This month our track 2 clients are focusing on leadership and operations strategy, something every business owner should be doing. Some of the most important components of a scalable business are the systems, processes and procedures that run your startup like a fine-tuned engine. As entrepreneurs, we’re often building as we go, keeping a file (for better or worse) of everything we know and everything we do inside our heads.
However, as you bring on team members, they’ll need to access that information to fulfill their individual responsibilities. It may seem like too much extra time to write it down but consider the time it takes to tell someone else what needs to be done (and how many times you may need to tell them).
Here are three ways you can ensure that you’re capturing the inner-workings of your startup on Take Action Tuesday:
If you or your team are performing a task that you expect to perform again, or you expect someone else to perform again, you should document what you did and how you did it. You can do this in a content organization tool like Evernote or create a simple Word document and save it to a file containing all such documents.
You would be surprised at how much time is wasted remembering sign-ins and passwords, searching for documents or recreating items you could have otherwise re-purposed. Name your materials in a way that’s easy to find (e.g. ABC Company Invoice Template). Save the document to a folder that makes sense when you try finding it again (say in Accounting or a folder where you keep all such templates named ABC Templates). And if you’re going to need a similar document again (invoice, press release, memo, etc.), create a template you can use again in the future.
Compile it into an SOP
A Standard Operating Procedure manual, also known as an SOP, is a tool, that when used property, becomes the heart of your business. It should include every aspect of how you run your business and serve your clients. Start now as a new company, so that as you hire interns, contractors, consultants and eventually employees, each of them knows how to do what needs to be done. This tool will save you time, money and plenty of frustration, and becomes an excellent training tool to ensure a consistent, high quality experience for anyone who comes in contact with your business.
I look forward to seeing you over here at ASU Chandler Innovation Center soon! And be sure to register for our upcoming Startup Connection event. The link should be arriving in your inbox soon!