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You May Be in Better Shape than You Think

I recently gave a presentation to a group of small business owners in Seattle about how documenting operations and other aspects of their business can help them run more efficiently. “I’m in much better shape than I thought I was!” That’s the response from one business owner after we walked through a short documentation self-assessme


Why Is This So Hard?

If you’ve ever tried writing your own business policies, procedures, and other documentation, you may have found yourself getting discouraged and eventually giving up.  Writing down what you know seems simple enough, yet how can something so simple be so hard? Because simple isn’t always easy. I often hear business owners lament


What is Documentation Anyway?

In my last blog, I talked about the disadvantages of running your business from your head. It’s not efficient, it’s hard to scale, and it almost always makes the work harder than it needs to be. And, I talked about the advantages of documenting how your business runs. But what does it mean to document? What exactly is documentation? I


5 Signs You Are Running Your Business From Your Head – and why you should stop

When you start a business, it all starts in your head. You have an idea, fuel it with passion, and then make it real. In the early days of running your business, creating documentation is usually low priority. Accumulated knowledge stays in your head while you figure out what works and what doesn’t.  But once you have established basic o


An Owner’s Manual For Your Business: smoothing your road to success

Join me this week for my presentation at Arlington City Hall to learn an approach to running your business with more ease and less stress.


The Best Decisions Are Made When You Already Know the Answer

I love the mountains. I’ve been exploring trails and peaks in the Pacific Northwest since I was a kid. Last week I went hiking in the North Cascades with a friend. There had been an unseasonably early snow and the temperatures were still hovering around freezing. But the sky was clear and the scenery gorgeous. As my friend and I descended


Let Me Help You Take a Vacation – your business will be glad you did

As a business owner, taking time off for a vacation can feel difficult to impossible. This summer I had the opportunity to take a vacation which allowed me to fully step away from my business. While wilderness kayaking in Southeast Alaska, I thought my business would be the furthest thing from my mind. I enjoyed exploring many small islands and


How’s Your Process?

I’m fortunate to live near Narrative Coffee – the perfect place to imbibe a hot beverage, in a comfortable setting, on a dreary January day. Narrative not only offers great coffee, a delicious selection of uncommon herbal teas, and cookies baked fresh on site, they offer consistently great customer service. Great service includes a way for the


An operations manual may have prevented this tragedy

Bill Marler’s post on a recent botulism outbreak emphasizes the need for clear operations protocol. An operations manual could have spelled out rules for record keeping, dispenser instructions, and safe temperature management. Of course, the staff still need to read the manual and follow it, but it’s more likely they will, if the manual exists


The key to writing the best operations manual for your business – delegate it!

Once you decide to create a personalized business operations manual to run your business more efficiently, you need to answer a very important question: will you write it yourself or have someone else do it? And, if someone else, who is the best person to delegate to? To answer that, consider the following: Do you enjoy writing? Are you good