What is an operations manual and why do you need one for your business?

An operations manual serves as the encyclopedia of your business. It provides your employees, contractors and business partners with instructions on the company’s vision and mission, how you carry out specific business processes and procedures, and organizational structure/contact details.

Let’s dive deeper into what each of these sections mean for your business. We generally divide operation manuals into these four sections, which will serve as a guideline for how you can tailor your operations manual to fit your business needs.

Business Vision and Mission:

Every business needs a vision/mission statement to define who you are as an organization, your objectives and what purpose you serve. A vision/mission statement generally describes your company’s function, markets and long-term business goals. This statement will not only communicate your company’s vision to your customers, employees, and suppliers, but it will be a key element of your business strategies.

Business Processes and Procedures:

Creating processes and procedures for your business enables you to set important benchmarks for you and your employees to meet in order to increase efficiency and get more done in less time. Having standard processes and procedures for your business will also allow you to improve your consistency in service and product delivery to all stakeholders.

All processes and procedures differ based on the specific needs of your business. These are a few key business activities that are generally standardized:

  • Staff/Employee Training

  • Performance Reviews

  • Management Responsibilities

  • Marketing and Promotion

  • Customer Service

  • Sales Practices

  • Privacy Laws

  • Reporting and Record Keeping

Organizational Structure and Contact Details:

An organization structure generally explains the company hierarchy and identifies each job, its function and where it reports to in the company. One of the most efficient ways to present this information is through using a visual flowchart (as shown in the image below), which has the job titles and specific names. This will provide your team with an overview of how each individual’s role fits within the organization and who to contact for specific business needs.

Lastly, it is important to ensure that you have an internal and external list of contact details for those who work closely with the organization temporarily and long-term.

Again, the purpose of an operational manual is to provide useful tools to the people who work with your business on how to be successful and most productive. Keeping updated documentation of your company’s business practices will help contribute to the growth and longevity of your organization. Now that you have an overview of how to create your operations manual we can go ahead and set-up some time to get started.


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