Make it easier for your business to grow with this productivity upgrade for startups and small business owners!
Creating SOPs, Standard Operating Procedures will increase productivity in the daily working lives of both individuals and teams.
SOPs are step-by-step instructions for teams, departments and organisations. As you review your business activities and create SOPs across the board for team members to follow, they will improve the performance, efficiency, quality and consistency of your business operations.
There are many benefits for businesses of all sizes. SOPs are proven to:
Here’s a short guide to creating your first one!
Which activities do you perform daily or weekly? These are prime tasks for review. Because these tasks are more frequently executed, they will give you the best return on investment in terms of the time initially spent to create them.
To create your first SOP, pick a task (ideally the most annoying, painful or frustrating) and ask yourself:
💭 What's the quickest, most effective route between point A and B to get this done... and done properly so no mistakes or errors arise?
✍️ Write down the steps.
🧐 Review the steps. Keep updating / reordering them until you've captured the complete and correct process.
💡 Innovate! Can you improve the process? Can you adjust your approach, or cut out any steps? What about risk management? What can (and does) go wrong in this process? How might you eliminate or minimise these risks? If tech is involved, can you introduce better software into the mix?
⌨️ Document the optimised process in a cloud-based tool.
📑 Give the activity a title and add it to your new Standard Operating Procedures document under the department that the activity belongs to e.g. HR, Finance, Sales, Marketing etc. (Even if you're a micro-business or solopreneur, your business still has departments, you're just the head of all of them!)
🖺 Create a contents page in your document, and set it up so your first SOP appears on the contents page.
Pat yourself on the back and give me a virtual high-five ✋🏽!
Now do it again. Rinse and repeat 🔁 for your most commonly executed activities and keep your document close by for quick reference - no more: “O.k. what do I need to do here again?” or “Where did I put that darned link?!!!!”
This will save you time and energy, and reduce your stress levels. I create SOPs for my own business and they make a HUGE difference.
SOPs increase quality standards and your ability to delegate, outsource and scale as you create more replicable systems, and structure your activities.
Do you use SOPs? If so, how?
Not using SOPs? Tell me which business activity will become your first SOP.
Written by Kay Kukoyi.
Kay Kukoyi CSM FITOL is an award-winning entrepreneur, global tech startup mentor, digital skills advocate and speaker.
She has written 5 books for entrepreneurs and SMEs, including the Amazon international bestsellers, Don't Hire a Software Developer Until You Read this Book and Entrepreneurial Espresso, and has been recognised on the #IB100, the Financial Times and Inclusive Boards list of the 100 Most Influential BAME Leaders in the UK Technology Sector.
Kay is the CEO and Founder of Purposeful Group, an international community and centre for learning focused on entrepreneurship, technology and digital skills training.
The company supports and empowers the next generation of entrepreneurs and digital learners around the world through its bestselling books, professional mentoring, and specialist workshops and programmes.
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