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Making a Risk Management Plan for Your Business

It’s impossible to eliminate all business risk. Therefore, it’s essential for having a plan for its management. You’ll be developing one covering compliance, environmental, financial, operational and reputation risk management. These guidelines are for making a risk management plan for your business.

Developing Your Executive Summary

When you start the risk management plan with an executive summary, you’re breaking apart what it will be compromised of into easy to understand chunks. Even though this summary is the project’s high-level overview, the goal is describing the risk management plan’s approach and scope. In doing so, you’re informing all stakeholders regarding what to expect when they’re reviewing these plans so that they can set their expectations appropriately.

Who Are the Stakeholders and What Potential Problems Need Identifying?

During this phase of making the risk management plan, you’re going to need to have a team meeting. Every member of the team must be vocal regarding what they believe could be potential problems or risks. Stakeholders should also be involved in this meeting as well to help you collect ideas regarding what could become a potential risk. All who are participating should look at past projects, what went wrong, what is going wrong in current projects and what everyone hopes to achieve from what they learned from these experiences. During this session, you’ll be creating a sample risk management plan that begins to outline risk management standards and risk management strategies.

Evaluate the Potential Risks Identified

A myriad of internal and external sources can pose as risks including commercial, management and technical, for example. When you’re identifying what these potential risks are and have your list complete, the next step is organizing it according to importance and likelihood. Categorize each risk according to how it could impact your project. For example, does the risk threaten to throw off timelines or budgets? Using a risk breakdown structure is an effective way to help ensure all potential risks are effectively categorized and considered. Use of this risk management plan template keeps everything organized and paints a clear picture of everything you’re identifying.

Assign Ownership and Create Responses

It’s essential to ensure a team member is overseeing each potential risk. That way, they can jump into action should an issue occur. Those who are assigned a risk, as well as the project manager, should work as a team to develop responses before problems arise. That way, if there are issues, the person overseeing the risk can refer to the response that was predetermined.

Have a System for Monitoring

Having effective risk management companies plans includes having a system for monitoring. It’s not wise to develop a security risk management or compliance risk management plan, for example, without having a system for monitoring. What this means is there’s a system for monitoring in place to ensure risk doesn’t occur until the project is finished. In doing so, you’re ensuring no new risks will potentially surface. If one does, like during the IT risk management process, for example, your team will know how to react.


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How to Write an Operations Plan Section of your Business Plan

An Operations Plan Template

Free Operations Plan Template

Ayush Jalan

Operations Plan Section

Your business plan is an elaborate set of instructions stating how to run your business to achieve objectives and goals. Each section describes a part of the process of reaching your desired goal. Similarly, the operations plan section of your business plan explains the production and supply of your product.

An operations plan is formed to turn plans into actions. It uses the information you gathered from the analysis of the market , customers, and competitors mentioned in the previous parts of your business plan and allows for the execution of relevant strategies to achieve desired results.

Operations Plan Template

Need help writing an operations plan? Get our proven plan template.

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In this article, you will learn how to create an operations plan, its key elements, and an example to help get started drafting one for your business plan.

What Is an Operations Plan?

An operations plan is an in-depth description of your daily business activities centered on achieving the goals and objectives described in the previous sections of your business plan. It outlines the processes, activities, responsibilities of various departments and the timeframe of the execution.

The operations section of your business plan explains in detail the role of a team or department in the collective accomplishment of your goals. In other words, it’s a strategic allocation of physical, financial, and human resources toward reaching milestones within a specific timeframe.

A well-defined operational plan section of your business plan should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Who is responsible for a specific task or department?
  • What are the tasks that need to be completed?
  • Where will these operations take place?
  • When should the tasks be completed? What are the deadlines?
  • How will the tasks be performed? Is there a standard procedure?
  • How much is it going to cost to complete these tasks?

An Operations Plan Answers

How to Write an Operations Plan Section?

Creating an operational plan has two major stages, both addressing different aspects of your company. The first stage includes the work that has been done so far, whereas the second stage describes it in detail.

1. Development Phase

Development Phase

In this stage, you mention what you’ve done to get your business operations up and running. Explain what you aim to change and improvise in the processes. These are the elements your development section will contain:

Production workflow

: Explain all the steps involved in creating your product. This should be a highly informative, elaborate description of the steps. Here, you also mention any inefficiencies that exist and talk about the actions that need to be taken to tackle them.

Supply chains

Quality control, 2. manufacturing phase.

Manufacturing Phase

The development stage acquaints the reader with the functioning of your business, while the manufacturing stage describes the day-to-day operation.

This includes the following elements:

Outline of daily activities:

Tools and equipment:, special requirements:, raw materials:, productions:, feasibility:, why do you need an operations plan.

An operations plan is essentially an instruction manual about the workings of your business. It offers insight into your business operations. It helps investors assess your credibility and understand the structure of your operations and predict your financial requirements.

An operations plan reflects the real-time application of a business plan.

Internally, an operations plan works as a guide, which helps your employees and managers to know their responsibilities. It also helps them understand how to execute their tasks in the desired manner—all whilst keeping account of deadlines.

The operations plan helps identify and cut the variances between planned and actual performance and makes necessary changes. It helps you visualize how your operations affect revenue and gives you an idea of how and when you need to implement new strategies to maximize profits.

Advantages of Preparing an Operations Plan:

Offers clarity:, contains a roadmap:, sets a benchmark:, operations plan essentials.

Now that you have understood the contents of an operations plan and how it should be written, you can continue drafting one for your business plan. But before doing so, take a look at these key components you need to remember while creating your operational plan.

  • Your operations plan is fundamentally a medium for implementing your strategic plan. Hence, it’s crucial to have a solid strategic plan to write an effective operations plan.
  • Focus on setting SMART goals and prioritizing the most important ones. This helps you create a clear and crisp operations plan. Focusing on multiple goals will make your plan complicated and hard to implement.
  • To measure your goals, use leading indicators instead of lagging indicators. Leading indicators is a metric that helps you track your progress and predict when you will reach a goal. On the other hand, lagging indicators can only confirm a trend by taking the past as input but cannot predict the accomplishment of a goal.
  • It is essential to choose the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) . It is a good practice to involve all your teams while you decide your KPIs.
  • An operations plan should effectively communicate your goals, metrics, deadlines, and all the processes.

