… and why you can’t afford not to
Using Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) is a no-brainer when it comes to growing your small business. Yet putting those processes and procedures in place and keeping them up to date can seem like a mountain you don’t have time to climb. Honestly, that’s not the case!
A standard challenge I hear from our new clients is, “I’m so busy doing client work which is great, but in order to launch my online programme / new packages / grow my list / meet my goals … I need time, and I need help!”
Within your small business, there are going to be tedious tasks that have to be accomplished on a daily or weekly basis. You can make these repetitive tasks more process oriented, to give you more time to focus on other aspects of your company. I go into detail and share some of our templates and tools in my Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) Guidelines post, there’s everything you need to get started. When you’re the one person in charge of all aspects of your business, minimising the amount of time spent on day-to-day operations can give you more energy to invest in the bigger picture.
SOPs can be especially helpful for when your business is experiencing growth, a standard operating procedure will make it easier on you when you reach the point of growing your team or outsourcing. With processes already outlined, you easily offer a roadmap of responsibilities for the person who will take over those tasks for you. SOPs make delegation of different tasks or duties easier and having them in place maximises both your personal productivity and the productivity of your business. Giving you time (and help) to launch that online programme / new packages / grow your list / meet your goals!
Step 1: (the challenge)
Your business is making money, you have happy clients (and plenty of them), but you don’t have the resources or the time to scale.
Step 2: (the plan)
- Start to document all the processes within your business as you do them. Tip: Make this as easy as possible using a mixture of written instructions, screenshots and video (we use https://www.useloom.com for all our video procedures).
- Create an organisation chart for your business. List each role needed to support and service your business through this upcoming growth phase. At this stage (sorry!) it’s probably your name down under each role but in documenting this you’re creating your team structure.
- At the end of this month you’ll have documented the tasks you’ve done over the last month and know what your team requirements are.
- Now take half an hour to evaluate the team roles. Which roles are a priority? Think about what will make the most impact on your time and in meeting your goal. Is it someone to help with your Facebook ads, someone to manage your diary, or someone to work on your funnel? And a little plug here – you can either pull together individual contractors or employees or look at outsourcing to a company like us who has the expertise in-house.
- As you bring these team members on board, use the standard operating procedures you’ve created to handover the tasks and manage your new team members. Keep them focused on your goals so you’re all working towards a common outcome (that’s super important).
Step 3: (the outcome)
Over the next few months, continue adding to your standard operating procedures. Review them to improve efficiencies within your business and to make sure they’re easy to follow, measurable (outcome focused) and current.
Continue filling the roles in your organisation chart as your growth continues. Part of your monthly management process will be to review your team performance, review your growth (in terms of revenue/profitability, your goals, level of service etc). Even your monthly management process gets its own SOP!
As you work through the three steps above, document your challenges and frustrations along the way. Use these to improve your systems (and your business), each challenge is an opportunity to improve. No challenges means you’re not pushing hard enough!
What works really well for me when I’m going through a phase of change is to put on my wall what my ideal outcome is.
- If I’m delegating more of my tasks … I’ll use that time to change our PMS.
- If I’m changing our project management system … My team will have less unbillable time and we’ll be more profitable.
- If I’m more profitable … what will I reinvest in and what will that mean to my business?
If I keep my eye on the end goal (which is ultimately to continue growing my business) then when the going gets tough it’s so much easier to work through it. Because you know, the going does always get tough!
And if a one-stop-shop of expertise sounds like the organisation chart you need for your business, click here to book a obligation free chat with me.