Why you need a business procedures manual

- November 11, 2007 2 MIN READ

If you’re ever intending to take extended leave from your work, step sideways into a different role or simply escape one set of tasks to concentrate on another, then read on to find out why you need a business procedures manual.

In the new year, I’ll be taking a break from Flying Solo as I’ve got a new full time job lined up. I have no experience and the hours are lousy, but I’ve heard it’s the best job in the world… motherhood.

While I intend to keep an eye on things and return to work relatively soon – I can hear new parents laughing from here – I need to prepare for my absence. This has meant an item that’s lingered on my To Do list has finally got my attention: The Procedures Manual.

Documenting how you do things is a fascinating exercise and one I highly recommend. Here’s why:

1. A business procedures manual is valuable strategically

You can’t help but analyse your methods. Is there a better way? When my colleagues take a read, they can ask the same question. Processes get perfected and the business wins out.

2. A business procedures manual makes the business easier to run

An obvious one, this, but the person left to cover my work won’t need to second guess me on any front. If I can persuade Robert and Peter to finish documenting their methods, too, all three of us could, in theory, vanish on holiday and know Flying Solo will survive. Fear not, though, that scenario is not on the cards!

Want more articles like this? Check out the processes section.

3. A business procedures manual makes the business easier to sell

Naturally none of us are going anywhere, we’re all having too much fun. But a business procedures manual really adds to any business’ saleability. Even if the purchaser rips it up and starts again, it’s a great starting point. Rather than wait til you’re fed up and want to sell before putting pen to paper, it’s best to get started on the manual right now.

Michael Gerber was right, a Procedures Manual provides a solid backbone and is a great asset to any business. I don’t agree with him on other fronts, though, but that’s a separate newsletter.

Right, best get on with the business procedure manual’s ‘Flying Solo newsletter’ entry before the holes in my brain get any bigger.

Have I inspired you to bump ‘write procedures’ up your own to do list? Have you got a story of how your business procedures manual rescued your business? Or is the whole exercise a big fat waste of time? Tell us what you think.

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  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"