If you want to grow, you gotta let go. It’s that simple. Yep, I’m talking to you . . . You say you want to scale your business, but can’t seem to tear yourself away from trying to do it all.
It’s a vicious cycle. You don’t trust people to do it like you do. So, you never give anyone a chance. And you end up doing all the work. Rather than investing in grooming your people management skills, your workday is filled with all the important but NOT ‘boss-worthy’ tasks that probably fit neatly into someone else’s job description.
If that sounds like you, read on for tips on getting the ‘how to’ out of your head and into action with a powerful productivity tool called, Standard Operating Procedure.
Why you need to standardize
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are a pre-requisite for growing your business. You won’t get to the GROWING part without deciding what’s standard, automating what you can, and delegating the rest.
SOPs make it easier for employees or other team members to do repeatable tasks. They guide the way for better quality work and increase the likelihood that your customers or clients will have shared experiences.
Our easy formula for creating SOPs
If the idea of writing SOPs is a bit intimidating, you’re in luck. Use this easy-to-follow step formula and before you know it, you’ll be creating work processes and procedures like a boss.
- Visualize it. Start with a big picture view of all of the work you or your team does. Grab a dry-erase board (or blank wall) and get busy capturing all of the work you and your team does on Post-It Notes.
- Organize it. Once you have Post-Its to represent what you do, sort them into two columns: those that are ‘boss worthy’, meaning you are the only one who can and should do it and those that are delegatable i.e. with little instruction, you can hand off to a team member.
- Prioritize it. Working only with the delegatable tasks, order by priority based on what impacts your clients or customers. Put those at the top of your dry-erase board or blank wall. These are the ones you’ll focus on first.
- Outline it. Now it’s time to put that fourth-grade lesson on writing outlines in place. Remember that? Grab the first 2 – 3 Post-Its and outline instructions on how to complete the procedure. Be sure to include a.) why the task is important, b.) which team role should own which part of the work and c.) your expectations for how long it should take to complete.
- Do it: Have someone on your team do a trial run without your help and jot down any places they got lost or didn’t understand a step. This way, you can tweak the procedure to make it better.
Once you have completed these steps, rinse and repeat! Using these 6 steps to document your procedures is a major step toward letting go of the day-to-day, so you can focus on what’s really important: Growing your business.