28 March 2022

Why your business needs SOPs

Photo by Tyler Franta on Unsplash

An SOP, or to give them their full name, standard operating procedures are one of those business terms that you’ve probably come across before, but may never have considered implementing for your business. 

In this article, we’re going to look at what an SOP is, and why you should use them in your business to improve many areas. 

What is an SOP?

A well run and productive company relies on quality and consistency. Jobs need to be completed to a high standard every time, no matter who is working on the task. A Standard Operating Procedure is a documented workflow detailing what is to be done when, how and by whom. For many companies, it is an important part of their business systems and structure. 

By creating these processes, you ensure that your team is more productive and there are fewer errors. Also, if for some reason someone else has to step in to do a job at short notice, then they have all the information that they need by referring to the SOP documentation. 

As a company begins to grow, then documenting processes becomes even more important. How these processes are documented will differ from sector to sector and whether or not you are adhering to a formalised quality standard. 

Do you need them?

SOPs can be an important part of a well-run organisation. They provide structure for your employees to do their jobs in providing the goods or services you provide. They can improve: 

Consistent performance

By documenting and following an SOP, you take away the danger of employees misinterpreting tasks or doing their own thing. This keeps quality levels consistent and prevents a scope creep in how things are done. 

Fewer errors

When SOPs are followed, then there is less chance of errors. SOPs can be updated over time to improve the process even further. 

The benefits of SOPs

When used well, SOPs can directly benefit your bottom line through increased productivity and customer satisfaction. 

Where the SOPs are to do with matters relating to health and safety, then maintaining good records in these areas are vital and prove to your employees that you care about their wellbeing. 

Employee onboarding and training can also be improved and shortened. SOPs can provide training for new employees or those who are moving into a different role. You can ensure that they are getting the correct information to allow them to do the job correctly. 

Certain industries are heavily regulated,  and failing to abide by these regulations can lead to potential legal issues. Detailed SOPs can ensure that rules and regulations are followed. 

Performance reviews and training can be made far easier with SOPs to refer to. After all, if the process isn’t formalized, then how can you complain if things aren’t being done in the way they should be. 

The Takeaway

Though the process can seem daunting, creating SOPs for your business can have huge benefits once they are in place. Start by documenting your most important or complex processes first so that your core business areas are covered. 

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