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Strategy Guide: What NOT To Do When You Get Started With Trainual
Strategy Guide: What NOT To Do When You Get Started With Trainual

These are the 5 biggest mistakes people make. Learn them so you don't make them yourself!

Shawn Jensen avatar
Written by Shawn Jensen
Updated over a week ago

We've been coaching SMBs for a while now and have seen some absolutely dazzling successes when it comes to business documentation and playbook building πŸ‘Œ

And...we've also seen some pretty spectacular failures.

So, we've identified the top 5 mistakes that have eventually led to downward spirals, ugly breakdowns, and disasters of epic proportions (drama much! πŸ˜† ) And, we'll show you how to avoid those mistakes so you can πŸ’― % crush your playbook building!

Mistake #1 - Not defining your "WHY" for using Trainual

I recently had a coaching session with someone who had been tasked by his CEO to build out Trainual at their company. When I asked him what their primary focus was for using Trainual, he said...

Yeah, that's a problem! Whether it's creating onboarding training, documenting the responsibilities of a specific role, or ensuring all your team members have access to your company policies, make sure that you know your "WHY" for using Trainual. And please make sure to then communicate it clearly to your team.

If you don't, they won't buy in and you'll have set yourself back in time and dollars, which we know are both valuable to your business!

πŸ’ͺ Coach's Tip: Do this as a video so you can lend your real voice and excitement to introducing your "why". Consider using the "Welcome to Trainual (for General Users)" template to introduce Trainual and establish expectations for it.

Mistake #2 - Not dedicating the time and/or getting help

A question we hear often is "How long will it take to build my business playbook?" The answer: It depends!

If you're trying to work out a timeline, there are lots of things to consider including how much you're documenting, how big your team is, how many people will help you build it, etc.

The better question is "How much time can I/we dedicate to building our playbook?" The answer will directly impact how long it will take.

Let's recap: Decide as a team how much time you will spend documenting your business and building out your playbook. Set a weekly goal (we did 2 hours per week) and BE CONSISTENT! Don't stop! And if you do, get back on the horse ASAP.

Notice I've talked about this being a "team" effort. Don't try to do this all by your onesie if you don't have to. Identify your champions, the ones who really GET your playbook vision, and get them involved as early as possible.

Mistake #3 - Trying to do too much, too soon

We love it when people are fired up and ready to build the greatest playbook on the freaking planet! It's awesome! But if you're not careful, that enthusiasm can lead to you tackling too much and leave you feeling overwhelmed.

You want to get the ROI on this Trainual investment as quickly as possible. We totally get that! Here's how to make that happen:

So, to recap: Pick ONE thing (one Process, one Role, one Policy, etc.) and build it out really well through an iterative process of building, assigning, getting feedback, and tweaking. When it looks good, make that your model! With that model, you'll be ready to expand to the next thing that needs to be documented and/or to involve other team members in your documentation efforts.

Bottom line: Having a solid foundation to build from helps you ensure quality and consistency across all of your content.

Mistake #4 - Waiting until it's perfect before using it

This is going to sound ultra-negative but I'm going to say it anyway because it's a vital principle that you need to believe in. Here we go:

Documentation is never done, and it will never be perfect!

We've talked to plenty of people who have started building their playbook and then they kept building it and tweaking it and adjusting it and adding just one more little thing to it, and NEVER. GOT. IT. PUBLISHED!

This is primarily a plea to all you perfectionists out there πŸ˜‰ (you know who you are!) Don't wait until you have a playbook that's practically perfect in every way before poppin' it out to your team...because it won't happen, at least not quickly.

Instead, consider working on each piece of content in 2 phases:

This 2-phase approach lets you get the needed information out to your team ASAP and Trainual's notifications help you keep your team notified when you've added anything new. This way you can keep a consistent effort going to document your business in a systematic way

Mistake #5 - Quitting

Not gonna lie, it's going to get tough sometimes. You're going to make some mistakes along the way, maybe even more than once. You're not always going to be able to dedicate the needed time. You're going to feel overwhelmed with everything you could possibly document but haven't yet. But please...

And like I mentioned earlier, don't forget to celebrate the milestone accomplishments every once in a while πŸŽ‰ Throw a party, bring in some food, and play some music, because hey, what you're accomplishing is a big deal!

It might take a little while, but with a motivated team (your and ours) and consistent efforts, you'll create the most amazing, hot doggiest, kick-butt playbook on the block! You got this, and we're here to help!

Need help? Book a free 1 on 1 coaching session by requesting one via chat or by emailing

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