Why You NEED SOPs (4 key reasons + 3 frequently asked questions)

Why You Need SOPs featured blog post image with Anne Leah Shick wearing a black AmbitiousVA shirt

Ever wondered why you need SOPs even when your business seems to run fine without it? ? Have a seat. You and I need to have a little heart to heart on this topic… you know, before things start to catch on fire.

4 Legit Reasons Why You Need Standard Operating Procedures (even if your business runs smoothly)

team working together on a desk planning out SOPs

Running a business is often full of surprises, and not all of them are rainbows and puppies. Here are 4 solid facts on why you need SOPs and how it can save you from having to firefight in your business everyday.

Reason 1: Good days don’t last forever, better to stay prepared

I’m not going to sugarcoat this for you, my fellow entrepreneur. As much as we need to be optimistic when running a business, we also need to be prepared for when sh!t hits the fan. And good gracious, will it hit!

Your standard operating procedures = emergency protocol.

SOPs take center stage when something catastrophic happens to you and you can’t run your business. This will allow you to hand off the keys to someone who can, so they can run the business while they await your return. If you can’t do this, then your business stops running, and if your business stops running, you stop generating revenue.

Bottomline: It acts as a safety net for when you’re not around and things aren’t going as planned. SOPs help your team understand what they can do to avoid, mitigate, and navigate through issues.


Reason 2: Save resources (e.g. time, money, effort)

SOPs save time and money by:

  • Helping you gauge who best to hand over certain responsibilities to and keep track of their progress.
  • Cutting down human error by following the process (without missing a step).
  • Guiding the person responsible in carrying out the task so that they can succeed even without supervision.

Bottomline: You’re going to save time and money because SOPs can help you understand where to focus your resources so that you get the highest returns.


Reason 3: Sets the standard to run your business in a more consistent and efficient manner

Your business gains ease of use and a heightened level of consistency since everyone in your organization will aim for the same standard to carry out an end goal.

Bottomline: SOPs guide the organization to understand what needs to happen, when it must be accomplished, who needs to do it, why it’s needed, and how should things be done, in a way that success is guaranteed 90% of the time.


Reason 4: Helps you build, scale, sustain, and run your business the best way possible

Delegating responsibilities may be one of the most important skills a CEO or anyone in leadership can master. As the head of the organization, your job should focus on getting as close to the VISION as possible. That means everything you do as a CEO should lead to some level of growth or sustainability for your business, everything else that’s repetitive should be handed off.

This is crucial because if you’re aspiring to be the CEO you dream to be, you will need all the help you can get. Without an SOP, it’s going to be tough handing them off no matter how talented or capable the candidate is.

Bottomline: Your standard operating procedures make it easier for you to hand off tasks in a way that helps the person you’re onboarding become successful in their role. Not having SOPs often lead to incomplete projects, unmet or unrealistic expectations, and may even lead to burnout.


3 Standard Operating Procedure FAQs (that every business owner had asked themselves)

Now, let’s talk about the three frequently asked questions I get when it comes to writing SOPs and the benefits of having documented processes in your business.

team having a meeting on a table discussing standard operating procedures
Why You NEED SOPs

1st SOP FAQ: “Who should create the standard operating procedure?”

Well, essentially that responsibility goes to the people who are actually carrying out the process or a subject matter expert.

So, for a larger organization, this would look like maybe a manager of a department that has had firsthand experience, but now oversees a team – they’re the subject matter expert. They know how that process should be carried out.

SMEs can also collaborate with the person that’s actually executing the process or the person that’s actually doing it and has firsthand experience with it.

Now, you can see why this becomes a problem for most CEOs and small business owners… Often times, we are both the subject matter expert AND the one carrying out an unimaginable amount of processes ourselves.

(If you don’t recall three steps to master project management, I talk about wearing many hats and this is one of those hats.)

2nd SOP FAQ: “Where should I keep my standard operating procedures?”

Now, let’s talk about where you should put them. Your standard operating procedures can be saved in various locations. They can also be saved in various ways as well.

Keys to consider before you make a decision on where to put them:

Accessibility

  • They need to be accessible to everyone who needs it to complete their share of the process. That means those responsible of carrying out the task need to have access to how that process works, along with the templates and other necessary assets that might go with it.
  • And since, they’re the ones doing the processes, they should also be responsible for keeping the SOP updated or documenting the steps if something within the process should change or have changed.

Secured

  • If your standard operating procedures contain sensitive information, you do not need to give access to all of the team members in your organization, no matter what tool you’re using. So for instance, if your ClickUp is separated by department. You need to keep them separate either at a space-level or a folder-level, so sensitive information can stay contained within those departments.

3rd SOP FAQ, “Are videos considered SOPs?”

I’ve seen this thrown around all over the place with a very yes and no kind of response, depending on your organization’s structure and how you function. My answer is a yes and no. Now, the reason I say this is because of video is great to capture the complex processes that go on.

However, it’s difficult to make a template from these steps when they aren’t listed out. So, my recommendation would be to record the video if that’s the easiest way to get that stuff out of your head, break it down into smaller steps, then save that as a document and use it as a template.


Ready to set your business up for even bigger successes?

Now, that you know why you need SOPs for your business or standard operating procedures go back and check out my simple SOPs video and learn how to start making them. If you need more clarity or direction on SOPs or ClickUp for your business, schedule a coffee chat with me and let’s talk it out together!

Published by Anne of AmbitiousVA

Anne is a Project Manager turned ClickUp Consultant and is now using her 12 years of combined administrative & information technology experience to help turn other businesses and entrepreneurs into productivity powerhouses solely using ClickUp. She has a unique ability to apply logical processes to business strategy to help others LevelUp their productivity and push the needle forward to meet their goals! She is tech-savvy, while keeping it plain English for her clients, allowing her to grasp the quickly evolving nature of cloud-based software fast and being just dangerous enough to help anyone adapt to it with ease. She’s also a gifted instructor and has impeccable training abilities.

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