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Part I: How To Write Your First SOP

automation business growth project management standard operating procedure systems Nov 18, 2020

Being spontaneous might be fun and exhilarating for some, but running your own business is not a part of life that benefits from ignoring the need for a strategy. If you want to see your side hustle become your full-time gig, you're going to have to get with the SOP program.


If you've read my other post on this subject, "You Down With S.O.P? Yeah, you know me", you know exactly why you're here. If you haven't, you've come to the right place. Not having an SOP can seriously hurt the scale of your business, leading to entrepreneurial burnout. So, if you want to learn how to walk, you're going to have to crawl first.  


What are SOPs and why are they necessary for business growth?


Think of an SOP, otherwise known as standard operating procedures, as the heartbeat of the body that is your business organization. The step-by-step instructional manual needs to be first on your list of things to do for growth. Right out of the gate, you want to be prepared, organized, and clear in your intentions. Employees or other contractors that work with you are going to need to know exactly what's expected of them and when it's expected by. You can't hold everyone's hand, so having an SOP is a perfect way to guide employees without taking away from your own money-making tasks.  


It is IMPOSSIBLE to make money without business automation, system processes, and a clear-cut strategy for growth. Scaling a new business can be a lot like an unrelenting headache. The SOP is the pain reliever. Without an SOP, your business is like a child trying to do their own taxes. It's just not feasible to level up if you're not operating as a well-established adult with proper procedures. You need a good SOP to help push business delegation, give yourself time to focus on income-generating jobs, and assist in keeping employees on track without any hand-holding.  


SOPs aren't just in the business world. From getting your kids ready for school to working your way through that pile of laundry – it's all about processes that require a series of steps. Everything you do is a process, and the quicker you develop the process, the easier it is to follow. You must begin building right away so that when your business does eventually take flight, you have the wings to soar.


With a good SOP, you'll get consistency, increased productivity, and less stress—and who wouldn't benefit from a little less hectic in their schedule? So, how exactly do you start your first SOP? 


Get you some project management software


Project management software is going to be your very best friend when it comes to managing time, resources, and workload. Think of it as a trusty virtual assistant who is always there when you need them. If you want to effortlessly plan what tasks need to be done, when they need to be finished, and who is supposed to complete them, using this software is vital to handling your business. There are so many out there to choose from, so it's not a slim-picking situation, but personally, I prefer Asana.


In Asana, you can create handy task lists, assign things to different employees, and keep track of every single thing you have to work on. If you have to pick up your dry-cleaning in between business meetings, you can even add that into your scheduled tasks. Managing your efforts and your tasks using something like Asana will keep everything neatly wrapped up in one convenient spot so you won't have to click around to schedule different deadlines or have more than one to-do list.


Keeping everything in one spot can help every member of the team focus on the task at hand, as well as rank the importance of each job with ease. It's not about keeping a watchful eye on everyone involved—it's about giving yourself and the people you work with the tools needed to turn your business from a shack into a mansion.


Start the tasks you are ready to outsource now


Outsourcing tasks should always come first when it comes to your SOP. You can start by creating task cards for all the things you will be delegating and then list out all the steps it takes to complete each one. To skip the transition of training different employees, contractors, or assistants on each specific job, you can use Loom videos with audio and video to demonstrate how it's done. 


It's a super easy process, and it will save everyone involved precious time in the end. These SOPs can be stored in the project library of Asana so that your team can access them as they need them. Create an SOP for each job or task and make it accessible to your employees, giving them clear instructions on how you expect the work to be completed. 


And that's it! Once you have done the above steps, you'll be well on your way to growing your business with the proper processes in place. SOPs are easy to manage and make the entire business process that much more efficient. For a deeper dive into SOPs and to get amazing swipeable files/templates so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you can join this amazing group of CEOs in the SOP Success Lab, click there for more information on the work they do. I’m a member and I absolutely love it there!


You have the SOP basics, now what?


My personal business philosophy is simple: confidence, construct and elevate. Using these three key membership framework qualities, you can grow your own business just like I have. The SOP belongs to the "construct" module of my personal framework, and it's designed to strengthen the entire foundation for your business. I have no doubt that if you follow the above steps, you'll have a functioning and fabulous SOP system that will lead your business to reach 100k in no time.


We have to construct systems and strategies so that our businesses are sustainable and profitable, and the SOP is the starting point. 


If you're ready for action and want to skip the training altogether, you can hop on a call with me, and we can figure out how to scale your business together. Fill out this form so we can have a chat to help you find the success you've always dreamed of.  

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