Writing a Business Plan - Management and Human Resources

Who do you need to help you succeed?

Modern Office Shoot
Who do you need to help you succeed?. Kelvin Murray / Getty Images

Your business plan should include a description of your organizational structure, including your management and human resources capabilities, philosophy and needs, the number of employees you intend to hire, how you will manage them and your estimated personnel costs. Begin this section by outlining your own managerial experience and skills as well as that of your team (if you already have one formed), the roles each member will play, and any particular areas of strength or deficiency in your lineup.

It’s fine if you don’t yet have a complete team in place when you write your plan. Simply use this section of your business plan to outline the organizational structure, complete with job descriptions, how you plan to recruit key team members, and what their respective responsibilities will be.

Even if you don’t plan to have an extensive management team, if you expect to hire non-managerial employees such as salespeople or clerical workers for your startup, you should consider recruiting a human resources manager, or at least use an HR consulting firm. Human resource management requires an immense amount of time and paperwork, and an experienced HR consultant should be able to quickly get your payroll and benefits running, giving you more time to concentrate on growing the business.

This person’s responsibilities will include:

  • Handling FICA and unemployment taxes and paperwork
  • Ensuring compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Staying on top of IRS filings

This portion of your business plan also may include a brief overview of your HR strategy. Investors may be curious about how your payroll will be handled and the associated costs of administering it, as well as the type of corporate culture you plan to create.

Items to include in this section:

  • Pay scale: What are reasonable market salaries for managers and non-managers?
  • Vacation time: This is not required by law, but most firms offer it to stay competitive and keep employees refreshed. Also, outline how vacation time will accrue as tenure grows because this represents a labor cost.
  • Insurance: Health insurance is a common staple benefit, although skyrocketing prices have forced many firms to cut back on this offering. If you can’t afford a health plan, look into just subsidizing one and having employees pay the rest, or see if a professional association can help you get a bulk rate.
  • Additional benefits: Other things to consider include life insurance, a 401(k) and matching funds, bereavement leave, religious and floating holidays, and a potential bonus structure.

It may be overwhelming to contemplate these benefits and their costs in the early stages, but keep in mind that in a competitive labor market, your firm will need to offer something to entice qualified personnel and, more importantly, to keep them working for you.