Hacking the overgrowth and pruning back to just what you need (or what generates the most revenue) are the first two steps in putting your business on the path to profitability. Now that you’ve gotten a handle on your human resources and financial resources (and pruned away the liabilities), it’s time to organize those assets.


Step 1: Update your human resource materials

With your operational procedures and corporate policies reviewed and assessed, you now know what is in line with your current business model. We recommend you document all your company’s procedures for every department or job role, in a standard operating procedures (SOP) manual.

The SOP should be clearly written with step-by-step instructions about how to perform the routine activities that run your business. Having this on hand for your employees not only helps with training new employees but also helps maintain efficiency (no guessing about what to do or how to do it). Safety concerns for certain job functions should also be included. Once you have a new SOP manual done, it will be easy to make revisions as job functions change or your company’s needs change.

The SOP defines each particular job activity but it’s distinct from the employee handbook, which outlines employee roles, job descriptions and responsibilities. Just as you’ve done with your SOP, this is a great opportunity to revamp your employee handbook along job-specific areas. If you’ve made some staffing cuts, you’ll be thinking about which roles need to be filled now and in the foreseeable future—and exactly what those jobs will entail. The employee handbook should include:

  • The roles your company needs to operate effectively, from management to the mail room
  • The ideal job qualifications for those roles
  • Each job’s description of what is expected from them as a term of employment
  • How that employee fits into your company’s overall structure
  • The responsibilities or key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be measured for performance on a job review
  • Guidelines about compensation and benefits (such as insurance, vacation, comp time)
  • Human resource policies that protect your company as well as your employees. These include grounds for termination, workplace behavior and diversity issues, dress code, personal or medical leave, use of company products, and social media use.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll discuss updating your financials.