What is an SOP and Why Do You Need Them?Feb 11, 2021
In this post, we’re talking all about SOPs (standard operating procedures) and why you need them for your service-based business.
SOPs are a useful (& necessary) tool to have in your arsenal and will make or break your success when scaling your service-based business to 6+ figures.
So, let’s break it down!
What is an SOP?
An SOP, which is short for Standard Operating Procedure, is a documented set of steps that will break down every aspect of a task or project.
For example, you will have an SOP for onboarding new clients to work with you. Your SOP will list the steps that will happen during the process to ensure every client receives the same level of service each time.
They are an important tool to allow you to stay productive and ensure everyone who is working on this task completes it in the same way.
These are the first step to outsourcing in your business because if you don’t have a process for your team members to follow, they will be aimlessly working and likely wasting time and money; we don’t want that at all!
This is something we talk about A LOT inside of Six-Figure Service because the vast majority of people who start outsourcing, don’t have the elements in place to make scaling a possibility.
Why Do You Need to Use SOPs?
As you begin to expand your business and bring more team members on, you will create these SOPs, so no matter who is working on the task, you’ll always have it completed in the same way.
SOPs also ensure that you don’t forget a step in the process, which is important even if you’ve completed the task a million times before. So, even if you think you remember how to onboard a new client or write/schedule a social media post, write down every single step because if you’re on vacation and a team member is responsible for handling the task, the last thing you want is them to reach out to you and ask a question about it, right ;)
SOPs also provide you with consistent results with these processes for your clients. They’ll allow you to be more efficient in general, so you don’t have to think when you are completing a task. This will free up your brain to be more creative and focus on the tasks you are most passionate about and lead to growth!
When Should I Create SOPs?
Try to create SOPs as soon as possible! Document the process of everything you do within your business, including every little step of the procedure.
So, the next time that you write/schedule a social media post, write down every single step in your project management tool. My favorite one is ClickUp.
These are crucial to have before bringing team members onto your team, which you’ll need to create them if your goal is to scale to 6+ figures.
The last thing you want is to hire people and give them no context for the work that needs to be done. This mistake is something that many people make - hiring before the processes are in place - and something that we talk about constantly inside of Six-Figure Service.
How Can I Create SOPs?
This process doesn’t have to be scary, so if you’re freaking out right now, don’t worry!
To begin with, you’ll want to write down every single step of your processes on a Google Doc or project management tool.
Or for bonus points, create a video recording with Loom (screen sharing tool) to make this process even smoother in the future. You can record the full process or the individual steps!
Once this is complete, take your processes and create individual task templates within your project management tool, such as ClickUp. You can then assign the tasks to clients or team members as needed with due dates.
If you feel you are short of time, try to build this into your current work process. Simply create the document and write out the steps as you are performing the task, and it won’t take up much extra time in your day (no more than 15ish minutes per task).
Alternatively, you can hire someone to do this for you, however, this is not a quick or cheap process. Remember, you will still have to be part of this process, so it may not save you much time in the long run!
Plus, no one knows your business better than you do so by spreading out your work over the upcoming months and focusing on your regular work tasks, you’ll be able to build a good collection of SOPs so that information isn’t only living in your brain anymore.
SOPs are a fantastic tool but they are living documents, so remember to keep them updated at all times.
If you’re wondering where to start with creating these, only take the time to create these for your most important tasks, as opposed to one-off tasks. So what are the main tasks that you do every daily or most frequently? Start with these and move on from there!
By creating SOPs for your business, you’ll be in a much better place (& headspace..less stress - yay!) when it’s time to start outsourcing and scaling your business.
Want to Learn Even More?
We know that setting up the systems is essential for scaling your business to six+ figures, and while it can be daunting at first, it’s an important & necessary step as you expand your business into an agency model.
If you’re at the the point where you’re ready to outsource and scale with an agency and/or team, but have no idea where to start, I have a free training that breaks down everything you need to know.
When you apply for my program, Six-Figure Service and you’re accepted to join us, I’ll send you a complimentary, exclusive training that shows you how to scale to 6+ figures in 12 months with my 5-part, S.C.A.L.E. Method framework.
There’s no fee to apply - so you have nothing to lose and ALL the knowledge to gain!
Ready to scale your service-based business to 6+ figures so you can work <20 hours/week? Get access to my exclusive training that shows you how to do this with my 5-part, S.C.A.L.E. Method framework. Apply now!
ABOUT STEPH BLAKE
After more than 10 years in corporate marketing, Steph decided that she was ready to go full force in her virtual assistant biz to help other entrepreneurs automate & organize the backend.
The end result? $10K+ months, completely booked out & ready to teach other women to do the same thing!
What began as a tiny dream to eventually help other moms stay home with their kids, turned into an obsession that she's fully invested in as a business coach.
Today, she helps service providers scale their service-based business to 6+ figures while working less than 20 hours/week!
Steph also has an insane obsession with Chipotle & Amazon Prime. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband, little boy and pup!