Having procedures in place for your business is not only very handy for you in case you have to go back and remember how to do something after a long period of time, but it’s also an excellent backup in case you get sick or have to go away and someone has to step in and take care of everything for you. Want to take a holiday and need to get someone in to cover for you while you’re away? Procedures will save the day!
Most people don’t enjoy writing out their procedures, I know, and the task may seem so daunting that they give up before they even begin, but the longer you wait, the longer it will take, so you might as well start now! Then, create some new habits for yourself and your business so that whenever a new client or task is added to your job, you automatically document it right off the bat, and then you will never have to tackle the whole shebang all at once again. Hooray!
As some of you may or may not know, I used to be a software developer. And, when you are a software developer you (should) spend quite a bit of time documenting what you’ve done so that when others come along they will know why did what you did in your code, and of course documenting how the darn thing is supposed to work so that users can navigate their way through the program.
I was one of those strange folks who actually enjoyed this part of my job, and when I left that company I left behind binders and binders full of complete program documentation. So, now I’m my own boss and I discovered that as I was preparing to start my business I’d write everything out ahead of time – what I wanted to do, how I was going to do it, etc. Then, when I was actually up and rolling, I tweaked those initial procedures. And, every time I get a new client I do the same for all of their work, and of course tweak it and make sure that it’s up to date. To make a long story short, I managed to create the habit that allows me to create procedures and keep them up to date.
Now, this year I’m going to get a subcontractor to fill in for me for the first time while I take a well-deserved, honest-to-goodness HOLIDAY! No laptop constantly by my side this time! Having my procedures ready to go will allow me this luxury. How’s that for an incentive?!?
So, whether you’re a new business starting up or you’ve been going strong for a long time, start making your procedures now and create the habit to continue adding procedures as you go along.