As you are setting up your business to go legit, aside from a business plan, another thing you can do to help make it more clear what type of business you are - as well as make it easier for you to outsource or sell the business - is to create a Standard Operating Procedure Manual for your business. It’s super simple to set up an operating manual and even if you never need to give it to anyone, it’s going to help you.
For example, what do you do when you get the mail? Do you grab it and toss it on the kitchen table and then take it off the table and toss it on the sideboard while you’re eating dinner, then toss it over on the coffee table, then it gets lost? You know this is not the best way to conduct business; therefore, create a standard operating procedures manual so that you can do things in a more business-like way faster and possibly give it over to someone else to do for you, too.
Make a List of the Tasks
Each business is different about what they do each day. You may need a procedure for onboarding new clients or team members, launching a new product, providing customer service, uploading images, editing blog posts, and so forth. Whatever it is that must be done needs to be listed - whether it’s done daily, weekly, monthly, or some other time period.
Take Notes as You Do Each Task
As you do the task, write down how you do it, step-by-step. It also helps if you organize these into a logical order as well as make it easy to read with good formatting. A logical order may be listing each task in the order you do it each day. You may want a tab in your SOP for daily tasks, weekly, quarterly, and so forth to make this easier.
Use the Notes to Do the Task
Once you have documented a task, the next time you do it, follow the procedure that you created. Add to it as needed if you notice a better way to do it. If you need to update it, do so immediately, and continue to do that every time you do a task.
Store in the Cloud
Keep your SOP in the cloud so that it’s easier to share. You can even separate your SOP by task so that you can send the people who need it the steps for one task at a time easily with just a link to the task directions. Give permission for outsourcers to update the files as required since a lot of things are done with software, and the software may change.
Systemizing the things you do, just like you would at any job, is one of the keys to small business success. The main reason is that when you do things the same way each time, you get faster at doing it.
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