Your business will have repeatable processes, even if you’re a sole proprietor. On your own, you may be keeping a lot of information in your head, since you’re doing it all yourself.
Unfortunately, that can take a toll over time. You may do the same things daily, weekly, or monthly, but eventually, you may come to a point of wondering if you did what you needed to. Or worse, you may be wondering how you did it the last time.
Developing standard operating procedures, or SOPs, is an important step in building a viable business that’s ready to grow and scale.
What Are SOPs?
SOPs are outlines or checklists that demonstrate how to complete the repeated tasks that take place in your business, such as your social media management, customer service procedures, or other tasks.
They may not seem as important when you’re on your own, but as you scale, SOPs are essential to keeping your brand consistent and ensuring that everything is done on time and as efficiently as possible.
Also, creating an outline for repeated tasks helps you see where you can streamline your processes to save time. For some tasks, you may be creating more work for yourself because you have to start from scratch.
When you have SOPs, you have everything you need at your fingertips each time. You’re taking out everything that’s unnecessary, which is MUCH easier when you have a clear outline and plan.
Benefits of SOPs
How do SOPs help you streamline your business?
You can move faster through tasks, get more accomplished, and ultimately, earn more. You cut back on the time it takes to do the repeatable tasks your business needs, giving you more time to focus on mission-critical aspects of your business or to serve customers. In short, more money for fewer hours – who doesn’t love that?
You can bring on more team members and ensure that your standards are upheld. A well-documented process makes it much easier to bring on new team members and delegate tasks to them without concern for how it may impact your business or processes.
How to Create SOPs
SOPs aren’t as simple as they may seem to create. They take planning, coordination, and research to be fully functional.
Fortunately, there are numerous tools and templates to help, but here’s a quick breakdown.
Clearly articulate the vision of why you’re writing an SOP and what you’d like the reader to achieve.
Identify the reader you’re writing for. Identifying and understanding the audience ensures your SOP is appropriate for the employee and suited to their knowledge and experience.
Define the scope of the task. As your business scales, some tasks may overlap between departments, and this is where SOPs can get tricky. Before you begin, define whether the SOP will be general or specific to one department.
Choose the relevant format. Formatting is important in SOPs. Your general format should include:
- – Title page
- – Department, date, and ID
- – Purpose statement
- – Definitions
- – Step-by-step instructions
- – Additional information that’s relevant to the task
Let’s Get Started!
If you want your business to grow, SOPs are a must to streamline your processes and develop consistency across all employees and departments.
Are you looking for help with growing and scaling your business? Get expert guidance with experienced business coach Allison Todd! Work with Allison Todd directly.