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How To Write the Management Section of a 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.
Internal management team, external management resources, human resources, frequently asked questions (faqs).
When developing a business plan , the 'management section' describes your management team, staff, resources, and how your business ownership is structured. This section should not only describe who's on your management team but how each person's skill set will contribute to your bottom line. In this article, we will detail exactly how to compose and best highlight your management team.
- The management section of a business plan helps show how your management team and company are structured.
- The first section shows the ownership structure, which might be a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation.
- The internal management section shows the department heads, including sales, marketing, administration, and production.
- The external management resources help back up your internal management and include an advisory board and consultants.
- The human resources section contains staffing requirements—part-time or full-time—skills needed for employees and the costs.
This section outlines the legal structure of your business. It may only be a single sentence if your business is a sole proprietorship. If your business is a partnership or a corporation, it can be longer. You want to be sure you explain who holds what percentage of ownership in the company.
The internal management section should describe the business management categories relevant to your business, identify who will have responsibility for each category, and then include a short profile highlighting each person's skills.
The primary business categories of sales, marketing , administration, and production usually work for many small businesses. If your business has employees, you will also need a human resources section. You may also find that your company needs additional management categories to fit your unique circumstances.
It's not necessary to have a different person in charge of each category; some key management people often fill more than one role. Identify the key managers in your business and explain what functions and experience each team member will serve. You may wish to present this as an organizational chart in your business plan, although the list format is also appropriate.
Along with this section, you should include the complete resumés of each management team member (including your own). Follow this with an explanation of how each member will be compensated and their benefits package, and describe any profit-sharing plans that may apply.
If there are any contracts that relate directly to your management team members, such as work contracts or non-competition agreements, you should include them in an Appendix to your business plan.
While external management resources are often overlooked when writing a business plan , using these resources effectively can make the difference between the success or failure of your managers. Think of these external resources as your internal management team's backup. They give your business credibility and an additional pool of expertise.
An Advisory Board can increase consumer and investor confidence, attract talented employees by showing a commitment to company growth and bring a diversity of contributions. If you choose to have an Advisory Board , list all the board members in this section, and include a bio and all relevant specializations. If you choose your board members carefully, the group can compensate for the niche forms of expertise that your internal managers lack.
When selecting your board members, look for people who are genuinely interested in seeing your business do well and have the patience and time to provide sound advice.
Recently retired executives or managers, other successful entrepreneurs, and/or vendors would be good choices for an Advisory Board.
Professional Services should also be highlighted in the external management resources section. Describe all the external professional advisors that your business will use, such as accountants, bankers, lawyers, IT consultants, business consultants, and/or business coaches. These professionals provide a web of advice and support outside your internal management team that can be invaluable in making management decisions and your new business a success .
The last point you should address in the management section of your business plan is your human resources needs. The trick to writing about human resources is to be specific. To simply write, "We'll need more people once we get up and running," isn't sufficient. Follow this list:
- Detail how many employees your business will need at each stage and what they will cost.
- Describe exactly how your business's human resources needs can be met. Will it be best to have employees, or should you operate with contract workers or freelancers ? Do you need full-time or part-time staff or a mix of both?
- Outline your staffing requirements, including a description of the specific skills that the people working for you will need to possess.
- Calculate your labor costs. Decide the number of employees you will need and how many customers each employee can serve. For example, if it takes one employee to serve 150 customers, and you forecast 1,500 customers in your first year, your business will need 10 employees.
- Determine how much each employee will receive and total the salary cost for all your employees.
- Add to this the cost of Workers' Compensation Insurance (mandatory for most businesses) and the cost of any other employee benefits, such as company-sponsored medical and dental plans.
After you've listed the points above, describe how you will find the staff your business needs and how you will train them. Your description of staff recruitment should explain whether or not sufficient local labor is available and how you will recruit staff.
When you're writing about staff training, you'll want to include as many specifics as possible. What specific training will your staff undergo? What ongoing training opportunities will you provide your employees?
Even if the plan for your business is to start as a sole proprietorship, you should include a section on potential human resources demands as a way to demonstrate that you've thought about the staffing your business may require as it grows.
Business plans are about the future and the hypothetical challenges and successes that await. It's worth visualizing and documenting the details of your business so that the materials and network around your dream can begin to take shape.
