Operations manuals: the “recipe book” for your small business

Would you try to bake a pie without a recipe? You could spend countless hours mixing ingredients trying to find the combination that produces a tasty pie. And in the end, you could wind up with a gooey mess that tastes nothing like what you intended.

The same thing can happen with your small business. Without operating policies and procedures, you and your employees can waste hours trying to complete a task, only to find that the results are not what you wanted. You can work conscientiously and diligently, only to discover that your “recipe” was wrong. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Consistent actions produce consistent results. Documented systems, processes, and procedures–when followed–create consistent actions. With operating systems and procedures, you can get consistent results–the results that you desire.

An operations manual is the “recipe book” for your small business. It provides step-by-step instructions for the tasks you and your employees perform. When the procedure is followed, the results are predictable. Just like following a recipe for a pie. Except a lot more is at stake with your business.

Many small business owners know that they should develop systems and processes for their business, but find the task overwhelming. They don’t know where to start, how to proceed, or how to develop procedures.

With procedures and processes in place–with your business systematized–your employees know what you expect and can deliver. Your customers will receive more consistent quality. And you can delegate, confident that your business will produce the results that you desire. It is a win- win- win.

If you wouldn’t try to bake a pie without a recipe, why would you want to run your business without an operations manual? No matter what type of small business you own–internet marketing, home based, service, real estate, contracting, manufacturing, retail–systems, processes, and procedures will help you consistently get the results that you desire.

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