Keeping your business running smoothly is easier said than done. Most entrepreneurs have great, broad ideas, and are much better at strategizing than dealing with the details. This is me. However, those little business details are sometimes just as important as the grand strategies that drive a company. That is why it is important to keep your company systematized, and to not let anything fall through the cracks. A tactic I like to use is to create documents that give you a step-by-step guide on how to do everyday, business activities. They are called Standard Operating Procedures, or SOPs.
Every activity has a “right” way, and SOPs ensure that everyone does them the that way. You can write an SOP for anything; How to Answer the Phone, How to Record your Time, How to Deal with an Irate Customer, you get the idea. The mentality behind SOPs is simplicity, which is how they should be written. I like to say “write them as if it were for a 5th grader”, which might seem harsh, but its worth it! The easier they are to understand, the better. SOPs are also great for new hires. Instead of having to spend hours upon hours explaining basic company processes, send them a few basic SOPs and they are good to go!
We implemented a “back to basics” plan for our company, and it started with making sure we had an SOP for everything. The process is almost done, and it has turned out great. Having a strong system behind your business is vital, and SOPs are a great way to achieve that.