ask the expert | how to ensure your business runs smoothly

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i would like to welcome a new expert partner to the build a little biz team! today our 'ask the expert' post comes from our new organization & administration expert partner, Kelly Evans from Mary Poppins Virtual Assistant. i know she will have very valuable information to share with us!

“What information or systems should I have in place to ensure that my business runs smoothly?”

Getting organised to ensure small business continuity

Imagine your computer goes down with a nasty virus... or you get really sick and can’t drag yourself to your computer if your life depended on it. As a WAHM you still have to parent even when you are sick... but by getting organised.. if you need to - you can delegate some tasks in your business.. and even take some (much needed) time off!

One of my clients recently commented that working with me had encouraged her to draw up effective and detailed procedures for her business. It was no longer good enough to do things ‘on the fly’ and keep all the information in her head.

My (insert name here) biz procedures

If something were to happen to you, and you needed to ensure business continuity – it would be ideal to have a few lists.

  • Lists of: (and I am sure you can add to this for your own business)
  • Tasks you do in your business (and how often/when /priorities/how long each takes)
  • Who you do business with regularly (and how to contact them/when to contact them)
  • Tasks which you can delegate (and if there are any that can absolutely only be done by you)
  • Detailed instructions on how to do each of the tasks (even the ones that, at this stage, you have no intention of delegating) and screen shots (were appropriate)
  • Passwords (be very careful where you keep these J  and don’t forget to update them as you change them each month)
  • A list of your mission critical deadlines
  • Links to any training manuals, helpful references, industry knowledge and so on
  • Anything else that’s essential knowledge for the work you do (assume the person reading your procedures knows nothing).

In a way you are documenting the standard operating procedures for your business... which should also help you to ascertain:

  • Is there anything you shouldn’t be doing (are you unnecessarily overcommitted) – which you should stop!
  • Is there anything you can delegate (delegate as much as you are comfortable with)
  • What else can I be working on to improve my business if I delegate the small stuff?

My biz backup is...

While you are at it – you need to think of a backup person with the skills to carry out the tasks you do (just in case you should need them).  Who can you trust to conduct these tasks for you, if you are sick or if you want a holiday (yes even Mums deserve regular breaks).

It may be a family member, a friend, or perhaps another WAHM in the same industry (depending on the industry - you could come to an arrangement to cover for each other).

Don’t forget to include:

  • List of domain names, login paths, and login credentials (it wouldn’t hurt to document the renewal dates for domain name and hosting here too)
  • List of email addresses (include both personal and those associated with the domain name)
  • Heirachy list of contents of storage folders (such as Dropbox) to ensure that things are easily found (especially important when there are lots of sub-folders)
  • Anything else that is relevant to your business and only you know!

Kelly Evans is a virtual Mary Poppins. A qualified trainer, assessorand book keeper, with over 10 years experience in administration inboth the private and public sectors. Her mission is to provide smallbusinesses with quality administrative assistance. Visit www.virtualmarypoppins.com.au

do you have a question about business organization & admistration? post it below or send us an email. your question could be the next 'ask the expert' post!