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Write Your Business Plan

How to List Personnel and Materials in Your Business Plan Manufacturers must show the labor and resources needed to run their business. Here's what you need to know.

By Eric Butow

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This is part 11 / 12 of Write Your Business Plan: Section 5: Organizing Operations and Finances series.

Manufacturers combine labor and materials to produce products. Any problems with these critical inputs spell trouble for your business and its backers. Business plan readers look for solid systems to ensure that personnel and materials are appropriately abundant.

    For this reason, your plan should show that you have adequate, reliable sources of supply for the materials you need to build your products. If you are working with suppliers in other parts of the world, show that they are reliable and that you have established a system to make such international production run smoothly. A global marketplace means more opportunities to find the materials or products you need and new markets for sales. This can be impressive to your readers.

    Related: The Main Objectives of a Business Plan

    However, you need to define and provide the details of how your business will benefit from being a part of the global marketplace. Even if you are not planning to actively pursue global partnerships, buy from vendors around the globe, or market to customers in other countries, you must address the possibility of international sales if you are selling via your website.

    Estimate your needs for materials and describe the agreements with suppliers, including the length and terms you have arranged to fulfill those needs. You may also give the backgrounds of your major suppliers and show that you have backup sources available should problems develop.

    Related: What Equipment and Facilities to Include in Your Business Plan

    You'll first need to estimate the number and type of people you will require to run your plan. Startups can do this by looking at competitors' plants or by relying on the founders' prior experience at other companies. Existing firms can extrapolate what they'll need to expand from current operations.

    Next, show that you can reasonably expect to be able to hire what you need. Look at local labor pools, unemployment rates, and wage levels using information from chambers of commerce or similar entities. If you plan to import sizable numbers of workers, check out housing availability and build an expense for moving costs into your budget.

    Related: How to Craft a Business Plan That Will Turn Investors' Heads

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