One of the most practical ways that a business owner can grow his or her business and make it more attractive to investors is by creating an operations and/or process manual. This provides a method of creating knowledge transfer between the owner, employees, and anyone else that may be working for you. It is also a ready source of trade secrets and training materials for new employees. If you can write down what you know, then you have to spend less time revising it to improve on your processes, training replacement employees, identify potential areas of further research and development to develop additional products or services.
After you have taken the time to create an operations plan you can use it to tweak your business plan and corporate strategy. For example, are there processes that are prone to increase risk of liability, if so, then you can think about creating a subsidiary or another company to use to shield the less risky aspects of your business. Maybe, a general commercial liability or products liability insurance policy will effectively help you manage the risk of liability. The operations manual can be used to train new employees and protect against the risk of losing your employees to your competitors. Maybe, you are growing at a rate that exposes you to federal and state employment statutes, and it makes sense in investing in a good employment manual and human resource training program.
Moreover, once you have written down your operations manual not only can you identify areas of innovation, but also potential areas for developing your intellectual property portfolio. The Operations Manual can be the start of an IP development strategy to help create barriers to entry and increase the value of your business. You can develop not only trade secrets, but patents, trademarks, trade dress, and copyrights. In addition, you can identify customers that are generating a large portion of your revenues and try to cater to their need for your products or services. You can identify the traits of these customers that will allow you to find other similar customers to whom you can pitch your product or services.
These customers may also be good sources for strategic alliances and partnerships or some form long term supply or services agreements. Once, you identify who they are you can also develop product or service bundles and/or add on products or services. However, if you have not created a method of tracking who your customers are, then you cannot scale your business. If you have any concerns or questions about your business or corporate planning, then feel free to contact us.