Initially, you have to do everything yourself, but you know that this is not sustainable nor scalable.
Managing a business or a startup is hard work. Initially, you have to do everything yourself, but you know that this is not sustainable nor scalable. As your business grow, you should already start thinking about how to hire employees or team members and how to delegate some of the work that you have been hustling yourself. Documenting tasks and procedures that you already have in place is possibly the best place to start. What are tasks, and what are procedures? How do we differentiate them and why is it useful to differentiate the two?
You might be tempted to think they are one of the same. If you are still confused, read on. Fortunately, in business at least, there is a big difference between tasks and procedures. It is helpful to think of tasks as “what” a person has been assigned to do. Procedures on the other hand should answer, “how” a person do his tasks.
Tasks can also be viewed as a set of responsibilities but in greater detail. For example, consider the role of a finance officer. One of the tasks of a finance officer is to prepare financial reports. But the role also has other tasks such as paying suppliers on time and writing checks.
How about procedures? Procedures tells you how the job is done. As an example, the finance officer needs to prepare financial reports. But how does she do it. She must first obtain the necessary financial statements from banks, suppliers, and customers. She must reconcile it and then prepare the financial report according to the authority’s standards and requirements. This example shows you how to list them.
1. Prepare financial reports
- Obtain banks statement
- Obtain suppliers statement
- Obtain customers statement
- Reconcile accounting records
- Finish financial report two month after account closing period
2. Paying suppliers
3. Writing checks
There you go, a basic example of how to differentiate between Tasks and Procedures. Procedures can be much more complex and more specific in nature and are highly dependent on the industry that you are in. The more in-depth and detailed your tasks and procedures are, the more better off you are in the future. Either way, starting out with such a simple concept goes a long way towards building your business. Find out why investing in your Tasks and Procedures is important in the long run.
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