Everyone knows Small Businesses need to have policies as part of their systems and operations.…
Why Policies Are Your Ticket to Utopia
When someone starts to talk about policies and procedures, their audience generally struggles to pay attention.
If they’re not looking for the nearest exit, checking their watch or hoping for an urgent message, they’re planning their shopping list or annual leave. Policies aren’t a terribly exciting topic, and unless the presenter incorporates a tap dance or some sleight-of-hand to keep listeners engaged, much of their real value is missed.
So instead of fighting the urge to run to your happy place, I’m going to invite you to go there and by the end of this short article, you may have a new appreciation for the value of policies.
Imagine your dream business. Think of a unique workspace with staff who all get along and come in early for work, because they just love being there. Imagine simple, flexible and reliable product lines that tick along nicely from that first enquiry to delivery and beyond. And think about the reviews you’ll receive from clients who are so impressed by your customer service, they send you Christmas cards and interact positively on all your social media platforms.
Make a list of keywords you want people to utter in conversations about your business. And add the qualities you’ll look for in all your staff. Even if it sounds a bit pie-in-the-sky, the starting point is to have a clear picture of your ideal business structure.
GETTING FROM A TO B
Workplaces like Google and Apple didn’t happen by accident. A bunch of cool people didn’t just turn up for work one day in an environment that formed naturally over a long weekend. It was planned.
Once you know what you want, think about each aspect of your business this will impact upon, and the people who work in those roles. Consider the changes you’d need to make and how to communicate that to those involved.
If you already have a set of policies, use them as a shell to start rewriting the ones you really want. If you’ve inherited a set (or copied and pasted them) from someone else, they may not even reflect how your workplace operates. And if you don’t have any at all, start to create your own.
You can research common policies and build them with your team, one by one. Or purchase a set of basic policies and develop them into the playbook that will see your business shift from A to B.
POLICIES WITH PURPOSE
Most people think of policies as another thing to do. And without harnessing their value, I’m inclined to agree. None of us need more hoops to jump through.
In their simplest form, policies and procedures help everyone understand what’s expected of them. They give businesses structure and reliability and keep staff accountable. But if that’s not enough, remember that once we realise what an asset they can be, we can use them to shape our businesses into whatever we want, and take it in the direction we choose.
Policies may not be able to compete with the bright lights of marketing and branding, or the trendy topics of culture and unique workspaces, but none of the businesses we read about would exist unless someone took the time to write things down. Plan what you want, consider how to communicate that to others, and use policies to create a dynamic business.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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