Are you ready to see your business grow? You can’t successfully scale a company without defined and documented Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
But what exactly are SOPs? How do you implement them? We’re going to cover all of that and more in this concise-yet-comprehensive guide.
What are SOPs?
SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) are the established basic procedures that make your business run.
SOPs come in many forms, and some of the more common are:
- Process document
- User guides
Why Do You Need SOPs?
If you are the only person that can do certain jobs or all of the information is in the head of one employee, what happens when your attention is needed elsewhere? Your company’s daily operations can not be dependent on any single person, including you.
These processes must be defined and recorded so that they are easily teachable and repeatable. Once the SOPs are defined and written down, they can be tested and improved until perfected. This will help your business to run faster and smoother and have more customer success.
SOPs are very effective for handling:
- Customer service functions
- Purchasing functions
- Marketing functions
- Sales functions
- HR functions
- Accounts payable/accounts receivable
- Operations like product prep and packaging
How to Create SOPs for Your Business
Creating SOPs is not that difficult to do. However, keep in mind that you are creating them so that you can change and correct them until you come up with a process that gives you maximum results.
Identify Core Processes that Need Standardized
Consider your business’s daily functions and start from there. Some processes may be too large and may need to be broken down into tasks that are easier to teach, learn, and perform when taught or delegated. You will need to define and describe the job at hand. Ensure to include any necessary specific information such as whether or not they must do this task at a particular time or by a specific type of employee, such as a manager or someone with a special license or certification.
Document the Steps Necessary to Perform the Task
Assume you are documenting the process for a person who does not know what you do. Make sure to detail the process step-by-step, including complete details of each step in sequential order. Graphs, flowcharts, and outlines are often needed in this step.
Implement New SOPs
Make sure to communicate any changes to your team in a very clear way so that they can perform the new SOPs correctly. Give them time and space to learn new procedures and ask aunty questions that they need to while learning. It is a good idea to communicate your SOPs both verbally and in writing.
Test & Review SOPs
To have the very best processes, find errors and continue to improve, you will need to test and review your SOPs regularly and make any necessary changes to improve them. If you can perfect your processes enough, you can automate them, making everything faster and more cost-effective.
Grow Your Business with SOPs
When you have well-defined SOPs, you will be able to replicate and multiply them, which will allow you to grow your business to any size imaginable. Enhancing and improving how your company operates at its core is foundational to ensuring steady, sustained growth.
No matter how you choose to streamline your operations, creating a solid set of standard operating procedures is one of your greatest tools for success.