In the last post I went into detail on what standard operating procedures are and how they will benefit your business. You can catch up with the post here.
Now, I want to focus on how you can get started to write out your standard operating procedures, document them so you have easy access to them at all times, and then review and refine them as you go.
How do you get started with creating Standard Operating Procedures?
Make a list!
First things first, you need to start making a list of tasks that you complete over and over again in your business. These include things such as sales, onboarding new clients, offboarding completed projects, invoicing for retainers, sending out time sheets or reports, publishing content, marketing on social media, webinars etc.
Think of all of the major things that you do regularly that involve a lot of individual steps and make a list.
Brainstorm all the pieces
Then it’s time to think of everything that needs to happen when for example you’re running a new webinar. I like to do this on paper at first, because brainstorming is way easier for me with pen and paper.
Once you have a list of tasks that need to be completed for each major activity your business undertakes, then it’s time to start documenting them in a tool that allows you to access and duplicate the process with ease.
Document in an accessible place
I personally use Asana to manage the business and so do most of my clients, but the same process can be replicated in Trello.
I actually have a complete Trello System for getting your business organised available here, and it includes a board for template tasks and examples of how you can use those.
For my own business I simply created a template section in each Asana project and in there I keep the SOP I’ve written out. Eg. In the Marketing Project I have a template task for publishing a new blog post. That template task gets duplicated for each new post and all of the steps involved in the publishing process are already there. As a result of that I am super efficient when it comes to publishing a new post, each new post written gets the same attention to detail and nothing gets missed out. And when I’m not available to post, I can ask my OBM to help and he is able to just take over the task from me because everything is documented.
Using screen recordings to your advantage
If you’re about to build a team, then I’d recommend that each time you go through a set of tasks that have an SOP, you simply record a video of you doing the tasks and talking about what you’re doing and why it’s done in that way. Then add the video to your SOP. As soon as you’re ready to hand over that task, you not only have a list of steps to complete but also a video showing your team member exactly how it’s done – and all of that makes onboarding a breeze!
Refining your Process
If you’re using template task it’s super easy to keep your SOP up-to-date. Every time you need to make a change to your SOP, simply pop into the template task and update it – that’s it.
I know this is a daunting task but I can guarantee you that you will feel relieved once it’s done. You will spend less time procrastinating work because your processes are set and easy to follow. You will save time and mental energy and get things done way quicker than before – and your team will be grateful too.
Are you nowhere near fully booked, but you just don't have any time?
No, that doesn't mean that you need to hire an assistant right away, what it probably means is that your tools and systems need a little TLC. If you're currently keeping all of your business tasks in your head, don't have any documented processes and can't automate because your tools just won't work together, then we should talk.
Together we can save you hours of precious time every week by streamlining and documenting your processes, reviewing your business tools to make sure they work FOR you and then implementing all of those changes.