When I worked in a corporate office, I was asked to be a peer auditor for our quality system. I must admit that it was not my favourite job, my eyes would glaze over at the mere thought of it.
Back then, I didn’t appreciate the value of having things documented so that if ever someone had to step into your shoes on short notice, it was all there in black and white, and the person had something to refer to that would help them to perform the required duties in your absence.
Now that I run my own small business, I could be lulled into thinking, “I am a solopreneur, no one else but me does my job, why do I need to document what I do?”
Well, there are some very good reasons to document what you do as a small business owner:
- What if, heaven forbid, something were to happen to you? Would anyone know how to figure out your accounts, what was owed to you and what you owed others? Would they know who your clients were and whom to notify in the event of an emergency that prevents you from completing the work you were engaged to do?
- Have you ever done something once, and then time lapses and you go to do it again, realising that you forgot how you completed the task the first time?
- What about if your business ramps up and you need to take on staff? If you have your processes and procedures documented, it is easier to provide your new staff member with a document they can read over in the first instance and then address any questions as they come up. This would be particularly useful if you are required to take on staff on a seasonal basis.
- Having your processes and procedures documented gives you the opportunity to highlight inefficiencies, to tweak your processes so that you can optimise your time and produce a superior product or service.
Have you got your documentation up to date and does someone know where you keep it? If not, why not start today with one procedure and go from there?