5 Minute Procedures That Will Save Time & Money
written by Derek Weber
I know any time the words “policies and procedures” are said, a big groan often follows, but from an avid big picture guy, I’m telling you that writing down your procedures will not only save you a lot of time and effort, but will also ensure your people are operating in the way you want them to, which will make your business run better.
I can already hear it now, “Well, I’ve only got a couple of employees, we don’t need documented procedures” or “I do everything myself, and I know how to do everything just fine.” Those may hold some truth, but what happens when you are out of town for business or vacation or an employee gets sick or becomes unavailable for one reason or another…what then? Is it an effective use of your time when you have to stop what you are doing and show your employee how to do something for the second or third time? Even worse, what if your employees are doing what they think is the right procedure, but come to find out, they are leaving out one or two crucial steps? The negative impact these type of things have on your business may go unnoticed for a long time, but they are chipping away at your time and your business’ effectiveness and profitability.
Don’t get me wrong, if you decided to sit down one day and try to bang out every procedure for every process in your business, you would probably get about 5 or 6 deep and say screw it, this is stupid. On the other hand, if you make a more attainable goal of documenting one procedure per week, over time you will really start to have a nice collection. More importantly, anytime you have to explain how to do something to an employee, instead of just preaching the instructions to them, take 5 minutes to write down step by step exactly what they should do, send them the documented procedure, and then talk them through it. If you do it this way, not only will you ensure they will do it correctly, you also won’t have to worry about them coming back and asking you the following week how to do it again.
The key to properly using documented procedures is to make them accessible for your employees to review at all times. At goBRANDgo!, we use BaseCamp by 37 Signals to store all of our procedures, so we can access any procedure at any time. You will have to find what works best for you, whether it be emailing the document to everyone or putting print outs in a binder or something else, it doesn’t really matter as long as you do it.
What is important is that you start doing it and doing it today. Otherwise you will find yourself repeating the same instructions over and over or find things aren’t being done correctly…either way, you and your business will suffer.Derek Weber derek@goBRANDgo.com www.goBRANDgo.com 314.754.8712