Even in a one-person office, organizing office procedures is essential to the efficient operation of a business. Creating a set of organized procedures makes running a business easier and reduces the amount of time needed for overhead tasks such as filing, purchasing and doing basic paperwork.
Create a list of procedures that need to be organized. Make sure you list all office procedures that you anticipate doing in the future, even if they are done infrequently.
Determine the person who is currently responsible for each office procedure. If more than one person is responsible, identify the person who performs the procedure the most effectively, or who is the most articulate about describing the procedure.
Request that each person write down a detailed description of how they perform each office procedure. Ensure that each person follows a step-by-step, clear format by providing a template or sample of how each office procedure description should be written. Request that each person provide a copy of their description in a common word processing document format.
Combine all office procedure descriptions into a single master document, organized into chapters by function. For instance, group all accounting procedures into a single chapter, all shipping procedures into another chapter.
Print out the complete document and provide at least one three-ring binder with all office procedures to your staff. Provide each staff member with a separate document, covering all office procedures for which they are responsible, and ensure that all staff read the documents pertaining to those office procedures that they regularly perform.
Christina Inge is a freelance writer, marketer and designer with more than 12 years experience in the consumer and business-to-business fields. She has a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in adult education and instructional technology. Her interests include technology, marketing, textiles and health.