Now you’re all set to write an operations plan section for your business plan . To give you a headstart, we have created an operations plan example.

Operations Plan Example

Operations plan by a book publishing house

Track and Accomplish Goals With an Operations Plan

Drafting the operations plan section of your business plan can be tricky due to the uncertainties of the business environment and the risks associated with it. Depending on variables like your market analysis, product development, supply chain, etc., the complexity of writing an operations plan will vary.

The core purpose here is to put all the pieces together to create a synergy effect and get the engine of your business running. Create an effective operations plan to convey competence to investors and clarity to employees.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What role does the operations plan play in securing funding for a business.

The operations plan defines the clear goals of your business and what actions will be taken on a daily basis to reach them. So, investors need to know where your business stands, and it will prove the viability of the goals helping you in getting funded.

What are the factors affecting the operations plan?

  • The mission of the company
  • Goals to be achieved
  • Finance and resources your company will need

Can an operations plan be created for both start-up and established businesses?

Yes, both a startup and a small business needs an operations plan to get a better idea of the roadmap they want for their business.

About the Author

Ayush                                                        Jalan

Ayush is a writer with an academic background in business and marketing. Being a tech-enthusiast, he likes to keep a sharp eye on the latest tech gadgets and innovations. When he's not working, you can find him writing poetry, gaming, playing the ukulele, catching up with friends, and indulging in creative philosophies.

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How To Write the Operations Plan Section of the Business Plan

Susan Ward wrote about small businesses for The Balance for 18 years. She has run an IT consulting firm and designed and presented courses on how to promote small businesses.

operation segment in business plan example

Stage of Development Section

Production process section, the bottom line, frequently asked questions (faqs).

The operations plan is the section of your business plan that gives an overview of your workflow, supply chains, and similar aspects of your business. Any key details of how your business physically produces goods or services will be included in this section.

You need an operations plan to help others understand how you'll deliver on your promise to turn a profit. Keep reading to learn what to include in your operations plan.

Key Takeaways

  • The operations plan section should include general operational details that help investors understand the physical details of your vision.
  • Details in the operations plan include information about any physical plants, equipment, assets, and more.
  • The operations plan can also serve as a checklist for startups; it includes a list of everything that must be done to start turning a profit.

In your business plan , the operations plan section describes the physical necessities of your business's operation, such as your physical location, facilities, and equipment. Depending on what kind of business you'll be operating, it may also include information about inventory requirements, suppliers, and a description of the manufacturing process.

Keeping focused on the bottom line will help you organize this part of the business plan.

Think of the operating plan as an outline of the capital and expense requirements your business will need to operate from day to day.

You need to do two things for the reader of your business plan in the operations section: show what you've done so far to get your business off the ground and demonstrate that you understand the manufacturing or delivery process of producing your product or service.

When you're writing this section of the operations plan, start by explaining what you've done to date to get the business operational, then follow up with an explanation of what still needs to be done. The following should be included:

Production Workflow

A high-level, step-by-step description of how your product or service will be made, identifying the problems that may occur in the production process. Follow this with a subsection titled "Risks," which outlines the potential problems that may interfere with the production process and what you're going to do to negate these risks. If any part of the production process can expose employees to hazards, describe how employees will be trained in dealing with safety issues. If hazardous materials will be used, describe how these will be safely stored, handled, and disposed.

Industry Association Memberships

Show your awareness of your industry's local, regional, or national standards and regulations by telling which industry organizations you are already a member of and which ones you plan to join. This is also an opportunity to outline what steps you've taken to comply with the laws and regulations that apply to your industry. 

Supply Chains

An explanation of who your suppliers are and their prices, terms, and conditions. Describe what alternative arrangements you have made or will make if these suppliers let you down.

Quality Control

An explanation of the quality control measures that you've set up or are going to establish. For example, if you intend to pursue some form of quality control certification such as ISO 9000, describe how you will accomplish this.

While you can think of the stage of the development part of the operations plan as an overview, the production process section lays out the details of your business's day-to-day operations. Remember, your goal for writing this business plan section is to demonstrate your understanding of your product or service's manufacturing or delivery process.

When writing this section, you can use the headings below as subheadings and then provide the details in paragraph format. Leave out any topic that does not apply to your particular business.

Do an outline of your business's day-to-day operations, including your hours of operation and the days the business will be open. If the business is seasonal, be sure to say so.

The Physical Plant

Describe the type, site, and location of premises for your business. If applicable, include drawings of the building, copies of lease agreements, and recent real estate appraisals. You need to show how much the land or buildings required for your business operations are worth and tell why they're important to your proposed business.

The same goes for equipment. Besides describing the equipment necessary and how much of it you need, you also need to include its worth and cost and explain any financing arrangements.

Make a list of your assets , such as land, buildings, inventory, furniture, equipment, and vehicles. Include legal descriptions and the worth of each asset.

Special Requirements

If your business has any special requirements, such as water or power needs, ventilation, drainage, etc., provide the details in your operating plan, as well as what you've done to secure the necessary permissions.

State where you're going to get the materials you need to produce your product or service and explain what terms you've negotiated with suppliers.

Explain how long it takes to produce a unit and when you'll be able to start producing your product or service. Include factors that may affect the time frame of production and describe how you'll deal with potential challenges such as rush orders.

Explain how you'll keep  track of inventory .


Describe any product testing, price testing, or prototype testing that you've done on your product or service.

Give details of product cost estimates.

Once you've worked through this business plan section, you'll not only have a detailed operations plan to show your readers, but you'll also have a convenient list of what needs to be done next to make your business a reality. Writing this document gives you a chance to crystalize your business ideas into a clear checklist that you can reference. As you check items off the list, use it to explain your vision to investors, partners, and others within your organization.

What is an operations plan?

An operations plan is one section of a company's business plan. This section conveys the physical requirements for your business's operations, including supply chains, workflow , and quality control processes.

What is the main difference between the operations plan and the financial plan?

The operations plan and financial plan tackle similar issues, in that they seek to explain how the business will turn a profit. The operations plan approaches this issue from a physical perspective, such as property, routes, and locations. The financial plan explains how revenue and expenses will ultimately lead to the business's success.

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Business Plan - Operations Section

Operations Section of the Business Plan

operation segment in business plan example

Written by Jason Gordon

Updated at August 5th, 2023

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What goes into developing an operational Plan?

