Free Operations Manual Template | Improve Your Business

Operations Manuals can be complex documents. However, if you only have a small business then why make it harder than it needs to be?

Operations Manuals can take a long time to develop. They include every aspect of your organization. This is a massive undertaking. If you are searching for an Operations Manual Template that suits your business, then it could be a very difficult thing to achieve.

Check out our Operations Manual Template here.

If you are looking for a free operations manual template then this is going to be even more difficult. Businesses can be complex and not a lot of businesses are the same.

However, we take a look at the free options available online in this article below. If you are on the look out for a free operations manual template, then read on below.


What is an Operations Manual?

Wikipedia determines the operations manual as the following.

“The operations manual is the documentation by which an organization provides guidance for members and employees to perform their functions correctly and reasonably efficiently. It documents the approved standard procedures for performing operations safely to produce goods and provide services.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operations_manual

If you operate a small or medium business, having an operations manual is going to make a huge difference to the performance of your organization. These types of documents explain a lot of detail for your team to follow. They are also a document that is constantly updated.

Let’s take a look at a Google search for Free Operations Manual Template.


Wait a Second

If you drill down into the detail, an operations manual or business operations could mean several different things. For example, does it mean just the operations part of the business such as the factory floor or does it mean the whole organization?

Well it really depends on who is writing the content, article or whatever they are trying to communicate. For example, check out Shopify’s explanation of an Operations Manual. They think it is everything collectively in the business that keeps it running and making money.

However, if you do a Google search using the Google Ads keyword tool, a few related ideas pop up. See the image below. Click to enlarge.

So an Operations Manual could be known as several different types of documents with the same purpose.

Training Manual, Reference Materials, Technical Manual, Supply Chain Manual, Maintenance Manual, Development Manual and Management Manual.

What about Marketing Manual, Policy Manual, Procedure Manual, SOP Manual, Operational Policy Manual and the list goes on and on.

What Does Your Business Look Like?

Operations Manual Hierarchy | What Does Your Business Look Like?

There is no set way to do this stuff. It depends on your business. The best way would be to keep it simple. So many things have become over complicated The best thing you can probably do is keep it as simple as you can within the realms of what you produce or deliver.

Overall, probably the best term for all of these documents is an Operations Manual and everything else come beneath this. Seems to make sense right?

The important thing is that this type of manual is a document that helps you operate your business. It can become really detailed. It can become really extensive and they usually take a long time to develop.

However, you can purchase ready made templates to speed up the process of creating your operations manual quickly, efficiently and cost effectively so you can get on with the task of operating your business.


Operations Manual for Small Business

If you are a small business, we believe an Operations Manual should be relatively simple. However, there probably needs to be several sections to include in your Operations Manual.

This should include at the minimum a number of sections such as the following.

Business Introduction

Vision and Values


Administration Manual


Finance Manual


Human Resources Manual


Operations Process Manual


Emergency Procedure Manual


Marketing Manual

Including all of these sections in your Operations Manual will ensure you grasp each area of your business and set it off heading in the right direction.

Heading in the right direction

When newcomers enter your business, they will fall under any one of the operations manual areas, and you can get them to develop their own areas as your business grows.

So let’s take a look at each of these sections in detail.


Business Introduction, Vision and Values

We believe you need an introduction to your business that sets the direction and meaning behind why you are in business in the first place. Your business needs to mean something. If it doesn’t, your team might feel as though they have no direction and are simply floating along and reacting to whatever comes their way.

This Business Introduction, Vision and Values section outlines the ‘Vision and Values’ of your business, sets direction for your team and allows you to think of the big picture.

Administration Manual

The Administration section includes everything to do with operating the administration side of the business. This includes things like general tasks such as answering the phone and providing stationary and facilities for staff to use on a daily basis.

This particular part of the Organization is important because it helps the business to operate smoothly.

Finance Manual

The Finance Manual includes everything to do with finance such as approving monies to be spent, purchasing transactions, team credit cards and invoicing and debt collection.

This particular aspect of a business is crucial to ensure cash-flow and ensure the business has suitable funds to keep operating.

Human Resources Manual

The human resources section of a business can be complex and demanding. This part of the business deals with team contracts, entitlements, team member concerns and behavior.

There are plenty of standards that need to be met in this area of the business and are often dictated by law. Often one of the harder parts of a business this area often needs a specialist.

Operations Process Manual

Operations are the core of your business and the product or service you provide. Documenting your process is one of the most important things you can do for your organisation. It has far-reaching effects into all areas of your business.

Your operations process manual should detail how everything is done within your business. From quality control to cleaning the factory floor or cleaning the office, it doesn’t really matter, everything should be documented.

As you can imagine this is a huge undertaking. However don’t expect it to be done quickly just expect it to be done thoroughly. Every time you document a process or procedure you save a significant amount of time the next time somebody needs to complete that task.

This is particularly important when new team members start in your organisation. However it doesn’t apply just to new team members it applies to existing staff that have been there for a while as well. Having processes and procedures documented ensures a good quality outcome for your product or service.

Even existing team members that have been in your business for a long time need to be reminded on how to do things correctly. If your business is complex then these tools are necessary reminders to get things done to the standard you expect.

Can you expect to be delivering a high quality standard if you don’t have any rules or documentation to follow? It simply won’t happen because people will apply their own personal standards to their jobs. Everybody is different and everybody’s standards are different and so this is where operations processes and procedures come into play.

All of your operations and processes should have quality control checklists. This ensures that the quality leaving your business is of the highest standard. Everybody misses things particularly when there is a lot of details to be captured and therefore checklist are an awesome tool to ensure that quality is met.

Emergency Procedure Manual

An emergency manual is a definite inclusion for your Operations Manual. This type of document explains in detail what should be done should there be an emergency that impacts your business.

It includes actions and procedures to take in the event on an emergency.


Free Operations Manual Template

If you’re looking for a free operations manual template it could be quite difficult to try and find one that suits your business specifically. If you do a quick search on Google you will find plenty of templates it our examples of operations manual from other companies. These aren’t really free operations manual templates because all they are are examples from other organisations.

If you’re really looking for a good Operations Manual then you probably need to consider purchasing one from the many options available online.

As these documents are complex there are probably not very many good available free options.


What is Your Experience with Business Operations?

You will be able to save a significant amount of time by using an Operations Manual Master Template. Leave a comment below.

Operations manuals are complex documents that include a lot of information across all areas of a business. The fastest way to create an operations manual is to use master templates. Obviously creating an operations manual is going to take a huge amount of time and effort.

If you want to save a lot of time and effort than the best thing you can do to use a master template. A master template may not have every specific thing in there you’ll need but he will have a lot of content that is generic to a lot of businesses. Chances are you’ll save a ton of time using a generic operations procedure manual template.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Operations Manual?

An operations manual is a document that outlines all of the procedures, rules, guidelines, vision, and values of an organisation. It is a tool that is used by all staff members to perform their role in the business.

Should I buy an Operations Manual Template?

Purchasing a template is going to save you a significant amount of time and effort getting your operations manual together. These documents take a lot of time to create.

Does my business really need an Operations Manual?

The operations manual is the foundation for the business and should be a critical component of any business.

What should be in an Operations Manual?

An Operations Manual should have a large amount of data in it including information regarding all aspects of your business including team engagement leadership and all processes.