What are SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures)?
Standard operating procedures are basically step-by-step instructions to help you (and potential members of your team) carry out a task.
They outline action steps and/or workflows for routines.
The goal is to be more efficient and to reduce failure.
For example: onboarding new clients, blog posts, Instagram posts, webinar, creating a course
Yes, I know what you think now:
“This sounds a bit too advanced for me as an early-stage entrepreneur.”
But trust me, there’s no better time to create SOPs than NOW.
First of all, they will help you be more efficient and reduce failure, and that’s always good, right?
And when you reach a point in your business where you start outsourcing, you’ll be happy that you’ve already created SOPs and not have to start from scratch. This will make the whole process way smoother for you and the person you hire.
How to create Standard Operating Procedures?
An SOP doesn’t have to be a complicated full-blown written statement.
In most cases, it’s just a simple checklist of the steps that need to be done.
When you create your SOPs, keep in mind that they are not only for you but also for possible future outsourcing.
When you delegate something, it should be easy and clear for this person how to perform the task. So write down ALL THE STEPS.
What tasks do you have to do every day/week/quarter? What are the necessary steps to complete these tasks?
The next time you do a task, take the time to make a checklist of the action steps involved.
This will not only make it easier for you (you don’t have to remember everything), but it will also help when you want to outsource this task in the future.
These are things like launching a course, creating a freebie, hosting a webinar, things like that.
For these projects, it’s often hard to think about all the possible steps involved beforehand. So when you plan such a project, it’s best to start with a brain dump of all the steps you can think of. Categorize them in areas like market research, creation, social media, sales page, testimonials, and so on.
Then, as you’re actually working on the project, add all the steps you didn’t think of in the beginning.
Save this checklist as a template for further projects.
You don’t have to sit down and create all your SOPs at once.
The next time you perform a task/project, write down the action steps involved and make a checklist or create a written statement if necessary.
This way, you develop your SOPs over time.
Keep your SOPs up to date
Always make sure that you keep your SOPs up to date.
When you go through a checklist of a task and find that something is missing -> add it.
When you change your process -> change your SOPs.
SOPs are meant to make your life (and the collaboration with potential team members) easier and reduce mistakes.
So do yourself a favor and keep them up to date.