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Old 10-12-2010, 08:01 PM
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Documentation: a Vital Business Tool

This relates to the ongoing thread If You Were To Die Tomorrow, What Would Happen To Your Websites? here and another thread where a website owner is in a bind because their webmaster suddenly died.
Last week, Miles told us about his unexpected time off work due to illness, and how his business managed without him. It made me think of my own situation. As a small business owner and interactive director at an agency, there are hundreds of tasks I perform on a daily or weekly basis that only I know how to do. Some of them are mundane technical tasks, while others require higher-level thought processes. Some might see this as job security, but I know it’s a liability.

In an absolute worst-case scenario, you could die or become disabled. More likely, you’ll be sick from time to time, and you’d probably like to be able to take a vacation every now and then without your mobile phone ringing nonstop.

When I realized the number of tasks no one else could perform where I worked, I decided to start documenting as many procedures as I could. Below is a general overview of how I began to document the day-to-day procedures.
Documentation: a Vital Business Tool

While I'm not crazy about storing things online, you really should have this information somewhere that your business partner/loved one can find it and continue the business or close it down gracefully should they need to.

And ending on a happier note:
A positive side benefit to documenting your procedures now is that if you hire a person to perform some of these tasks (perhaps to free up some of your time), you’ll have a detailed manual. They may still need some additional training, but you’ll be off to a great start!
(from the article above)
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