If you feel like you have become the bottleneck in your business, then you are right, you are!

In order to avoid the constant chaos in your business and the feeling that you are trapped like a hamster stuck in a wheel spinning fast out of control, then you should document procedures so that your business gets systematized and your employees know exactly how to get repetitive tasks done without your constant involvement!

In this article we look at quotes from successful entrepreneurs to see what they have to say about documenting procedures. After reading you should have a good understanding of just how important procedures are and you will be inspired to document procedures for your business.

1. Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss

Why Tim Ferriss Made The List

Tim is one of the most trusted experts on business and life hacks. He has been included in business lists by Fast Company, Forbes and Newsweek along with other publications. He’s a New York Times Bestselling author of The Four-Hour Workweek. Newsweek also lists him as the #13 Most Influential VCs, Angels and Investors.

What Tim Ferriss Has To Say About Recipes Others Can Use

“My specialty is modeling success. I analyze what works and ask: what recipe can I find that others can use?’

Tim has discussed how he outsourced much of his business life to create a successful company. He uses systems to succeed, but in order to create those systems he knows he needs to document procedures so others can follow. He does it in a variety of ways, but in simple terms he’s always documenting procedures so others can use it to achieve results.

Action Plan based on Tim Ferriss’s quote

List the tasks you do that others can do just as well or better. Document procedures for those tasks starting with the most important.


2. Michael E. Gerber

Michael E Gerber

Why Michael E. Gerber Made The List

Michael is one of the first business gurus as noted by Inc. magazine. For more than 40 years, he has been helping business owners that possess worlds of technical talent figure out how to successfully operate a business by creating systems. He is also a best selling author of the book titled The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It.


What Michael E. Gerber Has To Say About The Necessity Of Business Systems

“Anyone who has ever thought to grow a world class company knows that systems are not only essential, they are a prerequisite for consistency

Systems are required for companies to grow according to Michael E. Gerber. In order to have successful systems and delegate, a business needs to document procedures so others can do the task consistently.

Action Plan based on Michael E. Gerber’s quote

Identify the tasks that lack a true system at your business. Document the procedures necessary to complete the task and implement the system to make your business more effective.

3. Maren Kate

Maren Kate

Why Maren Kate Made The List

Maren Kate is the CEO of Zirtual, a virtual personal assistant provider. Zirtual has become one of the best virtual assistant providers in the world and Maren’s influence is substantial.


What Maren Kate Has To Say About Taking Time Now To Document Procedures To Save More Time In The Future

“This means you need to create internal procedure lists to deal with just about every type of email you receive. This may take a week or two of note taking and organizing on your part, but the hundreds of hours it will save you down the line is more than worth it.”

Again, it can take some time to create your procedures, but it will be well worth it in the long run.

Action Plan based on Maren Kate’s quote

Schedule time to document your procedures. It’s necessary to take this time now so you can save an exponential amount of time in the future while making more money.

4. Ramit Sethi

Ramit Sethi

Why Ramit Sethi Made The List

Ramit Sethi is the New York Times bestselling author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich. He’s also the author of his website of the same name that receives over 250,000 visitors each month. He’s been featured in some of the biggest online publications as well as on television shows.


What Ramit Sethi Has To Say About Avoiding The Feeling Of Being Overwhelmed By Creating Systems

“When you have a system, you can focus on what’s in front of you this week — and ignore everything else until you come to it.”

Something people struggle with is being overwhelmed with work as Ramit states in his post. To overcome that overwhelm, he suggests documenting every step in a procedure to create a system. This removes overwhelm from the equation so you can work step-by-step to complete your task.

Action Plan based on Ramit Sethi’s quote

Identify something that overwhelms you. It could be a new project or a repetitive task. Document ever step and turn the item into a system with a documented procedure.


5. Anita Campbell

Anita Campbell

Why Anita Campbell Made The List

Anita Campbell is the CEO and publisher of SmallBizTrends, which is one of the most popular small business blogs in the world.


What Anita Campbell Has To Say About Minimizing Risk In Your Business By Following Procedures

Minimize risk in your business. Make sure you’re following correct procedures when it comes to things like workplace safety and how your products are manufactured. You also need to make sure your hiring procedures follow the letter of the law so that you’re not perceived as discriminating against certain job applicants. Finally, develop processes for resolving issues that arise between employees so that small squabbles don’t mushroom into harassment claims. If necessary, retain an outside HR consultant to review your policies and procedures and pinpoint any potential problems.”

