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WHAT IS AN SOP?

Updated: Mar 1

Can you relate to this thought: "I want to be more efficient and organized."


It is THE statement I hear repeatedly when I hop on a connection call to speak with other entrepreneurs. 


As we dive into talking about their service-based business, one thing I consistently see holding them back is operating without well-defined processes. Simply put, they need Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). This is the key to running a calm and well-organized business.



What is an SOP?

What is an SOP?


My definition: SOPs are like cheat sheets on how to do specific things in your business.

Put simply, you have a standard of doing things documented in a calm, straightforward, concise, step-by-step process. SOPs are one of the best ways to optimize your business and be more effective.


Think of them like a blueprint for running your business or completing specific tasks or projects.


SOPs help to ensure that tasks are performed in a consistent manner, and can be used to train new employees or refresh existing employees on the correct procedures.


When you have documented steps, it enables you to:

  • Save time and mental bandwidth because you don't have to think through everything you need to do. 

  • Be calm and consistent because you have steps telling you what is needed and how to do it the same way each time.

  • Build a culture of ownership and accountability in less time because your team (or contractors) will know exactly what to do.

  • Have peace of mind to switch off and enjoy a vacation while your team looks after things. 


How to start an SOP


The good news is that you have procedures, even though you might think otherwise. They just aren't documented (YET!)


If you do something in your business a certain way, whether it's publishing a newsletter, creating and scheduling social media, or the way you onboard clients. That is a process. Once you document that process with detailed steps, you now have an SOP. 


If you are nodding your head in agreement but thinking that you are too busy to work on your processes, it is even more critical for you to start your SOPs. They will help you manage your workload and avoid feeling overwhelmed.


Here is how to get started: 

  • Shift your mindset - This is how you PROMOTE yourself from doing the work to leading the work. 

  • Pick the task before you today or the one you want to delegate the most.

  • ⁠Don't overthink it, and save it to a dedicated place in your drive. 


When it comes to tools, use Google Documents, your phone, or Loom to screen-record your task.


Loom offers free and paid plans, and I highly recommend you use that tool to record your screen and teach others (or remind yourself) how to do a specific task. This way, you have written and visual instructions since everyone learns differently. 


How to fast-track your SOPs


If you want to fast-track the creation of your SOPs, use these SOP templates from my OBM library. 


These procedures focus on client feedback and illustrate the makings of a good SOP. 


I don't want you to start from a blank sheet! You can duplicate the template and replace instructions to create another SOP.


Plus, you can see how other service-based businesses collect testimonials and referrals and send a Client Feedback Survey to improve their services. 


In Summary


If you want to be more efficient and run an organized business, you need Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).


The best way to build a Calm Business includes: 

  1. Create a mindset that taking time to document SOPs will SAVE you time in the future

  2. Creating SOPs is like having "cheat sheets" for specific tasks

  3. Use an SOP template to fast-track the creation of your SOPs

If you have any questions about SOPs, feel free to ask here. I'm always happy to discuss them!


See Part 2 of this Blog Series: 5 Tips for Creating SOPs


Best of luck with your creating SOPs. 


 

Hey there- if we haven’t had a chance to meet yet, I’m Kirstin, a former corporate gal turned small business owner who helps female entrepreneurs lead profitable and fulfilling businesses without burnout. Click here to book a complimentary 30-minute Connection Call.


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Kirstin Brenders Online Business Mentor
KB&Co Brand Photo | Credits: P3 Photography

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