What is the management section of a business plan?
The 'management section' describes your management team, staff, resources, and how your business ownership is structured.
What are the 5 sections of a business plan?
A business plan provides a road map showing your company's goals and how you'll achieve them. The five sections of a business plan are as follows:
- The market analysis outlines the demand for your product or service.
- The competitive analysis section shows your competition's strengths and weaknesses and your strategy for gaining market share.
- The management plan outlines your ownership structure, the management team, and staffing requirements.
- The operating plan details your business location and the facilities, equipment, and supplies needed to operate.
- The financial plan shows the map to financial success and the sources of funding, such as bank loans or investors.
SCORE. " Why Small Businesses Should Consider Workers’ Comp Insurance ."
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Staffing Agency Business Plan Template
Business Plan Outline
Staffing Agency Business Plan Home
- 1. Executive Summary
- 2. Company Overview
- 3. Industry Analysis
- 4. Customer Analysis
- 5. Competitive Analysis
- 6. Marketing Plan
- 7. Operations Plan
- 8. Management Team
- 9. Financial Plan
Start Your Staffing Agency Plan Here
You’ve come to the right place to create your staffing agency business plan.
We have helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their staffing agencies.
Below are links to each section of your staffing agency business plan template:
Next Section: Executive Summary >
Staffing Agency Business Plan FAQs
What is a staffing agency business plan.
A staffing agency business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your staffing agency business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.
You can easily complete your staffing agency business plan using our Staffing Agency Business Plan Template here .
What Are the Main Types of Staffing Agency Companies?
There are many types of staffing agency companies. Some staffing agencies will focus on a particular industry, such as clerical jobs. Other staffing agencies focus on executive job placement, while others will offer a wide range of services across all industries. Some even offer human resource functions, such as payroll, benefits administration and risk management.
What Are the Main Sources of Revenue and Expenses for a Staffing Agency Business?
The primary source of revenue for staffing agencies are the fees it charges clients to place them in a job and the revenue it receives from businesses that hire them to find and recruit suitable staff for their business.
The key expenses for a staffing agency business are the costs to market the business, as well as payroll for the support staff. Other expenses will be the rent, utilities, and overhead costs for the physical office space.
How Do You Get Funding for Your Staffing Agency Business Plan?
Staffing agency businesses are most likely to receive funding from banks. Typically you will find a local bank and present your business plan to them. Angel investors and other types of capital-raising such as crowdfunding are other common funding sources.
What are the Steps To Start a Staffing Agency Business?
Starting a staffing agency business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.
1. Develop A Staffing Agency Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed staffing agency business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.
2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your staffing agency business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your staffing agency business is in compliance with local laws.
3. Register Your Staffing Agency Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your staffing agency business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws.
4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your staffing agency business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms.
5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations.
6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events.
7. Acquire Necessary Staffing Agency Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your staffing agency business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation.
8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your staffing agency business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising.
Learn more about how to start a successful staffing agency business:
- How to Start a Staffing Agency Business
- How to Open a Staffing Agency Business
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Examples of a Staffing Plan
Staffing plans show the number and types or classifications of employees a business needs to have on board over time. A plan can be developed for the company as a whole, for a department within the company or for a specific, time-limited project. Not only do staffing plans guide the recruitment, hiring and development of employees, the plans are also essential for budgeting and financial needs. Funding proposals – such as seeking venture capital for a startup or writing an application for a grant – usually require staffing plans.
Time Frame and Review
Time frames for staffing plans vary according to the needs of the company. A tech industry startup might project the staffing plan over 10 years or more, while an established company in a relatively stable industry might focus on two to five years. Project-based staffing plans should reflect the anticipated time span of the project, which could range from one month to several years.
Seasonal fluctuations should also be reflected in the time frame of staffing plans. For example, a retail company with heavy seasonal loads caused by holiday shopping periods might determine its staffing needs month by month throughout the year. The company might further refine the plan into weekly intervals for the largest holiday shopping period in November and December.
Regardless of the time frame used, staffing plans should be reviewed periodically and adjusted as work is accomplished and staffing needs change. With the exception of short-term project plans, most staffing plans can be reviewed at quarterly, semiannual or yearly intervals.