All of the components that allow your business to create value.

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The operations portion of the business plan serves two purposes:

  • Allow you to take a holistic approach to your business, and
  • Provide interested third parties with a description of your business.

The operational plan outlines the particular components that allow your business to create value.Below, we discuss the primary components of the business operations plan, including: a description of the product produced, the business location, personnel, inventory, suppliers, payment processing (credit policies and accounts receivable/payable). You will describe each of these sections in detail to the extent that it is relevant or applicable to your business. You will need to outline where are you in the creation of your business. Specifically, what steps have you taken to put your business in motion? Now, what do you have left to accomplish?  

Back to:  Entrepreneurship

What is Product or Service Development?

How do you plan to make your product or carry out your service? Start with an outline of the process for delivering value to your customers. You will need to account for the necessary production activity at each stage. Outline the day-to-day activity necessary to carry out your business.

  • Production Process/How Services Carried Out:  Here you should outline the process of manufacturing your product. If you provide a service, you should outline all of the moving parts and individuals necessary to carry out the service. Provide a generally checklist or flowchart for delivering value.
  • Production Timeline : Explain how long it takes to produce a unit, and when you'll be able to start producing your product or service. Include factors that may affect the time frame of production and how you'll deal with potential problems, such as rush orders.
  • Production Feasibility : You will want to give an overview of any research or testing you have done to prove the feasibility of producing your product in accordance with your operational plans. This could include Market Research, Questionnaires, Competitor Process Analysis, Beta Testing, etc.
  • Vulnerability : You should identify any potential problems that could arise in the production process. How will you handle any such issues? What would be the effect on the business?
  • Quality Control : How will you maintain oversight of the production or service provision process? Develop a plan for supervision of the process.
  • Customer Service : What is your plan for customer service? This includes sales communication, return products, and customer follow-up.

Equipment and Other Assets

  • Necessary Equipment : What equipment do you need to carry out the basic operations?
  • Current Assets : You may already have some of the necessary equipment to carry out operations. Identify these assets and explain what asset requirements they fulfill.
  • Equipment Priority : Some equipment is may be desirable but not a necessity. Ascribe a level of priority to obtaining it. The priority should be higher depending upon the likelihood of the equipment to increase production or efficiency.It may also be helpful to outline the equipment output, required maintenance/repair, and expected life.
  • Equipment Pricing : Outline a projected cost for purchasing (new or used) and renting the necessary equipment. You need to explain your rationale for your decision.
  • Equipment Financing : Explain any financing arrangements. Make a list of your assets, such as land, buildings, inventory, furniture, equipment, and vehicles. Include legal descriptions and the worth of each asset.

Special Requirements

Are there any special requirements or situational factors necessary for carrying on your business? In this section, you will list any requirements that are unique to your business and would fall outside general expect ions. This could include special assets, economic conditions, legal conditions, etc.  

What qualities do you need in a location?

  • Drawings of the building, copies of lease agreements, and/or recent real estate appraisals.
  • What is the expected value of the land or buildings required for your business operations?
  • Explain the significance of each physical location to your business.
  • Amount of Space : Explain the use of space. Have a plan for space demands with the expected growth.
  • Type of Building : Justify your decision to rent vs. buy, and a class of facility.
  • Zoning : Make certain the anticipated activity meets the applicable zoning requirements. If not, explain a plan to request a variance or petition the municipality for re-zoning.
  • Power and other utilities : What will be your specific power needs. Have estimates for the cost of power and the resources/regulatory approvals necessary to obtain such funding. A strong plan will discuss preliminary data and on-going discussions with the available utility providers.
  • Access : What type of access do you need for your location? Detail how customers, employees, logistics personnel, etc., will access your business. Ex. Do you need easy walkin access? Is it convenient for customers and suppliers?
  • Construction : Will you build or rent a building? You should explain the benefits of one over the other. This justification should include a cost/benefit analysis of each option.
  • Costs : Determine a preliminary figure for costs associated with building/occupying the intended location. Examples of expenses include: rent/mortgage, maintenance, utilities, property taxes, insurance, construction/remodeling, etc. These numbers will become part of your financial plan.
  • Hours of Operation : Indicate and give a justification for your intended hours of operation. Does your location support these hours of operation? Does it conflict with other local or resident businesses?

In this section, you provide an overview of the key personnel involved in the business and the types of positions that will be necessary. Basically, you are going to tell who will do what. Describe whether you intend to hire new personnel or contract with independent contractors to carry out business functions. You will need to account for the personnel requirements as the business grows.

  • Startup Team : Who is part of your startup team? What will be their primary area of responsibility? Describe what you understand their role and duties to be and explain how they are qualified or competent for these duties.
  • Types of Personnel : Give a general description of the main employees or positions that you will need to fill. This includes skilled, unskilled, and professionals. As part of this process, your will outline who performs the specific tasks at each stage of operations. Some of these positions may be filled by independent contractors who render services on a fee basis. If so, document the nature of these anticipated relationships. At first, there will only be a few positions. Try to determine the types of personnel that will be needed as the business grows.
  • Number of employees : Construct a timeline depicting the growth in personnel in accordance with the projected business growth.
  • Procedural Protocol : Begin by describing the procedures necessary to effectively carry out each position or function of the business. This is necessary to maintain operational stability as well as consistency in operations. This could include procedural steps or written manuals for carrying out individual stages of the operations.
  • Methods for Recruiting Employees : This is most important for professional service or high-tech companies. You will need to have a plan for recruiting new service providers and skilled professionals. This will first require establishing job descriptions and desired employee skills. Note: A good place to start is documented any established relationship with local universities with technical programs and professional schools.
  • Personnel Training : How will you conduct the training? What will be your plan for preparing new employees? Do you have a continuation plan in the event you lose a key employee? Be careful not to place too much operational importance on any single individual without developing a training plan for replacements.
  • Compensation : Along with the description of personnel and timeline for employment, you will want to associate an estimated cost at each period in time. As such, you will need to devise a projected compensation structure for employees. It is important to develop a realistic plan that fits the companies revenue projections and incentivizes the employee to perform and remain with the business. The startup team or key leadership compensation (including benefits and equity options) is often the most difficult to structure.

