Here’s a scenario that none of us likes to think about.
What happens to your business income if you’re not around to do it all yourself?
There are many reasons why you might need to be out of your business, everything from illness to natural disasters from a week out to month’s out. This is something that all small business owners need to plan for because your insurance policy doesn’t cover this!
I’ve been chatting to some retail businesses of late, the type that has one or two team members. You know the ones, the stores where they know your name because it’s always the same people serving you.
It’s the same with your own clients. If you’re always the one they are dealing with, who do they talk to when you’re not around. Who will take over the reins of your business to make sure the wheels keep turning and your income continues to come in?
The big small business mistake
The big corporates have them, but many small businesses don’t, and they have them because they delegate. It truly is that simple. So how do you keep the money coming in without you?
I’m talking about procedure documents. And many small businesses don’t because there is never the time, and then it becomes such a hugely daunting task that it’s put in the too hard basket, and then it’s too late. You wind up in hospital sick and stressed, and during your time there the bills don’t get paid, and invoices don’t get sent. Effectively cutting off your financial lifeline. That, my friends, is a true story!!
How to keep the money coming in without you
Below is an 8 step solution that will help you prepare for what you don’t know is coming. This is the insurance policy that will guarantee your business keeps on keeping on!
This is how you develop the bones for your business procedure manual.
- Just begin – All you need to do is block some time in your diary and start writing. A bullet point list of all the jobs that need to be done in your business; you can expand on them later.
- The starting point is the basics – Share about your business, your customers, your target market, hours of operation.
- Get the stuff out of your head – Who are you writing your document for, peers or subordinates? If you’re writing for team members, use terms that they will understand without the need for getting technical.
- Write the steps of specific tasks – the ones that have to be done, your priorities. You don’t need to go into a lot of detail at this point, just the headlines. You can add the detail and prioritise them later down the track.
- Step by Step – Never assume anything when writing your procedures, listing the tasks, be specific, write so that the person who will do the job is left in no doubt what they need to do.
- Change it up – Just because it is, doesn’t mean it has to be. Here’s your chance to document changes you want to the way you’ve been doing things.
- It’s a working document – Your procedures are a living document; they’re never finalised because you will always find new ways of doing stuff.
- Get professional help – It’s a huge job, and working with documents and process flow charts might not be your thing, and that’s fine, but it is our thing. Whether you have your list yet or need help teasing it out, we know exactly how to help with that. Just reach out to us here, and let’s have a chat about your requirements.
Jacqui James has over 30 years experience in business administration, systems and processes. Offering a full end-to-end business solution for your business. To find out more about getting the help you need so you can spend more time with your clients, click here.
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