Developing the Plan
The basic outline for a staffing plan involves determining the projected staffing levels needed over time, looking at current staffing levels and identifying the deficiencies or “gaps” between the two. Recommendations can then be made for resolving the gaps, whether through recruitment of new hires, training and promotion from within or outsourcing to contractors.
A simple way to determine the needed staffing levels is to aggregate the needs by department, project or other subunit of the company. Once the departments have determined their projected staffing needs, the information can be summed, or entered into a spreadsheet and totaled. This is called “bottom-up” planning, and it works well for businesses with multiple short-term projects, or with defined departments that can accurately project their staffing needs on a yearly basis.
Refinements to this type of planning can be made by assigning a weighted probability for each project. For example, a project that is currently in operation would have a 100 percent probability of occurring, while a project that is envisioned to begin in four years might be assigned a 25 percent probability. The staffing numbers for each project are multiplied by the percentage to produce a weighted average of the staffing levels. Another type of plan focuses on the gaps or changes in staffing level for each department, projected over time.
Templates for Staffing Plans
A variety of staffing plan templates are available online, often with free downloads. The templates may be presented in a spreadsheet form such as Excel, or as a Word document. Using a template can save a great deal of time, because you can simply enter your company’s data without having to develop a format from scratch. However, you should first review any template under consideration to make sure it meets your company’s needs as well as any regulatory or industry requirements. A staffing plan for a fast-food restaurant, for example, would probably not produce a suitable plan for a hospital. Some templates allow for modification of the basic form, so that you can tailor them to your company’s specific needs.
- Washington State Office of Financial Management: Developing Staffing Plans
- The Manager's Resource Handbook: Three Resource Planning Methods to Help Predict Staffing Needs
- LucidChart.com: Four Steps to Strategic Human Resources Planning
- Standford Biodesign (YouTube): Staffing Plan
- U.S. Small Business Administration: 10 Steps to Hiring Your First Employee
Jan Burch has over 20 years of experience in freelance writing and editing. Her writing on business topics encompasses subjects ranging from entrepreneurship and career development to business planning and strategy, marketing and human resources. In addition to writing articles for AZ Central, SFGate, Chron and other online magazines, Burch has prepared business documents and website content for numerous private clients. She is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
How to Develop a Staffing Plan for a Business Organization
- Small Business
- Business Planning & Strategy
- Business Planning Process
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How to Design a Workforce Plan to Address Skill Gaps
Factors to be considered while forecasting an organization's manpower needs, four strategic staffing processes.
- Behavioral Factors in Human Resource Planning
- How to Write a Strategic Human Resources Plan
Creating a staffing plan for your business may be the difference between control and chaos. Many small business owners have experience when the demands of the moment require people to do the work. When body count takes priority over skills and qualifications, it becomes more difficult to deliver on client expectations.
When a business pays attention to staffing strategies, there's a clear definition of not only the number of employees that are needed, but also the mix of skills and experience that's necessary to do the job. A staffing model template can provide for contingencies such as periods of low and high volumes of work. In essence, it's a basic human resources management target that keeps your business on track.
Consider Your Business Goals
As with many aspects of your strategic planning, keeping your primary business goals in focus helps you develop an approach to building a workforce that's compatible with your key priorities. For instance, a business that's focused on manufacturing products at low price points may aim for unskilled, entry-level workers while another company providing field support could need technicians with college electronics training to meet the level of service defined by their business goals.
Generate Detailed Job Descriptions
Unless you're writing a staffing proposal as part of a business plan prior to starting operations, begin with your current employees and create complete and detailed descriptions for each job currently filled. Consider both the role that current employees fill and your expectations for their role. That is, you may have a bookkeeper with a high school diploma doing an adequate job, for example, but you envision a certified accountant in that position. Creating idealized job descriptions not only defines staffing needs, it can identify holes as well as paths for advancement of current staff. Include qualifications and certifications as well as job tasks and responsibilities.
Analyze Labor Market Trends
Creating an effective staffing model template must include an evaluation of the labor market, not only of the geographical region, but also of the trends in your business. Consider things like your employees' demographics, turnover patterns, skills and training. Often, the first order of executing a staffing plan involves attending to current employees or workplace situations. If you have people already in your organization who are ready for promotion, your recruitment and hiring can focus on filling their current position, rather than for an external candidate with no knowledge of your business culture. This is particularly helpful in markets where skilled candidates are in high demand.
