Do you want to get your business out of your head?
WHAT ARE STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOP)?
I mentioned that every business needs an SOP. And yes, it’s true. But what exactly is an SOP and why do you need one? An SOP is essentially a step-by-step guide for executing recurring tasks in your business.
It specifies when, how and why you do a particular function in your business. E.g how to perform a particular process, or how a system is to be used.
EXAMPLES of STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES
For a small business SOPs might cover areas like:
- New Customer/Client Onboarding: This will show the steps you take to bring on board a new customer/client.
- Updating your website: Branding guidelines, steps for uploading information, links, videos and photos, programs integrations, updates, changes to company policy or public notices to customers/clients, compliance updates etc…
- Sales calls: a guide to handling the tricky sales calls
- Invoicing and bookkeeping: – steps from sending an invoice and the variables in pricing, to receipting payments, entering customers into the financial management system, reconciling accounts, and running reports.
- Blog Management SOP: Instructions on how or where to draft the post, searching for keywords, posting on your website, style and format of posting, frequency and time of posting, how to promote new blog posts
Once you have a collection of procedures for different business activities, you could compile them into a user manual for yourself or any contractor or employee you bring into the business to handle specific business functions.
7 BENEFITS OF STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES
As a small business, following standardised operating procedures can save you time and allow you (and your team) to be more productive. They reduce errors, and improve compliance with industry guidelines. Here are 7 reasons why every small business should have SOPs:
1. Setting standards and structure within your business
A successful business can act quickly on leads and opportunities, this can be done effectively if the relevant operational information is easily locatable, relatable and transferable.
2. Reducing Error rate
3. Saving time
4. Preparing for delegating / outsourcing
5. Assisting with training
6. High level customer service
7. Leads a path to regular reviews, efficiencies and continuous improvement.
HOW DO YOU DOCUMENT STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES?
- From formal templates, with document registers
- Video demonstrating a process
- Steps in a checklist on a program like Trello.
- Another option is to ask your VA to type the processes piecemeal as you are training/providing processes to them.
WHERE TO START?
Download your free SOP template. Go forth and document!
If you’d like to talk about preparing your business to outsource, planning out your socials and blogs or if you’re ready to outsource your digital content marketing or administration, please feel free to contact Deb for an obligation free consultation.