SOP is an acronym that stands for Standard Operating Procedures. SOPs are an operating manual that consist of step-by-step instructions to run various aspects of your business. They should consist of a general oversight of how the company operates, as well as detailed instructions on how to conduct an assortment of tasks.
What is the Purpose of SOPs?
The purpose of having standard operating procedures is so that everyone in the organization is on the same page about how to undertake certain tasks. If there is ever any discrepancy or disagreement about how something should be done, then the employees can always refer to the SOPs to find out what the standard expectations are regarding that task.
To understand how this might unfold in a real life situation, consider an e-commerce operation where a customer is requesting a refund. The employee doesn’t need to decide on their own how to process the refund or even whether the customer should get a refund. They would simply turn to the section of the SOPs that refers to refunds and follow the step by step instructions.
Why Many New Businesses Don’t Have SOPs
Unfortunately, because many newer businesses start quickly on a shoestring budget, they may neglect to create SOPs. This oversight is understandable. SOPs often seem like a luxury, not a necessity. When you’re a business owner trying to get product out the door, spending time and money on internal documents can seem like an expense you can’t afford to have right now. The creation of SOPs often gets pushed to the back burner so that limited resources can be dedicated to getting the business off the ground and building momentum. However, there are many reasons to make SOPs a priority.
How SOPs Help Your Business
If you have not yet created SOPs for your company, consider what SOPs can do:
Provide A Working Manual For A Temp Worker If Someone Is Out Sick
When you have SOPs in place, no department in your company needs to be set back if a worker suddenly becomes sick and unable to work for one day or more. Your temp worker can simply refer to the SOP manual for assistance in performing the essential tasks of the job.
Allow Your Business To More Easily Scale
It’s very challenging to grow a business when the rudimentary tasks are still being performed by key personnel who just “know” what to do. How can you expound upon the basics when the basics haven’t yet been explained?
Offer Proof Against a Lawsuit
If for any reason your company is sued, your SOPs can be used to prove that your employees are supposed to operate within certain guidelines as set forth in the manual. With a solid SOP manual, you can demonstrate the intentions of your company and help defend your business against legal action.
Enable You To Quickly See Processes And Streamline Where Needed
With SOPs, you can review existing processes and make changes where necessary to alter the direction of your company or streamline so that your business operates more efficiently.
Helps You Create Processes For Your Real Estate Business
Even the process of actually writing the SOPs is beneficial to your business. During the writing, you and your employees can develop systems and processes that enhance and speed up workflow within your organization.
In short, creating SOPs for your business is a smart idea that will prove to be worth every minute of time they take to write. It may not seem like it now, but later on you’ll glad you made the effort to write the standard operating procedures for your business.
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