Every business needs a standard operating procedure to act as a record of how your company should be run. It’s a thorough outline of the tasks that make up the daily functioning of your business. It’s essentially a checklist for how your business runs. While building these can be time-consuming, you can use an SOP software for small business in order to compile all of your procedures in the most simple way.
Having a solid SOP in place is key to handling all types of situations that may arise within your business. They can save a ton of time and money, as well as benefit your customers with a seamless and consistent experience.
Follow these simple tips for creating an SOP for your small business:
Create consistency in your procedures
You want the layout of your SOP to be as simple and straightforward as possible. Keep everything short and to the point while following a consistent format style. You need people to be able to retain the information and find what they need when they need it. Break everything down into simple, easy to understand steps for the best outcome. Keep it in outline format with bolded headings and bullet points underneath.
Create the overview
The first tier of every section of information should include an overview of everything that is included in that piece. This should include the following information:
- Outline the general scope of the project
- The end-goal of the project
- Access to various systems
- List the staff member that will keep the SOP updated
- Steps on project completion
Build out the instructions
Next, you will build out the actual project instructions and provide detailed steps. Go more in-depth to the sections that you included in the first tier of information. Be sure to group any related information together to make it simple to find and follow.
You also want to be sure to outline how and why the process is the way that it is. That way, everyone understands the reasoning behind why your business runs the way it runs, and they will be more likely to abide and follow.
It may be easiest to do this while you’re actually performing the task in order to accurately record the steps. It’s also suggested to begin by outlining the tasks that you don’t enjoy doing and the ones you don’t do often.
Test it out
You want to give the SOP to someone on the outside of the business or project and have them read through the information and provide you with any feedback they may have. They will be able to tell you if the information is too long if it’s difficult to understand, and if it seems like any steps may be missing.
Following these steps can help you to build out a simple and effective standard operating procedures manual so that your company can run as smoothly as possible. It’s not always the easiest thing to do, however, it’s key to the success of your business in the future.