What are SOPs and why do you need them?

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are essential for a business of any size or niche. If you want people to follow rules, you need to give them clear guidelines as to what those rules are and what they need to do, to follow them.

In effect, that is what your SOPs are for. They give your staff step-by-step processes, guidelines and checklists for each and every task or process they perform. They show staff how to perform the tasks and processes within your business to achieve both the standard and quality you expect.

Here’s why SOPs are so important for your business, no matter the size or niche you’re in!

SOPs create consistency within your business

Consistency is important for any business. Whether you’re talking about customer service or production, you cannot afford to have fluctuations in standards and quality, simply because of who’s working or how experienced they are. Well written SOPs also include why staff should perform a task in a certain way. This helps motivate them to follow the clearly written process, rather than trying to find shortcuts and muddle their way through complex tasks. This is particularly important, if you have to demonstrate compliance and achieve certain standards for legal reasons.

SOPs are critical for both complex and simple operations

SOP’s help to breakdown the steps within each process or task, no matter how complex or simple that task may be. That’s crucial for your business, as it helps make complex tasks easier to follow and implement, whilst also ensuring complacency doesn’t kick in for the simpler tasks. Again, it’s about ensuring standards are maintained and guidance is followed to ensure consistency, every time a task or process is followed.

 Your SOPs help you to achieve an efficient and quality service

Standard Operating Procedures reduce the likelihood of internal miscommunications and errors within the working practices of your business. Having a clear set of instructions in place, ensures there’s no need for staff to rely on their memory or the verbal instructions passed down through their colleagues. This vastly reduces the likelihood or errors being made, as well as others picking up the bad habits of another team member.

Training can be completed faster and easier, as both the trainer and the trainee have clear guidance to follow. And, if someone needs to fill in for another team member, it’s much easier for them to do so, if there is a complete breakdown of the steps needed for each task.

 If tasks are clearly outlined and followed, you’re also reducing the likelihood of accidents or injury – and minimizing liability if an accident does occur. When it’s time for employee reviews, management have something to gauge performance against and staff work better, knowing they have a clear set of guidelines to follow.

SOPS may take some time to clarify and write, but they’re essential to your business, no matter how big or small it may be. By giving everyone clear guidance, you’re ensuring everyone knows what’s expected of them and how you want things done in your business. This leads to everyone being clear in their role and working together in the most efficient way possible, to provide a consistent, efficient and quality service to your customers – and helping make your business (and its profits) grow.

If you need help clarifying and setting up your Standard Operating Procedures, why not get in touch? Working in partnership with you, I can liaise with your internal team and help you establish your SOPs, track and manage your objectives and ensure your systems are set up. So why not get in touch? Let’s have a chat and see if we’re a good fit and can get your SOPs done!

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