Develop the Right Procedures

In our first blog article we laid the framework to start working on developing our policy and procedures. You put your short and long term goals together, wrote what is working and what is not, started to write down the tasks you need to accomplish each goal. Now we will cover part 2 of our 5 part blog series.  Here you will develop procedures based on the goals you want to achieve.  Even “solo-preneurs” need to consider this because down the road you may hire a virtual assistant to help you.  Listed below are all of the steps.  We are going to go through the first two of the steps in detail – Develop and Agree.

  1. Develop
  2. Agree
  3. Implement
  4. Monitor and Review
  5. Update

Types of Procedures:

Policy and procedures come in many forms.  You should think about the type of policy and procedures you are looking to develop.  You will have many internal procedures but some of the steps may be external based on how you want to interact with our customers.  Think about how you want your business and employees to interact with your clients.  A simple how-to guide can be daunting.  In the bookkeeping industry, you have similar tasks for each client –  Post, Reconcile, Report, File. But your clients are each slightly different – Weekly vs Monthly, Online vs Desktop.  Procedures ensure that the expectations you have get done at the level and on the schedule that you anticipate.

Steps to Develop Procedures:

Make sure “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, “why” are covered:

WHAT – Organize goals in logical order. Tackle them in order.

WHO – Put a step-by-step process together on how accomplish the first goal. These details are important to ensuring you have accountability throughout the process.

WHERE – Not all steps are completed internally.

WHEN – Be sure to write down the expectations.

WHY – Review and re-write to make sure everything is covered. Ensure there are no unanswered questions.

To position your business for the future each member of the team needs to be able to pick up and work on any customer/project.  Procedures ensure that.

Getting Agreement:

You want to have your employees agree with the usability of a procedure.  Can they understand what was written? Can the work get done in the same manner and time frame?  With procedures, employees are able to cross-train team other employees to work consistently on accounts.  You should encourage them to make recommendations.  You will find it is easier to add, change or delete steps now, before you implement on 10, or 100, clients.

The more you systematize what you do, the easier you will be to expand and grow.  Remember that you may not always be a “solo-preneur”.  Plan ahead, things do change.

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