The value of documenting your processes and procedures

Imagine you want to buy a business. You are deciding between two almost identical companies with one exception, documentation. 

Business #1, the owner shows you a procedure manual with each process documented to the smallest detail. 

 

Business #2, owner tells you he and his employees have “everything in their heads” and just “wing it” as they see fit.

 

You would take the documented business every time. So what is the value of having procedures documents?

 

1.    Best practices and hard learned lessons (and costly) are captured to avoid repeating past mistakes.

 

2.    New employees can be easily trained from them.

 

3.    They provide consistency of how things are handled for employees and clients.

 

4.    When you lose an employee, their knowledge does not leave with them.

 

5.    The procedure insures all employees follow the exact same process.

 

6.    It will impress a perspective buyer should you decide to sell your business.

 

TIP: 

·         Have each employee detail their own procedures they follow every day

 

·         Have employees follow a template for SOP (Standard Operating Procedures). Contact me and I will send you one.

 

·         Appoint one person to review each procedure and ensure consistency between them

 

·         Create a process that makes certain procedures are reviewed every six months

 

·         Establish a control process that keeps the most current procedures readily accessible to all employees.