How would you feel if you were sitting in an airport runway waiting for your plane to take off, when you happened to glance outside your window only to find the crew haphazardly working on random parts of the plane, some of them looking confused about what they were doing? Would you still be content to fly on that plane or would you feel a bit wary about continuing your journey with the airline?
Some people would immediately become concerned at such a sight, and if they didn’t request to get off the plane they would mostly likely have a sense of dread clouding the rest of their flight experience. The same can be said of how your customers feel when dealing with your business. Your customer needs to know that all members of your team not only have a steady workflow, but that your small business is reliable and trustworthy.
Another term for what your customer is looking for is standard operating procedures (SOP). These are essentially a list of step-by-step instructions specific to your small business that explain how routine operations should be performed. They are usually guided by industry regulations, management expectations, and customer feedback. Your clients may not ever see your SOPs in written form, but I can assure you that they will be able to tell whether or not you have them in place by the way your business runs.
Standard Operating Procedures in Small Businesses
SOPs are vital to the growth and development of small businesses, because they create benchmarks for the quality of output for every employee. If management has set high standards for the business, having SOPs in place helps ensure that every team member knows exactly what is expected of them and how to reach those expectations. Not having such standards in place could cause the company to lose profit and even clients, especially if the quality of work has been compromised. To avoid such, it is essential for small business owners to create their own standard operating procedures. If this is not a current practice in your business, you will definitely want to keep reading!
Top 5 Reasons Why SOPs are Important In Your Small Business
Employees will be more productive and inspired to work.
SOPs provide a checklist of sorts for employees to follow in order to do well on their tasks. After the initial training, management can expect that their staff will perform their tasks correctly and efficiently, if SOPs are in place. Therefore, because your employees will be educated properly on how to do things, you will save time.
Inspired employees will always lead to greater productivity, which eventually leads to gaining more clients and profit. Clearly, this is beneficial not only to the company but also to the employees. The more they follow the stipulations of the SOPs, the more confident they will become in their skills and performance.
SOPs create a more secure workplace.
Whether your business is in the manufacturing industry or not, there’s always a possibility of having unforeseen accidents. Small business owners and employees alike do not want that to happen. Standard operating procedures that have been implemented and shared to the whole company will lessen such accidents because your staff will know how to properly operate equipment. This will help the company reduce legal liability.
SOPs become a source of evaluating your employees’ performance.
Evaluating employees can be quite a challenge to small business owners, if there is no base line for what is expected. Without SOPs there would likely be no specific documents to outline not only the overall goals of the company, but also the daily expectations. SOPs are very essential in evaluating your employees, because they give you evidence of how the employee performed during the year.
Managers and owners will also have an objective means of identifying who performed well in their respective categories. SOP documentation will show employees’ performance so you can easily determine whether or not they deserve a promotion. Moreover, SOPs will determine the job description of your employees and the particular course of action that must be followed if they violate any of the company policies.
SOPs improve communication within the company.
Employees will be able to understand better how things are done in the company. They do not have to merely rely on what they heard or saw during their training and orientation. Moreover, employees will be encouraged to converse with their colleagues about whether or not they performed the job well.
SOPs provide quality control.
SOPs provide assurance that employees will perform their best with little to no errors. This is beneficial to your small businesses because you will not be delivering substandard products or services but always the best for your clients. Not only that, but SOPs also keep employees from feeling incapacitated or poorly equipped for the job.
Standard operating procedures may be difficult to create and may consume a lot of time, but they are worth it. When a small business takes the time to establish SOPs of its own, it will create a harmonious and progressive work environment that employees will love and customers will appreciate.
~ Jamara Wilson, Team Tuxedo Impressions LLC™