09 Sep SOPs 101 (Standard Operating Procedures)
Hi, it’s your Money Mavens, and we need to talk about the process of freedom in your business.
What allows you to…
- Delegate tasks you no longer want to do?
- Delegate tasks you no longer have time to do?
- Train your new team members effectively?
- Take luxuriously long vacations without worrying if everything in your business is happening as expected?
- Go on maternity leave?
- Prepare to sell your business for the highest possible sale price?
There’s only one answer… *drumroll, please*… Standard Operating Procedures!
What Is an SOP?
A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is simply a written document with detailed instructions for completing a task.
It’s also one of the best ways to infuse future value into your business.
Immediate value with knowing how you want repeatable tasks done by you and your team.
And…future value for when you go to exit your business.
Your business is almost guaranteed to sell for a higher valuation when you have documented SOPs in place.
A great goal is to have SOPs written for literally everything that gets done in your business on a consistent basis.
How to Create Your New Set of SOPs
Drafting your SOPs doesn’t have to fall solely on you! In fact, it shouldn’t be your job at all.
Start by assigning each of your team members to make a list of their responsibilities at your firm.
Then, have them type up step-by-step instructions on how to complete each task.
At HWM, we have an SOP for each of our recurring procedures. They’re typed into Google docs because SOPs need to be updated from time to time.
They’re also stored in our firm’s shared Google drive.
At the top, we give it a title.
We list the date it was last updated.
We also include the person or role responsible for the SOP.
If there are multiple people involved, include those names next to the task they complete.
Now, this can seem like an overwhelming task – we invested a significant amount of time to get our first set of SOPs together.
When we first drafted our SOPs, we made lists of every task that needed an SOP.
We assigned them out to the appropriate team member. We then made promises each week of when we would complete each SOP.
Beginner tip: spreading out your SOP buildout over time makes it much more manageable.
If you’re limited on time, we recommend starting with the most essential tasks, like onboarding a new client, managing projects or building products, or responding to client requests.
How Often Do You Need to Review and Update Your SOPs?
Once you have your SOPs in place, plan on reviewing and updating them as needed at least twice a year.
Systems change, missing details pop up, and team members come and go, so stay current with the SOPs as much as possible.
If you have a key team member exiting, review the SOPs connected to their work before they exit, if possible.
It’s a good opportunity to ensure that role is carrying the appropriate level of responsibility.
The unimaginable benefits a complete set of SOPs give business owners include…
- Easily and completely training new hires on their roles and responsibilities.
- Objective and clear training and coaching of employees on any aspect of the job that didn’t get done accurately or completely.
- Reminding the team how we did something last year, that they may have forgotten.
- Receiving warm praise from contractors on how easy the SOPs made their jobs as well as having that person be empowered to be successful without significant 1:1 training from the team.
- Generous offers to buy the business!
We promise that having your SOPs documented and accessible to your team will make running your business easier!
It also may mean an eye-popping offer to exit your business in the future – hello, early retirement!
To your prosperity,
Your HWM Money Mavens