6 Policies Your Small Business Should Put in Writing Today
"As a small business owner, you face a variety of risks, especially as you begin to work with more clients and hire employees. Your business deals with a certain amount of liability each day and you can reduce some of that liability by having your policies clearly outlined in writing.”
The old adage “Systems Save You Time, Energy, & Money” always holds true. And one way to systemize certain frustrations and time-suckers for small business owners and managers is by having clearly documented policies for a variety of scenarios.
When a conflict comes up with an employee, why decide on the fly how you’ll respond? It’s more confusing for the employee. It’s more of a drain on you to create and recreate the wheel each and every time something comes up. Would a prewritten employee handbook that outlines most scenarios help you respond more quickly and let you move on to other things that will make you money? Absolutely.
When a customer wants to return a product but doesn’t have a receipt, how will you respond? Did the customer know in advance that 720 days might be a little long to “try out” the product and determine whether or not they want to keep it? Obviously you want to provide excellent customer service (or you wouldn’t be in business), but how will they respond when you politely say ‘no’?
What if you’ve sold a product online and are engaging by email where tone is most difficult to read? Will they read your response as ‘sorry, we’d love to help you, but we can’t accept that return,’ or will they read it as ‘NO, stupid. We don’t care enough about you to discuss this any further,’ which may lead them to leave a poor online review. Could this whole scenario have been avoided by making your return policy clear in advance. Absolutely. Could you have saved the time considering your response to the customer (the mental wrestling match we’ve all been through to decide, ‘just how should I say no and not look absolutely horrible?’). Double absolutely.
Taking just a few hours to pre-plan your policies and decide how you’ll make them clear to your customers, employees, stakeholders, vendors, and others will save you time, energy and money, and allow you to get back to the business of your business and do what you love.
And don’t forget, we do have samples of some policies in our Member Information Center and access/ideas for other resources when you need them. We’re here to support our members with their unique challenges every single day.