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Standard Operating Procedure Guidelines Every Entrepreneur Should Follow

Having standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place increases your efficiency and optimizes your business processes. All businesses in any industry and scale must follow standard operating procedure guidelines.

Following a standard operating procedure guideline will improve your continuity and service to customers. This also helps whenever you need to train new members of the workforce, as procedures will already be outlined for them.

Every entrepreneur should follow these standard operating procedure guidelines. The success here is the ability to automate processes, transfer skills, and dexterity to focus on the bigger picture of growing your business. In this article, we walk through standard operating procedure guidelines to empower your organization.

While it is best to write down everything you do, this is not always possible due to time constraints.

Based on a deep-dive analysis on our experiences and research, these are the three most important standard operating procedure guidelines every entrepreneur should follow.

Marketing

It is necessary to religiously document your marketing efforts. There are several reasons for this:

  • Assessment of Strategies - Monitoring which marketing method works and which doesn’t is helpful. Get the most out of your promotional campaigns. Documenting marketing efforts are useful in data analytics. This is applicable for all businesses, no matter what scale they are currently in. Is local advertising paying off?  What metrics do you need to document and follow for social media marketing like Facebook ads?  Create your sequential system for checking each of these strategies, then hand off to someone else to monitor.

 

  • Identifying Your Niche - When you do marketing, the ability to determine which type of customers engage with your products is a bonus, and this allows you to identify your niche. In digital marketing, customers have the ability to take control. This is because of how social media and search engines are wired and their algorithms. Knowing the type of potential customers who have a higher probability of actual sales conversion helps you come up with a more effective campaign. In Facebook ads, Google Adwords and local marketing you're able to niche down to a very targeted marketing group. Document how you chose those groups, split test how they are doing and have someone oversee results and report back to you.

Workflow

Setting standards on your workflow is one of the standard operating procedures that are very crucial for any entrepreneur. Here are some of the important factors to consider:

  • Streamlining Framework - For starters, this gives you a framework of the repeated tasks that may be streamlined and automated. As we have discussed, to increase efficiency, setting SOPs on workflow is one of the initial essential steps.

 

  • Scalability - because customers have the leverage in controlling the trends in digital marketing, having a streamlined process in marketing helps you catch up. Some businesses that encounter unprecedented growth fail due to the absence of standardized workflows.

Create your workflows on planning a sales call, the follow-up process, client on-boarding, handling deadlines, setting milestones and priorities. These are just some of the indispensable workflows an entrepreneur must set. This is also proven integral practice for freelancers who manage multiple jobs.

Accounts

In all SOPs that needs to be established, accounting and billing would be the linchpin as this improves how the business is run. Just like every entrepreneur in the planet, handling your money carefully and correctly is imperative. If you don't have money coming in, you don't have a business. Below is a list of the most essential financial operations in outlining your financial transactions:

  • Accepting payments
  • Expense management
  • Managing repeat fees on subscriptions
  • Payroll
  • Handling taxes
  • Audits

Getting Started with Standard Operating Procedure Guidelines

First off, the biggest tip in getting started with SOPs is to document EVERYTHING you do in the business for 2 weeks.

Next, document how much time you spend at certain tasks. Down to 10 minute increments each day, measure how long you are performing which kind of tasks.

This gives you the ability to identify the various functions your perform - and you identify which you'd like to delegate to someone else.

Standard Operating Procedure Tools

First, take my simple Standard Operating Procedure template and give guidelines for each task. Take the most simple tasks you do that you'd rather avoid. Give clear instructions. Provide plain, simple, sequential steps in how you complete that task.

Next, use screen-capturing tools like Awesome Screenshot and Loom.com to capture screen images or video of how you do your work.  Make it so simple and sequential that you could pull someone off the street to do it for you.

Finally, should you desire more ways to clearly define your standard operating procedure guidelines for your business, just reach out HERE.

I provide "Done For You" business consulting services to get your business on a firm foundation with clear SOPs - so you can get back to doing the work you love and spending more time with your loved ones.

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