Management Summary

When writing business plans, it is important to spend time writing your company's management summary. Many times, investors will choose to invest in a company solely on the strength of the management team. With this knowledge, it is easy to see why the management summary for business plans is so very important. Management summaries include all the pertinent information regarding the management of the company. It should include names and job titles of the managers, management personnel that will be added to the company at a later date, managers' compensation rates, any consultants that the company plans to hire, management structure, and management style.

A business plan's management summary will begin with the founder, followed by the managers who will oversee all day-to-day operations. You should always keep the management summary limited to the five or six people who are (or will be) most responsible for the success of your business concept.

Ideally, a start-up business plan's management summary will display the owner's experience in the industry s/he wants to enter. A summary is almost always a distillation of a manager/owner's resume, but you don't need to list experiences that are not essential to your business plan. The ideal management summary emphasizes your specific responsibilities, positions, and previous successes.

Another key for the management summary is how you will structure your company. Your lines of authority can be structured traditionally as "top-down," where information is consolidated into one or two sources, or it can be set up to more horizontal. In the latter case, your employees will have increased authority to manage their daily duties and responsibilities. This can have a dramatically positive effect on work flow, since motivated employees can often pace themselves better when they have unfettered access to information. On the other hand, hierarchies are ideal for smaller companies where the central control of information can keep operations streamlined.

Business plan consultants can also help strengthen a company's management structure. They can fulfill the roles that would normally go to full-time employees-without the expense of a full-time employee. Having a "star" with outstanding track records are also welcome additions to any management summary and should be featured prominently. Companies that are interested in incorporated (or existing companies that have already done so) need to have a Board of Directors. Though it's little more than a legal entity, a Board of Directors are often venture capitalists who have invested and desire a measure of control over the company's direction. They can also provide valuable insight from their years of experience in the business "trenches."

It is important to list the job titles of the company's managers, even if the company has not formally decided upon this information. Having this detailed information already prepared makes the company seem well-organized and detail-oriented. When investors see that the company has been planned to the smallest detail, they will be more likely to feel comfortable investing in the company. So invent job titles to put next to management team members' names. It will benefit the company and the job titles can be changed as needed later.

Always include information on management that will be hired at a later date in your business plans. If you know that your company is going to need an office manager, but that person is not part of the founding of the company, include that information in your business plans. If a lender notices that your company cannot possibly run efficiently without someone managing the office, but you did not state that you planned to hire such personnel, it can make your business plans look weak. Since you want to give your business every possible advantage, it is important to not lose investors' confidence over issues like proper business management planning.

If you have information regarding how much managers will be compensated for their work, it is important to include that information in your business plans. If you're not sure, make another ballpark figure guess, and explain to your managers that these figures are a preliminary guess which is likely to change. Also include information on any consultants that your company plans to hire. It is beneficial to discuss the company's management structure. Who has authority over whom? That is an important consideration to be included. Talk about the management style you intend to implement. Will managers be team members with slightly more authority? Or will they be micromanagers who should be involved in managing even the most insignificant details of your employees' days? Make sure to talk about the level of managing you expect your managers to do.