By Mark Tepper, the president of Strategic Wealth Partners and an EO Cleveland member
Writing procedural documentation for your business may rank down there with “reading the dictionary” on your list of things to do, but I assure you, it’s not only a necessary task—it’s an important one if you plan on selling your company at any point in the future.
A thorough how-to manual for running your company will give your buyer a clear, comprehensive picture of what has made you successful in the past, ensuring a smooth transition period post-sale. This will instill an invaluable sense of confidence and trust in your potential buyer.
Creating an owner’s manual can also give you a better idea of your company’s operations and can even reveal some areas where your systems could be more efficient.
A good place to start your owner’s manual is with your company’s mission statement. Include the values your company believes in, an organizational chart, and the products and services you provide.
The majority of your owner’s manual will be filled with general business information as well as specific departmental procedures. Your owner’s manual will be unique to your business, but here are some items you may want to include:
- General how-to procedures for opening and closing the office
- Contact information and job descriptions
- Company-wide policies
- The hiring and on-boarding process for new employees
- How to handle customer complaints
- How to communicate with new sales prospects
- How to back up critical data
- How to ensure facility security
- HR policies
- Quality-control methodologies
- How to fulfill orders
Remember: No business is static. With each new hire, market change, and new technology implementation, the owner’s manual should be updated. Stay on top of it as the changes come along and you won’t be scrambling to implement last-minute edits before you sell.