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  • Sarah Ingleby

What on earth is a 'handover specialist'?

Updated: Apr 6

In short, a handover specialist is a trouble-shooter.


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 really looked at. The end of the month is fast approaching and there are reports to do, wages to calculate, returns to submit, and you don't have the time or skills. You may 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.

My first time was for a local charity that provided music ensemble opportunities and funding for schoolchildren learning instruments. I had been involved as a parent, and saw a small advert in the newsletter for a part-time administrator. I applied, completed a couple of test tasks as part of the interview process, and was asked if I could start in 2 days' time 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 support. If a task went through the office, the administrator managed 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 managing the office for some months prior and there were no systems in place. Only the most urgent tasks were being dealt with, which left much to fall by the wayside.


By the time I left I had implemented systems and processes, and created a full handover guide folder, so the handover to the new administrator was quick and seamless. The guide folder contained how-to instructions for each task, details of useful contacts, 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.


I moved on to the next small 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.


That's when I realised this was a service many small businesses don't know they need, but a skill 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.


If your company needs an organisational overhaul, or someone to create and document your processes, 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.


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