How To Create A Procedures Manual For Your Cleaning Company Warren MI

While most companies have specific policies and a printed procedure manual written up for employees to follow, your cleaning business may have started on a part-time basis with you doing everything.

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How To Create A Procedures Manual For Your Cleaning Company

While most companies have specific policies and a printed procedure manual written up for employees to follow, your cleaning business may have started on a part-time basis with you doing everything. Most likely, nothing was put in writing. With many different tasks pulling you in a thousand directions, putting your procedures down into writing has most likely not made it to the top of your "to do" list. But what happens when you want to go on a vacation? Or if you become sick or injured? Having a written policy and procedures manual for your cleaning business means your business can keep running if you do become sick or injured or if you decide to take some much needed time off.

So how do you go about writing down the procedures you do to keep your business running? Start off by realizing this is an important task to take on. Following are a few tips to help you create a procedures manual for your cleaning business:

1. Don't try to sit down and write out your manual in one sitting. You will get discouraged and most likely set the document aside and never get back to it. You do not have to tackle this project all at once. Instead, set aside a block of time every day or once a week to work on your manual.

2. Set up your manual as a Microsoft Word document and password protect it. Microsoft Word is an easy program to work with and allows you to easily make changes. By password protecting the document it will not be accessible to anyone else. Just make sure you share the password with a spouse or trusted assistant in case something happens to you.

3. Start by putting basic information into your manual. This is the information that you needed to get your cleaning business up and running and is probably scattered about your office in numerous documents. Some of the information you'll want to document include: your business address, e-mail, phone number, fax number, your attorney's name and address, accountant's name and address, bank account information, Employee Identification Number (EIN), sales tax number and credit card information.

4. When you are working on specific tasks for your business, whether that be sending out billings, making sales calls, etc., write down your procedures. If there are particular tasks that have to be done regularly, or other tasks you feel are important to the business, make sure you document the procedures, step-by-step. You can even dictate the specific procedures into a tape recorder and have those transcribed.

5. If you have other people helping you, such as an assistant, bookkeeper, or salesperson, have them document what they do. For instance, if your bookkeeper is responsible for paying sales tax she should write down all relevant information including when to send in the taxes, where it goes, who she or he calls if there are questions. Keep your manual consistent by creating a simple template that you use for all of your procedures. Following is an example for the format of a section:

1. Date Updated: _________________

2. Updated by: ___________________

3. Procedures Required to ____________________________________

4. List step-by-step procedures

A filled out page might look something like this:

Date Updated: 9/15/06

Updated by: John Jones

Procedures Required to CheckVoicemail.

- Call 555-5555

- Press the # key to stop the message

- Enter code: 9156

- Listen to messages

- Press 3 to delete message, press 7 to save message

Listed below are additional items that you will probably want to include in your cleaning business' procedures manual. This is just a general list. One of your first steps in putting together your own manual will be to decide what information you need to include.

- Important contact information.

- Customer contact information and contract information.

- Account numbers and passwords.

- Vendor lists.

- Legal information

- Type of business entity, important account numbers.

- Computer procedures, software and product ID's, back-up systems.

- Website designer, website host and registrar for domain names.

- Bookkeeping procedures.

- Procedures for paying taxes.

- Payroll procedures.

- Employee evaluation procedures.

- Where to find equipment warranties and service information. Information on your safety program including where to find MSDS sheets.

The easiest way to begin putting together your manual is to make a list of all the things that you and others do for your cleaning company that need to be documented. If you can delegate some of these items to others then do so! That will make your job all that much easier. Put together a template that works for your cleaning business and then start filling in the blanks. Before you know it, your manual will be completed. Print it off and put it into a three-ring binder so you can use it as a reference. Then if for some reason you cannot work or if you decide to finally take that vacation there will be procedures in place so your cleaning business can run efficiently in your absence.

Copyright (c) 2006 The Janitorial Store

About the Author:

Steve Hanson is co-founder of, an online community for owners of cleaning companies. Sign up for Trash Talk:Tip of the Week at . Read success stories at

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