Why ProperProcess?

I'm Andy Parkinson, founder of Cranking Widgets, LLC. They say necessity is the mother of invention and ProperProcess is no exception. It was born out of my own frustration.

I own and oversee 3 different small businesses. A few years ago, I lost a key employee. Life became miserable for the next 6 months while my team scrambled to find a replacement and put together the pieces without our clients getting fed up and bailing on us.

This person was great; our clients loved her and so did we. The problem was that when she left, nothing was documented and it was nearly impossible to continue offering the same level of service to our clients. Small businesses don't have the luxury of redundancy. In our case we didn't have anyone to take her place.

Our first 3 hires were a flop. This was partially our fault because the job is tough and it was full of ambiguity. They were as lost and overwhelmed as I was and I can't blame them for not working out. The only good news was that each new hire got better and better as our documentation and processes improved. Eventually we found a replacement, but I vowed to never be in that position again.

Now that I have ProperProcess, a lot has changed. I no longer feel vulnerable about losing people in any of my businesses. The key activities of all the major roles are pretty well documented.

Why not "something else"?

Before ProperProcess, I struggled with finding a place to put the procedures. There was nothing that was simple to use, easy to update, easy to share and easy to control permissions. Here are a few things I tried:

  1. Microsoft Word - These were impossible to maintain and distribute. If we tried to print anything, it would be out of date before the ink dried. There could be printed copies floating around that didn't match the latest electronic copy. It wasn't sustainable and wasn't worth the time to maintain.
  2. Wikis - Wikis are good, but not great. The issue is that when you want to change anything, say the name of a procedure, then its a pain to go back and make sure all your links stay intact. I didn't love them and neither did my team (its important to have your team help you write procedures!)
  3. Google Sites - Google Sites is free and offers easy editing. It was the best of the three choices. I had a couple major gripes: working with numbered lists was a pain and managing permissions was a pain. I couldn't make a procedure available to Bookkeepers or our Customer Service team without either putting it in a separate place that they weren't likely to check, or giving customer service access to all our accounting procedures.

I got fed up. Nothing had the right mix of features that allowed me to document my businesses and make it easy to make sure the basics were covered should anyone leave or should I need to hire someone to take over things that are currently my responsibility. I put together a small team and starting building ProperProcess, realizing that there must be others struggling with the same things I had struggled with.

The Promise Land

After procedures were written, I had to ask people to complete them regularly. I didn't want to think about whether or not the mail got checked or my monthly P&L reports got generated. I wanted to work on the stuff I enjoyed, not manage administrative detail. To make life easier, we came up with the idea of scheduling procedures as tasks. Now I am able to assign procedures to team members and request their completion on whatever schedule I choose.

The ability to schedule procedures as tasks is what made me fall deeply and madly in love with ProperProcess. Now the majority of administrative tasks get done with no effort on my part. I get an email every day with a list of what's supposed to be done that day. If the next day the list is longer, I know I need to bug someone on my team. If not, I can focus on doing the things I love instead of nagging my team over and over again about the same things. Everyone knows what needs to be done, when it needs to be done and how its needs to be done without me having to ask over and over again.

If my story sounds familiar, ProperProcess may just change your life.

So what are you waiting for?

Get organized and join the happy business owners who have automated their businesses using ProperProcess.

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