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How to create a Process Manual

How to create a Process Manual

How to create a Process Manual

If you or your team are ready to create a Process Manual, then this 6 step process will make it easier for you – plus there’s a handy process template for you too!
 
If you’re an Asana user or ClickUp fan, I mention how this can work for you too – so that all the tasks, projects AND processes are all within easy access.
 

Benefits of creating processes for your business

 
Creating a process manual is crucial for you when you’re scaling your business. It’s not just you doing all the work anymore – so you can’t keep everything in your head! Your team aren’t mind readers, so having clear processes around the tasks they need to focus on is crucial.
 

Here’s a quick list of why it’s important to create a process manual:

▶︎ Helps to clarify the roles and responsibilities, so that everyone know’s what they’re responsible for, and when.

▶︎ Creating SOP’s means the knowledge stays with the business, and not with any one person.

▶︎ Anyone can pick up the task and know how to do it, so the risk to business interruption is minimised.

▶︎ The quality is consistent. Once an SOP is documented, you can hand over the task without loss of quality or consistency

▶︎ Your team can get on with the task, so your productivity increases.

▶︎ SOP’s help save time – for you and your team.

▶︎ SOP’s SAVE MONEY – clear processes mean your team are working efficiently, and you can hire the right people for the task

 
Now that you’re sold on this, let’s get into how to create a process manual.
 

6 Steps to creating a process manual

 

#1 Identify the processes your business needs

Brainstorm a list of all the SOP’s you need to create.
Prioritise the top 3, so the task doesn’t seem so daunting!
 
Tip: if you have a team, or are planning to add a team member, think about the tasks they will need to be working on, and the outcomes you need.
 

#2 Use a template

Having consistent processes helps to create them with ease, and navigate them.
You can google a process template, or download mine here!
 
It has the following sections:
 
▶︎ Process Name
▶︎ Purpose
▶︎ When process is to be used
▶︎ Procedure (all of the steps broken down in detail)
▶︎ Supporting resources

Here’s the Process template to download ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎ 

 

#3 Start with the easiest one

It’s no secret that starting with something easy will give you some practise in getting your brain thinking about the steps involved.
I know from personal experience that if I set myself up to work on a difficult task, it can take a lot longer, and feels like a drag.
 
Set yourself up for a quick win!
 

#4 Dot points are often not enough – create visual cues too

As you or your team member go through the process in their usual way, take some screenshots, or make a video explaining the process.
 
This can be a great support to the actual dot point process and help clarify any additional aspects, things to look out for, or what it looks like when it’s complete.
 

#5 Test and improve

The big test is if someone outside your business can pick it up and complete it.
If you’re not brave enough to send it to your business bestie, then ask your team member to follow it step by step and provide any recommendations for improvement.
 
 
It probably won’t be perfect the first time you create it, so allow for continuous improvement (and your processes might upgrade over time with tech too).
 

#6 Save it in a Process Folder to keep it organised

Keep your processes clearly named and organised in a shared folder.
Organise your folder using subfolders for the different areas of your business, such as Marketing Processes, Financial Processes, Community Processes, Client Processes.
 
I recommend using a consistent naming convention such as ProcessName_Date
 

Additional Tips for creating your Process Manual

  • Remember to refer to the roles in your processes, instead of naming individual people. That way your process doesn’t need changing if the person leaves the position
  • If your team are creating the processes, double check them, and add an Approved and Date section to the bottom to keep the most relevant one  in the manual.
 
If you’re an Asana user:
Your tasks and team members will be mainly based in Asana, so set up a project where each process is a task. Then you can add in a hyperlink to the description for clickable access to the dropbox or Gdrive doc.
 
 
The project can then become a great reference point for your team and clearly organised so that they know where to find everything.
 
 
If you’re a ClickUp user:
As ClickUp has the added bonus of being able to add documents, you can keep them there.
You can also create a table of contents linking through to each process, so that  everything is easy to find.
 
