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Creating processes and procedures for a young business

After launching a new business, it is essential to establish how certain tasks will be handled. It is also important to demarcate responsibilities and to set chains of command in the company. Usually this process starts in the business plan and proceeds through to company policies, rules and regulations.

Listed below are some key points to take note of when creating effective systems and procedures in a growing business:

  • Identifying Standard Operating Procedures can help a business in establishing a clear operating framework. Chron postulates that establishing how certain operations are executed in a company, and then setting up a system to review them and upgrade or update them, is the first step. It is important to determine who should contribute to this process too.
  • Forbes sets the next step as writing down every part of the daily operations that need to be followed. Chron rather suggests downloading a template with pre-set titles and sections. Forbes emphasises starting from the very beginning and recording every procedure as it is done, so that the operating procedure is tailored to the company in every way possible.
  • Be proactive. Anticipate problems and methodically create adequate solutions for each. It is important to identify areas of concern and to develop a strong response system. One must make it a point to record even the obvious actions and approaches, because what is obvious for one person may not be to the next. Concise recording of procedures will further ensure that employees are able to understand the decision-making process, and arrive at appropriate results.
  • Indexing is the next step. The document should have clear marked instructions and titles. If there has to be a Standard Operating Procedure approval number, then it should be specified. Furthermore, it is important to number the pages and to show how many pages there are in total in the document.
  • Checking. Bizmanualz emphasises acting on the data. This is meant to test the procedure’s applicability and practicality. The feedback data is then used to readjust the manual in a ‘Plan-Do-Check-Do-Check-Do-Check,’ cycle. This is aimed at eliminating unnecessary systems and red tape.
  • Archiving the document follows after verification of its accuracy. This means that the document can be distributed to employees and if needed can be sent to the board for Standardised Operations in the country, for clearance and ISO certification or suitable accreditation.

Creating a professional systemic structure, especially in a small business, can be a difficult process that calls for commitment from all parties involved. Doing this early is, however, a great pre-emptive step that will serve the business and operation well in the long term. If your business is expanding rapidly or you are formalising systems, then these steps offer a roadmap of the basic steps involved.

Proudly brought to you by the National Small Business (NSBC).