One of the most useful systems to streamline your business is having a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) manual. This manual lists the all the tasks that are essential for your business success, how to do these tasks, and who is responsible for the tasks listed.
This sounds useful, but are there specific measurable outcomes if you have a SOP manual in place? The answer is a very definite YES.
Your productivity improves, and as a small business owner, you need to be highly productive to succeed. Five benefits are listed below.
Reduced learning curve/training time for new employees
When someone is new on the job, your well-written and researched SOP can be a lifeline to them to be able to know how things work. For instance, you can ask your new employee to make all the arrangements for you to organize and attend a workshop in another city. By referring to the SOP, your new employee will know exactly which travel agency you use with their contact details, which type of car to hire/service to use, how many quotes to get regarding the venue, how to communicate with the workshop delegates, etc. without having to ask you about it all. It’s a great time-saver and confidence booster for the new employee.
Ensured business continuity
When a key staff member is on leave or not in the office for some reason, work does not have to stand still. By referring to the SOP someone else can take over the urgent tasks and do them correctly the first time.
The SOP makes it easy to find out what policies and procedures are in place to handle repetitive situations/tasks.
Delegating tasks becomes a no-brainer
A good SOP will include the organogram of the business, as well as have a short job description and contact details for each staff member. If you need to delegate a certain task, you can see at a glance who will be able to help you or advise you. You can stop micromanaging, as it is clear who is responsible for what.
Ensure that your clients are getting the best possible experience with you
Because there is a standard way of dealing with client queries, refunds, promotions, follow-up etc., you can make sure that each client is treated fairly and equally, enhancing their interactions with you. You thus provide the best possible client service.
A SOP is a living document, which is subject to change. (It is good to review it quarterly). It is therefore useful to have it in electronic format on a web-based collaborative system so that all employees have access to the latest version.
Do you need to put together a clear and straightforward SOP, compiled in simple language to convey practical information? Please don’t hesitate to contact Virtual Productivity Solutions to help you put it together. Your business will thank you for it.