Managing a business, no matter big or small, on your own can be troublesome. Most people start with a small business as they suppose it is easy, to begin with, but a small business is quite challenging in reality.
A small business is owned and managed by the owner. In a small business, the owners are the figureheads performing various roles single-handedly, such as an entrepreneur, the manager, a salesperson, and a customer relationship officer. Performing so many roles is not an easy task. It may drain all your energy.
In today's era, many people are excited about starting their own small business. These people are mainly students, stay-at-home middle-aged women, or busy moms who prioritize spending more time with kids while building their small businesses—SOPs help creates guidelines essential to creating work-life balance. But, unfortunately, people often disturb the balance as they have high expectations from their business, and they are willing to build themself a fortune by establishing a business.
While you are planning to launch your business, it is crucial to make guidelines that you will follow to make it a success. Make sure you stick to these guidelines while launching and running the business. They have a significant impact on the operations, procedures, and function of the organization. The reasonable procedures are documented as the standard operating procedures (SOP).
SOP has documented step-by-step guidelines for the employees, and it contains the practices that worked for the business. Employees follow these instructions to achieve equity, uniformity and increase productivity along with many other benefits.
So that we know the importance of Standard Operating Procedures, every business should have its own set of SOPs.here we are presenting brilliant ideas that will help you construct SOPs for your small business. Then, you can use them to run your business, achieve your goals and attain a work-life balance.
15 Genius Tips to Create Small Business SOP:
1. Set Your Aim
2. Make Your SOP Document Available To All
3. Organize Your Documents
4. Achieve Consistent Look In Documents
5. Select an Appropriate Format
6. Customize Your SOP Document
7. Keep it Simple and detailed
8. Go creative with your SOP Document
9. Involve Your Team
10. Understand Your Audience
11. Keep Editing Your Document While Working
12. Keep Upgrading Your SOP Document
13. Test Your SOP:
14. Implement the SOP:
15. Update the SOP Document:
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Tips to Create Small Business SOP:
1. Set Your Aim:
It would help if you recognized your aim before creating an SOP. However, if you are well informed about what you are writing and what you want to achieve through this documentation, it will set your path straight and help you to define and discuss how to achieve the aim.
2. Make Your SOP Document Available To All:
SOP documents should be accessible by all the employees working in the organization as it carries guidelines to perform routine tasks. In this technological era, you do not need to get them written and stored in a file; instead, you must create it online, so it is simple/ easy to distribute.
In this regard, google docs is your best friend. You can make and share the document easily. Moreover, you can share the document with many people in one go. Moreover, the mobile app for google docs offers all features, and it is pretty user-friendly to edit, upgrade and share documents through this channel.
3. Organize Your Documents:
What will be the benefit of creating the data if it is not available when needed? The simple answer is non. It is essential to organize your documents so you can search for them easily when you need them. We will recommend you save your documents over the internet in google drive or the cloud.
4. Achieve Consistent Look In Documents:
It is always good to make documents that attract the readers, and it is easy to skim through them. You must always place the title at the top; make it bold and underlined, it should be aligned centrally, and font size should be higher than standard text to make it prominent.
Rest, all the text in the document must be centrally aligned within 1-inch margins, and the text must be readable.font size 11 or 12 is best for the purpose. As SOP contains procedures, the document must contain bullets and numbering where necessary.
5. Select an Appropriate Format:
The readers will pay attention to the written script when it is in the correct format. Refer to some old SOPs that have worked for other organizations, and they will assist you in selecting an appropriate format that makes your SOP understandable. You can use a simple step format, a hierarchical steps format, or a flow chart format as per the requirement of your goal. Here is a basic guideline to assist in selecting your format.
Simple Step Format: it is the best format to use while writing the SOPs for easy and short follow. It contains bullet points or numbers that make instructions clear while reading or performing the task.
Hierarchical Step Format: for the procedure that involves decision-making while choosing the next step in the procedure, the hierarchical step format is suitable to use. Sub-steps are mentioned below the main steps, and the reader gets clear instructions to make informed decisions.
Flow Chart Format: we recommend choosing a flow chart format for procedures where results can vary and are unpredictable. Flow chart format builds a map to achieve many possible outcomes.
6. Customize Your SOP Document:
No one document can be followed in all the organizations. Experts advise you to custom design your SOPs and configure what works best for you. It is also recommended to take guidance from SOPs that are proven to work in other organizations. Add essential notes or extra details about the procedure.
7. Keep it Simple and detailed:
SOP should be simple and easy to read, and it must contain all the necessary details about the business procedures. It is highly recommended to make bullet points with easy vocab that everyone can understand. It should carry all the details, so we instruct you to make a rough draft and re-evaluate it.
8. Go creative with your SOP Document:
You can make your SOP interesting for your teammates. It is not always necessary to make a written format. Instead, you can accompany your written document with a small video to elaborate the procedure effectively. It is scientifically proven that visual content better explains steps and procedures to the audience, and memory developed through visualization lasts longer.
9. Involve Your Team:
It is always good to take input from your team members and consider their valuable suggestions. They can provide a better insight into the procedure they perform and suggest improvements that increase the productivity of the procedure.
Team members are involved in the work process, and they are the ones to follow prepared SOPs so they can provide a better review of the created drafts and changes. Therefore, it is essential to consider their suggestions while finalizing the SOP document.
10. Understand Your Audience:
It is easier to create your SOP document when you know about the audience referring to this document. Identifying your audience will help you to use the language and technical terminologies at a level that is understandable for them. We recommend you to use language as per their expertise level, neither up nor down.
Suppose your SOP document is for a new employee in your organization. In that case, the SOP document must be more detailed, and training-oriented SOPs will also describe newbies their roles and responsibilities within the task they are performing.
11. Keep Editing Your Document While Working:
It is a good practice to edit SOP documents before publishing them for general use. Use your SOP document while performing the procedure and keep adding any information you think is missing. It will assist join in gaining the perfect SOP that covers all the details and information and help you avoid your desirable results without any ambiguity.
12. Keep Upgrading Your SOP Document:
There is always room for improvement in the SOP document with changing times. So when you make a draft, check it yourself to avoid any grammatical or technical error. Then we recommend you always present it to your team members and ask them to review the document to get their suggestions.
13. Test Your SOP:
Assign another team whose members can test the SOP document for its comprehensiveness and ensure that the instructions are simple/ easy to follow, and it can help achieve the goal.
You must consider the suggestions and include the edits presented by your teammates to achieve perfectness in the document. You need to improve the document until it can provide on-point comprehensive information about the procedure being discussed.
14. Implement the SOP:
Implementing the SOP by sharing a document with your team members may sound simple, but it is challenging. Generally, the team members are used to following older procedures and may lack following the upgraded guidelines. Therefore, all team members need to accept the change in their working procedure and make sure that they follow new instructions.
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15. Update the SOP Document:
With time you need to make amendments to the existing procedures and refine your guidelines to accomplish your goals efficiently. With every amendment, you need to update your SOP document, so you and your team know what to do.