How to Create a Business
Standard Operating Procedure
There are probably so many things going on inside your business, and being bombarded with questions each and every day on how to run it shouldn’t be the norm.
This is a topic that is frequently overlooked in business. And I admit it, it can be a time consuming and a sometimes tedious task in an already very busy world. But, it’s an important step in implementing best practices within the business to gain maximum results. Standard Operating Procedures is a great system to implement in preparing a business for growth while also reducing operational ambiguity.
Many people start standard operating procedures as a training and development tool for new and existing employees, but it can be used for so much more than that. For a business to run as a well-oiled machine, every employee needs to know exactly what’s expected of them, what their tasks are and how to complete them. These process should be documented for other staff members to reference and future staff members to learn from.
Standard Operating Procedures also give customers a consistent experience, time after time. Allowing for minimal mishaps and disappointments as the customer always knows exactly what to expect. And who doesn’t want some predictability in this unpredictable world we live in?
Follow these steps to implement standard operating procedures in your business:
1) Begin at the beginning: Start taking notes of every procedure from the beginning. It is never too early, or too late to start documenting processes in a business. The earlier you start the better, this way you’ll remember all the tips and tricks you learn along the way.
2) Use a Project Management Tool: I highly recommend signing up
3) Write it ALL down: As you are working through the day-to-day tasks, take note of EVERYTHING you do. From actions you take, where files are kept, who you talked, how the decision was made and who is responsible for the task. Have employees start their own records too.
4) Hold regular team meetings: Have a weekly team meeting to discuss the processes and procedures that have been created throughout the week. Discuss the processes created by the employees and collate into a standard document for all to use. This is also a great time to reiterate how important it is to stick to the standard operating procedure. These documents are always going to be a work in progress so this meeting will become less required over time, but as we discuss in the last dot point, getting regular feedback at a team meeting is a great way to go.
5) Document the process: Create reference document for all Standard Operating Procedures. This document should include the following:
- Intended result
- Steps involved in the process
- Benchmark – actions needed to complete each step
- Responsible person
- Timings and standards – when, for how long and how often does the task happen
- Resources required
6) Implement and test: Make the Standard Operating Procedures easily accessible. This can be through an intranet, distributing hard copies or providing a link to the documents
Test new practices now and again, give one person in the team the task of testing out a new process. After a week or two compare the statistics of the new and old process to decide if it is worth implementing permanently. Remember to test small items at a time so you know exactly what actions work and don’t work.
7) Feedback: Allow for regular feedback (I recommend including it in the monthly meeting agenda) gain updates to the process and procedures documents. This allows staff to feel included and important in the business, while also improving it by either gaining a better outcome or streamline the process further.
Of course, if any of this seems too much or if you need help getting started, just give me a call at Busy Made Simple. I would love to get to know more about you and your business and would be all too happy to help you with setting up your Standard Operating Procedures.