7 Benefits of Having a Standard Operating Procedure for Small Businesses

Every business, big or small, needs Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to ensure that the company operates smoothly. With so many operational functions and with numerous team members involved, things can go wrong when least expected. Having SOPs in place reduces this risk significantly because all team members are on the same page, and know what they need to do and how to do it. 

SOPs help business owners run their company with less stress and less monitoring. The owner, the team members and customers benefit because everyone has a clear understanding of how to meet expectations. 

So, what is a Standard Operating Procedure? 

A standard operating procedure is a document that describes how a particular business operation is to be conducted. It’s basically a manual, checklist, or a set of guidelines on how team members should perform various aspects of their jobs. In essence, an SOP contains the steps and actions that must be taken in order to achieve certain objectives. It standardizes the way in which tasks are performed and sets the procedures that should be followed within an organization.

When speaking of SOPs, oftentimes, people think of big companies with hundreds of employees. For many small business owners, they don’t make it a priority because they’re too busy. However, SOPs are a great tool to utilize as it will benefit the business and contribute to profitability and success regardless of its size. 

Here are 7 reasons why small businesses need to establish their SOPs.

  1. Efficiency. SOPs establish a streamlined workflow which improves productivity within the business. Since SOPs provide a clear outline and expectations for team members, processes can continue uninterrupted and be completed by the deadline. Efficiency means less effort wasted, and everyone’s time is utilized correctly. 
  1. Consistency. The key to having return customers or clients is to produce excellent products or services consistently. If a business follows a standard process, regardless of who is working on a particular task, the team will be able to produce consistent and quality results.
  1. Quality. In relation to consistency, SOPs provides a step-by-step guide for the team and sets up control points on areas with high risks of impacting the quality of the product or service. SOPs provide a framework to eliminate errors that may hinder the business in achieving the best results for its end consumers. 
  1. Compliance. It assures the clients and customers that the procedures of the business are approved and is compliant with the company, government and safety regulations. Also, it demonstrates the business’ intention to operate correctly, and prevents the business from getting fined for being non-compliant. 
  1. Records. SOPs give the business a historical record of the existing process which serves as a basis for future revisions when a change is necessary. Whether the change comes from a new and more efficient workflow or replacing an obsolete tool, an updated SOP ensures that the current team members involved follow the latest process while still having the ability to review the past documentations. 
  1. People. While SOPs help the business achieve quality and consistent results in the most efficient way, SOPs also benefit the people themselves – the business owners, the team, and the clients/customers. For the business owners, it reduces the need to constantly monitor the process and is a great tool to further improve the process. For the team members, it acts as a manual on how to deliver the best results, a training guide for the new hires, and quality control. Lastly, for the clients or customers, it ensures that the product or service is consistently delivered in excellence.
  1. Profitability. A well-written SOP, if utilized correctly, will assist in generating higher profit so the business will obtain a predictable income. This is because SOPs are a great tool to gather data for the business strategy. In the long run, SOPs can play a big role in driving the business to success.

While there are many more benefits of having SOPs, these are a few that are important for the growth of any business. Many larger companies are already benefiting from SOPs, but the smaller businesses can enjoy these benefits, too. See how your business grows as you take advantage of the benefits of incorporating SOPs in your processes. 

Focused Training Solutions provides training for small businesses to standardize their processes and establish their own SOPs. Check out the SOP Course or if you’d prefer to speak with us, we’d love to hear how we can help. 

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