Inventory & Materials

In this section, you explain where you are going to receive your inventory or the materials necessary to produce your product or carry out your service. You should indicate your suppliers or manufacturers and outline the nature or terms of your agreement.

  • Inventory : What type of inventory (finished product, supplies, raw materials, etc.) will you keep on hand and where will you get it?
  • Cost/Value of Inventory : You will need to use the projections for the cost of inventory in your financial projections. A key provision in the pre-money valuation (pre-equity funding) of your business will be an accurate assessment of the value of assets, including inventory.
  • Inventory Turn-Over : At what rate will you need to restock your inventory? This is an important figure used in assessing the sales strength of the business. You will want to make a special note about how the inventory turn-over compares to industry averages.
  • Special Inventory Requirements : You will also want to outline a plan for dealing with inventory requirements seasonally. This includes a plan for lead-time ordering.
  • Inventory Control : You will have to establish a plan for monitoring and controlling inventory. This should be incorporated into an employee/personnel description.

Production Costs

All of the above information will be combined as an estimate of production costs to include in your financials. You may want to maintain separate figures regarding the cost of goods and the cost of labor. You may also want to create a third category of production costs for non-recurring, incidental costs associated with operations.  

Now is the place to provide detailed information about the companies/individuals who will supply you with the inventory/materials outlined above.

  • Supplier Background : You should include background information on the supplier. This lends credibility to the stability/dependability of their service.
  • Inventory Details : Attribute the type, amount, and cost of inventory supplied by each supplier. This should include a description of any anticipated fluctuations in the requirements or costs of the inventory. For example, you will want to outline the spikes in seasonal cost.
  • Payment Terms : Outline the terms of performance of the supplier-purchaser relationship. What are the terms of payment? What are the terms of delivery?
  • Back-Up Plan :It is important to have a back-up plan in the event you lose a supplier or the supplier is unable to meet for operational needs. This could include options of alternative suppliers. This avoids placing too much operational importance on third parties.

Payment Policies

In this section, you will outline how you will be compensated for the goods you sell or services you provide.

  • Issuing Credit : Are you planning on accepting in-house credit? You will want to look at industry standards and the payment policies of your competitors. Don't forget, your payment policies can be a point of differentiation between you and those competitors. What will be the terms of payment for customers who purchase on account?
  • Determining Who Can Purchase on Credit : You will have to have some established policies in place to determine who can purchase on credit and under what terms. Remember, you will have to comply with applicable laws prior to carrying out a background check. Also, extending credit could implicate fairness or anti-discrimination in lending laws.
  • Terms of Credit : What will be the term of payment? If you extend credit you will need to decide on the terms of repayment and the interest, if any, attributable to giving the credit. What will be the rate of interest charged and penalties for late payment? Will there be a discount for early payment?
  • Security Interests : Will you take a security interest in the goods sold? If so, do you have a standard documenting these transactions?
  • Slow-Paying or Non-Paying Customers :You will need a policy for dealing with slowpaying customers. What process will you establish for reminding, urging, and possibly threatening customers to render payment? You should outline an escalating plan for requesting payment, such as making a phone call, sending a letter, using a collection agency, and hiring a collection attorney.
  • Credit Cards : If you accept commercial credit, doyou have a service provider to process the payment?
  • Costs of Extending Credit : Any time that you extend credit there will be a cost involved. The cost could be the risk of the purchaser not paying or it could be the cost of capital over the credit period. Regardless, you will need to build these costs into your financials. For example, there always needs to be some allowance for bad accounts.

Managing Your Accounts Payable

As part of the operations process, you may be in the role of a creditor to a servicer or supplier. You should develop a plan for payment of accounts owed. The key considerations in developing a payment plan include: maintaining positive relations with the supplier/servicer, optimizing the use of available cash. If the supplier/servicer offers a discount for early payment then you should consider whether this option is in your best interest. If your business would greatly benefit from making a payment toward the end of the available period, then it may be worth extending the payment obligation out.  

Legal Environment

Establishing and maintaining operations will require the crossing of numerous legal hurdles. You should describe the anticipated legal issues in advance and outline a plan for addressing them. Below are some sample, but common, legal issues.

  • Entity Selection and Formation : Outline your justification for choosing a given entity structure. Explanations should include: taxation, equity funding, and ownership and control.
  • Business License, Professional Licenses, Inspections, and Zoning Requirements : Identify all of the licensing requirements for carrying on your business. This includes the licensing of your business, personnel, property, etc.
  • Insurance and Bonding Requirements : Outline the requirement for bonding of professional insurance. You should indicate the plan for obtaining coverage, as well as the cost of such coverage.
  • Permits : Certain business activities in specific places require special permits. You must conduct the necessary background research on the legal requirements and provide a synopsis of how you will handle those requirements.
  • Workplace and Environmental Regulations : Outline a plan for the necessary workplace inspections and standards. These standards can drastically affect your construction plans and applicable costs. Environmental regulations include proper documentation and accountability for waste, waste and environmental surveys of the location, etc.
  • Employment Laws : Develop a plan for legal compliance with all employment laws. This includes hiring/firing procedures, employee benefits (Health Insurance, etc.), worker's compensation, affirmative action (if accept federal contracts), etc.
  • Taxation : Federal tax registration, state tax registration, estimated tax payments, employee payroll withholdings, sales tax registration and withholding, property tax, etc.
  • Protecting Intellectual Property : You will need to develop a plan for protecting and maintaining all applicable forms of intellectual property, including: trade secrets, trademarks, copyrights, and patents. In some cases, protecting your intellectual property can be very costly (such as patent filings). Account for these costs within the financials.

After working through this business plan section you will have a detailed operating plan and a comprehensive outline of what actions need to be taken next in developing the business.

Related Topics

  • Business Plan, Part 1 (Outline Overview)
  • Business Plan, Part 2 (The Executive Summary)
  • What is a Mission Statement?
  • What is a Values Statement?
  • Setting Company Goals
  • Business Plan, Part 4 (Market Analysis)
  • Business Plan, Part 5 (Competitive Analysis)
  • Business Plan, Part 6 (Marketing Plan)
  • Business Plan, Part 7 (Operations)
  • Business Plan, Part 8  (Management and Organization)
  • Business Plan, Part 9 (Financial Projections)
  • Business Plan, Part 10 (Appendices)
  • Business Plan , (Final Modifications)

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  • Grasshopper

Operations Plan

  • Lesson Materials Operations Plan Worksheet
  • Completion time About 40 minutes

The operations section of your business plan is where you explain – in detail – you company's objectives, goals, procedures, and timeline. An operations plan is helpful for investors, but it's also helpful for you and employees because it pushes you to think about tactics and deadlines.

