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Start-up 101: Benefits of Documenting your Processes and Systems

See how much you can tweak and improve them over time...

We’re all guilty of it; we all know how our business processes work and what the steps are. They’re in our head. We know what we need to do each day and the way we like to get things done.

This is all great until you start hiring and expect your new team members to perform the same processes as you. It’s much better to get these thoughts down and collected in one place so that your business can run more efficiently and effectively, even if you aren’t around.

1. Team Training
When a new recruit walks in the door, there is so much that they need to be aware of in order to fulfil their role; the company handbook, the internal policies, health and safety procedures, and that’s all before they start any work! Picture a repository where a new team member can look up a procedure or process, talk that through with someone as part of their training, and have it as a quick-reference guide in future, so that they can check that ahead of asking anyone else. This saves the rest of your team some time, and your new employees know the standard that processes should be performed to.

2. Eternal Efficiency
What could possibly sound better than a business process audit? It’s a chance to document your processes that you hold in your head, and identify any gaps or improvements that could be make to improve efficiency. Who knows what tech exists now compared to when you first started needing these processes? Automation is coming into all aspects of our lives, who knows what automation could do for your processes? Saving time and money is a great motivator to get your processes and systems written down.

3. Happy Holidays
You run your own business. You know you should take holidays and time off. You know that you’d be worrying the full time over whether your beloved processes are still being followed. With a documented process, you can have that piece of mind! Delegating is an essential part of running a business, and with a handy guide or manual, you have the confidence that the business will run as smoothly without you there for a few days or a week as it does with you there. Just make sure the processes are well documented. It’s also worth noting that you should ensure the processes are reviewed and updated regularly.

4. Sell Systems
Do you have processes that others in your profession need? Do you have those documented? Do they help save time, cut costs and improve profits? Why not licence your processes as intellectual property, and make money from selling them to others? Other businesses will be happy to implement a tried-and-tested system to help them do just that, so why not make it yours?

5. Buy My Business
You’ve decided it’s time to sell your business. This will be much easier (though not without further challenges) if your business comes with an operating manual. A potential buyer will feel much more at ease during any transition period knowing that the business will continue to run smoothly. You’re in a much better position to sell your business if you make it easier for someone to step in, which comes with higher compensation when you decide it is time to sell.

Those were just a few examples of why performing a business process review will be worth your while. If you’re just starting out, make sure you make time to jot these processes down while they’re all just beginning, and see how much you can tweak and improve them over time. A yearly update, perhaps in line with your business plan, will help you find best practices and maintaining a manual will prove invaluable in usefulness to you and your team.

If you’d like to chat about our experience with this, please contact us today!

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