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4 Reasons Why Documentation Will Boost Revenue in 2023 and Beyond

January 24, 2023

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Some leaders see documentation as a huge time investment, so they put off recording their processes and policies to focus on operating the company instead. But because they get stuck working in the business, they never really grow it.

On the other hand, when leaders prioritize documentation, they set their companies up for growth and achieve real revenue results long-term. Here at Trainual, we’ve always known this to be true.

But now, with the results of our 2023 State of Small Business Knowledge and Training Report, we can prove a correlation between writing things down and growing your business.

That’s because 92% of businesses that reported high growth during the pandemic rated process documentation as “important” or “very important.”

Simply put, if you really want to grow in 2023, you must recognize the importance of process documentation — and the first step is understanding how it inherently improves your revenue.

Recently, our CEO Chris Ronzio covered this exact topic on the Organized Chaos podcast. And in this episode, he covers four major reasons why documentation leads to better revenue.

1. You can’t standardize anything without documentation.

There are tons of daily to-dos and individual tasks while running a business. But if you don’t write down the best way to do anything, everyone creates their own process — whether it’s the most effective way or not.

A man saying, "Things are no longer under control."

“Any business with multiple people doing the same role will have higher and lower performers,” Chris explained. “Look at your higher performers and start to peel back [why they’re most effective].” This way, you can find the best practice and standardize the task.

In sales and operational roles, standardization improves efficiency and overall performance. That’s because you help bring your lowest performers up to a high-performance level with clear instructions. And as a result, you boost overall results that lead to better revenue.

“Standardization is the first piece [for growing a company] because it really helps your profitability,” Chris shared. Then, you can use the increased profits (from improved efficiency) to fuel business growth. “[Whether] you invest in machinery, equipment, software or more people.”

The State of SMB Knowledge and Training report also showed that the more processes you document, the better. Since only 22% of businesses that documented half (or less) of processes reported revenue increases during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, a whopping 37% of small businesses that experienced high growth (over 20% increase in revenue) had at least 80% of their processes documented.

“Once you get a standardized way, [you lift your employees] from their practice to the best practice.”
<blockquoteauthor>Chris Ronzio, CEO at Trainual<blockquoteauthor>

2. Documentation lets you delegate to others.

No one starts a business to have a job for the rest of their life. But without clear instructions, it’s impossible to delegate effectively to others. Unfortunately, this means you’ll constantly be stuck answering questions or micromanaging your employees (which is never effective).

But if your processes are documented, you can easily hand off the recipes to your “secret sauce” (AKA, your standardized way of doing anything). This frees up your time for more big-picture tasks, like using your increased profits for long-term growth initiatives.

“Delegation [is] a way to free up your schedule for revenue- and growth-producing activities,” Chris explained. “And if you want to delegate, you must be able to hand [someone] instructions.”

Our reports found that leaders who wrote down their processes experienced more growth in 2022 than those who did not. Nearly half (40%) of those who reported they “always” prioritize process documentation had revenue increases during the pandemic.

Put simply, writing down how you do things (for delegation) is the number one thing to work on today for growing your business. And that starts with prioritizing your process documentation.

“[Document] how to maintain the business so that other people can take care of the maintenance, and you take care of the growth.”

Plus, when you invest in your employees by leveling them up with delegation, they grow their skills and add more value to your company (for the same payroll or marginally higher) — and all of these advantages add to your bottom line.

3. Documentation increases sales with replication.

When you document how you sell your offering, you can easily replicate the results by handing it off to more sales reps. That means more sales revenue, increased profits, and more “fuel” to grow the business. But to do that, you have to document your processes and create a system.

A girl saying, "The system works."

“If you can systematize [your sales process], you can replicate it,” Chris explained. “That’s how you go from one person closing 10 leads a month to two people getting 20 sales a month.” Those increased sales improve revenue and make investing in other growth initiatives easier.

According to our survey, only 9% of those that rated process documentation as “neutral” or “not important” experienced high growth during the pandemic. Part of that reason might be a lack of sales processes — or even no processes at all.

To make your sales system replicable, Chris suggests documenting and standardizing the following sales tasks:

  • Prospecting for work and potential clients.
  • Official sales pitch or any sales scripts for calls. 
  • Email templates and best practices for following up on leads.
  • Navigating sales conversations and initial resistance. 
  • Running demos or proposal meetings. 
  • Transitioning clients from sales to customer support.

When combined, these documented tasks help new employees dial in on the best way to sell customers and close leads. That way, you can generate more revenue and use those profits to continue growing and scaling the business.

“There’s an endless amount of customers, and it's our job as [business leaders] to find them and sell them on [our] value. Sales and marketing [make it possible].”

4. You can’t cross-train without accessible documentation.

When employees can’t show up to work, it creates bottlenecks in your business that slow down sales and revenue. But when you have accessible documentation, you can easily hand off the knowledge for that job (to another employee) and keep operations running smoothly.

“[When you cross-train with documentation], employees don't have to wait for their [colleague] to get back from vacation,” Chris explained. “They can fill in and [complete] tasks while the person is away.” As a result, you eliminate any bottlenecks and continue generating revenue.

Documentation might not feel like the most urgent thing to do in your business, and it is an upfront investment. But it helped leaders protect revenue and improve performance throughout the pandemic — which means it might be your best tool heading into the unknowns of 2023.

