Operations Manual Table of Contents – 8 Essentials

If you are creating an Operations Manual, you will already know this is a mammoth task. Don’t lose hope. You can actually create your operations manual relatively easily if you approach it with an open mind and persistence.

The best way to do this is to get your team to help you. You need the resources to gather the information and help you collate it in a way that makes sense. So take the time to plan it first.

Want to Save Massive Amounts of Time?
Use our Operations Manual Template.
Read More

Start planning it out by creating a table of contents about how you want it to look and then engage with your team to create each area based on their expertise.

You might need to look at the bigger picture when you start. For example, a crucial decision is how are you going to deliver it? What format will it be in? Will it just be a MS Word document or are you going to create a super-intranet system?

Either way, if you get your team to help, before you know it, you will have a comprehensive Operations Manual. You team will want to use it because they helped create it. They will find it really helpful in their daily tasks and best of all, the performance of your business will skyrocket.

It’s worth the effort. Believe me, it will make a difference and you will be glad you started.

Operations Manual Table of Contents

So the table of contents will help you plan your document. If you list our each section and then sub-sections you will quickly be well on your way to creating a document that is useful and relevant.

The last thing any business needs is useless paperwork that no one reads or uses. This occurs in many organization. It doesn’t have to in your business.

Just create something that is relevant, clear, easy to read and easy to update and use.

What Should be in your Table of Contents?

It will really depend on your business, how complex it is, what you produce and how it operates. However, you can pretty well assume that you will need the basics such as Vision, Finance, Operations and Marketing at the very least. Take some time to get together the main pillars of your business.

There isn’t any right or wrong way to do this. It comes down to your organization and how you want to structure it. Below we propose 8 pillars that are typically relevant to any business.

8 Important Pillars

The following 8 areas will allow you to create a relatively comprehensive Operations Manual and get your system underway. These are:

Business Introduction
Vision and Values
Administration Manual
Finance Manual
Human Resources Manual
Operations Process Manual
Emergency Procedure Manual
Marketing Manual.

You might need additional areas for your business, however if you just start with the above, you will be well on your way to creating something of value for your organization.

Within each area there is likely to be a lot of detail. If you have particular personnel in your business that manage these areas then it would be ideal to get their input and ask them to take charge of their section.

With your guidance you will soon create a significant Operations Manual that will become an extremely useful tool that you can use daily and provide to new team members when they arrive in your business.

Detailed Table of Contents

Once you have determined the important pillars of your organization, you can then drill down into the detail. Below is an example of this within a Marketing Pillar.

Image of Marketing Manual Master Template Contents

Operations Manual Template Table of Contents Sample

Looking for a Operations Manual Template Table of Contents Sample? Review this sample below. This is a basic sample for a typical business, so it may not apply to your business.

But generally, there are aspects of most businesses that are the same. Depending on how large your business is will depend on how detailed your Operations Manual is.

You may need to break your operations down into the pillars as mentioned above or just use a simple document like the table of contents below.

Either way, you should start off by setting the direction of your business with a Mission and Vision and then progress to the general details and safety requirements. Then, after that you can jump into standard procedures and detailed tasks. Finally, summarize it at the end.

Operations Manual Template Table of Contents Sample
Operations Manual Template Table of Contents Sample
Operations Manual Template Table of Contents Sample

Operations Manual Template

There is a ton of work to develop an Operations Manual even if your team help you. If you want to speed up the process then purchase a template and be done with your operations Manual in a matter of days instead of months.

Save a ton of time by using our Operations Manual Template. Create your manual in a matter of minutes instead of months.

Learn More Here

Operations Manual Template

Your Thoughts?

What do you think should be in an Operations Manual? Have you created one for your organization?

What does it look like? Share your thoughts below.

Free Process Manual Template – 3 Places to Download Yours

A process manual is a system that identifies every process in your business. From how to create a product through to how to market your product, this type of document is crucial to the performance of your organization.

The simplest way to get a free process manual template is to complete your own using MS Word. This is the easiest and cheapest way to create a manual. However, as your business grows, it will quickly outgrow this format.

You may need to move to some other type of format and there are plenty of options online. However, beware – you could just be wasting a ton of money of some fancy new website that doesn’t really give you value for money.

MS Word really does provide a cost effective and fast way to create a process manual that you can roll out to your team instantly.

A Place to Create and Find Answers Easily

All you really need is a place for your team to create and review up to date procedures and processes. It isn’t really that complex. These days there are way too many choices online about the latest website system that is going to boost productivity.

The truth is – these websites usually waste a lot of time. And they aren’t cheap either. Don’t bother. All you need to do is create a system that is easy to access, easy to update and easy to use and you will excel in this area for your business.

The key is to keep it simple. Make it easy to update. Make it accessible for all your team and keep the cost down.

This is why starting off with an MS Word Process Manual Template is a great start. After you have built your system up then you can move to another space that has more functionality.

