Whether you have four staff or forty, documenting your business’s procedures will make for a stronger workplace, smoother ongoing operations and make it easier to on-board new people. Plus, should you ever want to sell or transition your business, documented procedures – how things are done – will add value to your business in the eye of a buyer.
Anything your business does repeatedly, involves more than one person or is key to your success, should be documented. When you first started your business, you likely relied on ‘having everything in your head’ and knew what needed to happen to deliver your product or service. While this may work initially, standardized practices will help keep your business efficient and sustainable, long-term. If your team expands and the opportunity to delegate arises, it is important to ensure your processes can be replicated in order to provide a consistent level of service to customers.
If your business is like most others, there is an extraordinary amount of institutional knowledge within the minds of you and your employees that doesn’t exist in documents – virtual or hard copy – anywhere. What people do ‘naturally’ in their day to day jobs is near impossible to replicate without an instruction manual. This may mean your day to day business gets done, but what happens if people with the institutional knowledge are absent or worse, leave?
If a buyer came knocking at your door with the offer of a lifetime, would your business procedures be readily available today?
Procedures, big or small, are key to the ongoing success of any business. Well documented and updated procedures allow for multiple people and entire teams to share in the collective institutional knowledge. Your company will experience many benefits, for example:
- The knowledge of senior team members, or even the owner, can be documented and shared.
- Documenting and sharing procedures across the team can often lead to fresh eyes and new perspectives and lead to finding ways to improve processes.
- Ideal and what-if scenarios can be put in place for contingency or less than ideal situations.
- Procedures make onboarding new team members easier, quicker and more consistent.
- Accessible and shared procedures add defined expectations and increase accountability.
- Documented and implemented procedures improves consistency of the deliverable which can build your brand and increase market share.
- Having clear processes can help with covering off people or positions in the event of vacations or illness.
- Documented procedures also help with human resource monitoring by adding specific language to job descriptions and performance reviews.
These and a host of other benefits will be felt by your business from the moment your procedures are documented until the time you choose to sell your business. In fact, having up to date documented procedures is something a buyer will be very interested in and will place a high value on this information when considering the purchase of your business.
Putting in the effort to document all the procedures in your business and keeping them current with regular updates is well-worth the investment of time. Start documenting the key functions and keep working at them until all your processes are done and then create a schedule for review and updates.
We can help you determine your business’s top value drivers and help you build a plan to improve your business’s overall value. If you want to increase the value of your company, connect with us.