Need help running your business, but don’t know where to start in bringing on an assistant (we call them Wranglers 🙂)? Or maybe you’re worried you’d have to spend so much time explaining what to do that it’d be quicker to just do it yourself? That means it’s time to Document Your Systems, or DYS, as we’ll call it. In other words, create a manual, a video, or another deliverable that details how you operate. The fun part is it can include everything and anything you want, from your specific processes, to the company culture you’re striving to create, to personal preferences. It can be as detailed as you choose to make it, and while it may take a bit of time to put it all together, it will save you SO much time in the long run. Imagine: you or your kids come down with the flu, but you’ve already Documented Your Systems – making it so easy to hand over your work and focus on recovering. Or, how does it sound to actually take time off this summer and feel assured your Wrangler has it all handled? Amazing right? Then, let’s dive into some considerations for when you’re ready to DYS.
- Passwords: There are likely platforms you utilize that your Wrangler will need access to, and you’ll have to decide which ones to share and how to share them. There are a handful of online password keepers, such as Dashlane, LastPass, and 1Password, that allow you to securely store and share your passwords for use. In fact, you can opt for the password to remain hidden but it will still allow access for whomever you share it with. However, if you don’t want to pay for a service like this, you can also resort to a simple excel sheet that you keep offline. Pro Tip: Be sure to document the date your passwords were last updated, include any security questions you know the site asks, and be prepared for two-factor authentication. Get your Wrangler rolling on your accounts before you head out of town to minimize vacation interruptions.
- Project Management App: A Project Management App is a great place to DYS. What’s nice about using a tool like this is that everything needed for your business will no longer be scattered across a sea of emails, chats, or folders on your workdesk. Instead, it will be accessible wherever you have internet or data, and you and your team can see and provide updates in real time! In fact, your project management app is a fantastic place to link your loom video on how to deal with X, your word doc on how to handle Y, any email templates, client forms, workflows, contacts, vendors, and whatever else you can dream up. In other words, all the information you spend time putting together can exist in the same place, where you monitor progress on all your tasks. Pro Tip: Some great options to look into are Trello, ClickUp or Monday, but there are so many out there that it’s worth spending a little time to find one that really suits your personal needs and makes sense to you. Even Google Workspace can be used for documentation and collaboration! Once you’ve decided on a Project Management App, leverage your Wrangler to help you with getting it set up.
- Screen Recording: Loom, Berrycast, Google Meet, and Zoom can be used to record the screen while you are doing tasks. In this way, you can easily show your Wrangler exactly what you do, click-by-click, and describe the details they need at the same time. Pro Tip: Next time you are completing a task you perform often (or training your Wrangler on one of your processes), turn on a screen recording app and record what you are doing. This saves SO MUCH TIME – you’re doing something you were already going to do, and creating a lasting resource at the same time. Efficiency for the win!
- Flexibility: Drop the pressure to be perfect! Know that when you begin to DYS, the way you do things may change over time, and that’s okay! In fact, when you bring a Wrangler on, they will often help you streamline your processes and find ways that are more efficient. Remember, you are creating a jumping off point, which is going to empower you to give directives and then be able to step away. Stay flexible, and choose a format to DYS that you feel comfortable in going back to update, or Pro Tip: Have your Wrangler write up your Standard Operating Procedures and then review them for accuracy. This will highlight areas of misunderstanding and places where things can be made more efficient.
There are so many benefits to Documenting Your Systems: to start, anyone you hire in the future will need less time for training. It will also force you to look at how you’ve been working and reckon with any areas you could be doing better, or where you could pass tasks off to a Wrangler. It will also give you peace of mind in knowing that when you log off at the beach this summer, your business won’t come to a screeching halt. Sounds like a win-win-win, right?
If you need help with DYS, reach out to our team for some additional tips, and if you’re ready, sign up to work with one of our Wranglers! Getting the ball rolling with a reliable helper in place is really all you need – you will be amazed at the results!