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SWS #06: Using a manual to solve YOUR biggest problems

show you how a team manual can solve your biggest business problems.

In this video, I’m going to show you how a team manual can help you solve your biggest business problems.
This is really important because:
  • There are loads of things you can document in a team manual
  • There are loads of ways to tackle your biggest problems
  • If you want your team manual to be a success, then the sweet spot is where these two groups align

This might seem obvious, but it’s normal to get excited about a new technology and what it can do for you.

And — because you're keen to put this new technology to good use — it's can feel good to start by documenting all the things that are easy to document.

The problem is that if you do this, then a lot of the content you create won’t be solving big problems for your team.

And when that happens, your colleagues will struggle to find the time to review the content, use it, and keep it updated.

And this can be fatal for your team manual. 

If people don’t use it, it’s useless.

What are your biggest problems?

If you want your team manual to help your team’s biggest problems, then start by making a list of what those problems are.

This might include:

  • Problems that are holding the business back
  • Problems that are holding your team back
  • Problems that are holding you and other people in the team back

Here’s an example.

Back in 2017, my biggest problems were:

  1. The business needed better marketing to get more leads
  2. The marketing work needed my time, but I was too busy supporting the Sales team
  3. I was worried that our junior sales reps might not be up to the job

These problems were holding back the business, causing a ton of pain for the team, and causing me a lot of stress!

Consider how a manual can help

Now that you’ve got your list, think about how a team manual could help.

If you haven’t already, I recommend reading last week's post on the 4 big ways a team manual can help.

To summarize that post, you can use your team manual to:

  1. Help senior staff to delegate work, so they free up their to time

  2. Help people to avoid mistakes, so the same mistakes don’t keep repeating
  3. Quickly and fully onboard new team members
  4. Make sure that more one person knows how to do any important task, so you don’t have problems when people aren’t available

For me, I was already trying to delegate work, but it wasn’t working — mistakes were common, and looking back it’s clear that I hadn’t fully onboarded the junior team members.

Using a team manual, I was able to fix this.

I created checklists for the processes that were causing the most pain. These made it really clear how to avoid common mistakes. And, literally within a few weeks, we had solved the problem.

The sales team were able to do a much better job, and with much less support.

I got the time I needed on marketing, and we achieved our business goals.

We all felt far happier, and way less stressed.

Avoid these 3 mistakes

I see 3 common mistakes when people try to align their team manual with solving their biggest business problems.

The first mistake is spotting the biggest problem, and then choosing an easier one!

This is a mistake I’d made myself many times before 2017.

I tried to give the team clearly documented processes, but it didn’t help them when I documented processes that weren’t actually causing big problems.

For example, I spent time documenting how our end-to-end sales process worked. But everyone in our small team was already clear on this.

Looking back, it’s no surprise that my colleagues didn’t take the time to review the content, use it, or keep it up to date — they had more important things to be doing!

When we worked with Buttercups, we helped them to avoid a similar fate. Check out the case study here.


The second mistake is assuming a manual can’t help with your biggest problem.

Recently, we’ve had lots of conversations with business leaders who are experiencing cashflow issues.

And when you’re facing cashflow issues, it’s easy to put the brakes on any aspirations for your team manual!

But take a moment.

And think about how that team manual could help.

Here’s one example: To help improve your cashflow, you could review your pricing. But rather than doing this as a one-off exercise, you could document how the process should work and make it something that happens every year.

Here’s another: You could update your customer success process to make sure that you always ask happy customers for a referral. This important step can be captured in your team manual, and you’ll be confident that it will always happen from now on.

I recently wrote an ebook about cashflow, and we came up with over 60 examples of where clearly documented processes could help. You can download it for free here.

The last mistake is thinking you’re too busy.

If you’re too busy, then start by using your team manual to fix this.

Look at the tasks that take up your time every week, and find the ones that could be delegated (if great guidance existed for someone else to use).

Now, you’re probably thinking this will take too long — you’re busy, I get that!

But I’ve worked with hundreds of business leaders, and there’s always a way to free up a LOT of time.

So it’s worth the 10 hours it takes to document and handover the guidance.

Because typically, we can free up 15 hours or more PER week. That pays back your time in just 1 week, and pays for it itself 75 times over the course of a year.


Need help? Talk to our team

Hopefully this post has given you some great ideas for how you can use your own team manual to help solve your biggest business problems.

But, I get that this can be hard the first time.

I may be asking you to think about problems in a way that you haven’t done before. And I’m asking you to do it before you’ve really experienced how much a team manual actually helps.

As a result, you may find it useful to talk to an expert when you’re deciding where to focus.

If you’d like to talk to one of the AirManual team, then you can arrange a call here.

If you’re an existing customer, or if you just prefer email, then reach out to

Speak soon! 👋