A Manual for your Business

Do you ever stop and think about how things are done in your business?

Do you ever think why they are done in such a way?

Do you wonder how many ways there are to meet the needs of your clients?

I had a wonderful conversation with a client last week about this. I knew where the conversation was going, but I wanted my client to get there himself. Essentially, he had concerns:

  • although his staff could multi-task, there were issues with boundaries and ‘whose job that is’
  • several people performed the same duties at different times and each one did them differently yet produced the same end result
  • the business lacked transparency – who/what/when
  • the business is growing and so these concerns could potentially become serious issues in the very near future

I reminded my client that everything is process. Whatever we do in a day, is all process! These are all symptoms of a lack of process knowledge, and really, top management should have a firm grasp on the processes in the business, from marketing through to after-sales support.

My client finally realised that what he needed was a company manual – a collection of documents that describe how the business works – or should work- that people can refer to and follow. We talked about what this ‘manual’ might look like:

  • conforming the company structure, vision, strategy and objectives
  • defining the processes needed to deliver these objectives
  • ┬ádefining how these processes interact with each other
  • documenting each individual process, along with owners, responsibilities and performance measures
  • the generation of a suite of performance measures to monitor progress to meeting the objectives
  • a tool to self-audit the business and continually adapt, improve, change
  • capturing our own best-practice
  • standardising – so we know where to look when things don’t go right
  • building quality into every process, and therefore everyone in the company
  • putting customer needs first
  • adding value to the business – a manual that describes how we create value

Of course, these discussions haven’t ended, but I’m so pleased with how they have progressed and I can already picture the value that this will produce for the company.

Do you have a company manual? Or, can you relate to this scenario and wish to discuss it in more detail?

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