15 SOPs Your Business Needs to Be Successful

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There’s no limit to the number of SOPs your business needs, but this list is a great starting point for any online business. These will benefit any business whether you provide services, products, information, or a combination.

If you want to stop wasting time and scale like a CEO, it’s time to start creating SOPs for your business. You’ll never be able to clearly delegate and automate your business without them. It might be boring, but this is an absolute must!

Not exactly sure what an SOP is? That’s okay! I’ve got an entire SOP series that will get you up to speed on Standard Operating Procedures. Get started by learning what an SOP is and why you need them.

The Top 15 SOPs Your Business Needs

Client Onboarding + Offboarding

If you’re running a service-based business (coach, consultant, online business manager, virtual assistant, social media manager, etc.) then you need a step-by-step process for taking on new clients and letting go of them when it’s time.

You’ll feel infinitely more confident if you map out this process. Think about the first steps you need to take after your discovery call. What do you need to send them? How are you going to organize and store your work?

Team Member Onboarding + Offboarding

Just like when you take on a new client, you also need to be ready to hire (and fire) team members. Whether you’ve already started building your team or it’s just a dream right now, you should be prepared. If you want to be a successful CEO, you need to have the right mindset.

Product/Service Development

How do you come up with new ideas? What’s your process for creating new products or services? Do you need to outline everything in Trello, ClickUp, or a Google Doc?

Once you have your plan, it’s time to get to work. Decide who is responsible for each aspect of your new project and create a timeline that spans from creation through delivery.

Product/Service Launch

Some of the things you may want to include in this process are adding it to your website, creating the graphics, and marketing it to your audience. No one is going to know about your new product or service unless you tell them!

Product/Service Delivery

Now that you’ve created and launched your awesome new product or service, how are you going to deliver it? What are the different pieces? How much does it cost? And what software do you need to make it all happen?

Make sure that the customer experience is as close to perfect as possible. This means you need to test every tiny detail and make it easy for people to say YES!

Customer Service + Feedback

You can save a ton of time by using email templates to collect and respond to customer service issues and feedback. If 1% of people request a refund (it will happen!), how are you going to respond and return their money?

Testimonials will give you valuable social proof that you can then add to your website, but if you don’t request them it’s unlikely you’ll get them. Reach out and get as much feedback as you can. Turn anything negative into a learning experience so you can make improvements in the future.

Time Management + Tracking

Managing time can be a huge challenge with all the distractions in our busy world. Are you going to use time blocking? The Pomodoro Technique?

How are you going to track your time? I like using Google Calendar for my daily schedule and Harvest for billable client work.

Regular Goal Setting

Your goals should align with your mission and help you focus your time, energy, and resources on the biggest priorities. At a minimum, you should be planning yearly, quarterly, and monthly goals. Bonus points if you also do weekly and/or daily goal setting!

Choose a place to organize and track your goals, set a time to create and review them, and find someone to share them with and hold you accountable.

Metrics Tracking

How do you know what’s working and what’s not if you aren’t tracking the growth of your business? Create a custom system for your business and record the growth of your social media accounts, website, sales, email marketing, etc.

Choose a time each week or month to grab those numbers and analyze the data.

Social Media Scheduling

Scheduling your social media content in advance is the only way to stay on top of it and remain consistent. My favorite tool for this is Tailwind (for Instagram and Pinterest).

Content Planning

Since consistency is key when it comes to content, you’re going to need some way to plan it all and stay on top of content creation. Just make sure that you have a clear process for each type of content you need to create to grow your business to meet your goals.

Email Marketing

What email marketing service are you using? Do your newsletters look the same every week so that people can easily recognize them? How often do you send emails to your subscribers?

And most importantly… How are you growing your list? We all know the importance of list building and nurturing our audience so make sure you aren’t neglecting these processes by having clear and detailed SOPs in place.

Financial Management

You can’t just close your eyes and hope for the best. Part of being a CEO is knowing the numbers. What are you spending each month on tools and cute notebooks at Target? How much do you need to set aside for taxes?

Managing your finances might mean hiring a bookkeeper, paying for software like Freshbooks, or using a DIY option like this business finance spreadsheet.

Project Management

Whether you’re working on projects for clients or your own business, you need a clear system and process for tracking them so that nothing falls through the cracks. Choose a software program that best fits your needs, learn how to use it, and get to work adding tasks to your project.

Process Optimization + Maintenance

That’s right… You need a process for your processes!

Where do you store them? Do you have a branded template so that you can copy and paste it each time? Also, think about reviewing and updating them regularly (at least every 6 months!).

Take Action

This list is the perfect place to get started writing SOPs your business needs. Choose 5 that match your current business priorities and write them out as soon as you can.

Once you get the ball rolling with SOP creation, it will become second nature to you. You’ll start to experience a transformation in your business that you’ll want to continue. As you move forward, keep outlining your processes until you have a full-blown SOP library that will make you the envy of other online entrepreneurs.

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