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Create a Simple Company Procedure Manual
by Bill Collier

Virtually everyone recognizes the importance of having an office procedure manual, but actually creating one is a big job, so it doesn't get done. Here's a SIMPLE way to get it done:

 

1) Buy an ordinary three ring binder. Mark it "Procedure Manual."

 

2) Put some ordinary lined notebook paper in it.

 

Congratulations! Your company now has a procedure manual!

 

3) Have everyone in the company contribute to the creation and upkeep of this manual. Whenever a repetitive task arises, the most likely person (whoever does that task) takes a few minutes to hand-write a procedure on one of the blank pages. Give it a title so it's obvious what it's for.

 

4) Assign an administrative person the task of periodically taking these hand-written procedures and typing them into a computer using a word processor program like Word. Put a "Revision Date" on each one so you always know whether you're looking at the most current version. Replace the hand-written procedures with those printed from your computer. 

 

5) Add to it and tweak it over time. It's never really "done."

 

That's it. The hard part may be getting your employees to stop "winging it" and to actually follow your new procedures.

Bill Collier is a St. Louis-based business coach, consultant and speaker. He is the author of the book “How to Succeed as a Small Business Owner … and Still Have a Life.” His website is www.collierbiz.com, and his email is bill@collierbiz.com


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