The Store Operations Manual and the Demands of Running a Store

 FYI: You can get our Store Operations Manual here!

A store operations manual is a critical document to have on location when owning or managing a store. To fully appreciate why a manual is so valuable, it is best to look again at what the trials and tribulations of store management really are.

When running a store, dealing with the general public is one of the biggest challenges, and by far the most diverse. Customers are people and therefore unpredictable. This means that employees must deal with random situations on the fly, and deal with inquiries that are just as random. A store operations manual is a great source of answers to dealing with these situations, without time to ask someone else. A situation can be answered or dealt with immediately, where without a quick reference it can take minutes to contact a manager to resolve the issue.

This expedience makes customers happy, and makes for a much more efficient workplace.

Another benefit is how much easier it is to train new associates, or to train existing ones for new positions when promotions are given. A manual can help explain the regulations, procedures, and guidelines that an associate must know to do their job properly. Also, having it on hand as a quick reference makes the information stay fresh in their minds, to cement the learning. This reduces the rigors of training, giving managers and supervisors more time to do their duties rather than babysit.

A store operations manual is also a way to have clear, well thought out procedures for handling stock, dealing with theft, and any other negative issues that may arise. Being in print and standardized, there’s no arguing with it or debating.


 Appearance and Format of a Good Store Operations Manual

The format and appearance of a good manual can be put into three categories.

The first category is content. A manual should have its content divided into relevant categories, with a lookup table that’s easy to use and quick to reference. Also, the wording of the manual shouldn’t leave room for guessing or misunderstanding, being at the same time simple and intelligent in how it says things.

The second category of a store operations manual’s format’s attributes is the file format in which the digital copy is stored. There are many choices, from a series of images to word processor documents and HTML. There are problems with each of these. Images aren’t really editable as documents, and have limited resolution. Word processor documents are easy to tamper with or corrupt, and HTML is just overkill and messy. There’s another option in Adobe’s PDF, which for quick digital access, is the best-looking, most secure format, readable on almost anything with a microchip.

The last facet, but certainly not least, is the appearance of the manual. The printed versions should be on quality paper, that won’t fade or get destroyed quickly. It should have a neat, easy to read font, that won’t strain the eyes as well. While looking like a work of art isn’t required, it should be nice looking, with a professional and memorable feel.



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