What is an SOP? 16 Essential Steps to Writing Standard Operating Procedures (With Templates)

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🟢✅ Bonus material: SOP Structure Template to help you write perfect procedures

Whether you’re starting a business or trying to improve an existing one, you have to understand how things are going to get done.

What tasks do you need to do? Who needs to do them? What are the best ways to approach these tasks?

Working out how these questions can be answered is the first step toward systemizing your business. The creation of processes and workflows will define the way in which your day to day activities function.

One popular approach to this is the creation of standard operating procedures. The simple definition provided by IBM for standard operating procedures is:

…a set of instructions that describes all the relevant steps and activities of a process or procedure.

Simple.

But how do we create these SOPs? What we need are standard operating procedures for creating standard operating procedures – and some standard operating procedure software. And that’s what we’re going to give you.

We’ll look at:

  • How to create a set of standard operating procedures
  • Some advanced techniques for improving your SOPs
  • Why Process Street is a useful tool for both mapping and following your standard operating procedures

Read through these sections to get clued up:

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Why You Need to Document Business Processes

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It may not necessarily occur to the entrepreneur of a one-person start-up company to document the processes and procedures that are followed in the day-to-day running of the business, but as the business grows, there comes a time when it will be vital to have records of how things are done. “Documenting business processes”, or “business systemisation” as it’s also known, will make the difference between a business that plods along with a business owner constantly on the verge of burnout, and one that is successful and grows and prospers, and where the business owner is secure in the knowledge that things will go smoothly whether he or she is on site or not. Here are some of the main reasons why you as an entrepreneur need to document your business processes.

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