Policy may not be the most popular thing in an office, but it is definitely something that leaves lasting impression about your business outside. Add to that a series of written forms, and you have a system in place that helps run the business. Yes, written policies and forms, especially in a small business and despite its size, are vital for growth.
Most small business organizations think they are too small to write down policies, procedures and forms. But in reality, they need it the most since these written manuals actually add to their efficiency and quicker results – something that every small business attempts anyway. In a small business, policies can be as small as arriving in office on time or as big as meeting the deadlines all the time.
Similarly, there can be various kinds of forms like job application, leaves, paychecks, timesheet, evaluation, requesting stationary and so on. In a small business, the biggest struggle is to achieve bigger targets in less time with least cost. In the beginning, success on this becomes crucial. While most small businesses dismiss the idea of documenting their policies and forms, the successful ones definitely pay a lot of attention to these.
In the absence of written policies and forms, small businesses may suffer greatly as they will have many challenges on a day-to-day basis. Since business involves employee and client relationships in various permutations, there can be grievances lurching anywhere that can be controlled by a systematically written policy manual.
Here are our top four reasons why every small business must have written policies and forms:
- Communication tool: Written policy makes it clear for employees, managers, clients, creditors and service providers what is expected of the business and them. This helps in setting standards as people deal in and with a small business and that goes a long way in establishing lasting relationships. A written policy manual is a communication document. It tells about expectations, rules, procedures and steps to follow them. Similarly, written forms minimize communication gaps. For example, if a customer needs to find out about a product catalog, he can fill up an online order form based on which he can get details immediately.
- Training assistance: Small business enterprises often cannot afford holding a lot of training programs. Written policy and forms will serve as ready documents of what is expected of the employees and how they have to pull it off. These documents serve as employee handbook. When the employees have written documents telling them about their tasks, this will help them refer to these documents whenever they run into doubts or trouble. This minimizes training time.
- Time efficiency: Manuals and written forms save a lot of time. Imagine an employee spending one hour on a daily basis writing work reports, requesting stationary/other resources from inventory, reporting on project completion etc. Opposed to this if he has written forms for this entire task, he will have to just fill in the relevant details and send them. Similarly, compare a transport executive making a list of items delivered each day versus when he just has to check a list of written items.
- Work efficiency: Very few entrepreneurs realize that written policy and forms save them a lot of stress on a daily basis. If every person working in your business has something to cross check or refer back to, it will minimize conflicts, save time and add to work efficiency leading to growth.
Policy and forms in writing serve as evidence. They are proof of expectations and their fulfillment in a business enterprise. For a small business, they often show progress and a clear track of progress helps it grow further.