You can also then embed the process doc into a workflow template so that the link to the process is embedded in the task. So many layers here!
 
Clickup allows you to add videos, images, link to tasks, checklists into the doc making it a great extension of your business hub.

Your next steps:

1. Download my template below to help you create business processes.
2. Start brainstorming the processes you need & use this 6 step process to create a process manual 
aerlie wildy, business efficiency consultant, adelaide small business
Aerlie Wildy is a business efficiency consultant and mother based in the Adelaide Hills.

She helps serviced based business improve performance by combining journey mapping, process improvement and productivity strategies through consultation, implementation and training.

You can connect with me on Facebook, join my Chief Executive Entrepreneurs Facebook Group, check out my Youtube Channel or Pin with me on Pinterest.

7 practical tips for creating business processes

7 practical tips for creating business processes

7 Tips for creating business processes for your small business

If you’re growing your business, then creating business processes is essential for you to scale and grow.

You and your business will struggle to manage increased capacity, increased content creation and expansion of your team without documented processes.

Your team will find it hard to complete the any task to your high quality standards if your business processes are not documented.

You and your team will provide inconsistent customer care without business processes documented.

You can start to see that small business owner that has journeyed over the hump of being a solo entrepreneur to having a small team will tell you that creating business processes is essential.

Why do you need business processes?

There a few essential reasons why its important to create business processes for your business growth.

The main reason you need to create business processes is that you can’t do everything and will need, or already have a team or a VA to help you.

Your business growth will slow down if you’re still the one pasting a blog link into your email newsletter, or scheduling your social media posts.

Once you have a team, you need to be able to give them the information and tools to be able to complete the work – to the high standards that you want, and so that it’s consistent every time.

When is the right time to start creating business processes?

In a perfect world, I would recommend as soon as possible! Any repeatable process you complete in your business can be documented.

If it’s still just you completing the task this is still important.

As a business owner, you have a huge amount of information, tasks, clients and ideas to manage, and it doesn’t take long for your brain to fill up.

If you’re keeping step by step tasks in your head, these processes are taking up space, and impeding your creativity. They can also slow down your growth and ability to improve them.

My experience in creating business processes

I would never have improved my business blog publishing process if I hadn’t started to document it.

I was so busy trying to remember each next step when I was drafting, uploading, formatting and publishing my blogs because each step was in my head.

Once I had documented it, I had more brainspace to see how I could add on additional processes before and after to improve my SEO and streamline my process, and eventually outsource everything except the actual writing.

So, I recommend starting to document as soon as you have identified a repeatable task. These are often related to content or publishing and are really operational. They don’t involve strategy and have a clear process to follow – hence you can start to outsource them effectively as early as possible.

Download my template below to help you create business processes.
 

7 Tips for creating business processes

#1 Video yourself completing the task.

You can use Zoom or Loom for this and talk your way through the task.

Rename each video and save it in a shared drive, so that you can start to create a bank of business processes that are easy to find, and simple to update.

#2 Break it down

If your business process involves lots of steps, then break it down into key phases, or steps, and then under each phase, dot point the steps in that phase.

This also helps someone else know where they are in the process, instead of getting lost in a long list of instructions.

If you’re improving the process or giving feedback to your team member, it can also be referenced and updated with more ease, instead of having to re-record the whole process.

#3 Use verbs!

As you do when you’re creating a to do list, or in a task management platform, steps in the process need action words so that it’s clear what action needs to be taken.

#4 Include the resources required

Reference the programs, passwords, templates, checklists that are required to complete the process too.

#5 Close the loop

If you need to approve the end result, add a task at the end to notify that the task is completed and ready for publishing.

If the task doesn’t need your approval, it still needs to be marked as completed so that you can see the status. This also saves a little time, as you don’t have to have a conversation about it – once it’s ticked it’s complete.

#6 Create a space for asking questions and giving feedback for the person completing your processes.

