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Mar
08

40 Days to a Better Business: Day 10 – Business Policies

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40 Days to a Better Business

One of the most stressful parts of being in business is handling the difficult situations that arise from time to time. Hopefully writing your business plan has helped you identify some of the weak areas in your business.  Sometimes, though, you simply can’t see the potential problems that are looming ahead and so there is just no way to prepare for them.

To aid you in handling the tough situations that will crop up when you’re in business, it’s important that you write up policies and procedures. It’s especially important if you will be hiring employees. Your policies and procedures will help to make sure that all of your business contacts – clients and employees alike – are on the same page. They will also give you the foundation to stand on if some type of dispute arises.

Let’s get started:

Begin outlining your policies and procedures by pinpointing weak areas. Some of these can only be learned over time by dealing with them as they occur. However, you can look through your business plan and pick out any weak areas that you can address in your Policies and Procedures. Also, ask trusted colleagues for ideas and suggestions.  Try to think through what parts of your business may cause confusion for customers, especially if you do things differently than other companies of your type.

Over the years, it became clear that one area of confusion at CWAHM was the types of ads that we will (or won’t) post. After answering the same questions time and time again, I realized it made much more sense to simply post our advertising policies and procedures on the website. I still get questions once in a while, but I can simply give them the link. There’s rarely an argument since the policies are spelled out in black and white for all to see.

Define how you will address each area. Now it’s time to think through not only what questions need to be answered, but how you will lay the answers out for your clients and employees. If your business is primarily online, you may want to choose some policies to post online. You can also have a document with all of your policies and procedures that you can email if necessary.

Write them up. Be specific and clear as you write up your policies and procedures. Don’t be afraid to show your rough drafts to a trusted friend, and don’t be afraid to edit and change them as you go.  The more time you spend crafting your policies and procedures now, the less time you’ll have to spend modifying them later.

Revise. As your business grows and changes, your policies and procedures will need to be updated. Set a time once a year (add it to your calendar now) to go through current policies and procedures and make necessary edits, additions and deletions.

 

 

Read the entire series here.

Learn more about starting your own business HERE!

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