You undoubtedly encountered SOPs or Standard Operating Procedures in the traditional workplace. . It seemed there was a procedure for everything, from the time you signed your employment contract to the day you walked out the door for good. There’s a reason for that: SOPs help an organization run smoothly.
As a business owner, you’ll need your organization to run smoothly as well, so you can get back to things you love most. Here’s my list of 10 SOPs you need in business today.
New Client Onboarding
Items such as a welcome kit, FAQs, and any other client-centered items are great starting points for client onboarding SOPs. Items could include your contract, welcome packet, communication preferences; essentially anything your clients will need to know about conducting business with you.
New Team Member Onboarding
As your business grows, so will your team. Give your contractors and subcontractors the tools they’ll need to succeed with some of the following in your onboarding SOPs:
- Scope of services as it relates to their role with you (instead of “social media management,” state the specific social media-related task: “creating captions and graphics,” “scheduling,” and so forth. Everyone will start on the right foot.
- Client profile with logins, assets (graphics, branded images, etc.), and any pertinent information about the client’s business that will help your contractors and subs do the job you’ve entrusted them with.
- Recurring work templates
- Any standardized training materials. If there is a specific way you’d like your social posts to be formatted, a quick Loom video makes a great standardized training tool.
Product or Service Launch Plan
If you plan on launching a course, for example, having an SOP in place ahead of time will allow you to focus on the task at hand: your launch. Create action plans for pre-launch, launch, delivery, and follow-up and include them in the SOP.
A client offboarding SOP will ensure you’ve covered all your bases according to the terms of the contract you have in place with your client, in addition to satisfaction surveys, collecting testimonials, and any other items you’d like to include at this stage.
A project management SOP is a must if you begin delegating tasks to team members. Map out how you’ll keep tasks, deadlines, and team member specialties organized to keep your project management workflow seamless.
Team Member Offboarding
A team member offboarding SOP ensures you’ve covered all your bases with departing team members: passwords/client data returned, current address on file for 1099 at the end of the year, and any other essential steps in your team member offboarding process.
How will you organize your time? There’s an SOP for that! While your contractors and subcontractors will use the time-tracking and organization tools of their choice, write an SOP for your own time management and tracking.
How/when will you pay yourself? What software will you use? How will you pay contractors and subcontractors? Create an SOP around business financial matters, and you won’t need to think twice.
As you come up with new ideas, create an SOP for their development and implementation.
Customer Service and Feedback
How will you request testimonials and feedback or issue a refund? Creating templates and SOPs will allow you to have ready-made solutions in place for each customer service situation you’ll encounter in your business.
Even if you don’t plan on hiring subcontractors or scaling your business beyond its current capacity, SOPS are excellent time-savers; every process and procedure has been documented, so you won’t be caught in that “How did I do this last time?” quandary.
The beauty of SOPs is they can be customized to suit your needs and preferences in a way that’s compatible with how you conduct business.
Having SOPs in place frees up valuable time for you to focus on what you love most…isn’t that why you started your own business in the first place?