Folasayo Falola, Creative Wordsmith

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a set of written instructions. It is a step-by-step documented process for routine activity within your business. SOP could be in written or video format.

Writing an SOP is not just a simple writing process. It’s not about telling what to do, but how to do it.

The Value of a great SOP cannot be understated in the day-to-day running of your business. Here are some tips you should use to write a great SOP:

  • What is your business goal? 

Do you even have business goals because it starts from there? Write out your business goals. Ask yourself honestly, ‘Do these procedures align with my business goals?’ Clear SOPs have the project’s purpose, a list of procedures, the scope of work, the responsibilities of employees, and accountability measures.

  • You’re not using the right SOP format for your business:

Your SOP could be in a flowchart diagram, simple steps, or hierarchical format. Depending on the goal of the SOP, using the correct format could help you save costs and improve efficiency. The hierarchy format usually is best used when you need to show exactly how each procedure should be done. The flow chart gives the operators more liberty to make decisions. The simple set format should be for very simple low-level instructions.

  • You have not identified all the tasks that need an SOP :

Every important procedure in running your business should have an SOP attached to it. Never leave the running of your company for chance and luck. The best way to take charge and ensure your company runs smoothly is to ensure no single task is neglected.

  • You don’t consider the reader when writing your SOP:

The SOP for an old employee should be completely different from the SOP for new employees. New employees need to learn about the daily running of their business. It would be best if you were more basic with your procedures. Make your SOP super easy to skim for older employees.

  • You don’t update regularly:

SOPs should be reviewed and updated regularly. This ensures your procedures are up to date with whatever trends are in the market.

  • You don’t work:

SOPs work only if the actual work is done. Supervision is essential to ensure every staff understands the company SOP and follows the proper procedures.

  • Receiving feedback:

Appoint tasks to team members. Allow the people doing the work to create the SOPs. Test run SOPs to ensure they work. When team members report projects, it should be done through the instructions of SOP.

  • Your SOP is not easily accessible to employees:

Upgrade to a digital system. Employees get tired of filing cabinets, multiple systems, and managing stores. If your SOP is not at their fingertips, they’ll ignore it.

 SOPs work only

If the actual work is done