operations center is the main place where most or all of your business is done. This can be your home office, garage or an outbuilding. Where you will operate your business is one of your first operations decisions.
How will you make the products or provide the services of your proposed business? This depends, of course, on the kinds of products or services you plan to provide. These may fall under service business operations, web business operations, or some other business operations center category.
In developing your business operations consider your background interests and skills. Do you have production skills or service experience? What skills or experience are mentioned in your most recent resume? Do you have knowledge of computers, machine tools, personnel management, physical therapy or massage, medical care, or some other areas? Can you see how you can turn these into a home business?
Consider people that you know who have similar skills and work from home. Often they will be happy to talk with you about how they got into their business, any difficulties, the advantages, any equipment required, and other factors.
Another source of knowledge of an industry or type of business is retired persons. They may be willing to discuss how to start a new business using something like or nearly like the type of business in which they previously worked. This tactic may also work with those who have changed occupations and are willing to discuss their previous work knowledge.
You may want to keep these resource people in mind for the time when you can use part time or full time employees.
Another technique is to style
your business after a business already operating successfully. You may find that partly copying the
operation methods of a business is easier for you than starting from a point of
zero knowledge. You can improve your business operations as you become established.
Do you already have production or service equipment to put into your business operations center? If your business concept will require a computer and other office equipment, a vehicle, and tools or devices of some type, do you already have most of what is needed? What expense will you have in buying any needed equipment?
You will also need to have sources of components and supplies, if you are producing a product. How will you get these parts? Is a local source of supply available? All the above questions deal with what are business plan operations. They should be put in a business plan. We will detail this later.
Linda W., an acquaintance, makes
gift baskets and sells them to corporate customers. She does all her assembly at home (the kitchen table is the business operations center) and then
delivers the finished products to her customers and collects her fees. She has found good sources for all the
components she uses.
John P. operates a personnel agency from his home. He has 3 employees and had to buy office furniture, computers, software and other items over the 13 years he has run his business. At first, when he started his business, it was just him and a computer with office software, and a chair and desk in his den. He had all that to begin with, but had to develop forms and methods.
He didn’t have previous
experience in this business, so he had to learn this all from scratch. He
talked with friends and networked with others to develop his first operating
methods, forms and office setup. His business operations center is in his home spare bedroom.
This is a general list to help you plan and ask yourself business operations center questions about your proposed business. This list is concerned with business operations and does not cover marketing, which is detailed on another page.
It is essential to be honest with yourself as you go through this list. Try to be well informed so you can accurately complete the items in this list. You can get info directly from competitors, other experts, online and other research to get a good idea of costs, difficulties, and additional factors to consider.
If you are able to talk freely with a competitor or business operator who is honest and open with you, this process is much quicker and simpler. With direct or related experience in your proposed business type they ought to know the answers to most of the questions below.
We have used the word “products” below to mean products or services.
Write down your answers to the following questions. Later you can include this in a business plan as the operation section of your business plan.
What are your proposed products? Describe.
What office equipment (including computer equipment) will you need?
How will your products be made or assembled? Describe.
What production equipment, if any, will you need? List & describe.
What will this equipment cost?
How will your products be sold and distributed? Describe.
How will products be delivered to customers?
What equipment will be needed for distribution? List.
How will you operate daily? What will you do daily or weekly?
When you are finished working with operations go to the 3rd decision item Who will you sell to?
Or return to the previous 1st decision item What will your business do?