5 reasons why your business needs policies

Welcome back to the daily dose and Happy New Year! Today I want to talk about writing policies. Before you start snoring and shouting “BORING”, I just want to say that policies don’t necessarily have to be bureaucratic mumbo jumbo. In my former life as a marketing consultant, I spent a lot of time writing policies that were mean’t to be used and not shelved. Below I outline 5 reasons why you should consider writing policies for your work at home business, whether you’re making a few bucks off Etsy sales or a few hundred from social media services.

1. Policies help you stay on track with your business goals

A good policy has your back. It is written proof that you’ve articulated your priorities and it guides your actions. A useful policy will have an overall definition statement: The …………policy guides all actions in relation to   ………… It will state what it covers and what it doesn’t. It will articulate procedures that put the policy into action. Business goals are what drive policies. If you want to grow your social media leads, then you need a policy in place to guide social media management. If you aim for X number testimonials by a certain date, you need your customers to understand how you run your business and what your terms of service are.

2. Policies set the tone for your “corporate” culture

You might be thinking: “I’m a work at home mum! Why do I need a “corporate” anything?”. Corporate is just a fancy way of saying “business.” If you run a business, you will have a business or “corporate” culture, whether you mean to or not and a that will largely be dictated by how you interact with others you work with, people who provide you services, and customers or clients. If you want to your branding to convey certain values, then it helps to define these when you are writing policies, so that your policies work to promote your values. For instance, one of Support a WAHP’s values is “integrity.” We have a social media administration policy and as part of that policy we have stipulated that any affiliate income must be disclosed to maintain our integrity.

3. Policies make managing growth easier.

If you have core policies in place to govern your interactions with clients and customers and to guide your administration activities, it will be a lot easier to take on new employees and contractors.

4. Policies guide employees and contractors in how to interact with you and your customers

Once you have taken on additional staff (because your business is a roaring success, as it should be), you need to make them feel at home in the business and give them goalposts to guide their activities. Policies are reassuring for staff (so long as they aren’t ridiculous and irrelevant that is) and can quickly get them up and running, doing the work you need them to do in the way you want them to do it.

5. Policies give you benchmarks by which you can evaluate your performance

Like goals, all policies should have a use-by date or a review date. Policies should never be shelved and left to collect dust. If that’s what is happening then they need to be reworked. Policies must be a guide for you and for your team. A great way to evaluate your performance is to review your responses to different challenges and issues in relation to what your policies actually say. For instance, in Support a WAHP’s social media management policy, it lays out procedures stating what to do when someone trolls the Support a WAHP Facebook Page. Our response to such a situation, may differ from what the policy states depending on the circumstances. So that then gives us an opportunity to go back to the policy and look at where we went wrong and how to respond differently next time.

So, if you haven’t fallen asleep by now, it hopefully means that you’re into this idea of policy writing and want to know what to do next. Well, start small. Think about something important you could use some guidance with. Writing a customer service policy is probably a good start. Have you got a customer service policy already? Tell me about it below. What have you included? What haven’t you?


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  • http://www.lyfhosting.com Ray Pasteur

    Great article Cas. I have worked in retail for 6 years now and am very policy driven. There’s no point being part of an organisation and not doing what that business has asked you to do.

    In saying that I have experienced many different policies, some great – some I often think who wrote them and what they were thinking. That’s not to say I didn’t respect the policy, it was just the way they had written it. I believe a policy should be straight to the point. The clearer you’re, the easier it is to read and follow for others. I think it’s important to have your policies linked to your main values, such as your promise to wow every customer through your value, passion for success.

    Policies definitely have a place with every business. Without policies many would be lost or even so unhappy. Imagine offering a client something which you denied to another, then have those two clients mingle and the other one extremely not happy about your service. I don’t believe any business, no matter how big or small would want that reputation of being sneaky or dishonest.

    • https://supportawahp.com Cas

      Thanks Ray, I totally agree, especially with your point about being consistent with clients. Policies definitely help keep the client experience on track.