Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Useful Note-Taking Technique

How to Build an Operations Manual (& Employee Manuals & Infoproducts & Franchise Binders) Without Really Trying

This should be of help to many of you all.

The Process

1. While working on your biz, keep a document open in Word or OpenOffice, anything where you can paste links, pictures, and text.

2. any time you
--a. buy something online, add a link under "supplies"
--b. get a tax ID, pay taxes, etc, record it
--c. find a good swipe, copy it to the "swipe file appendix"
--d. write copy, add it to the "copy appendix"
--e. use a website, add your user name & pw and a short description of what you use it for, other details, etc
--f. buy something offline, record it under supplies
--g. make a contact, add it to "contacts"
--h. outsource, add the contractors name & info - also record submissions text from guru, scriptlance, elance, etc
--i. register a domain, record em
--j. get affiliate programs, record pw, username, & any links you use
--k. add general notes on process, anything that might help an employee fill your position
--l. attach links or copies of tax returns, docs, important emails, etc.
--m. use a graphic, picture, logo, etc, add it to the "elements appendix"
--n. etc etc etc etc etc

Does this sound like a pain in the ass? Surprisingly, it's not. Takes about 10-15 extra seconds per new task, as a rule. Ctrl + A. Ctrl + C. Ctrl + V.

The Benefits

1. Reference. No looking around for passwords, old copy, tax stuff, addresses, etc. It's all in one place.

2. Employee reference. Likewise, for your employees, future and present. Saves you all kinds of questions and time. Furthermore, you can cut and paste into three-ring binders or docs to make operating manuals for each position in your company. Note: be sure to edit out sensitive passwords & such when you pass on a copy.

3. Franchising. This doc is pretty much the outline for a full franchise binder. All you need to do is edit out sensitive info, add process thoughts & introductions, exhortations, etc, and publish.

4. Infoproducts. i.e. the "E-franchise." The doc is the perfect outline for an infoproduct on "How to Kick Ass at [your type of business.]" Be sure to add cloaked affiliate links to any products, websites, and services you can. Pdf is an ideal format for this (at least for a links doc to go along w/ the printed 3-ring binder.)

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