In the previous course, you outlined your company's strategic plan, which answers questions about your business mission. An operational plan outlines the steps you'll take to complete your business mission.

Your operations plan should be able to answer the following:

  • Who – The personnel or departments who are in charge of completing specific tasks.
  • What – A description of what each department is responsible for.
  • Where – The information on where daily operations will be taking place.
  • When –The deadlines for when the tasks and goals are to be completed.
  • How much – The cost amount each department needs to complete their tasks.

In this session, we explain each item to include in your operations plan.

Goals and Objectives

The key to an operations plan is having a clear objective and goal everyone is focused on completing. In this section of your plan, you'll clearly state what your company's operational objective is.

Your operational objective is different than your company's overall objective. In Course One , you fleshed out what your strategic objective was. Your operational objective explains how you intend to complete your strategic objective.

In order to create an efficient operational objective, think SMART:

  • Specific – Be clear on what you want employees to achieve.
  • Measurable – Be able to quantify the goal in order to track progress.
  • Attainable & Realistic – It's great to be ambitious but make sure you aren't setting your team up for failure. Create a goal that everyone is motivated to complete with the resources available.
  • Timely – Provide a deadline so everyone has a date they are working towards.

Operations plan goals and objectives

Different departments will have different operational objectives. However, each department objective should help the company reach the main objective. In addition, operational objectives change; the objectives aren't intended to be permanents or long term. The timeline should be scheduled with your company's long-term goals in mind.

Let's look at the following example for a local pizza business objective:

  • Strategic objective : To deliver pizza all over Eastern Massachusetts.
  • Technology department operational objective : To create a mobile app by January 2017 to offer a better user experience.
  • Marketing department operational objective : To increase website visitors by 50% by January 2017 by advertising on radio, top local food websites, and print ads.
  • Sales department operational objective : To increase delivery sales by 30%, by targeting 3 of Massachusetts's largest counties.

Sales department operational objective: To increase delivery sales by 30%, by targeting 3 of Massachusetts's largest counties.

Production Process

After you create your objectives, you have to think strategically on how you're going to meet them. In order to do this, each department (or team) needs to have all the necessary resources for the production process.

Resources you should think about include the following:

  • Suppliers – do you have a supplier (or more) to help you produce your product?
  • Technology team: app developing software
  • Marketing team: software licenses for website analytical tools
  • Sales team: headsets, phone systems or virtual phone system technology
  • Cost – what is the budget for each department?

In addition to the production process, you'll also need to describe in detail your operating process. This will demonstrate to investors that you know exactly how you want your business to run on a day-to-day basis.

Items to address include:

  • Location – where are employees working? Will you need additional facilities?
  • Work hours – will employees have a set schedule or flexible work schedule?
  • Personnel – who is in charge of making sure department tasks are completed?

Operations plan timeline

Creating a timeline with milestones is important for your new business. It keeps everyone focused and is a good tracking method for efficiency. For instance, if milestones aren’t being met, you'll know that it's time to re-evaluate your production process or consider new hires.

Below are common milestones new businesses should plan for.

When you completed your Management Plan Worksheet in the previous course, you jotted down which key hires you needed right away and which could wait. Make sure you have a good idea on when you would like those key hires to happen; whether it’s after your company hits a certain revenue amount or once a certain project takes off.

Production Milestones

Production milestones keep business on track. These milestones act as "checkpoints" for your overall department objectives. For instance, if you want to create a new app by the end of the year, product milestones you outline might include a beta roll out, testing, and various version releases.

Other product milestones to keep in mind:

  • Design phase
  • Product prototype phase
  • Product launch
  • Version release

Market Milestones

Market milestones are important for tracking efficiency and understanding whether your operations plan is working. For instance, a possible market milestone could be reaching a certain amount of clients or customers after a new product or service is released.

A few other market milestones to consider:

  • Gain a certain amount of users/clients by a certain time
  • Signing partnerships
  • Running a competitive analysis
  • Performing a price change evaluation

Financial Milestones

Financial milestones are important for tracking business performance. It's likely that a board of directors or investors will work with you on creating financial milestones. In addition, in startups, it's common that financial milestones are calculated for 12 months.

Typical financial milestones include:

  • Funding events
  • Revenue and profit goals
  • Transaction goals

In summary, your operations plan gives you the chance to show investors you know how you want your business to run. You know who you want to hire, where you want to work, and when you expect projects to be completed.

Download the attached worksheet and start putting your timelines and milestones together on paper.


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14+ Operational Plan for Business Plan Examples – PDF, Word, Docs

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Business Operational Plan Template

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Operational Plan Template

operational plan template

Startup Operational Plan Template

startup operational plan template

Operational Plan and Budget for Business Plan Example

operational plan and budget for business plan examples

Operational Plan for Business Plan Elements Example

operational plan for business plan elements example 01

Operational Business Plan Example

operational business plan example 01

What Is an Operational Plan for Business Plan?

Annual operational plan for a business example.

annual operational plan for a business example 01

Farm Operational Plan for Business Plan Example

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Bank Group Operational Plan for Business Plan Example

bank group operational plan for business plan example 01

Key Elements of an Operational Plan for Business Plan Example

  • The desired output of the upper management and the operational guidelines that the workforce can refer to so that they can provide all their deliverable needed during operations.
  • The strategies and tactics that you will incorporate in your business operations for you to yield better results and return of investments.
  • The tasks, obligations, and responsibilities that are needed to be done in a timely manner to ensure that specific operational goals and objectives will be realized.
  • The particular entities who will be assigned to take ownership of the incorporation of strategies or the execution of call-to-actions.
  • The timeline that will serve as guide within the entire execution of the operational plan for business plan.
  • The time frames or duration where particular operational activities are expected to be done, completed, and/or provided.
  • The amount that will be used for the implementation of the operational plan for business plan and the financial resources where the required budget will be coming from. You may also see event operational plan examples .
  • The performance indicators that can assess the quality of the results given by the workforce and other stakeholders with the help of the operational plan.

