The Definitive Business Plan
The Definitive Business Plan
The Definitive Business Plan
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Fifteen Key Manuals

First, a warning:
"A person who is devoted to paperwork has lost the initiative.
He is dealing with things that are brought to his notice,
having ceased to notice anything for himself.
He has been essentially defeated in his job.
Professor C. Northcote Parkinson"

Policies, rules and procedures - manifested in handbooks and manuals - should help you get the job done. They should provide guidelines that work and can be applied consistently to help your business run smoothly. Do not get bogged down in bureaucracy:

Figure 13.7. Fifteen of the handbooks and manuals that should be on your shelves

  1. Quality Systems Manual - perhaps the central reference that directs users to all other policies and procedures.
  2. Employee Handbook - terms and conditions of employment, employee rights, health and safety.
  3. Employee Induction Handbook - an introduction to the company, its mission and values, and basic rules and procedures.
  4. Employee Training Manual - the application of policies and procedures to specific situations.
  5. Finance Manual - policies and procedure to smooth and control the flow of payments and receipts.
  6. Legal Manual - rules for contract administration, displaying copyright notices, etc.
  7. Purchasing Procedures - how you buy supplies and where from, approved suppliers.
  8. Inventory Control Procedures - the basics of stock control.
  9. Process Manuals - how to do whatever it is you do; operate machinery, manufacture whatsits, cook and serve pizzas, produce software, write consultant's reports.
  10. Product Technical Manual - the nuts and bolts of your product.
  11. Product User Manual - instructions for using your product.
  12. Product Service Manual - how your product is kept in tip-top order.
  13. Marketing and Sales Manual - policies and procedures for adding to the bottom line.
  14. Customer Service Handbook - policies and procedures to keep your customers happy.
  15. Disaster Recovery Plan - who contacts whom and does what, in the event of a disaster.

From The Definitive Business Plan

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