Do You Really Need to Use Checklists in Your Small Business?

By John Aberle | Small Business Productivity Tips

Jun 13

Have you ever wondered do you really need to use checklists in your small business? The answer to that is, it depends. Just how important is it that everything is done right? What will it cost you to miss a step or forget something?Screenshot of Jing Video for Small Business Productivity Tips about Checklists

A couple decades ago, American manufacturing finally caught on that they needed to improve their quality or be left behind in the world market. The Quality Movement started producing quality standards, like ISO-900x and QSO. Part of a manufacturer achieving their quality certification involved developing written systems and checklists to make sure that everyone doing a job knew what to do on that job.

While you may not think that you use checklists now, you probably do, just not in a checklist format.

This is the Video that the content here comes from.

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Miscellaneous Checklists I Use in My Life and Business

  • Travel
  • New blog installation
  • Promotional activities
  • To evaluate how likely a sale is from this prospect
  • To confirm the right materials are sent out to prospects in the right order and timing
  • Checklist of what should be in certain files
    • Alpha files for employees
    • Alpha files for customer orders
    • New Hire Packets
    • List for any company property issued – ensure it is returned when employee leaves
  • Resource book
    • Steps of what to do in an emergency

Reasons to Use Checklists[1]

  • Avoid customer complaints
  • Cut out waste caused by errors
  • More efficient use of time
  • Improve quality
  • Safety – prevent missing vital step
  • Focus your attention
  • Avoid duplication
  • Improve self-confidence and reduce stress for new duties

How Do You Create a Checklist?

  • Brainstorm everything you can think of that you will need
  • Do a process flow to be sure that your steps flow naturally from one to the other.
  • List the steps out in the order they need to be done
  • Test it to be sure you have everything covered
  • Add to your checklist over time as you discover steps that were unclear or forgotten

Do you really need to use checklists in your small business? If you care about your customer satisfaction, the safety of your employees, and the reputation of your company, most likely you do need to use checklists in your small business. Look around and you will find places where checklists can really improve your operations. You will be glad you did.

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Building your profits through strong relationships,


John R. Aberle, Aberle Enterprises

P.S. People in my community (email list) will receive access to the Vacation Checklist shown in the video as an unadvertised bonus.


More by this author on Yahoo!’s sites:

YCN-087 – First Person: How Checklists Improve Quality, Customer Satisfaction and Profits

YCN-040 – First Person: The Value of a Small Business Filing System

YCN-073 – First Person: The Value of Small Business Systems

[1] This list is essentially the same as the list I used in “First Person: How Checklists Improve Quality, Customer Satisfaction and Profits” on Yahoo! Finance except I reworded it. (See above for link.)

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About the Author

My first Kindle eBook, How Relationship Selling Rewards Small Businesses, went live on April 24, 2012. I've lived a lifetime of service and spiritual search so it's natural for me to incorporate these attitudes into my work. I believe that selling and marketing are spiritual service when done with a heart-centered, relationship selling approach. All of business success comes down to building strong relationships.