Every small business needs a written operations manual. It is absolutely essential. It does not have to be large and comprehensive, it just needs to be useful. Here are 5 reasons why your business needs this.
1. The operations manual will create and maintain highest quality service /products in your business.
Most business owners start their businesses because they believe that they can do a superior job at what they do. Their intent from the beginning is excellent products and/or customer service. However, as a business grows and new employees are added to the mix, the quality often diminishes. If the owner gives a customer one experience but the employees give that same customer a bad experience, it lowers the customer’s opinion of the business. A written operations manual will help give you and your team the discipline to do what it takes to maintain excellence as the business grows.
2. The operations manual becomes the primary tool for training your employees.
Unfortunately, most business owners do not have a strong process for training new employees. They typically walk them around the place of business showing them where everything is. They then tell them what they need to do and then expect that new employee to intuitively do what they were told with excellence. Often the new employee is a disappointment to the owner.
If there is a manager responsible for the orientation and training of the new employee the results can be even worse. A well-written operations manual will set the standard for performance. It will also give detailed procedures (how-top’s) on the critical functions of the tasks the new employee is responsible for. Mentoring is always a great idea, but an operations manual is essential as both a standard and a reference tool.
3. The operations manual creates more time for the owner.
Most small business owners feel like they do not have enough time to do the higher level, more strategic functions of their business. They lament that they do not have time to plan and think strategically. Time gets consumed putting out fires and solving problems. This typically happens when the company does not have a good operations manual. Operations manuals, once written, are a tremendous time saver t
4. The operations manual makes your business scalable.
The common business owner adage is this, “If you want it done right you must do it yourself. There is truth to this statement, but what if you had a checklist or a detailed procedure for your employee to follow – and then of course you held them accountable to follow the checklist or procedure? The client will get excellent service
If you as the owner have to do everything for it to be done right, your business is not scalable. It cannot grow beyond the time that you as the owner have to “do everything.” You must create systems that are documented in an operations manual for your business to grow in a healthy, sustainable way.
5. The operations manual makes your business more valuable.
The geriatric care owner is the system, and without the owner the business has little or no value. What will make your business valuable and sellable is to have well-designed, well-documented systems that almost anyone can operate successfully. Think of Starbucks. The more your business looks like this, the less dependent it will be on the owner, and the more asset value your business will have.