Efficient, productive business management doesn’t happen by accident. It requires careful planning to build a system that will ensure, not only that you can run things on your own, but that anyone you hire can step in and perform their tasks correctly without having to figure it out on their own. This requires the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all jobs within the company.
Why Standard Operating Procedures?
When starting a new business people often just make things up as they go along. With each new challenge they try a course of action and, if it fails, try something else the next time. This sort of trial and error process is slow and costly! Even worse, you might have several staff that each go through the trial and error process and arrive at different solutions. Now you have a bunch of people all doing the same thing differently, adding complexity and inefficiency to your business!
Instead, it is critical that you take the time right from the start to develop Standard Operating Procedures. This puts everyone in the organization on the same page from the start, allows people to easily move from job-to-job, and maximizes efficiency and productivity. If everyone knows what to do and how to do it, you have better job satisfaction and a happier work environment!
How to Develop Standard Operating Procedures.
When developing your company’s SOPs, you need to go right down to the specific tasks involved in each job. If you do a good job getting this foundational work set up from the beginning of the business, you will have a blueprint for success for years to come.
As noted by Morgan Rush in the Houston Chronicle, a typical business has several different aspects that require Standard Operating Procedures for best efficiency. Key areas include Accounting Practices, Financial Procedures, Computer and IT Procedures, Human Resource Procedures, Sales and Marketing, and Security.
Dawn Bott and Lisa Walker of Towson University describe a five-step process for developing your SOPs.
- Develop a List
- Plan the Process
- Conduct Interviews
- Write, Review and Publish
Each step in this process has its own challenges. But the place where most companies fail when creating SOPs is the last step: Maintenance. So you should regularly review your SOPs—you need to see if they are working, if they can be improved, and if you’re missing something. Never miss out on a chance to make your company even better—because regular maintenance can streamline and improve your procedures, you need to stick to a regular schedule for this task!
If you feel you need some help developing your SOPs, contact TMH Business Coaching today for a confidential, free, no obligation consultation to propel you forward. Also, please feel free to add yourself to our weekly coaching tips email!