Do you feel like you’re always scrambling to keep up with everything in your business? Do you wish there was a way to make things run more smoothly, without having to constantly reinvent the wheel? If so, you need a standard operating procedure manual – or “SOP.” SOPs can help simplify and streamline your business, making it easier to manage on a day-to-day basis. In this post, we’ll discuss what SOPs are and how to create one for your own business.
This may seem silly if you are currently a solopreneur. But once you hire a team, you’ll be able to hand over your SOP for certain tasks and ensure that your team members are completing tasks in the same way, and more efficiently.
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Reinventing the wheel over and over is likely costing your business time AND money, so let’s ensure you aren’t leaving money on the table and create your SOPs!
First, ask yourself what tasks you do in your business over and over again.
Anything you do multiple times, SHOULD have an SOP.
For example – do you run regular partner campaigns? Are there certain steps that need to be accomplished in every single campaign you do? If so – create an SOP!
The easiest way to create an SOP is to do so AS you complete a specific task.
Open up a Google Doc and jot down every step you are completing as you do it.
An SOP does not need to be overly complicated. In fact, your SOP should be so simple a third-grader could execute it!
Once you have outlined each step in a certain process, you’ll be able to save brain power the next time you complete that task. Your SOP will tell you exactly what to do, how to do it, and when in the process to do it as well.
Your SOPs can also be refined over time as you find quicker and more efficient ways to do things.
For example, one of your team members or your virtual assistant may know a quick Excel trick that eliminates steps 3-5 in your SOP. If that’s the case, AWESOME! Allow them to modify the SOP to replace step 3-5 with their one, easier, step.
Your SOP should be so simple a third-grader could execute it!-Creators Coaching Company
Creating SOPs should be fairly easy, and they truly save loads of time in your business. Anything you can automate and systematize in your business gives you more time to focus on actual strategy, sales, and client relationships.
Plus, you ensure nothing is falling through the cracks, because you have a step-by-step guide keeping you on track!
I would be remiss to not address the fact that not all SOPs are created equal – some tasks may not be a simple step by step list.
So lets take a look at a few different ways to structure your SOPs effectively, depending on the task.
This is exactly what it sounds like and what we have talked about in the bulk of this post. A list SOP is a list of steps to take to complete a certain task. A list SOP is great for tasks that should be completed exactly the same, no matter the circumstance.
Hierarchy SOPs are very similar to list SOPs, but may contain more detail in the process itself. I have found that most SOPs begin is list SOPs, and over time, turn into hierarchy SOPs. This is because more detail is inevitably added as more people use the SOP to accomplish the task at hand.
So while a list SOP may list step 3 as “send a follow-up email to the client,” a hierarchy SOP may list step 3, with step 3a that specifies “use script A in the body of the email” and a step 3b that states “ensure X is BCCed on the email.”
Flowchart SOPs are great for tasks where there may be a divergence in procedure based on a certain condition. For example, you may have an SOP for onboarding a new client. But perhaps there is a divergence in what steps take place depending on what type of client they are/what services they purchased. Or, perhaps there is a divergence if they have or have not yet signed your contract.
A flowchart SOP can help keep you and your team on track with a similar process but under slightly different scenarios.
Flowchart SOPs are also great to use for explaining your overall sales funnels to your team!
If you’re looking for an amazing tool to create flowcharts in your business, check out Miro.com.
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Your New SOP Strategy to the Rescue
Standard Operating Procedures, or SOPs, are important for the efficiency of your business. By creating and following SOPs, you can minimize wasted time and effort, streamline your processes, and ensure that everyone on your team is on the same page. What SOPs have you created in your business? Tell me about them in the comments below! I’d love to hear how you’ve made your business more efficient by implementing standard operating procedures.