A process manual is a document that is given to your team so they can understand all the aspects of the processes of any particular task. Let’s take a closer look and also let’s investigate further where we can find some free process manual template that you could use for your business.

What is a Process Template Used for?

A process manual or guideline explains step by step instructions on a process. It’s nothing too complicated, however the process can be complex depending on what you are creating.

If you have a small business, it is highly recommended that you create this type of process manual with your team. Get them involved in the task of building your manual as soon as you can. Ask for their input. Ask them to review the steps and ask them to help you create it.

After-all, if you involve them in the process then they are more likely to take ownership and actually use the system. There is no point having a huge procedure and process manual if no-one uses it.

What Should be in a Process Manual?

Let’s say you own a small business coffee shop. What should be in the process manual for this type of business?

Well it really depends on how you operate your business, however it is a good idea to include all procedures, policies and processes you and your team perform everyday.

Let’s take a look at an example of how to clean the coffee machine below. This example has detailed step by step processes to get the task done easily and efficiently.

If you are employing people on a regular basis – the last thing you want to be doing as a business owner is repeating yourself over and over and over again. Yes, you will need to repeat yourself a lot – however the best thing you can do is document your processes so you can reduce the amount of repeating you need to do.

3 Places to Find a Free Process Manual Template

If you need a free process manual then consider these 3 options below.

Free Option Number 1

Download this Free Process Manual Template

We are keen to help small business owners as much as we can. We understand that having a small business is a lot of work. Therefore, we have provided a basic Process Manual Template you can download and start getting your system underway. OK, this is a pretty basic manual, and consider using our fully detailed manual if you can.

Download the Free Process Manual Template

Purchase a Process Manual Template. Click the link below to read more.

A process manual template will save you a ton of time creating your processes in your small business. It really is a useful tool if you want to get your systems up and running quickly and efficiently.

Free Option Number 2

Smart Sheet.com

Smart Sheet has a few free options for you. Check out their free options as well.

Free Option Number 3


Sample Templates has a few free options also. Check out their website if you are looking for a free process manual template.

Whatever you do, consider the amount of effort you will need to put into a free process manual. It will be significant.

It is likely to be easier to purchase a pre-made manual and start from there.

Your Thoughts?

Leave a comment below if you have any thoughts regarding process manuals in your business.

Create an Employee Handbook in MS Word Fast

Improving your business isn’t about some magic bullet that instantly makes cash fall in your lap. It is about engaging your team to deliver what they say they are going to deliver so customers come back for more.

One of the fastest and cheapest ways to improve the performance of your business has to be creating an Employee Handbook in MS Word and rolling it out to your team. This tool is extremely easy to put together and very cost effective.

Employee Handbooks

Plenty to Choose From

Standard Employee Handbook Template
Coffee Shop Employee Handbook Template
Coffee Shop Employee Handbook Template
Image of retail store employee handbook cover
Retail Store Employee Handbook Template
Bakery Employee Handbook Template
Bakery Employee Handbook Template
Café Employee Handbook Template
Image of Hair Salon Employee Handbook Template Cover
Hair Salon Employee Handbook Template

You the business owner has a lot of information in your head already. The best thing you can do is get it out on paper or written form and get your team to help you develop it into the best employee manual ever.

Used Again and Again

Awesome Tool For Business Owners

This tool, if you use it correctly, will be something you can use again and again, over and over as new staff arrive at your business. They are incredibly helpful if created well and updated on a regular basis.

You need to have a lot of detail in it – enough to explain in detail to someone that is new in your business how to perform a particular task.

So it will take some significant effort to create each task. But think about how you do things and write it down step by step.

Then, make sure you use it. You might need to wear a t-shirt like the one to the left so your team know you are serious about the importance of your employee manual. They will get it after a while and remember that their job needs to be performed to the standard expectations of your business.

Think of the Future

Fast forward 12 months from now, and as business owner, you will certainly be glad you created your employee handbook today. It does take a lot of effort to create a handbook and you build it up over time.

But in 12 months from now, you will look back and be glad you started it.

Why MS Word Works Well

Easy and Fast

Creating your employee handbook in MS Word is easy. It takes barely nothing to get started. In fact, you could open a blank file and get started straight away. Even a basic welcoming letter, where the toilet is and how to lock the business after a days work is going to be a start.

Stop Repeating Yourself

Tired of repeating yourself every day? Then start documenting your procedures, policies, instructions and all other things that make your business tick and before you know it you will have an extremely useful tool that you cannot live without.

How to Create Your Employee Handbook

You could easily break it up into sections. Once it starts getting too big, then look into some sort of online website that you could use to make it perform even better.

Online Intranets

Some of the online websites such as MS Sharepoint are pretty horrible though if you think about using those for a handbook tool. They are not user friendly and you end up with duplicate information in several spots which then makes it really difficult for anyone to know what is actually the correct information.

