Document Operating Procedures

A complete set of business plans is the underlying foundation of a consistent customer experience. A clear and concise written set of your operating procedures is useful to train new employees and maintain consistency. It also produces a template to duplicate your success and expand your brand at new locations.

Operating procedures are the most valuable intellectual property of a business.  They define everything from how to greet a customer and the number of espresso shots in a cappuccino to your nightly cleaning chores. The more detail described in each step, the less remains open for interpretation by your management and employees.  The result is a consistent experience with fewer deviations from the plan.

Develop an employee training manual that includes step-by-step instructions of each job.  A separate managers’ guide includes extra detail and other management functions like hiring. As an interesting side effect of this process is that you will learn more about your business. You do not know what is missing from your procedures until you write them all down.

Once everything is recorded, don’t simply lock it away in a vault.  Return to the documents often and make updates to reflect changes. Whether you open more locations, franchise or sell the business, you’ll want a clear set of documents. It’s much easier to keep them up-to-date as you go.