Operations and Maintenance Business Plan Draft Example

operations and maintenance business plan draft example 01

Business Plan Outline with a Thorough Operational Plan Example

business plan outline with a thorough operational plan example 1

Things That You Need to Focus on When Developing an Operational Plan for Business Plan

Food truck operational plan for business plan example.

food truck operational plan for business plan example 1

Business Planning: Operating Plan or Operations and Maintenance Plan

effective business planning operating plan or operations and maintenance plan example 1

Operational Plan for Business Plan Example

operational plan for business plan example 1

Guidelines and Instructions for an Operational Plan for a Business Plan Example

format guidelines and instructions for an operational plan for a business plan example 01

Tips and Guidelines for the Creation of an Operational Plan for Business Plan

More design, 9+ event operational plan examples, 9+ primary school operational plan examples, 9+ it operational plan examples, 9+ hospital operational plan examples, 9+ annual operational plan template examples, 9+ procurement strategy plan examples, 9+ website strategy plan examples, 9+ school strategic plan examples, 10+ sales strategic plan examples.


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What Is the Operations Segment of a Company?

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How to Improve Operating Profit Margin

How to manage labor & food costs, what is inbound logistics & manufacturing.

  • What Must a Firm Do to Maximize Profit Margins?
  • What Is Taking Inventory?

Before you understand what the operations segment or business segment of a company is, you need a thorough understanding of what operations and team operations are in business. Are you looking to expand your product offering? Perhaps you want to open a new branch for your business in a new market. Perhaps you want to find a way to make your customers loyal or make things more efficient overall, such as the manufacturing process and purchasing.

What Are Operations?

Operations are all about management. Management is how business works internally. Operations are meant to promote two main things in a business: effectiveness and efficiency. So when the operations segment of a business is doing its job properly, then the business turns out to be more efficient and effective. When you’re manufacturing, retailing, or providing some sort of service to consumers, you need to oversee the management and design of a business behind the scenes. That’s where all the magic in the business happens.

Although every business has an operations segment, the way that the operations department in a business is defined pretty much depends on the industry that the business is in, as well as the stage at which it is in its growth. Sometimes, the whole process of improving the operations of your business can be all about thinking strategically about the processes that happen within your business as well as the systems that are in charge of those processes. At other times, operations work in a company can be a little more practical. It can mean being on the ground and taking care of all of the aspects of a project; from the tiny to the enormous.

If you’re running a small business, it might not be a good idea to let a single person handle the operations of the business. Instead, operations should be a group affair, being handled by both the employees and the owners of the business. They should all have an intimate understanding of the way the processes and the systems of the business work and the kind of impact they have on everyday tasks in the business. The best way to get a clear understanding of operations is to see how operations look in different industries. By mastering the operations in your particular industry, you can ensure the success of your business.

For Retail Businesses

If you own a retail business, then what you want to achieve every day is to have the kinds of products that customers want most and to have those products at a price that your customers are both willing and happy to pay. In the context of operations, this means you need to work on improving your inventory every single day.

You would start by looking at your records, such as the ones from the previous season. What sold particularly well? What was a blockbuster in terms of revenue? On the other hand, what is still sitting on your shelves because no one is going to buy it? We call that dead stock, and you have to be especially careful about dead stock. Is it possible for you to get your suppliers to sell you products at a lower price? Is it possible to get them to give you better credit terms while they’re at it? What about your customers? Sure, they’re both willing and happy to pay the price you’re charging them now, but would it be possible to get them to pay more for any of your products?

These are only some of the questions you should be asking about your retail businesses. Some of the answers to these questions will be fairly straightforward. You may have to crunch some numbers and perform an in-depth analysis of the results that come up, but then the answers will jump right up at you after that. Some others might need some kind of technical update to your operations processes, such as installing special software to manage your inventory as well as optimize it in real time. That way, you will be able to answer the questions and improve things a little faster.

For Restaurants

Food businesses might seem to have similar operations to restaurants on the surface since they both deal with inventory. However, the situation is a lot more complicated for a business that deals with food because the main product being stocked cannot be stocked for too long. It is perishable. If you’re running a restaurant, then your operations program isn’t just about the foodstuffs you sell, but also about the way that food is purchased and prepared. It will also involve the cost of that food, as well as the costs of other things, such as the labor you employ and the beverages you sell in your restaurant.

As you work on streamlining your operations, you might want to think about a lot of things. You might want to finalize important contracts with your vendors and suppliers. Your relationships with them are important to the running of your business. You might also want to work on organizing the way your walk-in refrigerators work because you want to optimize the freshness of your food. You will also probably think of training your staff to better serve your customers so that they exceed the expectations of those customers.

A restaurant business has a wide range of activities that need to happen. It’s important that you think deeply through this and figure out who you’re going to put in charge of different parts of the whole operations segment. To put it all in the hands of a single person, no matter how capable you think that person is, is to court disaster.

For Service Companies

Service companies have two divisions to their operations segments: These are the operations concerned with the client-facing, or front end, side of the business, and operations concerned with the business end, or back end, of the company.

If you’re running a service company, start by thinking about the interactions that your company has with your clients. What is it you can speed up in the customer service process? Could it be possible that you’re sending your customers notifications that they don’t really need?

As for the business end of things, you will have to think about how communication and collaboration are happening in your business and how the management of internal projects is affecting the services that you offer to your customers. For instance, if your client projects are frequently exceeding their budgets, then you should be concerned about how you calculate estimates at the beginning of client projects.

For Manufacturing Companies

The history of the term “operations” is actually rooted in manufacturing businesses. These are the companies that are involved in the making of physical goods. When economies were mostly industrial, businesses would find innovative ways to make their operations more efficient. A lot of the greatest inventions of the Agrarian and Industrial revolutions were all about improving operations. Such things as parts-based assembly, which would make the production of cotton gins and various other products more consistent, fast, and cheap, were the results of operations.

For your own manufacturing business, don’t try too hard to reinvent things. If your small business is in the making of physical products, you should look more into such things as the way you purchase products, store them, make them, and ship the final product to your customers.

You should think about your processes from the perspective of time. Is there a way you can consolidate some things, such as large orders, in order to save time? Could you possibly get rid of some bottlenecks in order to save time? Could you make shipping faster? Can you negotiate better deals with your suppliers?

