Everyone needs one, but no one has one. Sound familiar? It should.
How many of you have a manual in your office? Is it up-to-date or “in the works?” Have you even considered creating one?
If you own a business, the answer should be a resounding YES. However, many of us tend to put this “little” project on the backburner for when we have more time to work on it. But, that time never seems to come, does it? Well, now is as good a time as any.
I was one of those who was always putting that task off; thinking it would one day miraculously appear whole and complete. Boy was I wrong! I was also wrong in thinking it would swallow up my time. I didn’t really start thinking about my own operations manual until a client of mine asked me to create one for her. I thought, “What a daunting task! This is going to take forever!” But, it didn’t. Honest. After I completed her manual, I decided to go on and create manuals for all of my clients. Not only is this an invaluable asset to your client’s business, but it shows initiative on your part!
Here is the simple truth. If you go through your normal work routine and document the steps as you go, your basic operations manual could theoretically be done in a one day. Yes, one day! It doesn’t have to be perfect and it certainly doesn’t have to be pretty. You always have the option of going back and revising and “beautifying” your manual once you have the basics down. Just as long as you start it…today! Remember to keep it simple enough for someone to walk in and be able to pick up right where you left off, should the need arise. Better still, you don’t even have to print it out, unless you just like to have that reference handy. However, you do want to make sure it’s accessible, whether in paper form or electronically. This way you can hand it off to someone if it’s requested.
Remember, the sooner you start this process the better you’ll feel about having your policies and procedures in place. Wouldn’t that truly be a load of your shoulders???