You’re a business owner. And, presumably, you’d like your business to grow. So from inception to execution, you’ve poured every last drop of sweat equity into your passion – and lived to tell the tale.
And so far, your hard work has paid off.
In the beginning, the responsibility and the requisite knowledge for establishing and executing mission-critical processes were yours.
But as you grow, this approach can quickly become a handicap. You need to be able to benefit from the powerful, multiplying effect of entrusting others to help you shoulder the burden.
What you need, then, is Standard Operating Procedures.
“What I need is a cavalry of people, not more paperwork and processes,” you counter.
We get it. It feels like we’re advising you to focus on bureaucratic red tape and semantics – words over actions. But we promise this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Because unless your processes are documented – step by detailed step – your onboarding and training may not be scalable, and employees may take invaluable institutional knowledge with them if they leave.
Simply put: Sharing is caring.
If the knowledge necessary to perform a vital business function lies solely with an individual or small team, replicating that process successfully may become more and more difficult – if not impossible – as your business grows.
What you need is standard operating procedures to document the steps required to perform vital business functions – and here’s how to draft yours.
Keep your SOPs as simple as possible, keeping the end-user in mind. Even complex processes can be simplified with the right digestible steps.
You can leverage a checklist to make processes more replicable and efficient. Another option is to implement a flowchart for more complex processes that are dependent on decision-making with variable outcomes.
2. Lean On Your SMEs
Identify which individuals perform the task(s) in question regularly, and have them draft the SOP for those particular tasks within their purview.
Just be sure to communicate the layout and formatting to maintain consistency across the organization.
3. The Tech & Tools
Unsurprisingly, countless software solutions exist to facilitate the systemization of processes and the development of SOPs.
And BONUS! These tools also double as a repository where everyone can access SOPs and revise as necessary.
Thoroughly and thoughtfully documenting the processes that power your business makes knowledge more easily transferable. And when knowledge is more transferable, your business is more scalable. And when your business is more scalable, you’re primed for growth.
That’s an organizational win-win-win.
So by taking the time now to draft step-by-step guidelines for vital processes, you’ve prepared your business for that cavalry you mentioned earlier. Now, armed with your SOPs, you can easily and efficiently onboard new employees – all while reducing your organization’s dependence on you or any individual employee.
Ready to take a deeper dive into standard operating procedures? Want to learn more about how organizational systems can help you scale your business? Then look – or listen – no further!
On the latest episode of our podcast, One Next Step, hosts Tricia Sciortino and Lisa Zeeveld discussed what one next step you can take today to ensure sustainability and scalability for your organization tomorrow.