Updated: Sep 22, 2022
I’ve been in the business for quite some time now, and if there is anything I know about creating sustainability in business, I know that it begins and ends with systems. That’s right, the systems that you do or do not have in place are the very building blocks of longevity in business, which is why having standard operating procedures is a must.
Standard operating procedures, also known as SOPs, are a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by an organization to help workers carry out routine operations. The aim of SOPs is to streamline services so that you can scale your business. A lot of businesses and business owners say that they have SOPs, but I want to challenge you and ask this: is your business operating at its highest level?
If your answer is “no” or “things could be better,” I can guarantee it has something to do with your SOPs, and here’s why. SOPs serve as the guiding light of your business, so if they are not looked at, updated, and trained on consistently, that will present a gap in operations on your team. Here are some questions to consider about your current SOPs:
Do they make sense? When I do business audits, I see SOPs that are simply words thrown together with no direction. Or I see that there are none to begin with. So, it’s important to ask yourself if you understand what the step-by-step process is for a task.
Are they up to date? Another common thread I have seen in business is that teams create SOPs and do not update them regularly. This is vital to your success because as things are being updated, the procedure to do the task needs to also be updated. A good rule of thumb would be to check your SOPs on a quarterly basis and update them as necessary.
Is your team properly trained on the current SOPs? Training does not stop at the onboarding process. It is a constant sharpening that you and your team do, and it allows all of you to stay accountable for up-to-date business practices. And on the client end, it allows the know, like, and trust factor to rise as you position yourself as an expert.
Remember that how you operate in your day-to-day will affect your weeks, months, and years in business. So, take some time out to ensure that you and your team are using standard operating procedures to operate in your business’ genius zone.