Are you feeling in control of your days? Or are the tasks and demands mounting up, pushing the great intentions of your new year’s resolutions and goals for your small business further and further away? Each day is a never ending exercise in attending to the urgent.
Chaos begets chaos
You’re not alone. According to the Journal of Clinical Psychology 36% of people who made new year’s resolutions will have abandoned them by the end of January and 54% by mid year. Of course, the reasons for ditching resolutions are many and varied. Mostly though, it’s because changing habits is tough. When we become busy and stressed the hard stuff tends to get pushed aside and we revert to old habits.
So what to do? Trying harder isn’t the answer. We only have so much will power. Making it easier to do the things that will lead us to our goals though, that’s a good idea.
Document all the processes
Documenting processes is a great place to start as the benefits will be seen throughout your small business. Here we have six ways that documenting processes increases control in your small business, so that you can focus on the important.
1. Delegate what’s not the best use of your time
Chances are if you’re feeling a bit cray cray in your business it’s because you’re doing too much yourself. Documenting processes means you are able to delegate tasks with a set of instructions, freeing you up to focus on areas that would be a better use of your time.
2. Review your processes
The documentation process itself can highlight duplications, redundant steps and non-value-adding steps in your business. Simply creating the documentation is reviewing how and why you do things.
3. Staff training and induction
Bringing new staff on is always accompanied by a learning curve. Documented processes provide a base for induction and training materials for new staff and those in new positions to hit the ground running, saving your business time and money.
4. Cover staff absences
Similarly, having processes documented makes covering staff when they’re on leave much easier. Their role is clearly mapped out so tasks and responsibilities can more easily be allocated and taken care of.
5. Don’t waste time reinventing the wheel
Nobody in small business has time for reinventing wheels. Documenting processes means that each time any person in your business performs a role, no matter how frequently or infrequently the how-to is already there. They don’t need to waste time researching, figuring out, waiting for questions to be answered. They can just do. You’ve got to love that.
Some industries require process documentation for compliance, or perhaps you’ve decided to pursue a certification to improve your business that includes documenting processes.
Rather than looking at the task of documenting processes as a drain on your time and resources that you do begrudgingly, remember that it generates a host of other benefits to your business that will decrease stress, increase productivity and increase the time you have to pursue those new year’s resolutions.