50+ Free & Easy SOP Templates (Sample SOPs to Record Standard Procedures)

easy SOP standard operating procedures example templates

Writing standard operating procedures is a cumbersome task but a serious requirement for businesses the world over.

In many industries it is important to have documentation which shows you have been adhering to ISO guidelines. This can help you clinch major clients and demonstrate your professionalism.

However, when you’re starting out with your first SOPs it can be difficult to know where to begin.

That’s why we’ve pulled together a range of the best free SOP templates for you to work from.

Simply go through the available SOPs below and pick out the one best suited to your needs. We’ve included Microsoft Word templates and Process Street ones too. You’ll also find a guide for writing SOPs to help you get started.

Given that it can be intimidating writing standard operating procedures, we have provided a number of industry-specific examples plus suggestions for how you can pull together basic SOPs even if they’re not documented according to ISO standards.

Read through the following sections to get completely clued up:

Let’s dive in.
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How to Write a Procedure: 13 Steps to Eclipse Your Competition

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Knowing how to write a procedure is a key skill for anyone looking to build a successful business. Procedures are vital to consistent success for many of the same reasons that processes are important – they let you reliably repeat your successes, isolate and correct your mistakes, and create a business model that lets you scale your operations.

If you don’t know how to write a procedure then you’re dead in the water. Get it right, and the resulting efficiency boosts can put you on track to eclipse your competitors.

This Process Street post will cover the following topics to help you write effective procedures:

Read on to learn the 13 steps to writing your business’ procedures effectively, in a way that they will actually be followed instead of getting read once and then forgotten.

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Ultimate SOP Guide: Standard Operating Procedures Made Easy (Free Templates!)

sop templates

SOPs (often pronounced S-O-P) are basically just another way to think about processes. Specifically, with a focus on formally defining the best way of doing something.

In business terms, that means saving time and money by building a clear, concise set of instructions for all of your internal processes. Policies (or standards) are important too; SOPs are kind of like a hybrid of policy and procedure.

Traditionally, SOPs were useful in principle, but often suffered from being difficult to maintain and crucially, hard to enforce. What good is an SOP if it lives its life sat on a dusty stack of paper forms? Your SOPs should be actionable, and that’s where BPM software like Process Street comes in.

If you understand how to build, maintain, and optimize SOPs with software, you can supercharge your standard operating procedures.

In this article, we want to give you everything you will ever need to know about SOPs, including:

Each section will be as concise as possible, with links out to further reading wherever appropriate. Let’s start with the basics.
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Simple SOP Format Guide: How to Write Standard Operating Procedures

sop format

One of the most important things you can offer your customers and employees is consistency.

Your customers need consistency in your products and services, your employees need consistency to help them do their job efficiently, and your company needs consistency in order to continuously improve your policies and procedures.

The best way to make sure that you have consistency within your company is by implementing standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Most companies already have SOPs that their employees follow, but they’re either rarely updated, or they’re never even properly documented to begin with.

This is often because writing, reviewing, and regularly updating your SOPs can typically take a lot of time, especially when starting from scratch.

But thankfully, there are ways to make your job a lot easier.

That’s why in this Process Street article, we’ll go over the general guidelines for the SOP format and other ways you can streamline your processes to help you get started building your SOPs.

We’ll be covering:

If you’re simply looking for a SOP format to get started with, then look no further!
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How to Write an Actionable Policy and Procedure Template (ISO Compliant!)

Policy and procedure document

Let’s get straight to the point – you’re probably searching for a policy and procedure template you can actually use (bonus points if it’s ISO compliant).

So, if you just want an actionable policy and procedure template, you can find two hand-crafted examples below. One of them is basically a blueprint you can use to build out your own, and the other is a fully filled out example of the first, using a fictional company called Brightstar Marketing.

Both can be easily edited and updated by you inside Process Street.

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What is Business Systemisation?

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Business systemization gained notoriety from the bestselling book by Michael E. Gerber, published in 1986, The E-Myth – Why most businesses don’t work and what to do about it. In 2011, this groundbreaking book was named the number 1 business book of all time by The Wall Street Journal. In The E-Myth (Entrepreneurial Myth) Gerber explains how businesses are usually started by those who know the content of a business – so-called “Technicians”, people who know how to do the technical work involved in an enterprise – rather than by those who know business itself – so-called “Entrepreneurs” – and why start-ups are therefore by definition prone to failing.

In order for a company or business to thrive, it must move beyond relying on the so-called “Technician” who is now also the company owner. Gerber uses the franchise model to demonstrate how a business does this: Franchises are prototype businesses that are operated in terms of well-documented systems, i.e., there are manuals describing in minute detail how to run the business. Gerber argues that the entrepreneur should spend time creating a business that can run by itself, without the presence of the entrepreneur, and this is achieved through business systemization.

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How to Automate like McDonalds: What Systems can do for your Business

McDonalds Business Systems

[ Download our Free Ebook ] – Click here to download our free 111 page ebook on “How to automate the tasks you hate at work using Zapier“.

As a small business grows, and the number of employees increases, it is no longer possible for the person at the helm, the business owner, to attend to all problems as they arise. Without systems in place, you may find that you are dealing with issues in an ad hoc, time-consuming and often chaotic manner. It will mean that your employees are constantly bringing problems to you and that your business cannot run without you. This can be enormously stressful for you as a manager and frustrating for your staff. Systemisation of your business will be a key factor in helping you create a scalable, sustainable business that operates equally effectively whether you are present or not.

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How to Create SOP Templates

In this video, I teach you how to use the Template Editor in Process Street to create Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) templates.

Our interface is simple to use with a task-based format. Each task you create becomes a checkable item for when you run a checklist.

You can then add content to your tasks, including text, images, video and files.

Adding content is easy with our drag and drop widgets.

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How to Attach Files to your Standard Operating Procedures

When writing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) you may need to attach files to increase the depth of the document. Traditional tools such as word editors don’t allow for this kind of functionality. But using a product like Process Street, you can certainly add files and other rich media to your Standard Operating Procedures.

Some files you might want to add could include:

  • Forms
  • Excel spreadsheet templates
  • Example documents or reports
  • Info packs to send to customers or clients

Below is a quick guide on how to add files to Process Street:

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