A couple of weeks ago we talked about How to Create An Operations Manual For Your Small Business. One of the things I said you should include in your operations manual were process documents.
That sounds fabulous Kelli but what the hell is a process document and how do I create one?
Glad you asked.
What Is A Process Document
A process document or standard operating procedure lists each step in a process you use within your business. No matter what kind of business you run you have processes you follow to make sure the work gets done.
General business processes include billing, new client on-boarding, or a social media scheduling. Your business probably has business-specific processes as well. Examples of these include order fulfillment, reservation requests, or course launches.
Why You Need Processes Documents
- Never Miss A Step – Even if you work on a certain process every day chances are you will miss a step at some point. As your business grows, it’ll be hard to keep track of every task related to each of your business processes. Missing even a single step in any process will end up costing you time you don’t have. If you’re like me, it will piss you off that you have to spend time fixing something you thought you completed. That kind of stress is unnecessary and unhealthy.
Prepare to Grow – At some point, you’re going to need to delegate some of your processes to someone else. If you already have process documents created you can easily hand off tasks as soon as you realize you need help. Otherwise, you’re likely to spend time trying to figure out how to train someone else to do exactly what you do.
What To Include In Your Process Documents
Process documents don’t have to be complicated. Here are some things you’ll want to include.
Process Title – What process are you documenting? Some title examples include Blog Post Creation and Client On-Boarding.
Process Purpose/Description – In this section, you want to define the goal of your process. You can write a paragraph or keep it to one sentence. Let’s use Blog Post Creation as our example. To draft, publish, and promote a blog post.
Systems Required – Which business systems do you use to create your blog posts or onboard clients? My blog post systems include things like WordPress and Hemingway App.
Detailed Task List – I like to use a detailed checklist for this section. Each task gets a checkbox I can check off as I complete the task. No task is too small to add to your checklist. You will use these checklists when you hire someone to help you get all the things done. If you skip adding a step, they’ll never know they need to do it. Causing more of that unnecessary stress we talked about above.
Grab A Worksheet
Some of us (waves hand all around) like visual things. That’s why I’m giving you a copy of my workflow worksheet.