A lot of people planning to start new businesses ignore operational logistics in their business planning. They assume that things will simply fall into place on their own, once they start trading.
Sadly this cannot be further from the truth. If you do not outline, clearly, how you will serve your customers on, a day-to-day basis, then you will experience unwanted disruptions, to your business.
You should be, absolutely clear, about;
How you will accept, service, and record customer orders.
This will involve a clear definition of all your, business operations logistics. Your operational framework should identify for you, things such as;
Who will be responsible for doing what?
What happens to the order once you receive it?
Who is responsible for servicing the order, and how will they do it?
How long should they take to do it?
Who will prepare the products ready for delivery?
How will they be packaged?
Who will inspect the order requisition, to ensure that the order matches the products prepared?
Who will ship the product for you?
Who will do the follow-up to find out if the customer, safely, received their products, and whether they are happy with the service rendered?
Who will deal with customer service issues, and complaints?
These issues are extremely important and are often forgotten in all the excitement of idea analysis, and business plans.
A well-written business plan must have a basic logistics framework outlined. However, it is very difficult to have a detailed logistics plan, within the business plan.
That is why I suggest that you draft a separate, detailed back office, and logistics, plan. Every aspect of your day-to-day operation should be well-defined, in that plan.
Never leave anything to chance in your business. Plan everything. The last thing you want in your new start-up is a situation where you receive your first orders and you suddenly discover that you have no idea how to service that order.
Another important point is that you have to effectively cost your back office and logistics function. Failure to efficiently account for back-office costs can often lead you into making incorrect profit projections.
Worse still you may catastrophically fail to create a financial provision for such costs, leading to avoidable business operations disruptions.
Therefore be wise and do all your homework before you open doors to your first customers. I hope you will find this piece of advice helpful in your business planning process.