Biz Manual #6 – Staying Awake to What Is Happening Right Now

This post is part of a series that began here. By sharing the daily development of my own business operations manual (BOM) I hope to illustrate how you might approach doing the same in your own business. Please follow along and share what you are doing to document your own systems and the challenges that come up along the way.

Your BOM is the container that holds documentation of the systems you use in your business.  But first, you need to have systems to document.  So a big part of creating and maintaining your BOM is figuring out your systems and adjusting as necessary.

So recent additions to my BOM have been:

Refining the moving parts of class offerings – the timing and sequence of announcements, the registration process, communication with students, record keeping, and so forth.

When I update the content in my BOM in real time, as I’m working, I don’t have to remember or recreate what I did next time around. I’m capturing lessons as I learn them.  A little investment now saves me a huge chunk of time and effort later.

Creating a “template” schedule for the next couple months (well, really for the whole year).  Upon placing that in my trusty BOM binder, I realized as much as I love the kludgy little daily sheets I’ve been using, it’s time to graduate to using calendar software – which I can print out and use the same way, but with a lot less of the work and confusion that have come from essentially maintaining two calendars (which was never the idea).

[ We’ll see how long it takes for me to start swearing at the computer when it reminds me it’s time to move on to another activity. I may have to turn off all the bells and whistles that seemed so sensible when I set it up yesterday afternoon. I’m trying to embrace Mona Grayson‘s take on timers, but I so dislike being nagged by this machine. ]

Creating a BOM gets you to think about how you are doing things. Is there a better way? Does this make sense? Could it be more efficient? Am I making extra work for myself? What happens when I do it this way? What about this is really slick and working really well? What could I do differently to avoid that yucky part? And so on. Like my daily sheets, it helps me stay awake to my experience and what is happening in my business.

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1 Response to “Biz Manual #6 – Staying Awake to What Is Happening Right Now”


  1. 1 JoVE January 28, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    I am discovering this. And since I don’t have much in the way of systems and am trying to do new things, I’m kind of thinking about what systems I might need….

    It is helping. And I’m loving the Notebook view in Word for organizing it.


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