Wondering how you’ll take any time off from your business during the upcoming holidays? If you want to work less, get more done, and make sure your staff does things the way you want, you need to create systems in your business.
The holidays are rolling around so creating a business that runs while you’re on vacation is a hot topic with my clients. I was recently speaking with a client who expressed that she wanted to be able to take time off during the holidays without worrying about the direction of her business while she was gone. She wanted to be able to truly get away and spend time with her family without having to check in constantly, so that she could finally get away from the stress of running her business. That conversation inspired this topic.
Self-employed professionals and small business owners place a high value on their time. The ideal scenario is to be able to turn over aspects of your business (to customer service help, virtual assistants, etc.) so that you no longer have to do them yourself. But as much as you value your time, you also value the quality of your business, and after building your business from the ground up, it can be hard to give aspects of the job to others with confidence.
In the end, if you want to be able to work less, get more things done, and make sure the people you hire do things the way you want them to, you have to establish systems.
The Benefits of Business Systems
Having systems in place is useful for a number of reasons. They make it easier for you to:
- Delegate tasks
- Manage growth
- Bring in new employees
- Standardize your processes
- Take a big-picture focus while knowing the everyday tasks are being handled correctly
- Ensure that your clients are getting the best possible experience
- Stop micromanaging
- Provide the best possible client service Your Operations Manual
I always recommend that my clients establish an Operations Manual, which lists all the tasks that need to be done to keep the business running, along with step-by-step instructions for each task. The goal is to make it possible for any new employee to enter your company and quickly learn how to do things. This makes it easier for you to know that things will be done your way even when you’re not there. Plus, it can be helpful for you when you perform tasks that you don’t do every day.
Your Operations Manual should be clear and straightforward, using simple language to convey practical information, and it should have a table of contents. It’s also a good idea to regularly update your Operations Manual to make sure everything is up-to-date. It’s a living document, so schedule a quarterly review to go through the manual and revise things.
Your Operations Manual doesn’t have to be a printed text. You can keep it in electronic form through Microsoft Word or one of the other word processing programs. If you have a web-based collaborative system that your staff uses to work together, put the manual there.
Start documenting tasks as you do them. Ask members of your team to document their daily responsibilities and an outline of how they perform those tasks.
Small Business Coach and Marketing Strategist, Jennifer Davey, is the author of the ’14-Step Formula for Getting Clients, Building Business and Making More Income’, Visit her web site at