Have you grown your business to the point of knowing you need help? Congratulations! Aren’t you glad that you took the time to document your procedures? (You haven’t?) I’m betting you’ve been thinking about how great it will feel once you no longer have to fill every spot on your organizational chart. (What? You don’t have one? More on that in another post.)
If you’re like most entrepreneur/small business owners now that you’ve made the decision to hire you’ve probably been trying to figure out what tasks your new team member will be doing. Delegation is definitely the key to getting more done, but more importantly have you created a detailed job description for your new hire? Or documented procedures for how to accomplish their assigned duties?
I know, I know … you’ve been working what feels like 24-7 to build your business and there’s never enough time to get everything done. How exactly are you going to find the time to write down how to run the business when you’re so busy actually running it? The answer is – you must make the time.
The sooner you start thinking about operational systems the more prepared you’ll be for continued growth. Think of this as building and strengthening the foundation you need to support the business as it grows.
5 Steps to Help You Document Your Business
- Write it down. Keep a notebook or pad of paper handy at all times. As you do something, make note of what you’re doing and how you’re doing it – everything, even if it seems like a no-brainer.
- Use your resources. If you already have started to build your team, make sure they’re also documenting everything they’re doing. This also serves as a great way to discover their understanding of their role.
- Create your operations manual. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just a Word document to start that can be added to and edited. Save it in whatever shared document system you’re using so your team can access it. If you haven’t started building your team yet, think ahead and set up a sharing system.
- Request feedback. Have someone – a friend, colleague, coach, etc. – review your manual and provide feedback. Someone who does not know much about your business will be able to tell you if what’s been written makes sense and is clear enough for a new hire to follow.
- Stay proactive. If you develop a new program, on-board a new client with different needs or want to completely change a current system, start documenting the process – even if you’re not completely sure of what that will be.
Documenting Your Business Isn’t a Sprint
Creating and documenting your processes is a process in itself. Your operations manual will not be completed overnight. Just keep working the five strategies and they’ll become second nature. Best of all your operation manual will be complete and ready to launch you to new business growth.
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