Creating SOPs: Where to Start?

Over the last few weeks, you learned what an SOP is, why you need one for your business, and where, when, and how to create an SOP. Today, I want to make some suggestions to help you start creating you SOP.

Creating SOPs Where to Start?

If you look at your busy, successful coaching business, and feeling overwhelmed, knowing you need to create SOPs for your business doesn’t help you in getting them written!

Where in Your Business Should You Create SOPs?

The honest answer: It depends.

Which part of the business makes you the most overwhelmed? Which part of the business are you most ready to hand over to someone else? Which part of the business takes the less time or work?

Personally, I like to encourage clients to start small and start with a task that is short, easy to document, and something you are willing to delegate to someone else. However, sometimes it is more prudent to begin creating an SOP for an area of your business that may be neglected or that may directly affect your bottom line such as your customer on-boarding process.

The most important areas of your business are marketing, (potential & current) client care, and the Administration/Operational tasks. Therefore, you should pick one of those areas, choose a task that is short and repeatable, and lay out the standard operating procedure for that task. Or, of course, have your OBM or VA create the SOP for you.

Okay? Great! Now it is time for you to take a little time to decide on what area of your business you want to focus on, pick your first task, and get the SOP documented! Go…

Where and How do You Make an SOP?

The last time, I explained what an SOP is and why it is important to have one in your coaching business. Now, I want to talk about where to create your SOP and how to create one that is effective.

Where, When, and How to Make SOP

Where Should You create Your SOP?

The short answer is you can create one wherever you want. 🙂 The most important thing is that you create it in a place that you can (and will) access almost daily and that is easily updated.

Many clients and others created their SOPs in a Google or MS Word document and kept it stored in their work-spaces so everyone on the team could access it.

One of the nice things about using a Word Document is that you can rename each update so you can have different versions of the SOP as it evolves; however, it can get clunky when you have to many versions of the same document, especially when you have SOPS for several areas of your business.

Another option is to create an online wiki. There are several free (and paid) wiki creation websites that you can play around with. You can find some of them here and here.

Most of the wiki platforms are user friendly and several have great search capabilities for when you are trying to find something specific. Wikis are also great in that they can keep everything in one central place, anyone can update a particular SOP, and they are less clunky and easier to expand as your business grows.

When Should You Start Creating Your SOP?

The sooner the better! If you are just starting your coaching business, now is the perfect time to start building your SOP so that it can grow as you do, and will give you a get into the habit of updating your SOP as you get busier.

If you are established in your coaching business, it is not too late to get started. Better late than never. 🙂 Just pick one area of your business and start with one task at a time. Before you know it, you will be well on your way to having SOPs for all parts of your business. To busy to create the SOP? Hire someone to do it for you!

How Do You Create an Effective SOP?

Before I talk about how to create an SOP, let me answer the question,”What makes an effective SOP?” The answer may be different for each person; however, in it’s basic form, what makes an SOP effective is one that contains everything that needs to be done and one that is followed consistently every day. You can create the most beautiful or useful SOP but if you don’t actually follow the procedures, it is useless.

Now, here is how you create a basic SOP for your business. Open your document or Wiki, give it a name or heading (such as “How to edit a video,” etc.), and write out the procedure step by step. Make sure you include the following:

What (what is being done), Why (why this task is important or why it needs to be done a certain way, etc), Who (who is the main person responsible for getting the task down and any back-up people for when main person is not available), When (when is the task done: daily weekly, etc), Where (Where is the task done such as email client, in a particular online program, etc), How (the step by step process for completing the task – be as specific and detailed as possible so that if someone who has no idea how to do the project, could)

The more detailed the SOP, the less need the person will have to ask you questions, and the less chance for confusion on the part of the person performing the task. Also, make sure the SOP is checked on a regular basis (once a month or every quarter) to make the SOP is still relevant and up to date.

It really is that simple. SOPs don’t have to be complicated or fancy in order to be effective. They just need to be detailed, updated, and contain all the necessary information needed to get the job done!

Now that you know what SOPs are,  why SOPs are important, and how to create them, you have no excuse! Time for you get started with your own SOP. And, feel free to let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear your experience with your version of an SOP.


