As a business owner, one of the biggest challenges I have struggled with is delegation. In the first few years, I juggled everything, from payroll and filling out paper cheques by hand and mailing them to suppliers and staff, to writing all the creative briefs, being in on all the client meetings, dealing with every IT challenge that came up… and much more. As I grew and added more clients I realized this was unsustainable. There had to be a better way.
Having worked in corporate marketing for many years, and even looking back on my teenage experiences working in retail and fast food, I knew that all big companies had one major thing in common – standard systems and processes. As a teen at my very first job at McDonalds, I remember my first day on the job when the manager sat me in front of a pile of VHS tapes, a TV and a giant binder to teach me all the procedures and processes. From greeting customers, to deep frying French fries, McDonalds built its franchise business on assembly-line like standard systems and processes. Later at corporate jobs, there were training/SOP binders, one-one-trainings with co-workers and management, as well as more formal training at conferences, webinars and classes. I understood early on that big businesses are built on systems and training.
Somehow as entrepreneurs, a lot of us end up forgetting that lesson (if we ever learned it) and winging it, or thinking we can wing it, without putting these processes and training and systems in place. And that’s what keeps many business owners stuck in the “doing” – working in the business rather than on the business, and limiting our growth.
Every business needs a Welcome Video
Whether they’re documented or not, your business has systems. You have routines and steps that you’ve followed or steps that you create on the fly for when you’ve hired or trained an employee, when you’ve given your bookkeeper instructions for paying a bill, copy and pasted a templated sales email or fulfilled a customer order.
Most businesses have systems that they follow, even if the systems are just in the owner’s or office manager’s head. You may, like me, also have a jumble of training materials and processes in collections on Dropbox or Google Drive or even an intranet site, but they are not in a centralized place where they can be easily updated, or for staff to refer to what they need at their fingertips.
Trainual is an online SOP management and training platform that lets you create, manage, and centralize your SOPs and training materials, provide access for your team and easily add or change processes as your business grows. Here’s an insider look at five ways our marketing agency uses Trainual to help run our business.
Onboarding and Training New Employees
A typical business frequently has staff leaving, or new staff coming on as part of normal turnover. Every time you have a staffing change or a new team member or contractor, you want to be able to onboard them properly onto your team and set that person up for success. With Trainual you can get staff indoctrinated in your culture, company and processes and systems without spending days or weeks teaching them everything personally OR taking other team members off their tasks and productivity. You can literally make a video for that new employee to watch, and that their first few days can actually be learning your processes without you being directly involved.
When a new employee starts at napkin, they are assigned a series of Trainuals: online tutorials and videos and PowerPoints to review, including:
- Welcome to New Employees
- Our Mission, Values and History
- Overview of Services Offered
- Past Client Work
Trainual’s benefits to napkin have meant that my time as the agency owner is freed up. I’m able to communicate to new team members what our agency is about. They know what our mission and values and history is. They know the typical services we offer and the customers and clients we’ve served. And in the past, that’s only been knowledge that’s been transferred through a personal conversation. As a result, new team members can get up to speed really fast and hit the ground running quickly in their job, as well as learn new skills on Trainual as they move forward in their job.
Technical How-To’s and App/ Software Training Videos
As a marketing agency focused on web development, it’s very it’s essential that we’re able to train our employees on all of the different technology that they need to do their job period. From SCO software to Google Adwords and Facebook ads to manage in our hosting platform for our web hosting clients, there’s many systems and software to learn with quite a learning curve involved in everyone’s job from the account manager to the web developer. And there’s always new technology to learn and adapt to. Trainual has been an important part of teaching new team members to use our “tech stack”. I typically use Loom to make a screen capture video where I share my screen and record a “lesson” where I demonstrate our software or how to perform a specific task. From pulling a report on Google Analytics to changing the hosting account for a website, after close to two years of creating Trainuals, we now have many of our tech systems documented, and we produce additional ones every week.
Trainuals also work great hand-in-hand with online discussion/chat platforms like Teams or Slack, as well as online project management systems like Asana. Once the Trainual is created, its easy to link to a “how to” of anything when assigning a task or if you get a question in a discussion.
Managing Standard Reports, Templates and Work Examples
In our agency we create a lot of standard weekly and monthly client reports, creative briefs, strategy documents and other standardized reports and documents. There’s also standardized job descriptions for hiring, as well as candidate assignments that are part of the HR/ hiring process. These typically live in our document management system which is Dropbox. I’m sure your company has thousands of documents such as these as well living in SharePoint or drive Google Docs. The magic of Trainual is being able to make these documents into usable examples and training materials for your employees.
For example we have Trainuals such as:
- How to Write a Creative Brief
- How to Prepare a Weekly Report
- How to Create a Monthly Report
- Facebook and Google Ad Report
- Sales Proposal Best Practices
- Hiring procedure for Account Manager (including job description)
- Candidate Assignment for Account Manager Job Candidates
And many more! Each of these typically have several sample documents and editable templates, and some have videos guiding how to create the document (for the more complex ones). The result? Quick, painless and easy training and standardized reporting for our clients.
Client Specific Background Info and Documents/ Knowledge Transfer
Whenever you have staff turnover, the biggest thing you want to protect is your clients confidence in your business. So one of the most important things you can do if a staff member who is taking care of a client is leaving is making sure that a complete knowledge transfer is done before they go. This means doing the delicate task of having the employee “brain dump” and document their knowledge about a client systems, processes, typical reports or any background info that they need to transfer to a new employee who will be taking over their role.
On our Trainual platform, we have client specific training videos and documentation for all our major clients. This has been invaluable in the past when an employee has left or even gone on vacation and another employee has had to take over work on their client projects. With Trainual they have all the documentation there for them to have a seamless transition. As well, there’s projects we’ve been managing for 3-4 or five years and it’s always useful to look back at any background reports documents or specifications in the Trainuals related to a clients projects. Think of client specific Trainuals as handing over the important files related to major clients or specific projects an employee is handling. The more important or complex the project or client work, the more through your client-specific or project-specific Trainual should be.
Marketing and Sales Processes
Building a great brand means being able to have consistent branding standards across different platforms and marketing materials. Trainual helps you keep your marketing materials up to date and standardized by giving you a place to store all of your typical marketing materials and past examples. In art renewal for example, we have our agencies brand standards guidelines, links to high resolution logos, as well as links to past presentation decks, brochures, pricelists, and other marketing collateral. In other companies I’ve worked for these were scattered around the enterprise and sometimes you had to email five people to find the source files you were looking for. With Trainual, your important marketing files and documents are all in a central place at everyone’s fingertips.
We use Trainual to manage and provide access to:
- Brand Standards/Guides
- Links to high resolution logo files and assets
- Past marketing collateral such as presentation decks, flyers, signage, websites
- Standard Sales pitch emails
- Video training on our CRM system
- Past proposal and job estimate examples
Ready to Get Started with your own Trainual Site?
If you’re looking for a comprehensive platform to help manage your training materials, processes, and standard documents, Trainual is the solution for you. With its library of SOPs, templates, and training materials all in one place, it makes it easy for employees to find what they need and get up to speed quickly.
As a Trainual partner, napkin marketing can help get your company up and running on Trainual in no time so that you can start taking advantage of all the benefits this powerful platform has to offer.
Set up a call with us today to learn more about how we can set up your business on Trainual and help you take your operations to the next level. What are some of the key processes or procedures you would like to document in Trainual?