For Digital Companies

The main value of your company, if it is digital, lies in your staff. You have to find better ways to hire staff, train them, and mentor them. You should also look for tools you can use to improve the satisfaction and retention of your employees.

With your digital products, the main thing you need to do is collaborate. Most apps, tools, sites, and so on will work properly only when many different teams work together. You should, therefore, streamline the way collaboration happens by monitoring the processes that take place and updating the necessary software, among others.

You should also consider outsourcing. What kind of tasks should you give your full-time employees and what should you instead entrust to the experts?

For your business to get better at what it does, it needs to consider operations. By taking a look at the way that you run your business and by asking questions about the processes that already exist, you will be better able to optimize your operations.

  • Corporate Financial Institute: Business Segment
  • Study: Business Activities: Definition & Types
  • OnDeck: What is Operations? And Why Does My Business Need It?

Nicky is a business writer with nearly two decades of hands-on and publishing experience. She's been published in several business publications, including The Employment Times, Web Hosting Sun and WOW! Women on Writing. She also studied business in college.

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  • PDF Templates
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Operational Plan Template

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Operational Plan Template

This operational plan sample is structured with important details for your organization. It comes ready to print, but since most organizational details and structures are different, you can simply edit the fields by putting your own organization information. Also, using the Jotform PDF editor template, you can quickly add and delete fields, choose your own color options, etc. Finally, you can share your draft with your team members via email.

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These templates are suggested forms only. If you're using a form as a contract, or to gather personal (or personal health) info, or for some other purpose with legal implications, we recommend that you do your homework to ensure you are complying with applicable laws and that you consult an attorney before relying on any particular form.

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Business Plan Templates

Plans, strategies, roadmaps – Businesses rely on these things to gain perspective on what’s about to happen. Milestones laid down in strategic and careful planning for growth and expansion, visions of where the company’s headed 10 years from now, goals that should meet timelines, all these require a smart, prudent and calculated planning.

Whether you’re a startup, an SMB, or close to a Fortune 500, a solid business plan is crucial. And of course, writing business plans is a huge task. But, what if you needed something that requires input from others though? Say, an online form or a PDF template where responses from your colleagues and managers matter? Well, here’s a collection of PDF templates for business planning.

These are beautifully designed templates, specifically tailored for businesses and companies who don’t know where to start. The hard part was already done and that’s designing the template. These will serve as boilerplates for whatever milestone your business needs. You won’t need to worry on building something from scratch, you just need to focus on the content. Some of these templates will contain or collect executive summaries, opportunities, expectations, execution, financial plans, forecasts, the whole nine yards.

Business plan templates help give a clear vision of what lies ahead. They help you get things organized, planned out, and help you check off items from your to-do list more efficiently.

Focus on the future and keep your company moving forward with Jotform’s Strategic Plan Template. Simply fill in the attached form with your company overview, delve deeper with a SWOT analysis, and finish off by determining your strategic goals, actions, and financial plans. Our fully-customizable template converts submitted information into polished PDFs, which you can download, print, or share instantly.

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What are the seven parts of a business plan.

  • Executive summary. This is an overview of your business plan. The executive summary should include your company’s offerings, mission, goals, and projections. Think of it as the elevator pitch for your business plan. If you can’t get investors interested here, it’s unlikely they’ll want to keep reading.
  • Company description and history. Describe your business’s legal structure and history in addition to what you do. If you just started this business, you may replace company history with your leadership team’s experience. The purpose of this section is to explain the company structure and build confidence in the people running the company.
  • Products and services. Talk about what your company offers, whether that’s products, services, or a combination of the two. Describe your products and services in detail. Explain what makes your offering unique, what your profit margins are, what kind of demand you’re seeing for it, etc.
  • Market and competitor research. Investors want to know if there’s demand for your offering. Describe the target market and how your product or service benefits potential customers. Include projections of where the industry is headed over the next few years. Additionally, detail your competitors and how saturated the market is.
  • Sales and marketing strategy. This part of the business plan explains how you’ll promote your product. Outline elements such as your ideal customer profile (ICP) as well as your marketing channels, budget, and methods.
  • Operations and logistics. Explain how you’ll source materials if you sell products as well as the technology you need to deliver such products and services. Also, provide details about your team, like how many people you’ll need and how you’ll manage employees.
  • Financial plan and projections. It’s crucial to prove that your business will be financially viable. For this, you’ll need revenue and expense projections. Many investors want to see sample account statements, balance sheets, and cash flow projections.

How do you write a business plan?

Your business plan should be a realistic roadmap that helps you build a successful company. When writing it, take a balanced approach so that you’re not blind to the potential pitfalls and risks. You’ll draft each of the seven sections previously discussed.

Tackling these sections can be overwhelming, so some people like to start with a one-page business plan that includes short paragraphs for each element. Another way to give yourself a head start is by working from a business plan template. Once you have a good start, you can expand each section to make a compelling case for your business.

Can I write a business plan myself?

Yes, you can. However, depending on your writing experience and goals, you may want outside help. If the business plan is for internal use with the purpose of improving business functions, you’ll likely be OK tackling it alone. But if you’re trying to secure funding from a bank or investors, a professional business plan writer can give you a leg up.

Even if you decide to do it yourself, have a trusted friend or business mentor review your plan and provide feedback. An objective point of view will help you refine your work.

What are the four types of business plans?

  • One-page or mini business plan. The one-page option is a great way to improve the focus of your business plan and highlight the essential elements. It can be an effective way to workshop your company’s plan or quickly give others a rundown of your entire business.
  • Traditional business plan. The traditional business plan is more in-depth than its one-page counterpart and will be more thorough in each section (often, plans exceed 40 pages). For example, it may contain detailed financials, branding samples, and competitive research documents.
  • Business model canvas (BMC). The business model canvas is a more visual representation of your business architecture. It includes sections for infrastructure, offering, customers, finances, etc. Many businesses find the BMC appealing since it can be summarized in a single page.
  • Strategic business plan. The strategic business plan can have different purposes, like proving feasibility, discussing planning operations, or projecting growth. It will outline the company’s goals, its strategy for reaching them, and the company structure. The main difference between this and the traditional plan is its focus on specific strategic initiatives.

What are the common mistakes in business plans?

