Over the years, I have learned a great deal about SEO. Advanced backlink acquisition methods, advanced on-site optimization, advanced linking strategies/structures, and even the complex protocols that should be in place to track all of the above, among many other things. While this is all great stuff to know, it has taken a long time to learn, optimize, evaluate, and refine the processes developed. And it would take me a long time to pass that knowledge to someone else, which I don’t have time to do and you probably don’t either. Still, any business will face these challenges when attempting to scale up the business to meet with demand.
But there is a way to mitigate the pain of expansion though, templates/guides. Creating templates/guides and standard protocols for every procedure within your organization certainly seems like a daunting task, however, the return on investment of resources to execute this, far out weighs the initial work to build them.
How can creating Templates positively impact my bottom line?
Efficiency – Creating templates for all standard projects/tasks within your organization is one of the best things you can do for your organization, for several reasons:
- It eliminates some of the required thinking, and thinking takes time. If the skeleton of a given task is laid out and standing by, when the order is given to execute said task the template can be taken off the “shelf” and the relevant data for the task at hand can be input into the skeleton and you are ready to go, versus taking the time to start from scratch with every task. Even if an individual has a task committed to memory, the initial work has already been completed for the task, so it jump-starts the work to be done, which reduces the overall time required for completion.
- They allow for ease of training, of incoming personnel. If you have detailed guides/templates that cover standard processes end to end, then you will be able to hand incoming personnel a guide rather than spend hours training them one-on-one. This will allow the employee working with the new hire to still work on their own tasks, while overseeing progress of the task you have the guide/template for that the new hire is working on.
Operational Security - I know many companies in which there are several key individuals that do there job well and, as a result, are vital to the organization’s success. Having these people make detailed templates outlining the processes they carryout is an absolute must, this will ensure that in the unfortunate event that they were to die, or whatever, your company will know everything that has to be completed to remain in business effectively. While it would be sad to lose a team member, it would be worse to lose a team member and have people lose their jobs too, because the company went out of business since no body else knows how to do what the deceased was doing.
Morale – This is a key factor in a business’ success, yet is often overlooked. Unhappy employees will not perform as well as happy ones, low performance = low profits. People need/crave structure, whether they know it or not. If you had to go to work everyday not knowing what the next step was, or constantly having to “put out fires” because of poor planning/structure, you most likely would dread going into work, I know I would. On the other hand, if you went into work knowing that no matter what obstacle presented itself you would have a guide/template to consult as you go through the process, you certainly wouldn’t be as stressed. There isn’t uncertainty if everything is spelled out step-by-step in front of you in a detailed guide/template.
Project Management – If you really want to take your guides/templates to the next level, you can drill down to the exact times for each of the tasks/steps. This will allow you to plan for the exact amount of time it will take to execute a given project. So you can add the times for the various tasks of a project together to develop a timeline of execution, track progress based on that timeline to ensure efficiency, and accurately anticipate costs of a given project.
Tips for making guides/templates:
- Make them digital. That way they can be easily shared and/or modified based on the metrics driving your department. [Don't forget to back them up.]
- Make them as detailed as possible. This will help you with many things, among them, you can find out where weak points are in your project flow so you can adjust and optimize, to positively impact the bottom line of the organization.
The Take Away:
Templates/Guides = Increased Efficiency = Increased Productivity = Increased Profits $$$
CEO | Director of Strategy