Risk is everywhere in business. Safety, legal action and accuracy all come into play. Having procedures in place can minimize any risk your business could potentially face.


Action Plan based on Anita Campbell’s quote

Implement procedures at every level of your business – hiring, working and resolving – to minimize risk.


6. Michael Spencer

Michael Spencer

Why Michael Spencer Made The List

Michael Spencer is the CEO of ICAP. Forbes has included him in their list of richest people in the world.

What Michael Spencer Has To Say About Adhering To Procedures To Avoid Misconduct

“We have adhered to our procedures, so I would refute, at this moment, that there has been any misconduct by ICAP brokers.”

Businesses can sometimes go off course and find themselves tangled up in legal issues. Following procedures, as noted by Michael Spencer, can ensure that your company avoids these potential issues.

Action Plan based on Michael Spencer’s quote

Find the areas of your business that might be vulnerable to legal action or related issue. Implement procedures so you can avoid litigation in the future wherever possible.

7. Dr. Jeff Cornwall


Why Dr. Jeff Cornwall Made The List

Dr. Jeff Cornwall is the inaugural recipient of the Jack C. Massey Chair in Entrepreneurship at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. He also serves as the Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. In the late 1980’s, Dr. Cornwall left academics for nine years to become the co-founder and President/CEO of Atlantic Behavioral Health Systems. He has published six books and numerous articles on entrepreneurship.

What Dr. Jeff Cornwall Has To Say About Overcoming Rushed Delegation

“[Rushed] entrepreneurs delegate without providing proper training and without giving clear expectations for performance.

“In the rush to delegate, tasks and responsibilities can also end up being assigned to the wrong person or even to multiple people simultaneously. This can lead to chaos and frustration.

“To overcome rushed delegation, develop a clear and detailed plan that includes what needs to be delegated, whom should be assigned the task and what needs to be done to prepare employees for their new responsibilities.”

A detailed plan is another way to describe a documented procedure. Your employees need clear instructions on how to complete essential tasks. This will provide them with the confidence to complete the task in a way that is good for your business.

Action Plan based on Dr. Jeff Cornwall’s quote

Find the tasks that you’ve delegated. Assess the situation to see if you rushed the delegation process. If you have then go in and create a documented procedure so your employees have everything they need to be successful.

8. Sam Carpenter

Sam Carpenter

Why Sam Carpenter Made The List

Sam is the President and CEO of Centratel, one of the largest telephone answering services in the United States. He’s also a published author of the best selling book titled Work the System: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less.

What Sam Carpenter Has To Say About Documenting Procedures for Recurring Events

“A good procedure is one that applies to any recurring event. If you know a process is going to be repeated, you need a procedure.”

The recurring event revelation is important. These are ideal for documented procedures. Every business has them including yours. Sam has seen businesses succeed by creating procedures for these events.

Action Plan based on Sam Carpenter’s quote

Take Sam’s advice regarding recurring events. List recurring events at your business. Once complete, start creating procedures for each event. You’ll save time and money by documenting these procedures and improving on them over time.

9. Ryan Lee

Ryan Lee

Why Ryan Lee Made The List

Ryan Lee started his first business, a website fitness company, in 1999. The company went on to do seven figures in revenue each month. Since that time Ryan has also authored two books on business development and is a sought after speaker at some of the largest business conferences in the world.


What Ryan Lee Has To Say About Creating Detailed Procedures

“If I have a new project, product or company I’m launching, I simply write down EVERY STEP and put it into a Google Doc to share with my team. That’s it. I don’t leave anything to memory.”

Ryan is a big proponent of business systems. In order for those systems to work you need to document procedures just as Ryan has done with every system he’s created. Don’t leave anything to memory.

Action Plan based on Ryan Lee’s quote

Every task you do regularly should have a procedure. Document every step as Ryan says. Don’t leave anything to memory. Document it all so you can delegate the task to someone or something.

10. Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt

Why Michael Hyatt Made The List

Michael Hyatt is the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. He’s a New York Times bestselling author and listed by Forbes as one of the Top 50 Social Media Influencers.

What Michael Hyatt Has To Say about Making Procedures Simple Enough For Anyone To Follow

“You don’t want to put yourself in a position where you have to hire a genius (like you) to perform the procedure. Instead, use your genius to create a simple, reproducible procedure almost anyone could execute.”

