I love a good Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Geeky I know, yet there are so many reasons why SOPs are important for your business.
You’ve probably heard the phase, “consistency is king (or queen)”. You might also have found that the phase is easy to say but not that easy to put into practise. You see others who are consistently, well consistent, but it hasn’t happened yet for your business.
Consistency is what SOPs are all about!
Let’s talk coffee for a moment. Any excuse!
Do you have a favourite café that you go to for your coffee? You know you’ll get the perfect coffee, Every Single Time. No disappointments on that first sip, instead you get delicious taste and that moment of feeling all is right in the world (that’s not just me right?).
While we might think our barista uses a little magic to create our coffee, the reality is they’re following a well thought through process to ensure you get a consistently great coffee every time you visit. That’s right . . . your barista is using a SOP!
Before we take a look at the advantages to having a solid set of SOPs when you’re building the core foundations of your business let look at what an SOP actually is.
What is a Standard Operating Procedure?
A SOP is a way to document all of the necessary steps to perform tasks for your business. Another way to think of them is as checklists, or how-to guides, for all of the recurring tasks within your business.
Why SOPs are important for your business
SOPs are a handy way to keep you (and your team) on track and to have your business running like clockwork. This method of documenting the way you do business is key to consistency, quality and a great customer experience.
Let’s look at the top 7 reasons why your business needs SOPs . . .
1. Less on your mind
As a business owner you have a LOT going on, not to mention managing the rest of your life. By downloading all of the processes that you’ve stored in your brain you can get repetitive actions off your mind and down onto paper, freeing up much needed creative space.
I know when I have less on my mind I have far more energy to serve my clients and to be creative.
2. Don’t forget anything important & less errors
When you have regular tasks that you don’t do every day it’s easy to forget all the steps you need to take. In my Webinar Set Up and Promotion SOP I have nearly 50 tasks that I work my way through. There’s no way I’d remember all of those steps when I only run a webinar once a month.
Using SOPs means you don’t need to remember what to do as it’s all laid out for you.
3. Identify what to outsource
The first step to creating the SOPs that will have the most benefit your business, is to identity what tasks you’re doing over and over again in your business.
Having that level of clarity over the way you run your business makes it much easier to identify the tasks that you want to outsource.
4. Easily train new team members
Have you ever had a difficult time bringing on a new team member? They had SO many questions and you find yourself thinking that it would’ve been quicker to just do the job yourself.
Their work isn’t as good as what you’d usually do. It’s so annoying when team members can’t read your mind!
By having everything written down, or recorded, it’s so much easier to train new team members as the way you do business is clearly laid out. They have a step by step guide to follow, which means they’ll ask less questions and have a much better chance of doing a great job.
5. Consistent results
We all want to give our clients a consistently great experience, from the moment they hear about us right through to the last wrap up session. We also want to do our work in an efficient and productive way.
SOPs give us a standardised way to deliver consistent results. No more starting from scratch or reinventing the wheel – you’ll know what exactly what procedures are in place and have standardised processes to follow.
6. Streamline and improve
One of my favourite reasons for creating SOPs is that it gives me a chance to pause and really think through the way that I’m doing the task that I’m creating the SOP for.
Is what I’m doing the simplest way to do the task at hand? Is the order of the tasks the most productive? Is there an easier way to do this task?
By using the creation of an SOP as an opportunity to streamline your processes you’re then documenting a procedure that works well rather than a weak procedure.
7. Scale & grow
When you have a solid set of well thought through SOPs they can be used over and over. The energy it takes to document them will be paid back time and time again as you grow your business.
Do you use SOPs in your business? Let me know in the comments.
If you’d like to create a solid set of SOPs for your business then book in a virtual coffee with me to discuss your specific business and what you need. I’ll let you know how I can support you.