How to Create an Operations Manual
by Stephanie Chandler
An operations manual can act as a tool for training employees and empowers them to keep your business running smoothly when you are out of the office. Though it may seem like a lot of work, the effort put into your operations manual can save you money that could otherwise be wasted on mishandled procedures and employee training time.
Every operations manual is different so yours should be tailored to your specific business needs. You may want to create separate manuals for each department or job description in your company. Your operations manual should grow and change with your business so make sure to update the contents often. Store the manual in a sturdy binder with dividers to keep it organized, making it easy to update the contents and replace pages when processes change.
The following is a suggested list of topics to address in your manual:
•Company Overview & History
•Alarm System Operations
•Safe Opening and Closing Procedures
•Contact Numbers for Emergencies or Information
•Employee Shift Coverage
•Customer Service Procedures
•Credit Card Processing
•Refunds and Returns
•Shipping & Receiving
•Equipment Maintenance (replacing printer cartridges, receipt tape, etc.)
•Product Pricing and Discounts
•Other Miscellaneous Procedures and Anything Specific to the Way Your Business Operates
Don't forget to use your operations manual as a training tool for new hires. To make sure the information is accurate and valuable, ask your employees for feedback on the contents. Ask if they have questions about the topics covered and if the instructions are clear and easy to understand. Remember that this is a valuable business tool for you and your staff so keeping it current should be an important priority for your business.
About the Author:
Stephanie Chandler is an author of several business and marketing books including FROM ENTREPRENEUR TO INFOPRENEUR: MAKE MONEY WITH BOOKS, E-BOOKS AND INFORMATION PRODUCTS. She is the founder of www.BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs and www.ProPublishingServices.com, a marketing communications company specializing in custom electronic newsletters.
Stephanie Chandler may be contacted at http://www.BusinessInfoGuide.com or Stephanie@BusinessInfoGuide.com