I love checklists. Each time I come back from a trip, I check to see if anything should be added – or removed – to make my next trip easier.
Business is the same. If you want running your business to be easier, you need a checklist of the things that need to be done when and how. I know it sounds boring and tedious to do, yet by having them in place, you can improve efficiency and minimize mistakes. At the end of the process, you should review the checklist for the things that should be added or removed. This will help you identify any issues or concerns.
As you evolve in your business, you may find that many things you did at the beginning continue to be done because that’s how it has always been. Remember that you are in the driver’s seat. If something isn’t serving your business anymore, find a way to discontinue it. It will open you up to new possibilities.
Also, having this checklist for your day-to-day operations will help you streamline processes, keep you focussed, and give you freedom to do other things. You might have a checklist for bank deposits or how to bring in new clients. It would be helpful to have a checklist for things you do not do very often, such as your year-end routine.
What about things that should be added? Sure, there are activities in your operations that can be put into your system. What about bigger things? Do you have a business bucket list? Examples of bucket list items when you start out could be incorporating or hiring a bookkeeper (instead of doing it yourself) or making your first sale at a certain dollar level. As you grow, you might desire to have your first $10,000 month on your bucket list. Or take a week-long vacation.
Have a checklist for your processes, look it over every once in a while, and when you have it working well, print it off, put it in a binder, and call it your Operations Manual.