This is part three of a four-part series on Operations Manuals for brick and mortar store owners! Read parts one, two, and four.

Whenever I talk about creating an operations manual, getting started seems to be the main roadblock keeping store owners from creating theirs. From figuring out what chapters to include to how thorough each section should be, just outlining your retail store operations manual table of contents is daunting! 

As we think through all the different options and the questions we have, our minds start to reel and then—you guessed it!—overwhelm keeps us from taking action. 

Trust me, I know! That’s exactly how I felt when I started to figure this out for myself and other store owners.

Retail Store Operations Manual Table of Contents

Free Resource: Your Retail Operations Roadmap!

If you feel that an operations manual is a wise decision for your business (or maybe even way overdue!), then you’ll want to sign up for my free Retail Operations Roadmap for brick and mortar store owners below. 

The roadmap is the tool you need to START creating this system for your business. Inside this 4-page PDF, you’ll get a list of 24 chapter topics for your retail store operations manual table of contents. With each topic, I provide a short description so you can understand what will be included in each section of your operations manual.

On the last page of this free resource, you’ll find an action plan worksheet to guide you as you decide how to continue building your manual and keep yourself accountable while tackling this project.

Ready to create your operations manual table of contents? Sign up to get the Retail Operations Roadmap below!

What an Operations Manual Is (And Isn’t)

To be clear: an operations manual is a LIVING DOCUMENT. If your business is open and running, it’s never really finished. You will always add to it, update it, and refine it—and that’s okay! 

Needing to update it is a sign of an evolving, and hopefully GROWING, business. So if you can, don’t look to “complete” your operations manual. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself frustrated and disappointed. 

An operations manual is NOT a substitute for team communication. Yes, it communicates certain guidelines to your team, but it’s not a tool for communication within your team.  Instead, you’ll most likely need a system, tool, or software program for that, such as Slack, Square Team, Voxer, or even regular team meetings.

Retail Store Operations Manual Table of Contents

Don’t Forget to Keep Marketing Your Business, Too!

If you’re a systems person who loves project planning and working behind the scenes (like me!), that’s awesome. I applaud you, of course! 

However…DO NOT use creating your retail store operations manual table of contents as a buffer to avoid showing up and marketing your business, especially if you’re struggling with foot traffic or sales! There’s no reason for an operations manual to exist if you can’t sustain your business.

Want More Personalized Guidance as You Create Your Retail Store Operations Manual?

Last year, I hosted a beta Operations Manual Program and only offered 10 spots to Master Shopkeepers members. 

All 10 spots sold out within an hour, and I think that’s because the thought of creating an Operations Manual can feel incredibly daunting. And truthfully, it IS a lot to take on! 

In episode 183, I’ll be sharing more about this program, including what it is and how you can grab a spot. This 6-week program includes a pre-built digital template of a Retail Store Operations Manual that you can start to use immediately.

Resources

Timestamps

  • [02:59] Free Resource: Your Retail Operations Roadmap!
  • [04:39] What an Operations Manual Is (And Isn’t)
  • [07:48] Don’t Forget to Keep Marketing Your Business, Too!
  • [09:15] Want More Personalized Guidance as You Create Your Retail Store Operations Manual?

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