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Be honest; how much work are you doing that…could be done by a trained monkey? 

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not calling you a monkey. I’m just saying a monkey could probably do it cheaper. 

You’re hustling your heart out in the business world, and for what? To do the same tasks repeatedly that Mr. Banana Peeler can handle? 

Instead, how about we let you do what you do best, steering the ship, and let the trained monkey – or in this case, a well-defined Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) – take care of the rest? 

SOPs, my friend, are the unsung heroes of the business world and in my humble opinion, the most underrated (and underappreciated) automation tools. 

 They are also one of the most efficient ways to ensure your business runs smoothly and without errors every single time.

Key Takeaways

How I’ve Used SOPs (SOP Benefits)

SOPs have helped me eliminate the need for employees (I use subcontractors) SOPs ensure my business is like Mcdonald’s (you get the same thing every time) SOPs help me keep my team accountable for expectations 

Here’s an example of two articles from different writers using the same writing and publishing SOP.

In reading through them, they are hardly distinguishable in writing style, design, image placement, and SEO prowess. Hence the power of SOPs!

 Pro Tip #1: Use your SOPs. It may seem obvious, but don’t just create them and file them away. Keep them updated, use them yourself, tell your team to use them. Make them a staple in your business.
– AJ Silber

How to Create SOPs – Step by Step Guide

Alright then, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. Here’s your step-by-step, easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy guide to whipping up SOPs using Google Sheets and Google Docs in Google Drive.

Step One: Pick Your Process – Before creating a SOP, you need to identify the task that your SOP will handle. Choose a task that’s repeatable and quite literally “standardized”. Start with the easy stuff like cleaning the office, setting up equipment, etc.

Step Two: Open Google Drive – Now, let’s dive into the world of Google Drive. You know, the place where all your unfinished drafts and unfulfilled dreams reside. If you don’t have a Google Drive…I can’t really help you… kidding. Just get one.

Step Three: Create a New Google Sheet – Click on that juicy ‘+ New’ button and select Google Sheets. This is where you’ll have an overview of all your SOPs that link to the standard operating procedures.


Step Four: Write the SOP Using a Google Doc – Time to put on your writing hat. Break the process down into detailed, bite-sized steps. Remember, clarity is essential here. We want this to be monkey-proof. If you think you’re adding too much detail, double down.

Suppose you want to save some time. You can copy my SOP outline here.

Step Four in a Half: Format & Organize – Make it visually easy to digest. You’ll want to add an SOP title, department, employee responsible for SOPs, date of last update, purpose, expectations, related topics (if applicable), and how to execute the process in a step-by-step format.


Step Five: Review and Refine – Congrats! You’ve created your first SOP. I’m sure (most of you) will make your first SOP from memory. The next step is to use the SOP (yourself) as you’re completing the task. From there, review and refine the SOP.

Step Six: Share and Implement – Share your SOP with your team and implement it! Make sure that when you change your procedures, you’re also changing the SOP to match (I usually do this about once a month for some SOPs or once a quarter for others).

And voila! You’ve just set your trained monkey on autopilot. Isn’t it nice to be the boss?

I guarantee that using SOPs when training new employees will BLOW your mind.

Again, when I hire someone, I communicate with them via email, hand them an SOP and get the SAME product I get from someone who’s been working with me for years.

SOP Tech Stack

Google Drive (Free) Google Sheets (Free)Google Docs (Free)Loom (Free) 

 Pro Tip #2: Your SOP should include pictures and (videos). I typically use Loom for video, but you can also take screenshots instead. If you’re in the field, have someone record you on an iPhone. 
– AJ Silber

In Summary

SOPs are about putting in the extra work now so you can free up hours and hours (and hours) of your time in the future. 

They are a great tool for streamlining your business process, automating mundane tasks, standardizing operations, and increasing accountability. 

And if that wasn’t enough, they can also help you scale and build out teams quickly and reliably. 

So don’t wait until your business explodes – make SOPs part of your operational strategy today!

The post SOP Guidelines for Small Business Owners appeared first on Small Business Bonfire.

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