There are a lot of geniuses out there. Everyone has something to offer. However, you don’t want every procedure in your business to require genius work. Instead, create procedures that anyone can execute.

Action Plan based on Michael Hyatt’s quote

Create procedures that anyone on your team can follow. This will allow them to do their best work so your business becomes a profit-generating machine.


11. Natalie Sisson

Natalie Sisson

Why Natalie Sisson Made The List

Natalie Sisson runs a blog called the Suitcase Entrepreneur. It’s a popular website. She’s travels the world, while successfully running her business from her laptop and teaches entrepreneurs how to do the same!

What Natalie Sisson Has To Say About Using Screen Captures To Enhance Your Procedures

“Use (free) software like Jing to record your screen as you show and narrate how you do something.”

So far, we have talked about documenting procedures by writing things down. In certain situation, you can use a video recording software to capture your screen while you demonstrate how a specific task in your business gets done.

Action Plan based on Natalie Sisson’s quote

Identify tasks in your business that you can create video screen capture for and embed the videos into your procedures. This way you will increase the level of understanding that you employees have for your procedures.

12. Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande

Why Atul Gawande Made The List

Atul Gawande is the author of The Checklist Manifesto, a book about how checklists can improve outcomes. Atul is a surgeon, but his concepts can be used to improve business systems. Time and Foreign Policy ranked him as one of the most influential thinkers in the world.

What Atul Gawande Has To Say About Catching Mistakes

“I introduced the checklist in my operating room, and I’ve not gotten through a week without it catching a problem. It has been really eye-opening. You just realize how fundamentally fallible we are.”

Atul Gawande states that having checklist helps to catch potential mistakes as he discovered by implementing a checklist or procedure for his pre-operation system.

Action Plan based on Atul Gawande’s quote

Create a procedure or checklist for one of your employee’s tasks. Measure the success of the checklist by seeing if you catch any mistakes the team would have made had the procedure not been in place.

13. Peter Baumgartner

Peter Baumgartner

Why Peter Baumgartner Made The List

Peter Baumgartner is the founder of Lincoln Loop, a full-service tech company specializing in web and mobile development for companies of all sizes, from startups to publicly-traded corporations.

What Peter Baumgartner Has To Say About The Need To Avoid Documenting Unnecessary Procedures

“Acting on your ideas can build a brilliant company culture of doers and go-getters, but if you aren’t measuring the effectiveness of these innovative new ideas or learning anything from your analysis, then you aren’t progressing as a company. You’re just adding unnecessary processes and procedures, and, eventually, that is going to bog down the company’s efficiency.”

On the flip-side of procedures is the idea that you can go too far with procedures. Your procedures should always be an evolution of improvement. Measure results and encourage employees to look for improvement.

Action Plan based on Peter Baumgartner’s quote

Analyze your existing procedures and find anything that is necessary in a procedure. Implement a system that allows your employees to continuously look for ways to improve your procedures.

14. George Hedley

George Hedley

Why George Hedley Made The List

George started in the construction business nearly 40 years ago. He built the business from nothing into a hugely successful enterprise. He started with $2000 and built the company into a $50 million business in just seven years. Today, he helps other businesses achieve their potential using the same systems he used to build his own business.

What George Hedley Has To Say About How Procedure Keep Employees Accountable

Most companies have general rules to follow but don’t have them written down. The owner then tries to keep project managers herded like cats to follow the company rules. But, busy owners, over time, let their people slip from following written company procedures, if they even have them. It’s hard to keep people accountable to systems that aren’t written, reviewed, trained, tracked, followed, and adhered to.”

The quote gives you a key reason procedures are necessary – accountability. Without writing your procedures down you will struggle to hold people accountable and they’ll struggle to do it for themselves.

Action Plan based on George Hedley’s quote

Write procedures down where your team can access them. It’s key to have procedure that acts as the final word for every essential task. This allows you to hold employees accountable.

Here is what to do next…

The entrepreneurs listed above each understand the importance of documenting procedures. They have done it themselves and it’s helped lead them to success in business.

You can do the same. Refuse to be the bottleneck in your business and get out of the hamster wheel!

Identify the most important tasks in your business, prioritize them and document procedures for each one starting from the very top of your list.

By doing so, you’ll be able to properly delegate those tasks to your employees while also transforming and systematizing your entire business so that it can run successfully without you.

Here is what to do next! Leave a comment below telling me which quote above surprised, inspired or taught you the most about the transformational power of documenting procedures for you business.

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