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For many more tips on writing procedures as well as information about layout, usage and systems for procedures, look at the Word Constructions Preparing Procedures eBook

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 Word Constructions writes articles for business and newsletters

Business Procedures

By Tash Hughes of Word Constructions

If you have worked in the corporate world, you know that big businesses have procedure manuals and policies for how things are to be done. They may vary in effectiveness, but they have been thought out and written.

Maybe you consider this something that only belongs to big business, but small and medium businesses should also have some procedures written out.

A small business will have fewer procedures and make not call it a manual, they may be more flexible in their approach, but the concept is the same.

 Why have procedures?

Many small business owners, especially sole traders, know how to run their business so don’t see any reason to write the procedures done. But what happens when the owner isn’t the one trying to carry out a particular task one day?

By having procedures written down, someone else is able do the job with minimal disruption to clients and the overall business.

Here are some the main reasons to have procedures written down for your business:

  • Someone is able to fill in for you if you are sick or go on holidays
  • Less time is required to train new staff
  • You have a system to sell, either as a franchise or if you sell the entire business
  • There are less likely to be human errors because someone forgets a key step
  • Clients receive consistent answers and service

What procedures do I need?

In short, everything you do!

If a task is repeated then it should be written down. So there could be a large number of procedures for even the smallest of businesses.

 Think about the person filling in for you when you suddenly fall ill for a couple of months. Would they know how to do things such as:

  • Record sales
  • Prepare a quote
  • Hire a contractor or new employee
  • Maintain your website
  • Follow your marketing plan
  • Access client information
  • Invoice clients
  • Package or present your product

How do I write these procedures?

There is no getting around the fact that it will take time and patience to get all of your procedures written down in a usable form. Even if you get a professional writer to help you write the procedures, you will still need to spend the time identifying the procedures to be documented.

Like anything, the easiest solution is to handle one procedure at a time rather than all at once. It may be worth keeping a list of all procedures and crossing them off as you get them written.

The following points can help with setting up your procedures:

  • Procedures can include checklists
  • Procedures MUST include every step of the process
  • Procedures MUST be clear and simple enough that other people can follow them easily
  • Start by taking notes of what you do as you do each task
  • Consider a template for your procedures so they all end up being consistent
  • Set up a system to store the procedures so they are easy to access and use. For instance, keeping them in a hidden file on your computer may make it very hard for someone else to access for you.
  • Include relevant details in the procedures. For example, instead of ‘send to accountant’ write ‘send to Jo Blow, 123 Accountants, 12 Main ST, Anytown’


Clear communication is critical to the success of any business, but it is often left to care for itself in many businesses. Tash Hughes is a professional and skilled writer who makes technical and otherwise boring information accessible for everyone a business needs to communicate with. Next time you need webcopy, articles, newsletters, reports or any other business document, visit www.wordconstructions.com.au to see how Tash and her team can help your business succeed.

Preparing Procedures eBook from Word Constructions

This article is available for free use on your web site or in your newsletter.

It must be acknowledged as written by Tash Hughes of www.wordconstructions.com.au and copyright remains the property of Tash Hughes.

Please notify us of your use of this article or to request information on commissioned articles.



© 2003, Tash Hughes