The one thing that may save your business
Have you ever had to show someone how to do something — say, a new contractor, an employee, a colleague, a supplier or an intern — and thought, "Jeez, Louise. In the time I've taken to show you, I could have completed this task five times myself!"?
I can see you nodding, and believe me, I'm doing a Fresh Prince over here! Yet it's this one, very common, mistake that can prevent growth and make scaling your biz virtually impossible.
Like the old adage about money, sometimes you have to spend time to make time. I have witnessed countless clients complain about a lack of time, yet refuse to spend time documenting their processes in order to truly delegate tasks (and thereby gift themselves more time).
Consider your own biz for a minute.
If, God forbid, something happened to prevent you from running it tomorrow, would there be any sort of process or documentation to help someone else step in? Does anyone else know how to access your file system, social media accounts or email? Does anyone know who to contact for IT support or event management? If you were to hire a consultant, how much time (billed by them!!) would you need to spend just getting them up and running?
Before you stop reading, worried that I’m talking about massive word docs that do nothing more than clog up your Dropbox, think again.
Documenting processes doesn't have to be "boring".
In fact, I've found the variety of options available today for relaying how you work makes the act of documenting kinda fun. Here's my top five tools to help you with processes, and consequently, productivity (no word docs in sight!):
This is a chrome plug-in that allows you to video your screen in real time as well as record audio and share the files easily. I use this tool for showing clients how to utilise some of my paid templates or even how to access, set up and analyse email platforms. Screencastify is also a great tool for webinars, if that's your jam.
If you can talk, you can record and what's easier than talking into your smartphone when explaining a process? Rev is a great app that allows you to not only record quality audio, but also to get it transcribed, captioned or translated by a global team of freelancers at an affordable rate.
3. iPhone Screen Recording
Using apps a lot for your biz and need to show someone else how to use one? I use the screen recording tool on my smart phone which allows me to record a video of what I'm doing on my phone, which I then edit with text in the iMovie app and share.
On your iPhone go to Settings > Control Centre > Customise Controls > tap the green + symbol next to Screen Recording. Now, flick up from the bottom of your phone (as you would to find the torch) and you'll see the circle and dot at the bottom. Tap this to record. It will save recordings into your photos. Easy. (Note, I have an iPhone. If you have an Android, check out one of the screen recording apps for Android, like Mobizen Screen Recorder).
4. Interview Yourself
Feel like you could have been a news anchor in another life? Don't mind talking into a camera? Why not use your smartphone as a video recorder by setting up a tripod or cheap smart phone stand on your desk and recording yourself? Copy what you want to say into an online teleprompter (like this free one), add some fun royalty-free music from Pond5 or AudioJungle and you're set. Induction videos just got a whole lot more fun.
5. Get an Internal Wiki or Use Google Sites
When I was working at Amazon, we had an amazing internal wiki that allowed anyone working across the globe to add ideas, questions or further information into an existing page such as 'How to schedule an automated email suite in another locale'. If you have a large / growing business or you find yourself repeating the same thing over and over, why not consider building an internal wiki? You may also wish to use Google Sites, which is part of Google for Business and allows you to build a website without knowing code. You can then add team members who can just read or be allowed to edit content.
Documenting processes may sound boring, but it can honestly be the thing that enables you to get more time back and streamline tasks and activities in your business. If you're hoping to grow your biz, or at least get it working more smoothly, consider implementing the ideas above. They may just save your biz...and your sanity!