What the heck is an SOP?

What the heck is an SOP?

sops

Tell me if this hits home for you - because it's something I hear all the time from women running businesses....

"I want to be more efficient and organized."

I mean, yeah, duh... Doesn't everyone?

We all want a business that runs smoothly…. Like a well-oiled machine that doesn’t require us to constantly micro-manage every decision and task.

But for most people I know that's just NOT the case.

Why do we make it so hard for this to be our reality?!?

Well, one thing I consistently see stopping them from getting there is NOT having SOPs.

I truly believe that having solid SOPs is one of the best ways to optimize your business and be more effective.

BUT the more I talk about them, the more I get asked this pretty important question:

 

 

What the heck is an SOP?

LOL, facepalm, I guess I probably should have led with that!

So, here we go:

(MY) DEFINITION:

An SOP (or Standard Operating Procedure) is a step-by-step process for how you do something in your business.

Think of this as a recipe for running your business or getting certain tasks/projects done.

 

When you document these steps, it allows you to:

  • Save time and energy because you don't have to worry about thinking through ALL the things you need to do
  • Be more consistent because the task will completed the same way each time
  • Optimize and improve HOW you do things because you'll be able to easily identify gaps and opportunities for improvement
  • Build out a highly effective team in less time because they'll know exactly what to do without bugging you with questions all the time

You may not have any formal SOPs (YET) but I can guarantee that you already have processes in place in your business.

They just aren't documented.

Usually they're just in your head... or in the head of someone else on your team.

 

 

SOPs and Outsourcing

I mean, if you've EVER brought on a new team member, even a part-time VA, you've probably kicked yourself for not already having SOPs ready for them...

The excitement of the new hire quickly turns to dread and overwhelm when you realize how much you're going to have to hold their hand through every task.. because you're the only person who knows how you want “it” done.

So, instead of saving you time, you end up doing everything you were doing, but ALSO answering the constant stream of questions that only YOU can answer because EVERYTHING lies entirely in your brain - Eeeek!

And if you're not proactive, then you'll be repeating the cycle all over again when it's time to bring someone else on. 

Exhausting, right? Almost makes you never want to hire someone...

Okay enough of that, I think you get it... let's talk about how we can do things differently moving forward. 

AND if you've already made the hire but still don’t have the SOPs in place, let's talk about how we can take advantage of it so that everything becomes easier next time.

 

 

Start creating your SOPs now

If you take the time NOW to start documenting your processes and how you do things, the next time you bring on support, you can simply point them in the direction of your SOPs. And if they have a question that hasn't been answered in those SOPs, you can use that as an opportunity to further improve your SOPs. It's the ultimate win-win.

So, if you've been aggressively nodding along to everything above but then I lost you at the SOP creation step, move on to the next article in this series: The Most Important SOP to Create Right Now

And if you really want to pick my brain about SOPs, drop your questions here because I could talk about them all day everyday!

 

 

Check out the other articles in this series:

  1. What the heck is an SOP?
  2. The most important SOP to create right now
  3. 4 questions to answer before you create an SOP
  4. My SOP for creating SOPs
  5. 5 time-saving hacks for creating SOPs

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