Whether you are a business of one or if you have a large crew of employees, you need a procedures manual to keep your business running smoothly. It can take some time to get your manual set up and cover all the bases, but once it’s finished you can reap the benefits and see the difference in the running of your business.

If you’re still not convinced as to whether your business needs a manual, read on for five great advantages of creating a manual for your business procedures.

1. Train New Employees Quickly

An operations manual lets you clearly define all the workings of your business. Some small businesses that have only a few employees may feel that a manual is unneccesary. The people have been working there so long that they’re well-versed in how the business runs.

However, you can’t count on your employees to be there forever and you may need to hire new employees at some point. A procedures manual makes it much easier to train new employees. Everything is well-organized and serves as a reference for people as they’re learning. Training will go much more quickly and you’ll potentially save money in the long run.

2. Consistency, Even When You're Gone

Businesses run more smoothly when all procedures are consistent. For example, if you sell physical goods, you need a procedure for returns. Your return policy should be the same for all customers. An operations manual lets you outline each procedure so that everyone – both employees and customers – always get the same treatment.

You may be the type of business owner who is there every day, leading your team. However, there may be days where you can’t be at work or as the business matures, you may want to take time off for travel or other business projects. A manual ensures that your business runs the way you want it to, even when you’re not there. Your employees won’t have to make judgement calls (or call you) if a question comes up – they can just look in the manual.

3. Increase Scalability

Even if your business is small right now, you may want to scale it someday. It’s much easier to scale your business when you have procedures in place and a manual where they’re all organized.

Imagine you’re opening a new location, hiring several new employees and getting everything up and running. A manual will make things so much easier. Everyone will be on the same page and the setup will be much more efficient. A manual sets you up for success as you scale.

4. Set the Tone and Atmosphere of Your Business

You want to cultivate a certain culture at your business, but it takes more than modeling behavior and expecting your employees to follow. You may have expectations for certain behaviors and attitudes from your employees. A manual will help you in establishing the tone and atmosphere you want. You can outline your expectations in a way that’ll get your employees to follow.

5. Increase the Value of Your Business

Perhaps you have no intentions of selling your business. Even if you never plan to sell, you never know what the future may hold. A manual of your business’s procedures will increase the value of your business. Some mergers and acquisitions will even suggest you have a manual before anything can move forward.

A manual make syour company more appealing to a potential buyer. When someone buys a business, they don’t want to spend a lot of time getting up to speed on how the company runs or get into a business that can’t run without its owner. A manual is assurance that your business will be able to maintain its success, even if it changes hands.

Final Thoughts

If you’re just starting a business, it’s a great time to write out your procedures and create a manual. You can set your business up for success from the very beginning. If you’ve been in business for a while or even many years, it’s never to late to put your operations in writing.

Once you have an operations manual, you can guarantee that your business will be consistent and reflect the values set forth in your business plan no matter the situation.