Streamline your business and save time by creating a Standard Operating Procedure or SOP.

 

You may have heard that every business needs an SOP.  And yes, it’s true.

But what exactly is an SOP and why do you need one?

SOP stands for Standard Operating Procedure and it’s an outline of the steps you take to execute re-occuring tasks in your business.  To sum it up, it’s a checklist of tasks you do for your business.

I know, sounds pretty boring, huh?

But don’t run off…trust me!  You’re going to want to learn this.

Why?  Because an SOP will save you time, energy and money.

Plus, as an added bonus, you’ll have a checklist of tasks you can delegate to a virtual assistant as your business grows.

 

HERE ARE MY TIPS FOR CREATING A SUPER SIMPLE SOP:

 

Google Docs are your new BFF’s

Are you using Google Docs yet?  If you just said no then giiiirrrrl, you need to start today!

Your work will automatically save and you can share your docs with your team effortlessly.  The days of saving a Word Doc and emailing it are over!  Hallelujah!

Then make sure your organize your docs in Google Drive so that you can find them when you need them.  There’s nothing worse than wasting time searching all over for them because they’re not where you thought they were.

 

Create consistent looking procedures

You’ll want your procedures to look similar.  For instance, place the title at the top, centered, bold, in size 14.  Next you’ll list the big steps left aligned, bold, in size 11.  Then you’ll list the little steps below the big steps left aligned, bullet point, in size 11.

Check out the procedure doc below that I use when I pay my Virtual Assistant:

 

If you have a business, then you need an SOP. A Standard Operating Procedure will save you time, energy and money in your business.

{above is an example of the SOP I use when I pay my Virtual Assistant}

 

Make it your own

Add extra details at the top of the procedure doc if you want, like how often the procedure is performed or any other important notes.

 

Keep it simple, sweetie-pie!

Just a simple outline with clear steps is all you need.  No need to stress over it.  You can always go back and add more.

 

Create your SOP’s while you’re doing the task

Documenting business procedures can be a tedious job, I’m not gonna lie.  BUT, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.  Instead of feeling overwhelmed by everything you need to document, just jot down the steps the next time you do the task.

For example, say you want to document how you format your blog post.  The next time you format your blog post you will capture the steps in a Google Doc.  It will take a little extra time to finish your blog post, but once you’re done, you’re done (unless you update the procedure later on).

Don’t forget to note the software or apps you use in the procedure too!

 

Test the procedures

Ask someone to go through the steps and see if they get lost anywhere.  If so, you’ll need to clarify or add more steps.

 

Have someone else do them for you

If you have a virtual assistant you can make a video of the steps you take and ask your VA to create the procedure doc.  If you don’t have an assistant you can always hire one for this project.

 

Update as needed

You’ll want an updated version so that you and your team know exactly what to do.

 

THE TASKS YOU SHOULD DOCUMENT FIRST:

The best place to start is by documenting the procedures you don’t enjoy doing and the ones you don’t do often.

The ones you don’t enjoy doing: when you hire someone you can pass the SOP off to them and they can take care of the tasks that you don’t like to do.

The ones you don’t do often: when you don’t do something often you tend to forget the steps.  If you have a list of the steps you took the last time you’ll speed up the process.

 

STILL NEED SOME INSPIRATION?  HOW ABOUT STARTING WITH THESE PROCESSES:

  • Blog formatting-include where you source your graphics or how you make them, plus the size they should be.
  • Newsletter process-include how often you send your newsletter, day of the week, and time.
  • Social media-include how many times you post to each social media and the scheduling software you use (and how to use it).
  • Invoicing clients-include the software you use and when you send them.

 

 

I CAN’T STRESS ENOUGH HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO START MAKING YOUR BUSINESS SOP’S NOW 

As an Online Business Manager, I know how time consuming it is when I need to learn a procedure for a client who doesn’t have an SOP in place.  And when you’re paying a Virtual Assistant an hourly rate that means you’re wasting time which means you’re wasting money.

It’s also smart to have an SOP in case you are unable to run your biz because of an unfortunate circumstance that leaves you incapacitated.

 

What questions do you have about SOP’s?  What procedure are you going to document first?  Let me know in the comments!