Document My Systems?…..Which Systems?

Recently I wrote a post about how businesses should document their systems to improve their profits and value.

I received some feedback that went something like this..

“Which systems, there are a million systems in my business!”

Well, you’re correct. Even a small business has many different systems. How you answer the phone, how to install the widget, how to log into your QuickBooks, it goes on and on.

So where should you start?

My advice is to make your first written/documented system the one that is most critical to the success of your business. That means you can rule out how to log on to your computer, how to check voice mail, how to refill the paper in the copier.

Here are some examples of critical systems for various businesses:

  • If you have a staffing firm you need a great system for interviewing potential hires.
  • If you  have an auto repair shop you need a great system for diagnosing car problems.
  • If you own an ice cream store you need a system to make sure the ice cream temperature is always perfect.

What’s the most critical system for your business? You’ll need to decide, then write it down, diagram it, draw it… do whatever you need to do to make sure that someone can do it if you’re on a sail boat in the middle of the ocean.

If it’s in your head it’s only useful to you, if it’s documented it’s valuable.

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