Your business is built around a group of processes and procedures. They relate to everything you do in business, along with the steps you take, to accomplish what you do. In our last blog post we looked at what processes and procedures are, why they’re important and the typical ones you’d have in business. If you haven’t seen that post yet or need a little refresh, you can check it out here. But knowing them isn’t enough, you have to document them if you want to benefit from them – and that’s what a Procedures Manual is for.

A processes and procedures manual removes any confusion

Repeatable processes are fundamental to any successful operation in your business. A Procedures Manual simplifies tasks, especially if multiple people are involved or if the task is done more than once. All businesses can have any number of processes and procedures to follow.

A manual keeps all of your businesses processes and procedures in one place and serves to spare you having to rely on memory alone!

Ensures everyone is on the same page

But more than that, a processes and procedures manual ensures everyone is following the same steps. This helps you maintain uniformity and consistency within your business, whilst also adhering to the standards you expect for your business. You’re also helping staff to save time and minimises errors and ensuring everyone in on the same page.

Without a processes and procedures manual, you’re leaving yourself open to fluctuations in standards and motivation. And of course, if someone leaves, theirs a good chance their knowledge goes with them if it hasn’t been properly recorded.

Helps highlight what is and isn’t working

Another advantage of having your processes and procedures documented is it shows you what can be improved and changed. Whether those changes mean automating tasks, identifying bottlenecks and inefficiencies or introducing more collaboration and performance opportunities, it’s a lot easier to see what’s needed when you have everything clearly documented.

A valuable team resource

Your procedures and processes manual serves as a guide to help employees at all levels to make decisions and understand how things work. Clear guidelines and processes inevitably equate to happier, satisfied staff members and an increase in productivity and efficiency. Not only can you use it as an initial training document, but it also helps staff know how to handle things and who to contact with any problems. And, when it comes to outsourcing or handing a job over, the manual makes this easier too!

A Procedures Manual is a working document

However, for a procedures and processes manual to work, it needs to be a working document. This means you need to appoint someone to be responsible for its upkeep and to document changes, as they’re implemented.

As manual can make changes in your business easier in the future, as there’s a clear process already in place. New procedures and processes need to be added, as they’re discovered and implemented and existing ones tweaked and added to, as necessary.

A processes and procedures manual is designed to work with, and for, your business. Follow what’s documented and your business will flourish. Neglect them and you’re going to struggle. But if you want to improve the quality of your business and the working environment, whilst decreasing costs and confusion, a processes and procedures document is the way forward. And if you decide to eventually sell your business, having this document in place will ensure it’s more desirable and valuable, as a ‘ready to go’ business.

If you’d like some help creating your business processes and procedures manual, Virtual Hand can help! Whether you’re looking for a template to follow yourself, would rather have some help documenting the information you have, or want someone to compile and create your processes and procedures manual from scratch – you’ll want to check out your options here!