Especially when someone is learning a new process, or is new to your business, they will need an opportunity to clarify or ask questions. Make it clear where this is to occur for your team.

I don’t recommend FB Messenger or email. It becomes very difficult to track a conversation and tasks there.

There are great tool like Slack, or the chat in Asana or ClickUp (if you’re using those platforms) that are real slime chat and can be organised so that it’s not one thread.

#7 Use a template so that your business processes are consistent.

Save them in a shared drive, with consistent names so that they are easy to find and update.

Bonus points if you set a regular (bi-annual or annual) task to review them so that they stay up to date with your business practices and processes.

Your next steps:

Download my template below to help you create business processes.
 
aerlie wildy, business efficiency consultant, adelaide small business
Aerlie Wildy is a business efficiency consultant and mother based in the Adelaide Hills.

She helps serviced based business improve performance by combining journey mapping, process improvement and productivity strategies through consultation, implementation and training.

You can connect with me on Facebook, join my Chief Executive Entrepreneurs Facebook Group, check out my Youtube Channel or Pin with me on Pinterest.

How to Nail your Business Processes: 4 Phases

How to Nail your Business Processes: 4 Phases

This year, I’ve been honing my messaging to talk more about how to nail your business processes, so that you can scale your business. Today, I want to dig further into this, with the 4 key phases on nailing so that you can be really clear what it means to nail your business operations, and what steps you need to take to really nail them.

I also need to clarify that I’m talking about nailing your business operations so that you can scale your business, increase your capacity and grow your income. Other business coaches talk about nailing and scaling too – but many focus on ’nailing the customer’s problem, so that you can scale for growth’. Can you see the difference? I’m all about nailing the operational/HOW the business runs on a day to day basis.

I’m focussing specifically on HOW your transition into the CEO role of your business, nail your business operations and build more capacity (aka getting out of startup).

These 4 phases assume that you have some simple marketing funnels place and that your messaging is working for you.

 

Why you should nail your business operations?

It’s important to work out how to nail your business processes before you start to head into bigger growth strategies.
Just imagine if you’re working on higher lever marketing, or creating new courses, but still struggling to blog consistently, or onboard your new clients effectively.

Another reason why nailing your business operations is important is because until you do, you will be the one doing everything. When you first start a business, it’s lean. All of the tasks are done by you. That’s a part of being an entrepreneur. However, as your business grows, you become the bottleneck, because there’s only so much one person can actually do.
There are always procedural aspects of your business that can be handed over, and that’s a good place to start.

So, if your procedures are still in your head, then it’s time to start getting it out of your head and into Asana, or a Google Doc!

You can’t run your business in your head forever!

You have to get those processes out of your head and nailed so that you can start to outsource, batch and get ahead. If you don’t, you’ll get stuck in a startup doing #allthethings in your business and not able to step away from the admin.

Nailing your business processes is a key way to getting ahead and the start of your outsourcing journey.

 

What it means to nail your business operations

This can look different for every business, however, there are a few key elements that are common, especially for service-based online businesses.

Here are a few processes you could have in place to mean your business runs smoothly:

  • Content batched well in advance, because you know what to create, for which platform, and how to re-purpose it so that you can get most of it done in one hit, and hand it over for publishing and distribution
  • Content distribution process in place with a clear outline on how to publish, when, where, which image and how often – newsletter included
  • Financial management processes in place so that, ideally, you are paid in advance for your services, invoices reconciled, and GST bookkeeping outsourced, income and expenses tracked against a budget
  • Client journey operations and communications templated, automated and/or anticipated so that the flow for leads and current clients is consistent, procedural and easy to track.
  • Day to day operations of running the business is documented and outsourced to a VA or team

If these key processes are nailed, then you have SO MUCH more time to create valuable content, be visible in your marketing and show up for your clients. You’d also have more time to create that leveraged product, scale your launch – be the CEO and grow!

