Elements of a Good Draft
Updated: Jul 25
Imagine walking into patisserie. The wafting aromas of fresh pastries and warm bread lure you in, making you feel welcome and intrigued. That’s exactly what your franchise Operations Manual should be like – inviting, engaging and filled with easily digestible information.
We’ve all been in bakeries where the bread is hard as stone and impenetrable and the pastries unappealingly dense. That’s a metaphor for the labyrinthine, overly formal writing style that has dominated operations manuals for far too long. You bite into it and you’re immediately lost in a maze of jargon, struggling to make sense of the information.
It’s time to replace the hard loaves and heavy pastries with light, flaky croissants and melt-in-your-mouth pastries – to break free from the corporate jargon and embrace clarity and human connection.
Over the past 35 years, I’ve been through countless bakeries and seen all kinds of bread and pastries – or in this case, Operations Manuals. It’s clear that the best ones are those with the human touch, where you can taste the care and attention that went into baking each piece.
Your Operations should be the same. It should be a ‘good read’ that utilises clear, concise language, just like a perfectly baked baguette is simple, yet immensely satisfying. Avoiding the pitfalls of overly formal and impersonal writing is like avoiding over-baked and flavourless bread – it makes for a much more enjoyable experience.
A relatable and engaging writing style is the icing on the cakes, making them more appealing and memorable. This accessible writing style, much like an easy-to-eat pastry, will empower your franchisees to quickly grasp and apply the information in the manual and its library of tools and resources, savouring the taste and coming back for more. This will ultimately lead to their success and satisfaction – and a thriving, bustling patisserie that everyone loves to visit.
Make sure your draft is readable, using simple language and avoiding jargon. You want your franchisees to understand the information in your manual, so it needs to be written for them – not for you or someone else who works at head office.
Ensure that all the information is organised logically and clearly so that readers can easily find what they need, when needed. This will help readers find information quickly, which is essential since they will likely read your manual when confused or stressed.
Ensure that every bit of content has a goal and a reason for being there. If there’s no reason for it to be included – if it doesn’t serve any purpose – remove it!
Your structure should be logical and clear. It should also allow your reader to follow your argument or argumentation easily.
Use headings, subheadings and bullets to help organise your thoughts into a coherent whole.