The first step of putting together any operations manual is outlining the various sections that will be covered within the document. How do you create a customer experience that is memorable and brings people back to the business? How does an employee greet a customer on the phone? What are the closing procedures to convert customer interest? These are the types of questions the operations manual needs to answer and document clearly. Using analysis techniques and a general understanding of a business type, this basic outline will serve as a template from which to write the manual. Depending on the type of business, the outline may include any of the following topics: POS management, inventory management, establishing the business, hiring staff, and structuring of the services. Ultimately, this outline serves as an agenda for a field visit.
Following the outline, a more detailed in-person analysis of the business needs to be completed. Typically this process can be done within a two day field visit, but more time may be needed. Gaining a comprehensive understanding of the business takes a significant amount of focused on-the-job presence and a consultant’s perspective. Using an outside source to write the manual proves to uncover the natural abilities of a business owner and the habitual management practices that may otherwise go unnoticed by those immersed in the business itself. Consultants can provide guidance on the scope, format, and style of the document that is most appropriate for the industry, concept, and model of the business.