The Importance of Documenting Service Procedures
When starting a business, there are tons of demands on your time. The good news: it doesn’t have to be that way forever. “Did I remember to send that e-mail?” “Are my 941s filed?” “I have to make sure I don’t miss this deadline!” We get it! Documenting the procedures to deliver the services that your company offers may fall into your “necessary but not urgent” bucket. We think it should be in the “necessary and urgent” bucket for the following reasons.
Business Responsibility: Accountability
Until you have a procedure documented from start to finish, it is very challenging to hold anyone accountable for how it’s done. What step did a certain employee forget to do? Was a client called unnecessarily because sometimes we document client info one way and other times it gets documents another way? Writing down the procedures for your services creates an environment for accountability and business responsibility.
Business Effectiveness: Systematic
Documenting procedures is the foundation to creating systems. It’s unlikely that automation or technology will help your service business until you have documented procedures. Putting systems in place for your staff and clients helps provide increased levels of effectiveness.
Business Reliability: Management
When you begin to document how things are done, your business become more reliable. Your staff and clients will get into a groove which will have an inevitable and reliable outcome. Management, instead of organized chaos, will be much more possible and will give you business reliability.
Business Sanity: Processes
Rather than managing each aspect of every ongoing project (and never taking a day off, let alone a vacation) having the service procedure documented creates a process. It’s much easier to manage multiple ongoing processes when they are all unified. Your staff will be on the same page. Everyone will understand the process and you will have business sanity. Maybe you should take a vacation!
Business Growth: Scaling
If your goal is to grow your business, we hope it is, you will probably need to hire more people at some point. It’s poor leadership to expect your new operations manager, project manager, or sales person to have any success without knowing how you provide your services. Before businesses are ready to scale, they must take the time to document their services. It’s the fundamental part of business growth.