Having processes in place for your business is essential!
If you haven’t ever heard of a business process before, they are a collection of tasks that are specifically put together to achieve an end result. They help provide structure, build up systems, and regulate (and elevate) your customer experience!
You can have processes for all sorts of things in your business, but whatever the process is for, it needs to be mapped out properly, so it can run smoothly.
And that is what this blog will be all about! So let’s jump right in and build a process together!
(Ps- if you need a refresh on all of the language of the operations world that might be used in this blog, head over to my Back to Basics: The Terms of the Operations Industry blog for reference!)
Step 1: Defining the purpose
This might sound like an obvious step but it’s very important. Before you do anything, you need to be crystal clear on where this process is going to lead you. What is your end result?
What do you want your process to achieve? Why are people following this process?
It could be your onboarding process or your outreach process. Whatever it is, make sure it’s clearly defined before you start!
Step 2: Establishing the pre-requisites
The next step is creating a list of all of the pre-requisites that will allow you to carry out and complete the process.
The big question to ask yourself here is ‘What do I have to know before I can start creating this SOP?’
Think about how you defined your process in step one and look at everything you’ll need to go from where you are now, to that final point you’ve already defined!
Step 3: Identify the tools
Like the step above, you need to do the same with all of the tools you’ll need to perform this SOP.
Think about what you need to have access to in order to complete the SOP. What software or systems need to be in place for this process to run smoothly?
Step 4: List the procedures
Now you need to sit and break down each step that will make up the process.
A good way to do this is to think about this phrase:
This is particularly useful if there are different outcomes depending on how people react! For example, say you’re writing a blog for someone and after your write it, you submit it for edits.
If they have edits, it needs to be sent to the people to carry them out. If they don’t have edits, it gets marked as complete and an email is sent.
This creates different branches of the process and you need to make sure everything is covered.
So write down each step of the process but remember to think of all the potential outcomes!
Step 5: Create a completion checklist
Creating a completion checklist is the final part of creating an SOP!
It simply consists of a list of checks for the person who is running the SOP to go through once they have carried it out to make sure they covered each step and have met the outcome that was established in step 1!
Top tip for CEOs
I’m about to drop a truth bomb…no one wants to sit down and write out all of their SOPs! BUT, they are so important, especially if you’re hiring or have a team!
So my top tip, as a CEO who is hiring, is to create video banks of SOPs for each role within your team.
Then you can get one of the team members, for example, your VA, to go through and write up all of the SOPs for you and your team! And you can leave the link to this blog in your SOP video folder so they know exactly how to create them!
And if you’re reading this blog because your boss has sent it to you, I really hope it helps! If it has, don’t forget to share this blog with other people in your industry who might be tasked with writing SOPs and let’s smash this!