Develop Contingency Plans
Allowing for staffing fluctuations may be second-nature to you if your business has high seasonal demand. However, even companies with normally consistent staffing demands can experience changes that can challenge your human resource levels. Gaining or losing major customers can, for example, produce dramatic shifts in your staffing needs, so it's important to consider approaches to these best and worst-case scenarios. Consider also mid to long-term growth of your business. Staffing needs aren't always linear with revenue increases, particularly if demand for administrative staff increases. Anticipating these changes could help you protect profit margins as you grow.
Assess Your Employment Brand
Any company in business gains a reputation for its role as an employer as well as for its goods, services and customer service. How you approach recruiting, hiring and employee retention can all have an effect on how your company is perceived as an employer. You can help influence that perception by addressing factors that influence these perceptions in your staffing plan.
Review Your Staffing Plan Regularly
It's likely that you don't need a reminder about how quickly business conditions can change, and when it comes to building and maintaining an effective workforce, change is a constant. Conducting an annual review of your staffing strategies is a minimum requirement. Other factors that are not on a regular timeline can affect the way you approach staffing. For instance, a competing business setting up shop in your region or a major employer closing its doors could affect how you retain employees or fill new positions.
- Wonolo: What is a Staffing Plan and How Do You Create One?
- Sage People: 7 steps for creating a successful staffing strategy
With degrees in Photography and Recorded Music Production, Scott spent over 20 years as an Operations Manager with Kodak before starting a second career as a freelance content creator specializing in business, accounting and tax topics. Periodicals include FIVE Magazine and Your Business for the Your Magazines Canada group and online clients include TurboTax, Office Depot, Hyundai USA and VISA. www.shpak60.ca
What is the proper sequence of steps for the hr forecasting process, what is a gap analysis for human resources, staffing strategies for growing companies, what things do we need to consider when staffing, objectives of manpower planning, what considerations does hr face when planning staffing needs, how can human resource planning assist an organization, how to create a staffing model plan, advantages & disadvantages of human resource planning, most popular.
- 1 What Is the Proper Sequence of Steps for the HR Forecasting Process?
- 2 What Is a Gap Analysis for Human Resources?
- 3 Staffing Strategies for Growing Companies
- 4 What Things Do We Need to Consider When Staffing?
How to Write the Management Team Section of a Business Plan + Examples
Written by Dave Lavinsky
Over the last 20+ years, we’ve written business plans for over 4,000 companies and hundreds of thousands of others have used our business plan template and other business planning materials.
From this vast experience, we’ve learned exactly what you must include in the management section of your business plan.
Why is the Management Team Section of a Business Plan Important?
Your management team plan has 3 goals:
- To prove to you that you have the right team to execute on the opportunity you have defined, and if not, to identify who you must hire to round out your current team
- To convince lenders and investors (e.g., angel investors, venture capitalists) to fund your company (if needed)
- To document how your Board (if applicable) can best help your team succeed
What to Include in Your Management Team Section
There are two key elements to include in your management team business plan as follows:
Management Team Members
For each key member of your team, document their name, title, and background.
Their backgrounds are most important in telling you and investors they are qualified to execute. Describe what positions each member has held in the past and what they accomplished in those positions. For example, if your VP of Sales was formerly the VP of Sales for another company in which they grew sales from zero to $10 million, that would be an important and compelling accomplishment to document.
Management Team Gaps
In this section, detail if your management team currently has any gaps or missing individuals. Not having a complete team at the time you develop your business plan. But, you must show your plan to complete your team.
As such, describe what positions are missing and who will fill the positions. For example, if you know you need to hire a VP of Marketing, state this. Further, state the job description of this person. For example, you might say that this hire will have 10 years of experience managing a marketing team, establishing new accounts, working with social media marketing, have startup experience, etc.
To give you a “checklist” of the employees you might want to include in your Management Team Members and/or Gaps sections, below are the most common management titles at a growing startup (note that many are specific to tech startups):
- Founder, CEO, and/or President
- Chief Operating Officer
- Chief Financial Officer
- VP of Sales
- VP of Marketing
- VP of Web Development and/or Engineering
- UX Designer/Manager
- Product Manager
- Digital Marketing Manager
- Business Development Manager
- Account Management/Customer Service Manager
- Sales Managers/Sales Staff
- Board Members
If you have a Board of Directors or Board of Advisors, you would include the bios of the members of your board in this section.
