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Solo Entrepreneurs: Growing A Business Starts with Documenting Duties

February 7, 2013

Advice for Solo Entrepreneur, Start-up Companies or Women Entrepreneurs


A friend of mine who has been an entrepreneur for 7 years called and said, “Tracy, I’m ready to explode I’m so darn busy. I must add staff to start taking over the hundreds of duties I perform in my growing business.” She continued, “The major problem is all the procedures I have ever performed for my company as a solo entrepreneur are in my head and not on paper. What can I do to document them so others can handle the duties and do it right? ”

This dilemma is typical of successful solo entrepreneurs who are bursting at the seams with duties and procedures they never documented. Their mind has been overflowing with operational processes for far too long. The solution to this problem is to create an Operations Manual. Every company, no matter how small it is, needs this vital business workbook to run the company effectively. It is even more important to have when an entrepreneur starts adding and training new staff.

Here is some basic information about Operations Manuals to get any entrepreneur started:

• First of all, by definition an Operations Manual is compiled of policies and procedures the owner has created over time.

• Operations Manuals are as diverse as the businesses they are created in. Fundamentally a manual will articulate how duties are performed in their company. It is created to be a resource so others can duplicate what the owner has done on a regular basis.

• Begin making one by listing the company’s mission statement, outlining products and services, and any other values staff need to understand. Write down instructions on major procedures that occur in the business. For example include: how to open and close the operation on a daily basis, policies on recording customer payments and guidelines on opening new accounts.

• Create the manual and place it in a binder to share with all employees. Update the binder as procedures change or are added. An Operations Manual will help the owner and their employees standardize processes and run the company more efficiently.

There is no reason to fill up your head with corporate procedures and processes. It’s much easier to take the time on a regular basis to write down detailed tasks and keep them in a binder for yourself and everyone who works in the operation to use. All of a sudden you’ll be watching your efficiency explode not your mind!

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 8, 2013 5:36 am

    Good morning, Tracy.

    You know, my partner and I do everything from answering basic email inquiries and managing the books, to writing reports and working alongside clients. (I’m fortunate to have someone share the load!) But down the road we plan on hiring an admin assistant. Your post has inclined me to start an office procedures outline that I can fill in as we go along. Perhaps when the time comes to make the hire, it will be easier to flesh out and complete.

    Good food for thought! Thank you!


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