Documentation – Why It is Good for Business


Mention the word “documentation” to most business owners and you’ll get a groan in response. Documentation often feels like it’s not worth the work or effort involved to create it. Yet, when it’s done correctly, its benefits are long lasting and provide a significant return on investment.

What do we mean by documentation?

It is a catch-all word that covers wonderful pieces of information ranging from checklists to screencasts and reports. Documentation in general is designed to communicate a system or a process. For example, when you get a user manual with your new toaster, that’s documentation. It shows you how to use the toaster, clean the toaster, and get new parts for the toaster. As you can see, this type of information can be valuable for your business and for communicating with your contractors. No contractor may be more important to your success than your virtual assistant.

The Benefits of Documentation for Your Virtual Assistant:

1. You Better Understand the Process

When you create documentation for your virtual assistant, and other contractors, it forces you to think through the process. Not only do you have to define what you want your assistant to do, you also have to make sure that you know how you want it done. The process of documenting helps you achieve clarity. This clarity often leads to more streamlined and efficient processes.

2. Better Communication

Let’s just say that when you outline the steps you need your virtual assistant to take when they’re completing a task, you’re much more comfortable and confident that it’s going to be done correctly. It’s a fantastic way to communicate clearly and efficiently. If your VA has any questions, they can reference your documentation and you can make amendments or clarifications.

3. Future Use of Documentation

The documentation you create today will be used repeatedly over the years. You’ll use it to communicate with future contractors. You’ll use it to explain systems and processes to business partners, coaches, and mentors. You will use it to improve your systems and processes too. You will also better understand your business.

Finally, let’s also say that good documentation can help you in emergencies. For example, if a virtual assistant becomes ill, you can send it to a back up assistant and you won’t lose any time or productivity. It allows for quick training and a fast learning curve.

Plan a time where you can sit down and make a list of all of the systems and tasks that you now outsource or plan to outsource in the future. Start working through that list and creating your documentation. And if you already have a VA working on some of those tasks, ask them to create it for you. It will pay off down the road.