You probably know you need content to market your business. But, did you know you need content to manage your business?
Yep, it’s true!
Creating content to help you manage your business behind the scenes is often overlooked.
But, it’s the main reason that keeping up with the activities needed to market on the “front end” is so challenging for most webpreneurs.
So in this article, I’m going to share with you a simple way to change all that and make your business easy to run, market and even sell one day – if you choose.
The secret lies in three simple words…Standard Operating Procedures.
I know, it doesn’t sound that sexy. But, having them can help your business look and feel good.
What are Standard Operating Procedures?
Standard Operating Procedures or SOPs are a collection of instructions that detail how to carry out specific tasks needed to operate your business. You’re basically documenting how you get things done in your business – everything from how to post a blog post to your website to how to enroll a new client.
Unfortunately, most businesses (especially online businesses) fail to have this valuable resource in place.
So, What makes SOPs so valuable?
Standard Operating Procedures are valuable for a number of different reasons:
- They make it easier for you to train new team members on how to do things in your business without taking up a lot of your time.
- They also protect you from becoming a prisoner in your business. By having instructions that detail some of the activities you do, you can easily hand them off the a trusted team member so you can take some much needed time off.
- Having SOPs in place can be a big selling point if you ever decide to sell your business. Because your buyer wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel.
- They help you figure out how to do things when one of your team members leave your organization or is taking some time off.
- Finally, by having these in place, you can consistently deliver a great experience to every customer to keep them coming back for more.
So if SOPs are so valuable, why don’t most businesses have them?
Well, for the same reason many businesses don’t have an adequate marketing presence. It seems like a lot of work and they often don’t know where to start.
But, creating operating procedures for your business doesn’t have to be rocket science or overwhelming.
I want to share with you a simple template for creating operating procedures for your online business.
There are four elements that make up an SOP…
- System or Task Title
Let’s create a procedure so we can see them in action.
Let’s say you want to create an SOP to document how to add a new team member to your WordPress website.
Step One: Identify the “System or Task Title”
Your system or task title” would be, “How to Add a New User to WordPress Website”.
Pretty simple, right?
Step Two: Identify the “People” Responsible
Next, you want to identify the “People” who will be responsible for this task. I recommend adding both the “role” and the person’s name assigned to the role, if applicable.
Step Three: Document the “Process”
The process is all about documenting all the steps necessary to carry out this task. So, for the task of “Adding a New User to Your Website”, the following steps should be followed.
Step Four: Identify the Tools or Technology Needed to Carry Out This Task…
This is where you’d detail the technology necessary to carry out this task. Be sure to add any links or login details to make it convenient for someone to get to these resources right from the document.
That’s it! See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?
Wait! Before you go, I want to share a few tips to help you get started with this template:
- Anything you do more than once should be documented.
- Create a list of the things you do in your business to help you identify the things you need to document.
- If you have team members, make it a part of their job description to document the things they are doing to carry out their tasks. This way, if they leave or are not around for some reason, you or someone else on your team can jump it can keep things rolling smoothly.
- Don’t get overwhelmed. You don’t have to documents EVERYTHING all at once. This will be an ongoing project for your business. Just schedule some time each week or every month. To sit down and document things.
- Finally, have a standard place to create store and update your SOPs. Using cloud based file sharing tools like Google Drive or project management tools like PODIO or Basecamp are great options.
So, are you ready to make your business more sell-able and easy to manage? I hope so.
Having Standard Operating Procedures in place will do wonders for your business and peace of mind.
It takes a little commitment and discipline. But, it’s so worth it in the long run.
“Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” ~Ken Blanchard
So, feed me Seymore! 🙂 Let me know if you have any questions or tips of your own about creating Standard Operating Procedures for your online business.
Until next time,
I wish you an abundance of success joy and freedom.