A Board of Directors is a paid group of individuals who help guide your company. Typically startups do not have such a board until they raise VC funding.
If your company is not at this stage, consider forming a Board of Advisors. Such a board is ideal particularly if your team is missing expertise and/or experience in certain areas. An advisory board includes 2 to 8 individuals who act as mentors to your business. Usually, you meet with them monthly or quarterly and they help answer questions and provide strategic guidance. You typically do not pay advisory board members with cash, but offering them options in your company is a best practice as it allows you to attract better board members and better motivate them.
Management Team Business Plan Example
Below are examples of how to include your management section in your business plan.
Key Team Members
Jim Smith, Founder & CEO
Jim has 15 years of experience in online software development, having co-founded two previous successful online businesses. His first company specialized in developing workflow automation software for government agencies and was sold to a public company in 2003. Jim’s second company developed a mobile app for parents to manage their children’s activities, which was sold to a large public company in 2014. Jim has a B.S. in computer science from MIT and an M.B.A from the University of Chicago
Bill Jones, COO
Bill has 20 years of sales and business development experience from working with several startups that he helped grow into large businesses. He has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from M.I.T., where he also played Division I lacrosse for four years.
We currently have no gaps in our management team, but we plan to expand our team by hiring a Vice President of Marketing to be responsible for all digital marketing efforts.
Vance Williamson, Founder & CEO
Prior to founding GoDoIt, Vance was the CIO of a major corporation with more than 100 retail locations. He oversaw all IT initiatives including software development, sales technology, mobile apps for customers and employees, security systems, customer databases/CRM platforms, etc. He has a B.S in computer science and an MBA in operations management from UCLA.
We currently have two gaps in our Management Team:
A VP of Sales with 10 years of experience managing sales teams, overseeing sales processes, working with manufacturers, establishing new accounts, working with digital marketing/advertising agencies to build brand awareness, etc.
In addition, we need to hire a VP of Marketing with experience creating online marketing campaigns that attract new customers to our site.
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Other Resources for Writing Your Business Plan
- How to Write an Executive Summary
- How to Expertly Write the Company Description in Your Business Plan
- How to Write the Market Analysis Section of a Business Plan
- The Customer Analysis Section of Your Business Plan
- Completing the Competitive Analysis Section of Your Business Plan
- Financial Assumptions and Your Business Plan
- How to Create Financial Projections for Your Business Plan
- Everything You Need to Know about the Business Plan Appendix
- Business Plan Conclusion: Summary & Recap
Other Helpful Business Plan Articles & Templates
Management Plan in a Business Plan
What is a management plan in a business plan? As a small business owner, you know you face an uphill battle. 4 min read
What is a management plan in a business plan? As a small business owner, you know you face an uphill battle. About 80 percent of new ventures fail within their first five years. Why? Most of the time it's due to flawed operating procedures or a less-than-optimal management structure.
What Is a Management Plan?
The management plan is all about employees and operations.
- Employees are one of the most important parts of any new venture. Good employees can make your life much easier, while bad employees can distract you and be a detriment to your success.
- Operational structure can be the difference between a successful venture and a failure.
When you're putting together a business plan , the operations and management section will describe how your business will operate on a day-to-day basis. It will cover all the essentials:
- Your company's physical location
- Other important processes
This section is an easy way to answer basic questions about your business without overwhelming readers.
Carefully crafting a professional and thorough business plan is an important step in forming a new venture. It will keep you on track and clearly define strategy and goals. However, business plans are only as good as the people behind them.
A venture's biggest asset is the entrepreneur. Investors won't make a move until they know they have complete confidence in an entrepreneur. Does he or she have the right experience? Is he or she willing to put in the work? These are just two of the questions Investors will have to answer before working with a new entrepreneur .
The management section of your business plan is an excellent space to highlight the members of your management team . Tell your readers and potential investors who will be managing your company, where they come from, how they will help your venture, and anything else that will signal your venture's future success. Be sure to cast the best light on your management team. Your investors need to know that this team is capable of anything.
