Documenting Your Business Processes with The Lazy Millennial

Self Made: NASE's Blog

Blog With Us

Welcome to the Self Made. This is a blog focused primarily on the self-employed and micro-business and full of fantastic posts by not only our team of experts but by YOU!  We realize that there are many ways to help the small businesses out there which is why we invite other business minded individuals to post here and help the rest of the community as well.

Documenting Your Business Processes with The Lazy Millennial

Aug 12, 2022

Let’s face it, we started our business to do what we love (or at least something we’re good at and can maintain).

The last thing we want to do is document every little detail. Then comes the time to scale and build a team. Many business owners get stuck here.

“My business is MY baby, I don’t trust it with anyone”. “I’ve heard horror stories about hiring”. “I don’t think I’m ready”.

You get the idea.

A part of growing is knowing when to let go. And whether we like this or not, we took on the role of CEO when we started our business. Part of being a great CEO is knowing when to delegate.

However, there’s more to it than having someone work for you. There’s a method to this. And one of the most important pieces includes documenting your business process.

As I’ve mentioned before, many business owners aren’t used to documenting their business until it’s too late. Lucky for you, I’ve found some methods that help business owners start the process from the very beginning.

To make it easier to digest, I made this into a Q & A format from past workshops, classes, etc. so you can take what you need and implement it!

Let’s proceed!

What are SOPs?

SOPs are your Standard Operating Procedures. Simply put, this is the *documented* way you run your business.

How do you start or make time to document your business?

Start slow and simply get into the habit of making monthly, weekly, daily, etc goals. Your documentation stems from your vision of the business. Once you have the vision. Start with one thing and start writing out ways to achieve them. This is where process mapping comes in. Overall, this will need to be a new habit to work into your life.

Once you get the hang of writing out your goals, you can start breaking down the individual processes. Let’s say your goal is to make a certain amount a month. Let’s do 10k because that seems to be the buzzword right now.

Your goal is 10k a month. Your plan is to promote on Social media and do a monthly class in your zone of genius. You’ve got your plan, now it’s time to write out the process.

You plan to post 2-3 times a day. One of the posts about your workshop. You plan your CTA to be to your workshop and website. Now, what’s the journey like for your leads?

You write out your checklist of things to do in a Google Document and start finding software/tools to help automate the process a bit.

Congratulations, you are writing, er, typing out your processes already and are ahead of the game!

It doesn’t have to be “perfect” (meaning well-organized) in the beginning. You just need to start the process. The organizing comes later.

Is a Policy Book/Employee Handbook enough?

Short answer, not quite. These are great to have for compliance reasons, but often times they miss important information. Typically the “how” to do something.

With handbooks, it outlines the policies and procedures of the business, but it doesn’t necessarily show how to do things. This is why they also include those video training in addition to the handbooks to fully paint the picture.

One of the issues here is that once the videos are viewed, some places don’t offer an accessible way to rewatch them. And for someone that may learn and process visually, it can be an issue.

When does the Video portion come in for SOPs?

When you write out your goals and the realistic ways to achieve them, you've already started your documentation journey. When you've tested your written processes and are satisfied with them, then you can do videos.

I’ve made the mistake of not testing processes prior in the past when I was doing my Virtual Assistant agency, and I ended up documenting “chaos”. Implementing/Executing is BIG with SOPs.

Videos should be no more than 5 minutes (if you can help it), include captions, and it's helpful to have a transcript nearby.

You DO NOT have to video record every process in business. This is why Policy books, Employee handbooks, etc come in handy.

Where do we store our documents/Tools to use?

This is totally user preference, but make sure it's something you make a habit to check and it's accessible for others to use (as needed). One of my favorite places is Trainual. I am a little biased though. However, I also use Clickup, Google Docs, and Google Sheets to hold my information.

When can my employee/contractor do my SOPs?

Remember when I mentioned that CEOs know how to delegate? We don’t know everything in business, so it’s important to reach out to the right individual to help get you to where you need to be.

With that said, your contractor/employee should do your SOPs when:

  • When it’s an area you are unfamiliar with. If it's someone that is project-based, ask if you can have how-to videos at the end or at least a document that explains what was done and how.
  • They are the person assigned to the tasks. You may have started them, but processes change and it’s easier when your team member helps to keep them updated.

Overall, documenting our business processes will be another “muscle” we have to use when building our business. The more you do it, the easier it gets and you’ll get the hang on how you want to organize them.

Don’t overthink it. Just start writing/typing and grow from there!

Meet The Author:

Adriana Richlardson

Adriana Richardson

Adriana is the Owner and CEO of the Management and Consulting Company, The Lazy Millennial.

The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

Courtesy of