Everybody knows how to do their job. At least, that’s what I always thought. But that leads to a lot of frustration and lost time to explain all over again how to do certain things. It was time to change that.
My partner and I went to a private seminar with a business consultant Kristina Ercegovic, who advised us to write down everything. At first, it was weird. Why should I write down procedures for the things “everybody knows”? Why should I waste my time on that? Why can’t we employ people who just know how to do things properly? Many questions from my side, but we started to give it a go. Petar was more to it, he was always mentioning something about procedures, but I wasn’t listening. People we employ are not stupid, they think the same way I do.
At first, we started with a welcome book. It is a Word document we give to every new employee or intern, explaining our history, our core values and some technical information they might need, like company VAT number (don’t ask me how many time employees asked me that).
Then we created a document “Working in the office“, explaining all things related to… working in our office. “Internal procedures” document followed, explaining everything from going on a vacation (with a template for an out-of-office email), going to a business trip (which documents and invoices to collect) to how to use a company car.
18 months later
We are far from done. We have a shared folder with 11 Word documents with more than 100 pages in total, but we still constantly update all those documents and write new ones. At the moment, I have to (re)write a document explaining how to write posts for our blog (when to use Heading 1 or Heading 2, how to insert pictures and position them…). But these documents saved us a lot of time explaining some things all over again. If someone is not doing something according to our instructions, I can just say: “Follow written procedures!”. It saves a lot of time, both for me and our employees.
We have written these documents:
- Internal procedures
- How to do pitches
- Working on projects
- Working with clients
- Instructions for Akcija blog
- Instructions for Kontra blog
- Welcome book
- Finance and administration
To be honest, sometimes I don’t like writing these procedures. Sometimes I’d rather do something else. But as Kristina thought us, as entrepreneurs, we have two (simple) tasks:
- Setup up a system and procedures
- Hire people
And I would add, take care that people you hire follow those procedures.