Why SOPs are so essential to building a business that can run without you!
Creating a successful business that can thrive without you
Do you work for your business, or does your business work for you?
If you needed to step away, take a break, or move on, could you? Would the business fall apart, and customers be left hanging, even if you took two days off?
It can be hard for business owners and entrepreneurs to let go, and it can feel really odd to leave parts of the business in the hands of others.
As a result, the future of your business, and all day-to-day running of the business is fully dependent on you. Which can be exhausting and leaves no room for you to take an extended break or holiday.
So, if you find it challenging to remove yourself from the day-to-day operations of your business, read on as there are some strategies you can implement to help you.
Why you need SOPs
Ultimately, the best way to grow your business and ensure you can step away from time to time, is to create repeatable and scalable daily operations. And one of best ways to achieve this, is via Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
SOPs are excruciatingly essential for the last-minute departure from your business. Someone can quite literally step in and be you and do it like you do.
Standard operating procedures are simply a specific set of instructions that outline routine operations, how to do things, procedures, and a uniformity.
Having a SOP for all your routine or common tasks makes sense. They can help to:
Improve training & compliance – think about how easy it is to share tasks, project goals, and strategic aims with a team member if it’s all recorded somewhere without you having to be present.
Not to mention you can mitigate risk and make it easier to show compliance with industry requirements. Use policy and process documents to demonstrate due diligence.
Manage reviews and assess expectations – tracking the progress of the organisation and of individuals will be much quicker and easier if expectations are set out. Staff reviews – including assessing KPI’s – can be rolled out simply and quickly. Procedures can be a useful tool to measure an employee’s performance because you can determine if the process was followed appropriately.
Creates positive momentum – one builds off another which makes the network of your business a much stronger creation.
Add clarity – now you won’t be wasting time trying to remember how things are done!
Foster team engagement – enjoy a productive environment where everyone feels they are “part of a team” and feel safe that there is a defined way of doing things. You can use policies and procures to define your communications and optimise consistency and efficiency.
How to create an effective standard operating procedure
First look to identify who you are writing the business procedures manual for. Which part of your business (marketing, accounts, or project management, for example). And who would be carrying out these tasks? A subcontractor or an employee?
Then you must list all the areas of business that require individual policies and procedures. Create a list of all the projects or areas of business that need clarity.
Next, break it all down, step by step: who is doing what? When? Where? How? You can use video, screenshots, documents, infograms – whatever you want to use to get the point across.
You can then ask others to review because you might be too close – they may even have some new ideas for ways to do things better.
Then, you review regularly and adjust accordingly.
And don’t forget to have a central location to find the SOPs – you could record and store all SOPs in an easy-to-use (and search) database.
Tips for building a business that can run without you!
So, once you have your SOPs all planned out, you can also look at other ways to make your business able to survive without you!
Use technology to your advantage!
- Use instant messengers like WhatsApp, or Slack and Zoom for video conferencing
- Create a decentralised platform for project management and collaboration with stakeholders and team members
- Use project management and task management tools to stay on top of your daily business responsibilities. This can ease the pain of the handover by knowing where exactly the project/job is up to.
Automate Automate Automate!
Automate EVERYTHING that you can.
Yes, you do need to still maintain elements of personal contact with your client, but it’s the things that are repetitive and suitable to be set as automation.
- Automate processes such as purchases where customers can order for certain services or goods online automatically
- Automate social media posts (but still check-in and engage with comments etc)
- Automate email management (set up ‘rules’ to ensure emails get categorised correctly or dealt with appropriately)
- Automate any elements of your accounts that you can
Outsource and use other talent
You might hire a VA, a copywriter, a marketing assistant, accountant… the list goes on and on! You can either outsource to a freelancer or bring people into your team as employees.
Own your culture
Look to create a culture in your business that encourages collaboration and constant improvement.
Ensure your financials are up to date and in good shape
This is crucial to be able to take time off or step back a bit without comprising your income, or profits.
Ready to get organised?!
At INKBLOTVA, we help clients just like you to maximize time and productivity.
We will help you identify, implement, and manage all your policies and procedures. Stop that overwhelm! Let us take care of it!