How Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Can Be Your Business’s Best Friend
Have you ever wondered how your favorite coffee shop gets your order perfect every single time? Or how that online store manages to deliver your package right on schedule, over and over again? It’s not a coincidence, and there is most definitely a process in place, or what we call Standard Operating Procedures - SOPs for short. They're not as fancy or complex as they sound - they're essentially just a set of instructions to get a job done right, but even a simple procedure holds a lot of power.
SOPs might sound like something that only large corporations would need, but whether you’re running a new startup from your garage, you only have a team of one, or you’re managing a global organization, SOPs are your guiding light and a must-have key resource to have on hand.
Why? Because they are all about consistency and efficiency. Think about it…when your team knows exactly what to do and how to do it, things get done more quickly and easily. Because the process is laid out, mistakes decrease and productivity increases. So, that large double iced mocha is the same. Every. Single. Time. And that’s what the customer expects - a reliable quality experience.
So, how do you get started creating SOPs?
It’s very simple! First, start by identifying the key processes in your business for every step of the process. Write down each step in detail. Pro tip: include the people who actually perform these tasks in the process. They do the work every day and are the experts on what needs to be done.
Next, it’s time to communicate the process out to the team. It’s crucial to verbalize what an SOP is and why it’s important. And remember that training is essential. You can’t just hand over a manual and expect everyone to follow it to a tee. Be patient, be supportive and encourage feedback. Your doers are going to let you know if something doesn’t make sense and the process can be adjusted as needed.
As your business grows, it’s easy to overlook structure and consistency. SOPs can give your business the backbone and structure it needs to become successful and run more smoothly.
Feeling a bit overwhelmed with where to start on your SOPs? If you’re ready to document your processes but aren’t sure where to start, don’t hesitate to reach out. I would be happy to support you and your business.
“Process and procedure are the last hiding place of people without the wit and wisdom to do their job properly.” - Richard Branson
Be The Wiser, LLC
Offering project based and fractional retainer based operations business support for busy CEOs in growth stage companies. We also partner with COOs who strategize, and we come in as the Operations Director-for-hire to take care of the implementations. We help create more efficient operations, increase productivity, improve workflow and streamline systems and processes so that companies can grow more efficiently and effectively to reach their profit goals.