Caring for your Greens
Updated: Sep 17, 2019
When caring for your greens, it's important to remember to keep an eye on the quality of the soil, the level of exposure to the sun, the moisture level, and the stability and health of the root system.
It's so tempting to plant a seed, give it a little water, and hope that the seed will grow into a beautiful and lasting plant, while you're tending to other parts of your garden. Unfortunately, if you just sprinkle a little bit of water on the seed every few days, even if it sprouts, the poor little thing may just fall over as soon as it pops out of the soil.
I recall my failed attempt at growing sunflowers... I didn't do the slow soak at the beginning, which allows the roots to go deep -- so when the sunflowers came up, the root system just couldn't support them, and the poor things drooped all the way down to the ground -- looking very sorrowful.
It was painfully obvious that this was coming, but... the same care should be applied to your small business. It's so tempting to put off building the infrastructure* of your business -- that annoying little thing that will keep your business operating smoothly during expansion -- but it's incredibly important.
So, back to caring for your greens... In addition to the stability and health of your root system, mind the quality of the soil, the level of exposure to the sun, and the moisture level to produce that hearty plant with attractive blooms. Yes... those are your company culture, marketing, finances, business and product/service, respectively. We'll get to those in future posts.
So, what can you do right now?
Start with something easy, which will make this process feel not quite so overwhelming. Create a simple Google Doc and start to document your business procedures, as they're developed. Share the document and ask your staff or partner(s) to contribute to this as well. It doesn't need to be pretty. It doesn't need to be complete. So, don't put it off because it seems like a daunting task. Taking little steps to document procedures, in anticipation of staff turnover, hiring, training, and audits, will eventually result in one of the key branches of your root system: something for people to reference for consistency and continuity when there's staff turnover or transition of duties. Plus, it's a good way to stay on top of what your staff is actually doing, after you delegate work.
Here’s how to do it:
Head to Google Docs
Create a new document (this should ideally be under a Google Apps for Business account, but you can always transfer or download at a later date, if you don't have this).
Create a few new section titles with a Heading format applied. (e.g., About Us, Opening Procedures, Closing Procedures, etc.) If you're an online business, it's a good idea to list all of the tools you're using and how you're currently using them. Too many people come on board, only to learn way down the road, that there was a resource for them that actually had all of the things they were looking for.
Insert a Table of Contents (this will auto populate from the headings in the document, add page numbers, and update with a click!).
Set your edit mode to "suggesting" and share editing rights with your team (yeah, they'll need a Gmail address).
Ask your team to add the procedures, for which they are responsible, to the document -- in whatever form they can. (Don't worry, because all changes and versions are saved in Google Docs, so nothing can be lost, without extra effort and intention to do so.)
Every so often, review the changes and additions -- and clean them up! This is also an opportunity to review procedures with your team, identify any training needs, and ensure you're all on the same page and executing best practices.
Before you know it, you'll have a solid Procedures Manual! But don't forget to update it, as things change within your company.
Don't forget about repotting! As your business is growing and thriving, you may need to review your systems, procedures and staff responsibilities, to ensure you have room to grow!
Choose a pot that's bigger than the current container, but not too big! And... take care with the root system when repotting, to avoid damage. 1
*What else makes up your small business infrastructure? Here are some of main categories:
Accounting tools, such as QuickBooks or FreshBooks
Customer Relationship Management Tool(s) (CRM), such as SalesForce, PipeDrive, HubSpot, Insightly, or ZoHo (some of these cover project management as well)
Marketing Tools, such as Kajabi, WordPress, Google Analytics, Wix, ConvertKit, Constant Contact, MailChimp and Infusionsoft (plus social media management tools, like Hootsuite, Sprout Social, Buffer, etc.)
Document Management Tools, such as Google Apps for Business and DropBox
When choosing your tools, try to pick items that integrate with each other, to avoid frustration, errors and duplication of efforts. Zapier claims to integrate a lot, but it's often fairly limited, and not without added cost and errors. Many tools claim integration, but it's only through Zapier. Be sure to check the details!
Need help choosing your tools, transferring data, customizing/configuring or training? Hey! We do that! Who knew, eh?
Please note that we refer to a "Procedures Manual" here. An "Employee Handbook," which covers benefits, leave and other company policies, should be reviewed by your attorney.