Finalising your Draft
Updated: Jul 25
The Operations Manual is the document that guides every franchisee to faithfully replicate your system. It represents your business, your values and your commitment to consistency and excellence. Its finalisation is not a mere formality, but a crucial step in building a reliable, effective and efficient franchise operation.
A well-finalised draft ensures that each franchisee has the necessary knowledge and guidance to run their outlet effectively, leading to higher performance across the franchise system.
Finalising your draft is not just about proofreading; it is an intensive process that demands a thorough review and refinement of the content. It requires a deep understanding of the franchise system, attention to detail and the ability to communicate complex information in a clear and concise manner. The finalisation process is the opportunity to ensure that the manual is a true reflection of your Business System, providing comprehensive, accurate and accessible information to your franchisees.
There are several important things you need to do to prepare your draft. Before embarking on the finalisation process, conduct a thorough review of the manual’s content to ensure completeness and accuracy. You must ensure that:
It covers all aspects of the franchise operations in detail – from setup to sale.
Every piece of information is current and accurate, reflecting the latest developments in your Business System and the broader sector.
It’s a cohesive and unified guide. That means it shouldn’t read like a collection of unrelated documents. It should have consistent formatting, language and tone throughout. A uniform manual looks and feels professional. It also enhances readability and comprehension, reducing the chance of misunderstandings or misinterpretations.
Proofreading is not simply about catching typographical errors; it’s about ensuring that the manual is clear, concise and error-free. This is your last line of defence against any mistakes or inconsistencies that may have slipped through previous revisions. It’s an opportunity to refine the language, eliminate redundancies and improve the overall readability of the manual. Here are some top tips for proofreading your Core Operating Brand Standards Manual draft:
Understand the audience: Keep in mind who will be using the manual. The language should be clear, concise and easily understandable for franchisees and key team members. Avoid using overly technical jargon unless necessary.
Ensure consistency: Be consistent with terminology, formatting and style throughout the document. This includes the use of fonts, colours and layout.
Check for completeness: Make sure that all the necessary topics are covered, including training, marketing, daily operations, reporting, health and safety guidelines, customer service and quality control. The manual should be comprehensive enough to guide a franchisee through all the aspects of running the franchise.
Review for accuracy: The manual must be accurate in terms of the business model, operational details, legal compliance and financial management aspects. Check for inaccuracies or misleading information.
Focus on clarity: The instructions should be precise and clear. Avoid ambiguity and make sure instructions are explicit.
Check legal and regulatory compliance: Ensure that all the procedures and policies mentioned comply with your franchise agreement, local laws and regulations.
Break down complex information: If the manual includes complex operations, break them down into smaller steps. It’s easier to understand and follow.
Use graphics and visual aids: Pictures, diagrams, flowcharts, and infographics can be helpful in explaining complex procedures where using multimedia isn’t feasible.
Spell-check and grammar-check: The goal here is to eliminate any misspelt words and grammatical errors which can undermine the credibility of your manual and lead to misunderstandings.
Use a second pair of eyes: Once you have gone through the manual, ask someone else to read it as well. They might spot mistakes or areas of confusion that you missed.
Iterative review: Review the document multiple times. It’s easy to miss errors in the first pass.