If you’re like me, you’ve built a business on an idea of how you can do something you love and you can do it in your own way, different and better, to meet a need. This strategy is your secret sauce that sets you apart from the crowd and attracts clients and customers. But because you have your own unique way of doing whatever it is you do, it can be challenging to train others how to replicate your success as you start working with contractors or hiring employees for certain aspects of your business. Enter a solution I swear by: Process Documentation.
The phrase “Process Documentation” may conjure up unappealing images of boring documents, but for a moment put that aside. Think of Process Documentation as creating a roadmap to success. By forcing yourself to slow down long enough to outline what exactly it is you do that has given your business success, you’re opening up possibilities to further propagate those methods. There are a few scenarios I’ve personally encountered that necessitate good Process Documentation.
Most entrepreneurs I know are terrible delegators; we operate with a mindset that says, “If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself.” Entrepreneurs and solo-preneurs are a fiercely independent bunch who hate admitting they need help, but we’ve all reached that point of needing help managing the workload. When you’ve written out all your processes, it’s much easier to hand a task over to someone else. Once you’ve trained them on it, you know your new assistant has guidelines they can refer to for questions and standards.
Seeing how you do something written out on paper can help you analyze the process itself far more clearly. As I’ve gone through a process documenting the steps I take, there have been times I’ve seen room for improvement to do things more efficiently or strategically.
Aside from delegating out of necessity, you can begin strategically developing a team to handle different parts of your business. This team approach will allow you to aggressively grow and pursue more customer and client volume. Documented Processes streamline training new employees or contractors, allowing for a much faster development of your business team.
As your business grows and your team expands, you may encounter variations in how different team members execute your processes. Having a written document not only provides instruction on how to do a task, but also serves as a standard everyone can be held accountable to.
Over the last 18 months, I’ve been working with my team to document all of our processes and I can attest to the positive impact it’s had on our overall business. We’ve written a more in-depth post on how to create process documents HERE. I’d love to hear your thoughts on process documentation, and how it has helped your business!