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Article

4 Reasons Why Documentation Will Boost Revenue in 2023 and Beyond

January 24, 2023

Jump to a section
Share it!
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You're all signed up! Look out for the next edition of The Manual Weekly coming Wednesday am!
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Some leaders see documentation as a huge time investment, so they put off recording their processes and policies to focus on operating the company instead. But because they get stuck working in the business, they never really grow it.

On the other hand, when leaders prioritize documentation, they set their companies up for growth and achieve real revenue results long-term. Here at Trainual, we’ve always known this to be true.

But now, with the results of our 2023 State of Small Business Knowledge and Training Report, we can prove a correlation between writing things down and growing your business.

That’s because 92% of businesses that reported high growth during the pandemic rated process documentation as “important” or “very important.”

Simply put, if you really want to grow in 2023, you must recognize the importance of process documentation — and the first step is understanding how it inherently improves your revenue.

Recently, our CEO Chris Ronzio covered this exact topic on the Organized Chaos podcast. And in this episode, he covers four major reasons why documentation leads to better revenue.

1. You can’t standardize anything without documentation.

There are tons of daily to-dos and individual tasks while running a business. But if you don’t write down the best way to do anything, everyone creates their own process — whether it’s the most effective way or not.

A man saying, "Things are no longer under control."

“Any business with multiple people doing the same role will have higher and lower performers,” Chris explained. “Look at your higher performers and start to peel back [why they’re most effective].” This way, you can find the best practice and standardize the task.

In sales and operational roles, standardization improves efficiency and overall performance. That’s because you help bring your lowest performers up to a high-performance level with clear instructions. And as a result, you boost overall results that lead to better revenue.

“Standardization is the first piece [for growing a company] because it really helps your profitability,” Chris shared. Then, you can use the increased profits (from improved efficiency) to fuel business growth. “[Whether] you invest in machinery, equipment, software or more people.”

The State of SMB Knowledge and Training report also showed that the more processes you document, the better. Since only 22% of businesses that documented half (or less) of processes reported revenue increases during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, a whopping 37% of small businesses that experienced high growth (over 20% increase in revenue) had at least 80% of their processes documented.

“Once you get a standardized way, [you lift your employees] from their practice to the best practice.”
<blockquoteauthor>Chris Ronzio, CEO at Trainual<blockquoteauthor>

2. Documentation lets you delegate to others.

No one starts a business to have a job for the rest of their life. But without clear instructions, it’s impossible to delegate effectively to others. Unfortunately, this means you’ll constantly be stuck answering questions or micromanaging your employees (which is never effective).

But if your processes are documented, you can easily hand off the recipes to your “secret sauce” (AKA, your standardized way of doing anything). This frees up your time for more big-picture tasks, like using your increased profits for long-term growth initiatives.

“Delegation [is] a way to free up your schedule for revenue- and growth-producing activities,” Chris explained. “And if you want to delegate, you must be able to hand [someone] instructions.”

Our reports found that leaders who wrote down their processes experienced more growth in 2022 than those who did not. Nearly half (40%) of those who reported they “always” prioritize process documentation had revenue increases during the pandemic.

Put simply, writing down how you do things (for delegation) is the number one thing to work on today for growing your business. And that starts with prioritizing your process documentation.

“[Document] how to maintain the business so that other people can take care of the maintenance, and you take care of the growth.”

Plus, when you invest in your employees by leveling them up with delegation, they grow their skills and add more value to your company (for the same payroll or marginally higher) — and all of these advantages add to your bottom line.

3. Documentation increases sales with replication.

When you document how you sell your offering, you can easily replicate the results by handing it off to more sales reps. That means more sales revenue, increased profits, and more “fuel” to grow the business. But to do that, you have to document your processes and create a system.

A girl saying, "The system works."

“If you can systematize [your sales process], you can replicate it,” Chris explained. “That’s how you go from one person closing 10 leads a month to two people getting 20 sales a month.” Those increased sales improve revenue and make investing in other growth initiatives easier.

According to our survey, only 9% of those that rated process documentation as “neutral” or “not important” experienced high growth during the pandemic. Part of that reason might be a lack of sales processes — or even no processes at all.

To make your sales system replicable, Chris suggests documenting and standardizing the following sales tasks:

  • Prospecting for work and potential clients.
  • Official sales pitch or any sales scripts for calls. 
  • Email templates and best practices for following up on leads.
  • Navigating sales conversations and initial resistance. 
  • Running demos or proposal meetings. 
  • Transitioning clients from sales to customer support.

When combined, these documented tasks help new employees dial in on the best way to sell customers and close leads. That way, you can generate more revenue and use those profits to continue growing and scaling the business.

“There’s an endless amount of customers, and it's our job as [business leaders] to find them and sell them on [our] value. Sales and marketing [make it possible].”

4. You can’t cross-train without accessible documentation.

When employees can’t show up to work, it creates bottlenecks in your business that slow down sales and revenue. But when you have accessible documentation, you can easily hand off the knowledge for that job (to another employee) and keep operations running smoothly.

“[When you cross-train with documentation], employees don't have to wait for their [colleague] to get back from vacation,” Chris explained. “They can fill in and [complete] tasks while the person is away.” As a result, you eliminate any bottlenecks and continue generating revenue.

Documentation might not feel like the most urgent thing to do in your business, and it is an upfront investment. But it helped leaders protect revenue and improve performance throughout the pandemic — which means it might be your best tool heading into the unknowns of 2023.

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4 Reasons Why Documentation Will Boost Revenue in 2023 and Beyond

January 24, 2023

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