What’s the product? Is there a market? Where is the initial funding coming from? How experienced is the management team? These are some of the first questions investors and lenders want answered when investigating a startup company, and rightly so. The business plan typically addresses these and other related questions in some detail, but what about an Operations Plan? If Operations is mentioned at all, details are likely to be sketchy at best. Does Operations Management play a role in the startup firm, and if so, what is the role? As we look into the role of Operations Management in the startup firm, we need to address the roles and responsibilities of two key players; the entrepreneur and the operations management professional.
First, we need to realize the truth that Operations might not play an important or significant role in a startup firm. It depends on the type of product or service the company is producing and the stage of development that the company is at. But then again, Operations might play a vital role, and when it does operations management professionals need to be prepared. This is where the entrepreneur or owners come in. It is the responsibility of the entrepreneur to understand the needs of the organization at any given time and the skills and experience that need to be brought on board at different stages of development. Entrepreneurs are often experts in their fields, and tend to be creative “idea people” who see the big picture and can visualize the future of the business.
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