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What to Include in Your Operations Handbook
June 13, 2024
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If you’re away from your business, your employees need to run the company without you. Your operations handbook should enable them to handle any situation that arises. What to include in your operations handbook depends on your industry and business.

This checklist is a general guideline to help you start creating your operations handbook.

Some of the items to include are:

Company Information

This section includes information that employees throughout the company may need.

  • Company contact information (address, phone, fax, website URL, email addresses for key departments)
  • Hours of operation
  • Organizational chart
  • Job descriptions for each job in the company O Password lists or where to find them
  • Emergency procedures
  • Disaster recovery plan
  • Contact info for:
    • All employees
    • Vendors/suppliers
    • Insurance companies
    • Bank accounts
    • Attorney
    • Landlord

Departmental operations

You will also need sections explaining the policies and procedures of each functional area or department of the business. Policies are rules (what to do and what not to do). Procedures are step-by-step explanations of tasks. For example, if you own a retail store, you might have a policy of accepting returns within 30 days with a receipt and procedures for processing returns and issuing refunds.

You should include policies and procedures for

  • Administration
  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Fulfillment
  • HR
  • Marketing
  • Safety and security
  • Maintenance and repair
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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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