#105: Getting Started with Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

Feb 7, 2021 | Office Operations

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) are the super clear step by step details for how to do something the way you need it done for your business. They help you and your team carry out processes, operations, and tasks. They improve efficiency and uniformity while cutting down on miscommunication and having things fall through the cracks.

Not only that, but SOPs will save you time if you are one who doesn’t have any organizational skills to talk of and spend too much time recreating the wheel. They give you freedom because now you can delegate! And finally, they will save your sanity because should you decide to take a week off, your business can run without you.

If you have been running your business up to this point relying on your memory with no SOPs to speak of in order to get things done, things will eventually fall through the cracks. I promise.

In this video, I break it all down step by step by giving you a 2-step process to getting started.

Hi, this is Lisa Wells and welcome back to Systems Sunday!

This month’s theme is SOP – standard operating procedures.

SOPs are the super clear step-by-step details for how to do something the way you need it done for your business. They help you and your team carry out processes, operations and tasks. They improve efficiency and uniformity while cutting down on miscommunication and having things fall through the cracks.

Not only that, but SOPs will save you time if you are one who doesn’t have any organizational skills to talk of and spend too much time recreating the wheel, they give you freedom because now you can delegate.

And finally, they will save your sanity because should you decide to take a week off, your business can run without you! Also, if you ever plan to sell your business, you need to have some types of SOPs as deliverables.

If you have been running your business up to this point relying on your memory to get things done, things will eventually fall through the cracks. Don’t worry, I got you because I’m going to break it all down step by step.

Two important things:

1. Not everything needs to be documented. Anything that needs to be done more than twice needs to be documented.

2. I want to give you permission to delegate. You don’t have to be the one who creates your step by steps your SOPs. You can hire someone to do this for you. If you already have someone on your team, you can delegate this task to them.

First Step: Create an outline

Think about what you do on a daily basis – respond to emails, meet with a client, post on social media, handle customer service. All of these processes, these things that you do, you can create procedures around them, the step by steps. The first step is to write down the things you do on a daily basis.

After that, list things you do on a weekly basis – newsletter, team meetings, onboarding a new client.

Next, monthly or quarterly tasks – bookkeeping, filing, invoicing, editorial calendar. Or, if it’s easier for you to write down things that follow your business sections, such as all the processes for production and operations, communications, marketing, and sales. There’s no right or wrong way to do this part.

Step 2 is to start documenting

Let’s start with something simple – how to set up a Zoom for a client call.

You may think, that’s easy and straightforward, I don’t really need to document that. Keep in mind that what you may think is a no-brainer, at some point you may want to bring on an assistant and they may know how to set up a Zoom call, but not how YOU like to set up a Zoom call.

And this is what is going to make your life so easy – you won’t have to play the back and forth game with your new assistant because they will know exactly how you like to set up a call.

It doesn’t need to be fancy or formatted – just open your computer and start talking as you go. You can use technology you already have or that is free, such as Loom, Zoom, Camtasia, Screencast, phone … lots of options to record your screen, record your voice, shoot a video of you doing the thing that needs to be documented.

Here’s an example of setting up a coaching call for a client. First, I’m going to login to Zoom by going to zoom.us. The password is in the shared folder in Lastpass. I’m going to click on Meetings and then Schedule a Meeting.

The topic starts off with their client’s last name then a dash and then the date in the format of yy-dd-mm.

The duration is 1 hour using my time zone. No registration is required.

Use my personal meeting ID, and select Waiting Room in the Security section. Video for host and participant can be selected as “off” – make sure that automatically record meeting is selected. Click Save.

Once this is done, I’m going to copy the invitation and send an email to the client.. and you can go on from there because I’m sure you have a process for emailing the client.

Rather than asking around and choosing a tool or program and then trying to make it fit with how you do business and then getting frustrated because now you have to learn a new tool or program, it’s way easier to just get the documentation out of your head and onto a video for now. We will look at documentation and tools later.

That’s your homework for this week – pick one thing and record you doing it. I’ve added links to the resources section below. Next week we’ll go over SOP format types.

Catch up on other Standard Operating Procedures episodes + resources mentioned in the video:

Did you enjoy this episode and want to put it into action? Grab this kit!

SOP Templates & Process Library

$45.00

This standard operating procedures kit includes:

  • List of Common SOPs (15-page guide giving you samples of what areas can be included and bullet point ideas)
  • Standard Operating Procedures Library including 24 examples
    • Sample Standard Operating Procedures Manual
    • How to do an affiliate payout
    • Chargeback procedure
    • Email signature
    • Resources and FAQ
    • Email Management flowchart
    • Handling declined payments
    • Help desk procedures
    • How to create a project plan flowchart
    • How to send a broadcast
    • Introductory / Discovery sessions flowchart
    • New client setup (for both products and services)
    • New team member onboarding checklist
    • Newsletter process
    • Overcoming sales objections flowchart
    • Recording InstantTeleseminar events
    • Refund procedure
    • Sample JV Partnership flowchart
    • Selecting a CRM/Database flowchart
    • Task management flowchart
    • Weekly blog posts
    • Weekly tasks

All the examples are in Word or Powerpoint format so they are fully editable. Use the examples in the SOP template library as a jumping-off point to documenting your processes and creating your own standard operating procedures!

 

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