Hmmm. Which is worse… hitting your thumb with a fast-swinging hammer or writing your Operating Manuals?
For me, I’ll take the swollen, broken thumb over writing procedures. Ugh! I’ve done it, and it is complicated, slow-going work. However, I also know the power, the sanity and flat-out freedom that Operating Manuals can provide. So let’s explore the what, why and how of Operating Manuals
On your Organizational Chart, you and your team lay out the Positions at your company. For each Position, you can assemble a bulleted list of responsibilities. Here’s what you are supposed to do to do your job. For each responsibility, you can create one or more procedures…how to do it. The Operating Manuals are the assembly of procedures, arranged by Position, for how to do what your company does.
Even better, the Operating Manuals help your team members win. The procedures provide the training curriculum, the accountability standards and the freedom from dozens of daily, micromanaging phone calls. How nice to write down what is good enough at your company, and help people achieve it. That’s sane, right? As opposed to people wondering, and taking a swing. Or you being forever disappointed by what they deliver. Everyone ends up frustrated and at odds with each other. That’s really crazy. Right?
So, that’s why you want (need) to get your Operating Manuals written. It’s a project. A big one. Put it on your Top Projects List. Commit to it. Engage team members to help. Schedule your first meeting and get going.
Here’s how to write the Manuals: One person does a task, like how to answer the phone. Another one writes it down, and then, the rest of the team discusses (argues?) about how it can be done better. You hash it out and finally decide on the company-way. You document it, train on it and hold team members to it. You may have to let someone go to prove that you are serious about it. You can get the Manuals IN.
And, you might get some help. If you’ve had Operating Manuals on your Top Projects List for three years now…I suggest you get some help.
My mentor, ZOOM DRAIN partner, and BFF Al Levi is the best operations guy I know. At age 48, he started writing Operating Manuals, and systemizing his family plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical (PHCE) business. His initial motivation was to retire. However, the experience deeply affected him. Once the Manuals were written and implemented, life got so much easier. There was breathing room. He and his family started to systematically attract great team members and help them get really good. So, instead of retiring, he started teaching other contractors how to run their contracting businesses with less stress and more success.
Al has helped hundreds of contractors earn millions of dollars by using his Operating Manuals to automate their businesses. At ZOOM DRAIN, we pinch ourselves because Al helped us get our Manuals done. Not long ago, one of our Field Supervisor was overheard introducing a new team member to the Manuals. He said helpfully, “If you want to be successful, do your job this way. It works. You are going to make mistakes. We all do. But you’ll make less if you use our procedures. If it’s in the book, you’re off the hook.” Sweet. Al’s Manuals gave us all confidence in the systems. So much so, we decided to franchise.
Al expressed to me recently that, working one-to-one with clients, he has only been able to help a few contractors at a time. He loves to help, so that bothers him.
Al’s new Build Your Operating Manuals Program changes all that. When you sign up for this program, you’ll get Operations Manual templates, orientation, a two-day hands on workshop June 8-9 in Phoenix, AZ, personalized aftercare support, and best of all —you’ll get your Manuals DONE.
Note that there are some requirements for admission:
- Your company must have annual sales of at least $1 million a year.
- You must be able to free yourself from the business to do the pre-work, be at the 2-day workshop undisturbed, and join me online for post-workshop support.
- Your company can’t be a competitor of someone who is already signed up.
Operating Manuals will improve your business in a way that no new truck, software, or equipment could ever hope to match. Registration is limited to 10 non-competing plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical companies.
Do yourself a giant favor and click on the link to learn more about Al Levi’s exclusive Build Your Operating Manuals Program and transform your service business. Business UN-Complicated.
As Al says, you can run your business with “less stress and more success!”
PS…Al said to tell you registration for this program absolutely, positively closes May 1 because he needs time to get you ready for the June workshop. Learn more.