Create an Operations Manual—Don’t Neglect This Vital Tool for Your Business
I want to share a seemingly mundane topic with you today that is really of great urgency and assistance for your business—the importance of having an Operations Manual and how to create one.
If you’re a solopreneur, you are probably doing everything to run your business yourself. And whether you’re just starting out or have been doing it for a year or more, whether you’re doing it part time or full time, there are a lot of things you’ve learned and implemented to keep the business going.
There are administrative tasks online and offline, sales procedures, marketing processes, email templates, tracking sheets, bank statements and accounting/book keeping, etc.
It’s a lot to keep track of, but you do it. And a lot of it is probably in your head, or written down in various places with no real order or in fine detail.
What happens when you decide you are ready to get some help running your business and have someone take over some of your duties? How will they know what to do? How much time will it take you to explain everything to them and get them up to speed to do it as well (or better) than you have?
And although we hope it never happens, what if something happened to you that didn’t allow you to be running your business or even instruct others how to do it—or at least be able to take care of notifying your clients and wrapping up what would have to be done if you couldn’t operate the business anymore or for an extended period of time?
For all these reasons, creating and having an up-to-date Operations Manual is a MUST for you, your business, and your clients. Now that you’re a business owner, it’s just as important as your will.
Here are some guidelines to get you started:
1. Start off by writing down for the next week or two all the tasks you work on each day. Note
any schedule/regularity to certain tasks.
2. Next, write down all the different programs you use on your computer and how to access
- url's or bookmarks to them
- user names & passwords
- customer service numbers
- if it's a recurring payment system, what you paid and when joined/renewal frequency, how pay/ frequency of payment
3. Write down list and location of offline files, contacts, calendar, etc.
4. Make a list of all the physical and digital/online products you have, along with where
originals are stored, sales pages/opt-in url’s, prices & specials running, how they are
delivered, auto responder lists for them, etc
5. Once you have that, go back to your task list and start writing down all the steps and
pertinent information to completing each task.
6. Have someone who doesn’t know your business go through and try to complete the tasks
by only using the information in your manual. This will show you where you have holes or
unclear information in your manual.
7. Revise based on what you learn from step 5 above.
Make sure to keep it up to date! Anytime you make changes to procedures/passwords or add another task or program to your business, change the manual to reflect it (wait no more than a week or it will not likely get done and be incomplete when you need to rely on it).
I guarantee that it will be worth its weight in gold and the effort and time it takes to create it as your business grows.
And if you have any other tips for what to include in an operations manual, please add them to the comment section below so we can all benefit.
Do you need help understanding and creating the foundational and operational pieces of your business? Are you feeling overwhelmed with what to do in what order, and how to get it all done and still make good money as a solopreneur? Schedule a complimentary MMM Strategy Session with me to identify what you are missing in the three keys of creating a successful business–Marketing, Mindset and Manifesting–and IMMEDIATE steps to take so you can get more clients and make a difference in more lives!
Your partner in success,
Marketing, Mindset & Manifesting Coach