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 workflow documents.
That sound fabulous Kelli but what the hell is a workflow document and how do I create one? Glad you asked.
Glad you asked.
What Is A Workflow Document
A workflow document lists each step in a process you use within your business. No matter what kind of business you run you have workflows you follow to make sure the work gets done. General business workflows include billing, new client on-boarding, or a social media scheduling. Your business probably has business-specific workflows as well. Examples of these include order fulfillment, reservation requests, or course launches.
Why You Need Workflows 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 workflows. 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 have workflow documents already on hand you can get started 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 Workflow Documents
Workflow documents don’t have to be complicated. Here are some things you’ll want to include.
Workflow Title – What workflow are you documenting? Some title examples include Blog Post Creation and Client On-Boarding.
Workflow Purpose/Description – In this section, you want to define the goal of your workflow. 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. Sooner or later someone unfamiliar with your business will use this list to help you get shit 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.