There are usually three parts to a good Management and Staffing portion of a business plan:
- Management team details
- Key supporters and alliances, such as an advisory board
- Staffing and employment requirements
A few things to remember as you work on this section of your business plan:
- Your readers are usually potential investors. They need to know you and your management team are trustworthy and deserving of their investment.
- Investors need to know that you and your team can do the job; they need to get a feel for your attitudes and your abilities.
- Showing your team has a wide variety of skills and experiences will give you an advantage when presenting your business plan.
- It's all about the people. Business plans are great for answering key questions about the new venture, but at the end of the day, investors are looking to partner with hard-working, trustworthy people.
Now let's talk about operations. The operations section of the business plan describes several key characteristics of your business. For example, if your business has a physical, "brick and mortar" location, take time in this portion of the business plan to describe the area around your business. Tell your investors why your location is optimal for your business.
Make a note of your standard operating hours. Answer questions like,
- When will you open every day?
- When will you close?
- Will you be open during holidays?
- If so, which ones?
This is also a great section to list out your daily operation details, the different products or services you will provide, your standard operating procedures, customer service, and so on.
Take time in the Inventory section of your operations plan to list out potential suppliers, vendors, or contractors with whom you have agreements. Your partners, even the third-party ones, reflect upon you, so make sure to sing their praises. Put some thought into an inventory plan. Remember, too much inventory means you're likely wasting valuable resources that could be deployed elsewhere. On the other hand, too little inventory means you could be losing out on potential customers.
Once again, your management team plays a crucial role in your operations plan. Tell your investors exactly who they are, how they are uniquely qualified, and how their responsibilities will be divided with operations.
The management and operations sections of your business plan will demonstrate to your investors that you have the right team and the right strategy to be successful in a competitive industry.
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How to develop a staffing plan
Reading time: about 8 min
Posted by: Lucid Content Team
Your employees are one of your greatest assets. However, too often, organizations struggle to manage their human resources and plan for the future. In fact, according to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management, 43% of HR professionals say human capital is the largest "investment challenge" for employers.
Plagued by turnover, skills gaps, over-employment, low productivity, and ever-changing business landscapes, it’s no wonder that businesses are struggling to keep up. But these issues can be mitigated with a strategic staffing plan.
Use the following tips to learn how to develop a staffing plan that puts the right people in the right place at the right time.
What is a staffing plan?
A staffing plan is a strategic planning process by which a company (typically led by the HR team) assesses and identifies the personnel needs of the organization. In other words, a good staffing plan helps you understand the number and types of employees your organization needs to accomplish its goals.
A staffing plan answers the questions:
- What work needs to be done?
- How many people do we need to employ?
- What skills and experience are necessary to do this work?
- What skills gaps need to be filled (and are there any areas of redundancies)?
Staffing plans can encompass the entire company or apply to smaller teams or departments and even individual projects.
For example, if your company’s business goals focus on expanding its salesforce in the coming year, a staffing plan can help prepare the sales department for that growth—so that the right people with the right skills are brought on board at the right times.
Additionally, a staffing plan helps your business to:
- Reduce labor costs and maximize productivity.
- Eliminate skills gaps.
- Increase employee engagement.
- Increase employee retention and reduce turnover.
- Improve customer experience.
- Streamline business growth.
Having a clear staffing plan helps prevent issues that could delay growth or hinder the quality of your products and services that could result in unhappy customers and lost business opportunities.
Not only do staffing plans help companies effectively recruit, hire, and develop employees, but they also help guide budgeting and financial decisions within the organization.
How to calculate staffing needs
A staffing plan involves three main steps:
- Determining current staffing levels
- Forecasting future staffing needs
- Identifying the gaps between the two
Once you’ve assessed your staffing needs, you can outline recommendations for how to address those needs, which might include recruiting and hiring new talent, promoting internally, focusing on training and employee development, or adding contractors to your staff. These forecasts and recommendations will help you develop your overall human resources plan for the organization.
Use the following steps to learn how to calculate staffing needs and make a plan for the future.
1. Identify the business goals
Before you dive into staffing plans and changes, you need to know what the overarching goals are for the business. These goals are typically outlined in a strategic business plan. Use this plan to clarify the company’s objectives and align the staffing plan accordingly.
What you do with your staff will affect business outcomes (for better or for worse), so you want to make sure the two plans align.
