Creating SOPs for your business can feel like an overwhelming task – which is why priortizing your SOP creation list is the best place to start.
SOP creation is one of those ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ kind of tasks.
But let’s start at the beginning ….
Complete a SOP Audit
No matter where you are at in your business – zero SOPs or 100s, you need to start by looking at what systems and processes are already in place, what goals you have, how big your team is – really taking a big picture view of your business. Check out this blog post on how to do an SOP Audit.
Once your audit is done, it’s time to look at what you already have (if you are starting from zero – jump to the next step).
Sort your current SOPs into categories – identify what SOPs are solid and accurate, what ones need some minor updates and which ones need a total overhaul. [TIP – if you are updating SOPs and are currently not using a branded SOP template- now is a good time to transition your current SOPs to your branded template.]
Link all your current SOPs on one doc or sheet and categorize them – Major Edits Needed, Minor Edits Needed, Final.
Identify What’s Missing
Now that you have assessed where you currently are [either starting at zero or starting with your current SOPs categorized], it’s time to see what’s missing.
Think about every little moving piece of your business and start a brain dump. It might be helpful to have your brain dump list open on your computer throughout the week and make notes as you work. Have members of your team do this as well.
Also think about how your business fits into the 7 Areas You Need SOPs For In Your Business and the breakdown of each of those areas. Check out the following blog posts for specific details:
Once you have your SOP list, it’s time to move onto the risk assessment. Sort the SOPs you need to create into 4 priority categories:
Important but Not Urgent
Here’s the breakdown of the 4 Priority Categories for SOP Creation
High Risk are areas of your business that need urgent attention. Areas like: back up systems, data security and passwords, finances and taxes and legal areas of your business. These are the areas that need to be in order and take highest priority. These SOPS you will complete first.
Moderate risk are the areas that need attention soon but aren’t urgent. BUT – the longer you wait on these, the higher risk they become so they will take the second spot on your creation plan. Moderate risk areas would include team management, sales, delivery, marketing and day to day management of your business. The majority of your SOPs will most likely fall into this category.
Low risk SOPS are ones that you want to create eventually but the urgency isn’t there. You can wait a little longer to put these in place without any risk to your business. Low risk SOPs include company information, list of tools, organizational charts.
Important but not urgent is the final category. These are areas that are often overlooked because they do not need urgent attention but shouldn’t be forgotten about either. These include SOPs that revolve around planning, company culture, communication and team policies.
Make a Plan
After your risk assessment is done and your list of SOPs is sorted into 4 priority areas: high risk, moderate risk, low risk and important but not urgent, you are ready to make a plan.
Having your SOPS sorted by priority makes it clear where you need to start. Block off time in your schedule (or hire a SOP pro) to start chipping away at those high priority SOPs. Check out this post on SOP creation to get you started.
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