How to Nail your Business Processes – 4 Phases

Phase 1: Clarity – the Holy Grail!

When you have been running your business for a while (albeit in your head), take some time to stop and ask: “What’s the ideal way you want this process to work?”

For each of the areas mentioned in the dot points above – what would you really like them to look like?
How do you really want to show up in your business?

Get really clear on how you want to spend time in your business. This will identify how you need to set up your processes so that you have the time to choose.

Having clarity on the outcome and the ideal for your key business operations is a powerful way to nail your business processes.

Only want to work 4 hours a day? Only want to see clients 2 days a week? Never want to format a newsletter again?
Get clear on how you want to work.

Phase 2: Analyse

This is where you can analyse what’s working and what’s not – and why measuring is so important!

This is not just about which offers are selling more, or which opt-in is most preferred. There’s a whole deeper level of improvement that’s relevant here so that you can analyse the processes you have for asking for money, for creating content, for determining what to handover, for determining what aspects of your business are hindering, or even what to let go.

You know the process, but this is your opportunity to improve it or supercharge it.

It’s an opportunity to improve your customer service when you onboard new clients.
It’s an opportunity to add more distribution channels to your blog scheduling and reach new people.
It’s an opportunity to get really clear on the types of tasks you don’t want to do!

Taking a good hard look and noticing what feels easy for you, for your team, for your clients – and improving those, will certainly help you scale more than putting a lot of effort into the things that might actually need to be culled or reviewed.

Phase 3: Nail

Once you’re clear on the processes and the operations to make your business run smoothly, then nail them.

Nail them by documenting all the steps, creating checklists, creating templates – anything you think someone else would need to competently run the process. Trust me, there’s a home for everything in your head, and once you put all the things you have to remember into a process, you’ve so much more space to be creative!

Nail the operations in your business – so that you can hand them over. You didn’t start your business so that you could spend your time doing admin all day. You were meant for more, and this is how you step into it – by letting go of the operations and processes.

Phase 4: Improve and refine

Once your processes are set up, you can run them again, and keep improving!

I wrote about how I was getting in my own way because of how much my system improved once I started documenting it. It was mainly because I had the mental space to think ahead so that I could improve – whereas before when I was still just trying to remember the next step, I was getting nowhere.

Refining is a powerful process. It can improve your customer service, increase your reach, reduce your expenses – this is where the extra mental space allows you to be the CEO and make CEO decisions!

Your next steps:

Scaling is about building the capacity. Let’s face it, if there are more clients, there’s more work, and you will need to have more time and brain space to serve them. You won’t have that time if you’re constantly doing the admin.

Stepping into the CEO role, and building a team is key here, but it’s not just the only aspect of scaling. You may need to build a team to support your free community, your paid community, your clients, your membership platforms, your marketing and advertising, your financial management, your live events, and your launching – to list a few off the top of my head.

Start with one key area of your business and consider your ideal. Get really clear on how you want it to look or feel. Analyse where you are with it at the moment, and document or update your processes with your ideal in mind.
Then you can hand it over to your team, or source a VA to hand it over to.

Want help with any of these steps, or someone to talk them through with?

 

 

If you want some support to help fast track this process, or help you transition to a new system that you actually use, then can book a  free systems audit with me so we can determine where to start, and what you need to get up and running with systems.

 

systems audit, small business coaching
 
 
aerlie small business coach
 
 
Aerlie Wildy is a business designer. business coach and mother based in the Adelaide Hills. I specialise in designing and systemising business for growth. You can connect with me on Facebook, join my Chief Executive Entrepreneurs Facebook Group, check out my Youtube Channel or Pin with me on Pinterest.
How to be the boss of your business

How to be the boss of your business

Are you the boss of your own business? Or are you struggling to get everything done  – because you wear all the hats? In start up, you HAVE to wear all the hats, but as your business grows, all of those hats can actually get in the way of your growth.