For instance, if the business plans to open a new location, you may need to move current staff around or hire new employees to fill those roles. The business plan will help inform those staffing decisions.
2. Determine your current staffing situation
To develop a staffing plan, you must first understand your current staffing environment.
If you have a robust HR database, this step could be reasonably straightforward. However, if you host personnel information on multiple sources, you will first need to consolidate that data into one source of truth. Work with business leaders and managers to help you ensure accurate and complete data on your human resources.
Once you have your staffing data in one place, you can assess the current staffing environment and begin to pull actionable insights from the data.
Pay particular attention to:
- The number of people on staff
- Staff distribution (team size and who works where)
- Skills and competencies within the workforce
- High performers and potential leaders
- Low performers or “flight risks” who could indicate turnover
- Staff age and tenure (to anticipate retirement numbers)
Pulling out these data will help you better understand the current staffing landscape and more accurately identify staffing needs and opportunities down the road.
Lucidchart can help you assess your current staff to glean new insights. Import employee data directly into Lucidchart to build an org chart or group employees in Smart Containers by role, competencies, performance, etc. Visualizing your workforce can help you identify important relationships, correlations, or gaps in the staffing.
3. Forecast future staffing needs
After you assess your current staffing landscape, it’s time to make some predictions about your future staffing needs.
As you conduct your staffing needs assessment, you will want to consider the factors that can affect staffing decisions and opportunities, including:
- Business goals
- Turnover rates and projections
- Expected mergers or acquisitions
- New product launches
- Business investments (e.g., new technology)
- Changes in the economy
- Competitors attracting key talent
- Industry labor costs
- Unemployment rate
All of these internal and external factors can influence the workforce and your staffing needs.
While forecasting will always involve some guesswork, you can make confident, educated, (and more accurate) predictions using the following methods.
Trend analysis works well for established businesses with several years under their belt. Trend analysis uses historical data (i.e., past experience) to inform future needs.
To perform a trend analysis, start by gathering historical data. Focus on gathering information for at least the past five years—but you may want to go back as far as 10 years. (Keep in mind that the larger the sample size, the more accurate the results.)
Collect data on the following:
- Hiring and retirement patterns
- Transfers and promotions
- Employee turnover
- Years of service
- Employee demographics
- Skills and qualifications
- Past work experience
Once you have collected the data, you can analyze it to understand turnover rates over time as well as to discover trends or patterns between the data sets.
A ratio analysis is a dual-purpose forecasting method that both predicts staffing demand and compares forecasting results against an industry standard.
The beauty of the ratio analysis is that it doesn’t rely on historical data to predict future demand. This is an advantage for younger companies who don’t have the benefit of years of historical data to provide insight into future trends.
Here’s how it works.
A ratio establishes a relationship between two things. A business can calculate ratios between business factors like future sales revenue predictions and staffing requirements.
For example, let’s say your business plans to expand its sales in the coming year and predicts sales revenue at $500,000. You’ll need to estimate how many sales employees you will need to support that growth.
To calculate this, you need to determine the ratio between sales revenue and staff. To do this, divide current sales revenue by the current number of sales employees. If the ratio is 50:1 (with 50 representing $50,000 in sales), that means a sales revenue of $500,000 would require 10 employees.
Once you have that ratio, you can then identify gaps in your staffing. For instance, if you plan to increase your sales revenue to $500,000 but currently have only five employees, you know you will need to hire five more people to support that goal.
4. Do a gap analysis
With your current and future staffing assessments complete, you can compare the two reports for gaps. In other words, look at where your staff is now and where it needs to be. What discrepancies are there? Do you need more staff? Are there skills missing from your current workforce that you will need in the future to meet your business goals?
Note any gaps between the two assessments.
As you go through this process, our skills supply and demand chart can help you determine how many current employees and job candidates have the skills you need and whether you should hire or train to gain those competencies.
5. Make a staffing plan
With your staffing needs analysis completed, you can now make a plan.
Your staffing plan might include recommendations to implement a corporate training program to address skills gaps or to develop succession policies to streamline handoffs following retirements or promotions.
During this process, work with the business’s leaders to create a strategic action plan to address staffing needs that aligns with the organization’s goals, culture, and mission.
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Sample Business Plan
Following is a business plan written by The Business Plan Store. It is posted here with the express permission of the client (Executive names are fictitious)
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