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Managing a Business Through Proper Documentation

When it comes to running a successful business, nothing is guaranteed. People search every day for the magic pill, the secret clue that will transform their business and help it burst through the wall between themselves and overnight success. But like everything else in life, there’s no easy way to go about it. It takes work and dedication, and often more than the average person is willing to pour contribute.

But enough people have built successful businesses over the years that the bookstores are full of how-to books, guiding the reader through the principles that other people have found helpful. And if you boil down all the suggestions from all of the books, you might be left with a small handful of common suggestions. turn your customers into raving fans. Deliver more than you promise. Become a master at handling all of the tasks that come your way. And take the time to write your business procedures out – for yourself and your employees.

The act of writing out your business procedures is an old but effective technique that every major corporation employs, and most small businesses follow that example. Some call it their Operations Manual. Others, their Employee Handbook. It’s the repository of all the pieces involved in the day-to-day operations of the business. It’s your Bible, your Owner’s Manual. And without it, your business has no navigation system. You could veer off course or forget important practices that are essential to your future success.

Crafting your own procedure guides bring a few invaluable benefits to your business. One of those benefits is that it can provide a consistent tool for training new hires. Knowing that each member of your team has been trained from the same guide can help you sleep at night. And if you do ever lose a key member of your team, they won’t take unrecorded knowledge out the door with them because everything they knew how to do should be written down.

Procedure manuals also serve as a great resource for those infrequent tasks that seem to pop up only when no one knows how to complete them. Having everything written down, no matter how often they might be needed, provides a faster solution for your business and frees your staff from wasting productive time relearn something.

A collection of procedures can also serve as a job description. What’s a person’s role? Well, locate all of the procedures listed for that position in the guide and there’s your answer. And if you can somehow attach a schedule to those tasks, noting them as something that needs completed daily, weekly, monthly or any other rhythm. Determining what a member of your staff needs to do on any given day is directly tied to their particular collection of procedures.

Whether you run a business of one, or a business of many, creating a central procedure document is a key toward your future success. Invest the time now, and reap the rewards for years to come.

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