A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a set of instructions to guide the team’s task execution. They are especially essential for complex tasks but can also be adopted for regular workflow management. The end goal here is to ensure that everyone in your team is on the same page about how things are going to get done! This article introduced you to the importance of having SOPs as well as provides you a blueprint of how to successfully develop them.
Having a well-documented business process is essential in every organization. It makes operations and management easier and more efficient. That is why it is a must for entrepreneurs and operations managers to sort this out first before anything else.
These are just a few of the many benefits a standard operating procedure (SOP) holds in a business. An SOP is a step-by-step guide of a business’ operations.
A business SOP can be in many forms and is usually composed of the priority tasks in operations, its purpose, schedule, and how it is performed.
If you are a business owner and you plan to develop standard operating procedures that will work for your business, this article is for you. Today, we will assist you in writing a killer SOP with this step-by-step guide.
How can a Standard Operating Procedure Improve your Business?
There are a multitude of ways an excellent SOP can improve your business operations. First, a detailed SOP will provide your business consistency in doing operations. This will help you in quality assurance and in ensuring that your output will delight your clients.
Second, SOPs also foster organization and efficiency within your business. It is cost-effective to develop your SOP right from the start to prevent nuances such as mistakes that can incur unnecessary expenses.
And lastly, it adds value to your business. A business with an excellent SOP is sought after in the market compared to those that can only offer investors ideas.
Relevant: Also read 16 best productivity tools of 2021 here
How to Write SOPs?
Step #1: Create a Run Down of the Vital Tasks in your Business
Start making an SOP by listing all the vital tasks in your operations. These tasks can range from administrative ones to marketing strategies you implement for your business.
Regardless of the nature of these tasks, you have to put this out first to identify tasks that need your direct supervision and those that your employees can handle. It is better if you can segregate crucial functions from the minor ones, so you know how to position them in your SOPs.
You must track any changes in these tasks and update the corresponding SOP to ensure that they all remain timely, relevant, and beneficial to your business.
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Step #2: Utilize a Proven and Tested SOP Template
Using a template for your SOPs will ensure consistency for all processes within the business. There will be less misinformation and confusion with regards to operational processes through this step.
Many entrepreneurs use a standard operating procedure template to standardize their processes further. A good SOP template is straightforward and easy to navigate when you urgently need it.
Utilizing a proven and tested SOP template will save you so much time for other strategic tasks and enable you to effortlessly relay the processes to your virtual assistants or other employees.
Step #3: State the Purpose of your SOP
You can make your SOP more understandable and relatable by stating your purpose in creating it. This step creates a connection between you and your employees who will utilize the SOPs.
When your employees read the ‘Whys’ on your SOP, they will most likely feel connected to the growth of the business. This will also give them a complete understanding of the importance of a particular task to your whole business.
Step #4: Construct the Step-by-step Content of your SOP
With the first three steps accomplished, it is now time to create the step-by-step content of your SOP.
This part is where you will do the actual work of putting the clear and concise details of how to do a particular task. It is critical to write it in a way that your virtual assistants and other employees can easily understand what you are trying to convey.
You might find it challenging to break processes down that you are so used to doing already. But, it is important to note that you should be as detailed and straightforward as possible in writing the steps of each task.
Decide on the format of the steps and their placement on your SOP. The positioning is crucial since it will determine the visual communication it will portray to your readers or team members. Ensure that it is organized pleasantly to avoid any confusion.
The step-by-step guide will contribute a significant fraction to your SOPs, so it is essential that you properly do it and attend to it sufficiently.
Step #5: Include Critical Reminders and Dos and Don’ts
In this last step, you should highlight the final reminders you want to communicate with your team members.
It is best if you can share past experiences and mistakes that enabled you to put these systems and processes in place. Include what you have learned from those experiences and ensure that you effectively relay it to your members so they will not go through the same mistakes again.
This section guarantees that when your team reads the SOP, they will be equipped to do the job on their own, even in times of emergency.
These steps are the product of our experiences in the industry. This proven and tested guide has helped many entrepreneurs scale up their business and better their operations.
Now that you know the basic steps in creating a standard operating procedure, it is time that you apply it to your business. Realize the value of outstanding SOPs and how they can significantly improve your operations.
Utilize these steps to kickstart your business’ SOP and invest in yourself by learning how to create an excellent one through online courses or other strategies. If you want to know the entirety of this guide further, you can check our online outsourcing courses so that we can assist you accordingly.
Remember, when you invest in improving yourself and learning, you cannot lose anything.