P.S. On a completely different note, I want to give you a heads up that effective March 31, 2019, I will be discontinuing my Done For You Services. If you aren’t ready for full-on OBM services, but could use some help in your business, now is a good time to get that help. If you are DFYS client at the time the services discontinue, you will be grandfathered in and stay a client, but no new DFYS clients will be taken on after March 31, and the number of clients I will be taking on is limited, so don’t wait, if you are interested. 🙂

What is an SOP and why do You Need one for Your Business?

If you truly want to have a successful, thriving coaching business that you control and run, rather than it running you, then you need to create an SOP, if you don’t already have one. Believe me when I tell you, SOPs, if created and used correctly, it can be an absolute life-savior.

What is an SOP and Why Do You Need One?

What is an SOP?

Briefly, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a “living” document in which you put together the “what, why, when, where, who, and how” of everything you have to do in your business.

If you have spent any time in the corporate world, you may be familiar with the employee handbooks and operational manuals of the companies of where you worked. SOPs are very similar. One of the big differences is that SOPs are online based, rather than physical documents (although they can be).

Why Do You Need One for Your Business?

As a successful coach, are you feeling overwhelmed at times? Do some (important) things fall through the cracks? Do you need or want to grow your team but don’t want to take the time to train the new team members? Do you want certain tasks to be done a certain way? Do you want to increase the automation in your business or want to put new processes in place but don’t know where to begin?

If you said yes to any of the above questions, you should get an SOP created as soon as possible.

FIRST of all, if you are overwhelmed and dropping the ball, an SOP can help you organize all the things you need to do in your business and give you the chance to prioritize those tasks. Knowing what needs to be done, why it needs to be done, when it needs to be done, how it needs to be done, where it needs to be done, and who is getting it done will go a LONG way in beating overwhelm.

Yes, I get it. If you are already overwhelmed, the last thing you want to do is to take the time away from other things in order to create a multi-page SOP. It can be very difficult to take the time to step back in order to go forward. However, I can promise you that it is worth the time. If necessary, just block out 5 or 10 minutes and focus on creating a SOP for one task a day.

Or, don’t do it. Creating an SOP would be a great first project when bringing on an Online Business Manager. When I bring on new clients, it is one of the top priorities on the to-do list. You can also delegate the creation of an SOP to an experienced Virtual Assistant.

SECOND, if you have been wanting to bring on or expand your team members, having an SOP will make on-boarding them a breeze! SOPs can be created that outline the team member’s roles and responsibilities are within your company, and allows them to know what needs to be done, when, and how (so it gets done the way you want). Thus, minimizing the need for them to interrupt you with a lot of questions, and the need for training.

THIRD, if you are looking to put (more) processes in place and/or bring on more automation into your business, a well-written SOP can give you a fantastic overview of your business and what you have and what you don’t. You can use that knowledge to make better decisions about what needs to be changed.

FINALLY, as a little bonus, an SOP can help you stay on top of customer service and client care. For example, if you have an SOP for your new client on-boarding process, and it is followed every time, you will be more consistent and effective in creating a wonderful customer experience for new clients.

So, no matter how you look at it, there is NO reason NOT to have a detailed, well-written SOP for every aspect of your business!

P.S. Next week I will outline WHERE and HOW to create an effective, usable SOP.


P.S.S. When you are ready, here are four ways I can support you in your business:

1.  Snag a copy of the free report, “5 Ways an Online Business Manager can Impact Your Business and Increase Your Profits.“

In this report you will discover just how much freedom and success you can have in your business if you stop doing everything alone.

2. “Like” my Facebook page.

It is the place to be to get free weekly training, support, and encouragement in growing and automating your business.

3. Sign up for a Business Audit Mini-VIP Session.

During this session, you will discover the gaps and holes in your business processes, where in  your business you can delegate and automate, and get a strategy to help you make more money, take better care of your clients, and create a better work/life balance.

4. Work with me and my team privately.

I have several packages and programs to help you run a successful, profitable, and enjoyable business. I can help you see the big picture of your business and then create a strategy to move your business forward. Then, I can help you implement that strategy. Take a moment to learn more and get on my calendar today.