Having a suitable, standard operating procedure (SOP) is crucial for efficiently running any business. If your business doesn’t have a simple structure to handle the simple tasks, then creating SOPs must be prioritized.
Business owners often make the mistake of believing that the growth of a business depends on more advertising, but that is not always the case.
As important as these elements may be for your businesses, having a successfully operating business requires improvement in other departments. One of the most differentiating factors between a successful business and one that continues to play “catch-up” is having SOPs in place.
Standard operating procedures are instructions that are well-written to explain how a task or job is handled. They are tailor-made and in-depth guides to make a task easier to do. SOPs are practical and can be used for virtually any task imaginable. They have been used for financing, legal work, operations in business, and so much more.
How Do SOPs Improve Businesses?
Kamyar Shah, a strategic leader and consultant, discusses his experience of working with organizations on The Process Breakdown podcast. He has found that most of them lacked SOPs or had very few of them. In comparison, organizations that had well-thought-out and structured SOPs ran quicker and more efficiently. The podcast continues with Kamyar emphasizing that SOPs are the factors that may seem small, but give businesses an edge in the industry.
Why Should You Have SOPs?
Improves the ability of employees executing tasks
If an essential task in a workplace appears too complex, there is a strong possibility that clear instructions and expectations for this specific task are missing.
When a company takes the time to have SOPs written down, people know exactly what to do, are more reliable, and are more likely to succeed. Employees are also less confused and have fewer questions.
Consistent businesses are reliable. Even if the products are small, reliability in producing great results is important and customers will be satisfied. A written down SOP gives everyone a standard to target and if everyone meets that target then better results will be achieved.
What you produce can be affected by mistakes and these will reduce the quality or the quantity of the product.
Efficient on-boarding process
When you have standard operating procedures, you make hiring and retaining employees a lot easier.
Training new employees becomes much easier, because new employees can adopt the a lot faster when they are written down. SOPs also make it easy for you to recognize the problems a new trainee might be facing and address them faster.
Improves health and safety practices
An employee’s safety should be high priority when conducting a business. In some fields, an injured employee and damaged equipment often occur from an unsafe work environment. When employees follow SOPs, they tend to keep the environment and themselves safe.
When it comes to online and SaaS business, having a system of processes in play can avoid mishaps from happening. As a lending or software company, it’s important to stay away from bad press as much as possible. It is crucial for any company that has social media or any marketing outreach, to have the do’s and don’ts written out for any onboarding team member.
Get proper feedback
It is important to consider speaking with front-line workers. Your front-line has the most contact with customers and know their complaints. When you open the door for feedback, you may find that your business’s decisions to retain customers are actually doing the exact opposite.
Speaking to employees and trying to find out what the customers think will help you see progress. This can help build a good client relationship.
What Results Can You Expect from Using SOPs?
Common issues being resolved
When you have a working SOP, make sure to take the time and have the right people look over the SOP together so any details may be discussed. see if an ambiguous part of it can be dealt with. This helps you work with employees properly while bringing their problems they may be experiencing with either the procedure or workplace environment to light.
SOPs point out organizational needs. This allows new and employees to understand the standards of the company and receive the correct information.
If everything is properly spelled out within the SOP, you will find that the frequency of communication gaps will be cut down drastically.
Better performance according to checklist
SOPs are used as checklists for supervisors and as a standard form of communication to team members. Because of this, there will be noticeable performance progress among your team. Invariably, this will lead to better client satisfaction, especially if proper feedback is given from the client on their specific needs.