employees and it will make the process much easier for everyone involved.  

It is an excellent exercise you can perform outside of your LivePlan.  

Read more about it in The Emyth Revisited.

Advisors

You will need to rely on individuals outside of your business to achieve success.

For starters, most businesses rely on a bookkeeper if they don’t want to keep their books themselves and can’t afford to or don’t want to hire a full-time employee.  

In addition to a bookkeeper, most small businesses will need to partner up with a tax professional.  

While not required, especially if your business is small and not complicated, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is recommended for tax return preparation and consulting on higher level, more technical questions.  

The AICPA has a directory of state boards where you can search for licensed CPAs. 

Depending on your situation and the CPA’s practice, you may be able to obtain bookkeeping and CPA services from the same person or firm.  

In addition to a CPA, you should consult with a small business attorney to discuss legal issues, such as setting up your business’s legal structure (Partnership, LLC, Corporation), drafting a partnership or operating agreement, if applicable, and consulting on making sure you file the appropriate licenses and permits for your business.  

Some of these tasks may also be done by a CPA.  

You can search for small business attorneys here.

This trio of providers is needed by most small businesses.

Additionally, you will also likely have other outside advisors unique to you.

You may consult with experts in your industry or with people you’ve worked with before.

You may also have your own mentors.

Describe any outside advisors that will be used if they will have a material impact on your business and detail in what capacity they will be used in this section of your LivePlan.

Next Steps

I strongly believe that any great, meaningful business requires a visionary leader and a great supporting team to carry out the visionary’s mission.

Who do you plan to rely on to help carry out your vision?

You may have already hired specific individuals or have people in mind, or you may need to lay out the positions you will need to fill in the future if your business is starting really small.

Either way, documenting your plans and the qualifications of your team and advisors in the corresponding sections of your LivePlan will help keep you on track in accomplishing your goals.

Check out an example of this section in this free example LivePlan and then complete it for your business.

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