A client called the other day. This particular client is the CEO of a $2MM company. He has grown it from the bottom up, a true American success story. Sadly, he became injured and required surgery to repair some problems in his back. What was expected to be a 1 day operation turned into a 7 day hospital stay and 6 weeks of post operative, home based recovery.
This client called our firm and expressed deep regret for not having a procedures manual. His staff, about 12 individual contributors, were keeping the company operational and functional, however, there were many challenges that had to be addressed on a daily basis because of no standardized procedure. This client wanted to know how to address the problem.
Our consultant provided some ideas, however, there is no simple solution, especially now that there is a large number of individual contributors employed by the firm.
The procedures manual needs to be developed in the very embryonic stages of the firm– when there is only employee–you! Document how you do everything. As additional staff join the firm, continue to add to the manual, update and enrich it each and every week. Soon, the manual will be thorough and complete. This is the only way in which to have an accurate and complete manual. This is not hard or complicated, however, doing it will save lots of time, frustration and energy later in the life cycle of the business.