If you’re thinking about scaling your business and are definitely ready to step away from doing all the things in your business, and being tied down to your laptop then read on for some tips on how to be the boss of your business.

In a service based business I know that you want to take your business to the next level, so that you can start to leverage your products, and not get caught in the dollar for hour trap. However, if you’re still spending so much of your time working IN your business and not ON your business, then that transition can be very difficult.

 

Systems are the answer if you want to be the boss of your business

The best way to transition away from wearing all the hats and doing all the work is to use systems. Systems like checklists, processes, as well as tech tools like Asana have to be your friend if you want to scale and grow your business. There is only so much one person can do!

Systems don’t have to be scary. They can be really simple. Once you embrace systems, you can start to step away from wearing all the hats – because there will be delegation, automation and processes that do most of the hat wearing for you.

 

The CEO Mindset

When you started your business, it was lean, and designed for you to do all the work, but how are you going to be the boss of your business? Until you build systems and a CEO mindset into your business, nothing will change, and you will continue to wear the hats and feel like you are spread very thin!

Thinking like a CEO is about working out what you can delegate, what you can automate, and what to simplify. It’s about being strategic with how you spend your time, analysing what’s working in your business, and improving that. The quote What gets measured improves is key to scaling your business – so tracking against your goals is a part of being the boss.

So how do you go from doing everything to just being the boss?

It’s easier said than done, but these 6 tips will get you started.

 

6 tips to be the boss of your business

These 6 tips will help you start to step away from doing all the admin and time consuming tasks, and start to be the CEO, growing your business & putting in place the strategies for scaling.

Before I get into it, I know that systems can be boring. They don’t have any glory in them but they do provide the foundation for you to be the boss of your business. They provide you with the space and time to transition from doing all the things to being the CEO – and that’s powerful.

1. CEO Session

Schedule regular weekly CEO sessions.
Plan your big goals, break them down into smaller goals review your progress against them (Remember that what gets measured improves!)

2. Measure to Improve

Link your goals with measuring and tracking your progress around not just your list growth but all of the areas that you want to improve, such as lead generation and conversions, productivity, engagement, customer service, team performance

3. Record your processes, create checklists & templates

Start to create procedures for all of your repetitive operational tasks. You can record yourself using Zoom orLoom and create a bank of procedures that you’re ready to outsource.
Set up checklists and templates for any processes that have multiple steps, to help remind you of what’s next and keep your process consistent. 

4. Work on your outsourcing strategy

Start thinking about outsourcing if you haven’t already. Having an outsourcing strategy is so important because you can start to hand over the repetitive tasks sooner

5. Set up your Operations Hub

Use a tool such as Asana or Click up so they can manage your tasks. Setting up this structure helps track the operational one off tasks and the recurring tasks, and also the goal-oriented tasks. Keeping them all in one place makes it easy to manage, track and outsource.

6. Create an Ideal Week template

Start to manage your time strategically. You don’t want to spend your mornings doing admin, and answering emails, only to find that by the afternoon you don’t feel like writing an email sequence or batching content. If you’re fresh in the mornings, do the important CEO tasks then. Set up your week to allow for client facing time, CEO time, content creation, engagement – so that it’s mapped out instead of squeezed in and rushed. The quality of everything that you do will improve using this strategy.

I have a great template for creating your ideal week in my Ready to scale?essential business systems Download. You can  grab it here:

Ready to scale your business

Your next steps:

These strategies will help you to transition as the boss of your business. If you want to take more steps towards setting up systems and procedures in your business, and developing your CEO mindset, you can book a Systems Audit with me because I don’t want you to be in the same place this time next year.

 

systems audit, small business coaching
 
 
 
 
aerlie small business coach
 
 
Aerlie Wildy is a business designer. business coach and mother based in the Adelaide Hills. I specialise in designing and systemising business for growth. You can connect with me on Facebook, join my Chief Executive Entrepreneurs Facebook Group, check out my Youtube Channel or Pin with me on Pinterest.