Do you have issues remembering every step to your business process? Get frustrated when you forgot a step? Do you feel like you can’t delegate a project because you are afraid that the other person will miss a crucial step? Well, you are not alone. All small business owners have these worries.
For a small business to succeed, the company needs to have structure. Step by step instructions documented will help not only the person who is doing the task but also allow another to do the duties if the individual is unexpected out or on vacation. Creating procedure lists and checklists go a long way to make this process transparent and professional. Well, making lists help in many ways. Here are nine benefits for creating lists for your small business.
9 Pros For Making Checklists In Your Small Business
By having a list written down, it will free your mind to do other tasks and projects.
Making a list will allow you to hand off the duties to someone else quickly, especially, if you do not like doing the project.
For tasks that are done quarterly or even yearly, it helps remind you of the different tasks that need to be done.
If you have an emergency and can’t finish a job, you can hand the incomplete list of tasks over to someone to finish it for you.
It makes you more aware of the processes that you are establishing in your business, and it will highlight the areas that can streamline the process.
Procedure lists help employees with order and processes to follow. They will feel more in control of new projects and less stressed about it. They can then modify the list and refine it as they do the tasks.
You can change between projects easily on a particular day.
It allows you to focus you on what needs to be done with that particular checklist task.
You are in more control of all the projects going on in your business.
Though remember, the primary disadvantage of making lists is the time it takes to make the initial list and the time required to modify the list on a regular basis. Updating the list on a yearly basis to refine your process does help keep your system working efficiently.
I hope this convinces you that it is an important aspect of a small business. If you are ready to make a comprehensive list for your small business projects, let’s continue below. These steps will help you get your list started and hopefully save you time and money in the long run.
Determine where to start?
But how do you start with going about creating a procedure or checklist? First, start by documenting any process that is repetitive. This step could be the method you use for doing invoicing, bill paying, sharing posts online, preparing newsletters, tasks you do not often do, or even direct communication between client tasks. Start with any project that has several different components involved. Think of the ones that take the longest to do or that are more complex. These are the projects that will benefit most from a documented procedure or checklist.
Pick the process.
Now, choose one process to document. While going through the process, document each step. Be sure to include details like what the website name is, where to find the detailed information needed for the process and any reference information that may be required. Type it up so you can easily reprint it for future use and modifications.
Use the list for your test.
The next time you have to do this task, pull out the list and use it. Pretend you do not know anything about what you need to do and just rely on the list. Ask yourself, is there anything missing in the process? Write those steps down and then modify the original copy.
Test the procedures again.
If your list is missing significant steps, rerun the test by printed out the updated checklist copy and make sure you have included each step. And, if you still missed some steps, revised the procedures again. It’s OK if it takes some time. Lists that are this detailed are bound to have missing steps. However, by doing these test runs, you will easily see what is missing and what needs to be included. You can also hand it off to an employee or subcontractor to do the process and analyze it for you. By having someone else do the steps, you can see what areas need more detail.
Laminate the procedure list for future use.
Now that the list is completed and detailed, you can print it out and then laminate it. I like to do this with shorter lists or processes I often do (say on a weekly basis), so I can easily use a dry erase marker and wipe it off when I am done. This task allows me to reuse it another time without wasting paper. Saving lots of trees and money on paper.
Inform others of the procedure list.
This step helps keep the communication open between you and your employees or subcontractors. It shows them exactly what you are looking for in a particular project.
That’s it. This process will make you more productive and above all else, less stressed about the tasks at hand. And if you need help making a procedure list, I can help. Feel free to check out my Procedure Evaluations and Refinement Services.
Please note these are affiliate links through Amazon and at no additional cost to you, I will earn affiliate fees if you decide to make a purchase.