A client claimed he has the perfect management system that will sustain them for the foreseeable future. Now the goal is to concentrate on marketing. The call came in with a request to revitalize their “stale” marketing program and with a permanent management system in place the firm could devote all their time on getting new clients. To set the stage, the firm consists of an owner and two employees and has been in business almost two years. Financially the owner has taken only a minimal salary and has been able to generate enough business to cover the rest of the expenses.
Proudly the owner showed me an office procedure manual approximately, 72 pages in length, which itemized the overall operation to the smallest detail.
My first challenge is to convince the owner that like marketing, management in a small firm, is also in a state of constant change. One of the advantages that a small firm has over a larger, cumbersome firm, is the ability to change both the marketing and management process quickly, when the need arises.
I applaud the owner for the detailed office procedure manual, but, in my opinion, a 10 to 15 page procedure manual is better and, if properly developed, will allow enough guidance to grow the firm; it is also easier to change, and change in management procedure will be required as the firm grows.
An office procedure manual is needed as employees are added to ensure that everyone is on the “same page”, but don’t make that the central focus.
A winner knows how much he still has to learn, even when he is considered an expert by others. A loser want to be considered and expert by others before he has learned enough to know how little he knows.