I cannot stress enough how much your business requires an operations manual.

Every detail of your business, from the content and uniform formatting of the company's collective signature for each employee, to the deadline required for employees to request for vacation; every operational element needs to be outlined and properly defined.

When Ray Kroc discovered the McDonald brothers serving up burgers at their California restaurant in the 1950's, he noticed how quickly and efficiently the food chain was operating. He quickly talked the brothers into making McDonald brothers into letting him open a franchise of the burger restaurant, and began operating. Ray Kroc eventually bought out the McDonald brothers, and began a prototype for how all McDonald's franchises should operate.

Ray Kroc knew in order to build a successful franchise operation, every subsequent operation would have to be able to easily replicate the McDonald's system.

He needed to set forth policies that:

  1. Could be understood and implemented by anybody reading it
  2. Would act to create complete uniformity in all restaurants despite how many exist
  3. Would facilitate situations in which employees could always improve the level of customer service, yet never deviate form the expected levels currently required

Today McDonald's is in 119 countries and serves over 58 million people each day. This can all be attributed to Ray Kroc's genius plan to ensure complete consistency and uniformity in everything that McDonald's does.

When I travel through Europe, I also try to stop at a McDonald's just for fun. Despite the food being somewhat different in taste and description, the level of service and cleanliness could never be mistaken.

Today several food chains such as Subway, Chick fil-A and Wendy's have implemented the same franchise system. You need to be implementing the same system for yourself, and your employees. When you are writing your operations manual, assume that you will be opening 2,000 chain businesses next week.

Now this would be a nightmare, but it won't be. After-all, you have created a flawless operations manual that will define everything, from the size of the bathroom title, to the dimensions of the name tags to be worn at your seminars. Now if you can create a manual that will answer of question and quality procedure for 2,000 stores, imagine what it can do for yours.

Don't micro-manage, master-manage! Use your operations manual as the mast of your businesses ship, and I promise you, consistency in operation which will dramatically improve your staff, and your customers' experience.


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