Updated: Feb 18, 2020
How often are you asking your employees, what’s the process you take for getting this done? Or what’s your process for ordering those materials?
It’s a common question for most business owners, especially if you’ve hired someone with more experience than you in that business. A key-person to help you carry the business forward doesn’t always think to themselves that they need to build our processes and procedures in a way that if you needed to anyone could step into the role overnight. I had an old boss tell me, “Build it so if you died tomorrow (hopefully not) anyone could know where you were when they walked in and can pick right up where you left off.”
This is the exact point of what we call in the management consulting industry as the Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs. Everyone builds them differently depending on their business, some owners do it with an extensive written our manual for each segment of the business and some do it through excel checklists that guide the employee through a step by step process. We tend to use the latter in our work because it helps to simplify it to the core. With that in mind, here are three quick tips for putting together your future Standard Operating Procedures.
1. Use tools that you have available to you to build it. As explained above, it could be a spreadsheet or a word document. Either way, choose what you’re most comfortable with to write down all the different important details of each portion of the business. This could also include using project management software, like Zoho, Monday.com, Hubspot, or Trello to help your team manage those procedures once you put them together.
2. The devil is on the details, so take your time to be meticulous. This is the one time in business where you can truly be specific without anyone take it personally. Also, breakdown the responsibilities and tasks so that everyone knows what their jobs are and how it impacts the work of their counterparts. Finally, Make sure to mark them as steps and add any necessary links or resources to help that employee get the job done faster.
3. Last, but definitely not least, is to create an SOP for every part and employee in the business. This includes the CEO, Accountant, Admin, Warehouse manager and more. These employees each respectively have their own procedures they have to follow to make the business profitable, as well as, processes that impact each other as one employee takes an action another is responsible for the next step. So if you are going to build out your SOPs properly, you have to make sure to create it for each employee or task in the business. Don’t leave any part whether small or big out!
Keep these tips in mind as you start to build our standard operating procedures and you’ll see an immediate change in the efficiency of your team. If you need help doing it, contact the team at Equiturn, and our experts can assist with breaking down the details to turn them into SOPs.