top of page

What on earth is a 'handover specialist?

According to my LinkedIn profile, I’m an “Experienced Bookkeeper, Bid Specialist, and all-round organisational guru.” I mean, I did write it myself, but in simple terms that means I can turn my hand to pretty much anything office based. I’ve worked in different industries, small and large companies, and done a heap of temping, because that’s what I enjoy.

 

I love walking into a new office, pulling together all the systems and processes, and seeing what I can do to improve things. There’s a real feeling of accomplishment when I’ve taught someone an easier way to do a task, or something is made more efficient, or where an improved process has increased turnover or reduced costs.

 

So how does that explain what a handover specialist is?


In short, a handover specialist is a trouble-shooter. It’s the superwoman (or man) of office work - the person who flies in, cleans up, and flies back out again.

 

You know the scenario; someone has left suddenly, and all their knowledge is in their head but not on paper. Often, it's someone who has supported your business for a number of years, wearing many hats during that time, who knows your suppliers by name and where to find all those files you know you need but haven't looked at, and where to go to buy teabags for the staffroom or take the work’s van for a service. The end of the month is fast approaching and there are reports to do, wages to calculate and returns to submit, and you don't have the time or skills. You may even have posted an advert for someone to help you, but that's going to take more time (the best people have to give notice, right?) and you need someone to jump in and hit the ground running.

 

That's where I come in.

 

I’m the stop-gap, the temp-with-benefits if you like. (No, not that kind of benefits!)

 

Getting started as a handover specialist.


My first time was for a local charity that provided music ensemble opportunities and funding for schoolchildren to learn instruments, supported in part by the local authority. I had been involved as a parent for a couple of years since my 5-year-old had started learning to play the recorder at school (Yes, it’s still a thing! Did you know there are 5 main types of recorder, not just the screechy ones we all remember?) and moved on to learning the cello. As the group sessions were only an hour or so, I spent that time drinking coffee and eating biscuits with the other parents. Each term a newsletter came out – nothing extravagant, but it gave us the upcoming term dates, and details of concerts and performances the children were taking part in.

 

One evening I picked up the latest newsletter, a much-simplified version to the ones we’d had before, and spotted an advert for a part-time administrator. I was already at the centre during the group sessions, and knew I had the qualifications and skills that were listed, so I applied, completed a couple of test tasks as part of the interview process, was asked if I could start in 2 days and handed the office key!

The job title was something of a misnomer; what they actually needed was someone who could manage everything: maintaining the database of students, managing the bookkeeping, invoicing, credit control, payroll processing, stock orders, event bookings and support, not to mention pulling together the newsletters and notifying parents of upcoming events. If a task went through the office, the 'administrator' did it.

 

So far so good. I was good at multi-tasking and had all the skills and experience needed. The main problem was that no one had been looking after the office for some months and there were no systems in place. Only the most urgent tasks were being dealt with, which left much to fall by the wayside. The pile of unopened post looked like a mini leaning tower of Pisa. Even the newsletter had been typed up at home by the Head of Centre, and printed in the office just before the children were due to arrive.

 

By the time I left, I had implemented a raft of systems and processes and created a full handover guide folder, so the transfer to the incoming administrator was quick and seamless. The guide folder contained how-to instructions for each task with process diagrams, details of useful contacts, and all the important dates and deadlines. I even set up a website for parents to access timetables and view upcoming events and concerts and created a guide - with screenshots - for making updates. It went down a treat, and the new administrator had everything in place to keep things running smoothly.

 

Fast forward to my new temporary role, where I moved on to a small construction business, and jumped in again to manage an office that had been left in the lurch. I started on a Wednesday in time to process the wages for that Friday. As before, I put systems and processes into place, streamlined the day-to-day running of the office, and helped the boss shortlist CVs for a permanent office manager before providing a full handover, again with how-to guides and process instructions.

That's when I began to realise this was a service many small businesses don't know they need until they do, but is a service I could provide and, more importantly, something I enjoy.

 

I’ve since provided a similar service for large and small companies and for departments within departments. I’ve converted paper-heavy businesses into streamlined, networked ones; trained staff how to use spreadsheets and CRM software, and audited business management systems highlighting where improvements can be made.

 

So, if your company needs an organisational overhaul or someone to create and document your processes, you need a Handover Specialist.

 

Contact me now for a chat to see how I can help.

 

You can book a slot in my calendar at https://calendly.com/smallbizbod/30min, or email me at sarah@smallbizbod.com to arrange a time to suit.





 

Commentaires


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
bottom of page