  • Poor writing. Sloppy writing may suggest that you’re not serious about your business or you lack the needed professionalism.
  • Unrealistic expectations. While you should be optimistic about your business, if your financial projections reflect your hopes more than reality, people may hesitate to back your business.
  • Lack of supporting documentation. People reviewing your business plan want to see how you back up your claims. You can include research docs, sample financials, and estimates to make your case.
  • Failing to define the target audience. For a successful marketing plan, you need to define your target audience. Investors and financial institutions need to see if you’re confident about who you’re selling to.
  • Unbalanced. It’s important to lay out the risks and potential upsides. This analysis shows investors that you’re considering the whole picture regarding your business.

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What Is the Operational Plan Section of the Business Plan?

Learning what an operation plan is and learning how to make it is something critical to any business. 3 min read

An operation plan section of the business plan is an essential part of any business. Learning what an operation plan is and learning how to make it is something critical to any business. Here are the main things you need to know about an operation plan.

Definition of an Operation Plan

An operation plan is a guiding path for the business to follow in order to achieve all of its goals and objectives described in the general business plan.

The operation plan mainly includes details about the people responsible for completing the required actions, and all the costs and KPIs (key performance indicators) for these actions to be accomplished.

In order for any business to be stable in the long run, the operation plan must be updated regularly in order to ensure the stability of the business.

What Is the Operations Plan Section and How to Properly Make It

The section of the operations plan which is included in the business plan mainly specifies all the physical requirements for the operation of the business. These physical requirements mainly include equipment, facilities, and location.

In order to make a complete business plan , three things need to be clarified to the reader:

  • Everything was done for the business from the start to reach its current position
  • Acknowledgment that you know exactly what should be done for any business to get off the ground
  • Full awareness and understanding of the delivering and manufacturing processes of the service or the product you offer.

Operating Section of the Business Plan: Stage of Development Section

While you're developing the stage of development section, you should begin with the previous procedures that have been taken so far, along with mentioning what is best to be done in the future, it should be as follows:

  • Production workflow : In this, you will describe in detail the exact steps of how your service or your product will be made, along with the acknowledgment of any possible problem that could be faced during the process.
  • In addition, you will include details about how to train the employees to solve any upcoming problem and avoid any risks as much as possible. Along with mentioning any dangerous equipment that will be used, and the proper ways of using and storing these pieces of equipment.
  • Supply chains: In this section you clarify the identity of the suppliers, the prices they offer, and their terms and conditions, In addition to providing the possible alternatives in case it doesn't work out with the current suppliers
  • As an example, in case you are willing to have a specific quality control certificate, like the ISO 9000, you should identify and explain the required procedures.

What Are the Key Components to Include in an Operational Plan Regarding the Business Organization?

Here are the main components to be included in the operational plan:

  • Most of the tasks in the operation plan are carried out by the company's managers and the employees under them, so it is essential that to clarify their identity, describe their qualifications, and describe the jobs and tasks which they will be responsible for.
  • Providing an organizational chart to describe the structural hierarchy of the business.
  • The philosophy and tactics of the company, and the role they play in the development and stability of the business.
  • A statistical measurement of the performance of the employees and managers, and the ways of reward and punishment.
  • Explain the methods that you will use to find the right employees, putting into consideration the required qualifications needed, the job description of each one, and the compensation rates that you will offer.
  • In case the business will need any outside consultants it should be noted, along with the specific functions required from any outsider consultant or employee.

In the end, one could conclude that the success or a failure of a business depends heavily on the quality of the business and operation plan put forward.

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What is Operational Segmentation?

An operational segmentation is a market segmentation that is integrated into the day-to-day running of a business and which guides operational decisions, such as how each and every customer and potential customer is greeted, which customers are given which offers, and what price they are offered. The alternative to an operational segmentation is an inspirational segmentation, which has the goal of helping people develop strategies (e.g., plan new products).

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The key technical distinction between operational and inspirational segmentation relates to how individuals are allocated to segments when they interact with an organization.  When an inspirational segmentation has been conducted, people see the results of the segmentation. Most commonly as either new products or marketing communications.  Usually, the result is an increase in choice. For example, the choice between Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Fanta.  In an operational segmentation, people are placed in a segment. It is not their choice.

Any organization that restricts access to some of its offers to different groups of customers is employing an operational segmentation.  For example, organizations that employ highly targeted advertising (e.g., only advertising in magazines read by young women) use operational segmentation. So do firms that send special offers via direct marketing to a subset of its customers.

Examples of operational segmentation

Historically, Dell Computers required consumers to indicate whether they were in the Home & Home Office, Small Business, Medium & Large Business, State & Local Government, Federal Government, Education or Healthcare segments.  Different segments received different levels of sales support, different prices and were even directed towards different products. People in these segments had no choice about which segment they were in. If you were allocated to the Home & Home Office segment, you did not have access to the offers developed for the Federal Government segment.

Airlines also employ operational segmentations via their frequent flyer programs. Customers in higher tiers receiving “better” products, and customers in lower tiers less attractive products.

Example of an inspirational segmentation

The classic example of inspirational segmentation is Russell Haley’s segmentation of the market for toothpaste (see What is Market Segmentation Research ).  He identified four segments: the Worriers, who want to stop decay, the Sociables who want to attract attention, the Sensories who are motivated by flavors, and the Independents who are motivated by price. While the segments can be used to inspire product development and communication, there is no way for a company to work out to which segment each of its customers and potential customers belong.

Mixtures of Operational and Inspirational Segmentation

Organizations usually employ a mixture of overlapping operational and inspirational segmentations.  For example, most firms break up the world into different territories, focusing either on a subset of territories or offering different products to different territories.  Cadbury, for example, has different formulations of its Dairy Milk Chocolate in different areas [Yank] of a world.  This is an example of an operational segmentation; but inspirational segmentations are developed within operational segments, with the goal of inspiring marketers to develop better products and marketing communications.


The term “operational segmentation” comes from Piercy and Morgan (1993). It can be seen as a mechanism for implementing third-degree price discrimination and is essentially the same idea as the Frank et al. (1972) concept of Controlled Coverage .

Frank, Ronald E., William F. Massy, and Yoram Wind. 1972. Market Segmentation. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc.

Piercy, Nigel F., and Neil A. Morgan. 1993. Strategic and operational market segmentation: a managerial analysis. Journal of Strategic Marketing 1 (2):123-140.

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