According to the Oxford English Dictionary a Solopreneur is "A person who sets up and runs a business on their own." By this definition it is hard to imagine a scenario where a Solopreneur utilizes a collaboration tool before having a team.
However, this thought process is inherently backwards. The answer isn't to look at your business from the standpoint of 'today' but rather as 'some day'. Today you run all aspects of your business, but more than likely some day you will want to hand off those tasks to someone else. This is especially true in day to day activities that are not the main focus of the business. Imagine how much more time you would have if you didn't have to answer every client question, chase down invoices, SEO research, upload videos, or any other task that detracts from your main goal.
Step 1 - The Playbook
With this knowledge in mind, a Solorpreneur (or Entrepeneur) should begin compiling documents that cover their daily work in detail. Together these documents are your new 'Playbook'.
Each document will serve two main purposes:
- To confirm all steps get completed accurately.
- To quickly and thoroughly train a new employee.
Step 2 - Sharing
Once you have the basis of your playbook created, the next step will be to share with your staff. This is where Google Drive can really shine. Once you have Google Drive installed, you can right-click and share with anyone. Gone are the days of asking someone to email you a file or being worried about which version is the latest.
Start small with a VA (Virtual Assistant) or a Part-Time employee. Share the documentation and give them the ability to modify and update as time goes by. That person can have 'Read Only' or 'Edit' rights depending on what you need, but I highly suggest you give 'Edit' access. If the document doesn't make sense to a new hire, then they will know what needs changed and can update freely.
At this point, I'll ask you to watch the video below. In it, I'll step you through each process of downloading Google Drive and loading your playbook and finally sharing files with others.
Step 3 - Backup
This hardly even counts as a step as backups happens automatically with Google Drive. Any documents saved in this folder will be saved on Google's servers and accessible to you on any computer or tablet with internet access. Looking for a specific file while traveling? Now it's available online. Worried you're going to lose all of your written procedures if your computer dies? Not any longer.
Today's Call To Action
The next time you complete a task, take a minute and write down all the steps in order. Then try to complete the same task again but this time by following the written instructions exactly. This process will give you an idea of what the job will look like to someone new. If the steps aren't clear for a new employee, then revise and improve until you are confident it can be handled by anyone coming in off the street. This will take you more time in the beginning, but can save you tons of time down the road.
An added benefit is writing down these steps can really make you think about what is important. You may find yourself doing more work than is necessary. Or you may find yourself forgettinga key step. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a key example. There are numerous tools to find keywords, find search statistics, then there are multiple places to insert those keywords in your blog or video. A checklist or procedure can be a great tool to remember everything you should be doing.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Have you created documentation for yourself with the plans of sharing with someone later? Do you have any recommendations for someone starting out?