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Life as an Owner and CEO: Documenting Processes

Before I drill into your heads about the importance of documentation in your business and how it ties into being a CEO, let’s cover some key terms you will see throughout this post and others.

  • Process(es)- They are the step-by-step actions you take to achieve a goal
  • SOP- Standard Operating Procedures. In short, they are the documented way you run your business.
  • Accessible- the ability to be reached
  • Implement (by our terms)- When you’ve started a process, but it hasn’t been fully executed. Ex. You launched a course, but it isn’t a fully *executed* process until at least one customer goes through the journey
  • Execute (by our terms)- When you’ve seen a process all the way through and can retrieve measurements. Ex. You’ve launched a course AND had customers. You are now able to review the whole process and see if there’s room for improvement.

Now to this article.

Documenting our business processes is one of the important business tasks we need to do, but it’s also time-consuming and a bit boring. 

However, the earlier you start, the easier time you will have when it comes to hiring, selling, etc. When most of us started our business, we assumed the role of CEO in addition to being the Founder, Owner, etc.

As the CEO, you MUST know how to delegate. In order to do this, you need to know how your business functions.

It’s okay to not know every little detail about running a business. This is why you invest in learning material or other people that can guide you on your journey.

Your “baby” has to grow up at some point, so you need to prepare yourself early to let go.

How do you get started with documenting? It’s actually quite simple. A lot of us use vision boards/Goal Setting. Start there. 

If you don’t do this, I highly recommend you start because the business comes from YOUR vision.

Once you have the vision, work backward. What do you want to achieve for the year? Over the course of 6 months? 3 months? The current month? When you have this, it makes it a whole lot easier to plan out your processes.

When you have the goals for the month, you can write out the processes. Want to make 10k this month? Which services will you need to push? How many people do you need? Where will you promote consistently this month?

Once you have the plan, you need to implement the process. Ex. “I’m going to promote on Facebook by posting 3 times a day for 5 days. One post about my offer, one about a relatable story, and the third is something random that isn’t necessarily about business but draws people to my personality.

Now that you’ve started mapping out the processes (and have it written down!), it’s time to execute!

It’s one thing to make a plan, it’s another to do the work. 

Once you’ve executed what you’ve implemented, then it’s time to make changes. When you hire people to do the work that you do, it comes from EXECUTED processes. It’s things that you have tested yourself, liked, and keep it going.

When you hire, it enhances the processes you have in place. So if you’ve been writing things down without executing, when someone else comes along to do it for you, it may not look like how you want because it’s not something you’ve tested personally.

On the other side of things, if you’ve hired a specialist to set up something for you, the same concept applies. You still need to have at least an idea of how you want things to flow.

They can build it out for you, but if you aren’t sure of what direction you are trying to go in, then it ends up being an expensive lesson.

To bring everything together, here’s what you need to do for documenting your business processes:

  • Write it out first. It can be on Microsoft, Google, One Drive, pen & paper, etc. Start drafting the processes
    • If it is on Pen & Paper, make sure to add it to a digital file down the line for easier accessibility.
    • Utilize our Map it Out workbooks on the Journey to Laziness website to get started on your documentation journey! 
  • Start with the current month you are in after writing out your goals/vision. What’s ONE thing you can do this month to bring you closer to your long-term goal? 
    • If you have the capacity, you can do up to 3. We don’t recommend doing more than this at a time.
  • Map out the processes for your goal and implement the necessary tools to help you along the way
    • What can be automated? Do you need to hire someone for a quick project?
  • Execute
  • If it’s something that is ongoing and will have the same process in place, make note of it and/or make a video if it requires visual steps 
    • Ex. How to navigate around your inbox. Where are your files kept for the particular tasks? Do you have tags that your future team member needs to be aware of?
  • When you do a video, use a tool like Loom so it already has captions and a transcript of the video. You can add the transcript to your documentation files.
    • You can add team members to your Loom account to view videos, but recommend software like Trainual or Project Management software to keep things organized.

Remember, that even though your business should run without you, you are still the visionary and it’s up to you to start early with preparing for the inevitable.

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