Do yourself a favor and have the guidelines in one place only where there is one spot for whatever you are trying to achieve. The key about a successful business is to keep it simple. Not make it more complex.

Check out our Handbook Templates above or our standard template below.

Read More

How to Find Free Employee Handbooks for Your Business

Free Not Always Best

If you are looking to improve your business for free, then consider any free option of create an employee handbook.

It is going to be difficult to find a specific handbook for free for your business. Obviously, you would have to tailor it to suit. However, you might be able to find something close online that would allow you to create an employee handbook pretty quickly.

If not, you probably don’t need to outlay much to get hold of a template that you can customize relatively easily. For example, consider our employee handbooks as they are easy to purchase and customize.

Google Says – Free Employee Handbooks

Simple Google Search

A simple Google search reveals that the first listing are all ads. 4 ads before the organic result! That’s amazing. Anyway, let’s take a look at the organic results.

Image of Free Employee Handbooks Google Search
Free Employee Handbooks Google Search

Free Employee Handbook Templates

5 Free Options to Consider

Let’s take a look at the results at time of writing. There are certainly a few free options, however most website are trying to get you to sign up to a repeat subscription so they can continue to make cash from you on a monthly basis. Fair enough!

At Digital Documents Direct, we have a one off payment only! Don’t get roped into something you don’t need.

Option 1

First Organic Result

The first link is a link for workable.com. See below. You can also download a .doc file and read more about Employee Handbooks. Have Fun!

Image of Free Employee Handbooks workable.com

Option 2

Second Organic Result

The second link is a link for Xtension.com. See below. Looks like some free options but also a paid option too.

Image of Free Employee Handbooks Xtension.com

Option 3

Third Organic Result

The third link is a link for Lessonly.com. See below. Looks like some free options but also a paid option too.

Image of Free Employee Handbooks Lessonly.com

Option 4

Fourth Organic Result

The fourth link is a link for Wonder Legal. See below. Looks like some free options but also a paid option too.

Image of Free Employee Handbooks  WonderLegal.com

Option 5

Fifth Organic Result

The fifth link is a link for Betterteam. See below. Looks like some free options but also a paid option too.

Image of Free Employee Handbooks  Betterteam.com

So there are certainly a few options around if you are looking to get hold of a free employee handbook template to kick things off in your business. However, you are likely to need to have to customize it a fair bit.

What Content is Best to Start With?

Vision and Mission

So if you are starting out creating your employee handbook then consider what information is going to be easiest to get together first. You could easily put together a Vision and Mission statement. The basics would do it.

Then jump into actual processes and procedures. These things are going to make your life easier as business owner and you should get as much of this done as you can as fast as possible.


Check out below the first page of table of contents below from our standard template. You can see it starts with a bit about your business, who you are and your values.

These things are important to create direction, standards and expectations in your business.

Then you can get stuck into your workplace requirements and take things from there.

Whatever you do, take the time to start today as you won’t regret it in 6 months time. This is a perfect tool to help you operate your business and is like a ‘silent partner’ in your organization – helping to guide your team in the right direction.

Why You Need an Employee Handbook in Your Business

Only As Good As Your Last Customer

If you operate a small business, you might already realize you are only as good as your last job or customer.

This means you need a new customer or new job to keep your business going OR a repeat customer to come back again and again.

You don’t have the massive budgets of the large corporations that spend millions on marketing every day. It is highly unlikely you have your product market sewn up so you are the only operator as well.

Retain Your Existing Customers

THEREFORE – you must keep your existing customers really happy. The means making sure everything you deliver is done really well to please them.

The problem comes when you have to rely on your team to do this. Train them. Teach them and use an employee manual to help all of you get it done the right way every single time. It doesn’t matter if you sell coffee, operate a childcare, a construction company, a bakery or retail shop. The principles are the same.

Deliver quality every time to get that repeat business.

How to Start off with a Vision and Mission

Creating a vision and mission should be relativity easy. It really depends on your type of business, however don’t get distracted with way out there ideas when your business delivers a basic service.

For example, if you are a coffee shop, it wouldn’t really make sense to state that your mission is to establish a colony on Mars?

Mission Statement and Vision examples for a Childcare Center

Your mission statement and vision need to be realistic for your team and your organization.

Coffee Shop Example

If you had a coffee shop for example, you could have something like you want to be the best provider of coffee in your local area and also have a community based aspiration of helping homeless people while you do this.

This will allow you to contribute to your community and also provide good quality coffee at the same time. Everyone that comes in contact with your coffee should should know about your mission and vision and this would then provide a good foundation to establish your coffee shop in your local area.

So it really depends on the type of business you operate and what your personal aspirations are.

Make a Comment

Your Experiences

Got any experiences with procedures, handbooks and policies in your organization? Start the conversation below.