A lot of blood, sweat, and tears go into the building, growing, scaling, and maintaining companies. It doesn’t happen by chance. Not sure how to build or use business recipes? That’s okay! I wrote this up to help guide you on the right path and your way to new success.
What is a Business Recipe?
If you are scratching your head, wondering why you’ve never heard the term ‘business recipe’ before, you aren’t alone! Many companies have one or more in place. They are most commonly known as Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). SOPs are most commonly associated with businesses with a significant manual labor component. For example, a manufacturing facility will have a business recipe for assembling products to ensure quality output and consistency.
However, business recipes are beneficial to every type of company, regardless of the industry. A comprehensive set of recipes will ensure every employee is on the same page and that your company can run seamlessly even in your absence. Let’s take a look at how to create effective business recipes.
However, it doesn’t have to be that complex. We use Asana to set up a workflow in our business and every time there is a new set of procedures, we establish the rules and create a set of guidelines around them…then we’re off!
Where Do You Need Business Recipes?
Obviously, it is impossible to make a recipe for every single task. For instance, you do not need one for changing printer paper or sending a fax. These are tasks that employees will learn during training. However, you will want recipes for processes such as:
- Communication with clients – How to answer the phone, funnel phone calls to the correct department, when to follow-up, etc.
- Client recruitment – How your sales team approaches potential new clients and moves them through the sales funnel
- marketing process – The approval process for launching new campaigns.
This is a non-inclusive list. Chances are, you will need more than three recipes, and each should be curated for your company’s specific needs.
Critical Elements to a Business Recipe
Now that you know what a business recipe is and where you need them, it is vital to understand how to write each recipe so that employees easily understand them.
Start with an Introduction
The introduction should be a brief overview of the task, its importance, and how to complete the job. Make sure it is easy to read and clearly conveys the end goal of the process. The introduction sets the tone for the rest of the recipe and inspires the employee to want to learn how to complete the task correctly.
List the Ingredients
No, unfortunately, I am not talking about food. I am talking about the materials needed to complete the task at hand. Potentials materials may include:
- Login credentials
- Access to certain programs
- Appropriate security clearance
- Your travel preferences for your VA
By listing the materials needed, any person can ensure they have the proper tools and authorization to complete the task before going any further.
Include Detailed Steps
Always list steps in chronological order. Explain in detail how complete each step. Include even the most minor details. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but imagine this being repeatable and scaling later because of your hard work!
What may seem like an obvious step to you may not be evident to someone who has never completed the task before. Leaving out details can lead to lost and confused employees who end up improvising. These improvisations tend to lead to cut corners and lack of quality.
If possible, include pictures alongside every step. This helps everyone inside and outside your company ensure they are on the right track and adds an extra layer of validation. Photos could be real-life shots of the task being performed correctly or screenshots. The more information you can provide, the easier it is to follow.
Include a Video Tutorial
Digital versions of business recipes can accommodate video tutorials. We use Loom for this. Everybody learns differently. Some people learn just fine following print directions, while others are visual learners and a video tutorial is hugely beneficial.
Distribute Business Recipes (Templates)
Once you’ve created and proofread business recipes, it is time to distribute them to the appropriate departments. It is crucial to make sure recipes are accessible. If employees can’t quickly get their hands on them, then chances are they won’t take the time to hunt them down and will do the task their way, which will probably be wrong.
Provide both digital and print copies of every business recipe. Give each employee a copy and post additional copies in common areas such as break rooms.
Keep Recipes Up-to-Date
Business recipes are useless if they are outdated. It is crucial to update recipes as processes change. A good rule of thumb is to review business recipes at least once a year, even if you do not think changes are needed. Of course, you shouldn’t wait for the year mark to update. Make updates as soon as processes change. Doing so shows employees that your company is serious about following the recipes and their importance.
Sustainably Grow Your Business
Business recipes are the key to fast-tracking business processes and growing your business sustainably. I invite you to check out my Humanly Possible podcast for inspiration from entrepreneurs just like yourself! Check out our other resources including,5 Trends to grow your business in 2022!
You can take our free Masterclass to learn about how to create 3 shifts in your business that will give you more time and ease back in your business.