Have you ever experienced one of these scenarios before…
When a new client joins you, you first have to figure out all of the things that you need to tell them, the documents you need to send, then remind yourself how you send out a contract to them again. And inadvertently you end up forgetting something. And then there’s delays and a lot of back and forth between you and the client.
Or let’s say you want to publish a new blog post, but you haven’t done it in a while. So you write the post and once you’re ready to publish it, you suddenly remember that there were a whole load of other things you needed to do as well. You then realise that you need graphics. And more graphics. Oh, and keywords, and a meta description and don’t forget to set the categories. Oh, yes, and the tags. And then you realise that you may also need to write some social media posts to share your content. And all of this takes you forever, and yet again sometimes gets forgotten – or the post never makes it out on your social platforms because you ran out of steam.
Or maybe you have hired a VA (congrats!) and you have asked him/her to schedule your content for the month. They get to work, but they quickly realise there is missing information. So they ask and you start looking for that random google doc where you saved the info they need 6 months ago. After an hour of searching you send it over. And then they need your publishing schedule… ah, yes. That was the thing you never created. So posts get scheduled at random times, just so it can be marked as “done”.
All of these point to one thing.
Your business does not have standard operating procedures – or at least they aren’t documented anywhere.
Let’s look at what standard operating procedures are, and why you need them, and then in the next post we’ll look at how you can document them for your business.
What are standard operating procedures and why do you need them?
SOPs are simply a list of tasks that need to be completed in your business to achieve a set outcome. Having SOPs in place ensures that all tasks are completed efficiently and to a uniform standard of quality – every single time.
When I have discovery calls with potential clients and they say they don’t have ANY SOPs, they often simply mean that they are not documented and therefore tasks don’t get completed in an efficient manner, in the expected timescale or to the expected quality.
An example of this would be that sometimes when a new client joins your business one will have a better experience than another, simply because you were on track with everything that you needed to do for client one, but when client two joined you were very busy and things took longer than expected or got forgotten resulting in a less than stellar experience for your new client.
Standard Operating Procedures help to make sure tasks get completed in the most efficient order every single time – without you having to remember all of the steps involved. An indirect benefit from having well defined and documented SOPs is that you end up freeing up valuable space in your brain to focus on other things that have a much higher return on investment for your business.
SOPs become particularly important when you are reaching the point of hiring team members. If you have already documented all of the steps involved in executing certain processes in your business, it becomes way easier to outsource this to someone else. They don’t have to miraculously KNOW how publishing a blog post is handled in your business, and you don’t have to waste ages explaining it to them. The SOP has you covered.
Therefore I usually recommend for you to get certain things in place, BEFORE you start onboarding your new team member.
In the next post, I’ll share more about how you can document your SOPs and how to get the maximum benefit from them.
If you know that your business lacks organisation and you want to get on top of it once and for all but your brain really doesn’t work well in this department, don’t worry. If there is one main area you want to get organised and you’re happy to set the systems up yourself then my 2 hour strategy session is perfect for you. If you’d rather not deal with any of it, then check out my Systems Overhaul and I’ll get it all done for you.
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.