Knowing how to write a good standard operating procedure (SOP) is all that’s standing in the way of you … and greatness. With our package clients we document regular, routine tasks we carry out so they have all IP for their business well documented. One-off tasks are covered by project briefs which are similar to an SOP but include estimates and timelines.
With your own processes documented you’ll be able to:
- Leverage your IP (creating courses, content, programs, guides etc)
- Scale your business (without those scary speed wobbles)
- Step back from overwhelm (and spend more time in your genius zone)
- Improve your business (unless it’s perfect already!)
- Increase the value of your business
- I could go on, but this post isn’t about the benefits!
I go into a lot more detail in our free guide, How to Systemise and Automate Your Business, but let’s say you’re too busy for that. Let’s say you want to write an SOP in the next 5 minutes. This is written just for you!
Step 1: Download our free SOP template
Step 2: Populate the template with your information
You can include written instructions, screenshots, video walk-throughs (we use Loom) or link to related SOPs. As shown in the template we document:
- Name of procedure
- Policy statement
- Frequency of use
- Responsibility (author)
- Documents referred to in this procedure (link to documents)
- Process steps (overview of the process)
- Procedure (step by step guide to execution)
- Who is doing the procedure
- Who is responsible for the procedure
- Version control
Step 3: Test the SOP
There’s no point creating SOPs that no one but the author can follow. We get someone unfamiliar with the task to test our SOPs before they’re finalised.
Step 4: Review the SOP
One of the key benefits in creating your operating procedures is continual improvement. Audit the procedure frequently and look at:
- Any manual steps that could be automated
- Any customer complaints relating to this SOP; what needs to be added or changed to solve a problem
- Any areas of possible risk
- All links and references are valid and working
- Any ways to improve on the SOP to either add value for your client, save time for your team, or improve results for your business
That’s it. Starting is the hardest part but open the template as you start the task and populate the SOP as you go. At the end of your task you’ll have an SOP you can send to one of your team to test.