Nation! Are you as excited as I am about Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s). I’m guessing probably not. There was a time where I didn’t get very enthusiastic about them either, but they have changed my life. I promise, they did!
SOP’s are the specific items that have to be completed in order to perform a particular task or duty. As a business owner, most of these procedures were in my head because I was the one that did them (at least in the beginning.) For a solo-preneur, there is no issue with having all of your procedures in your head; you are the only one performing the task. The problem comes when you want to scale or, in other words, hire somebody who will take over those tasks. And this was my issue.
When I first started hiring people to do the tasks that I needed help with, the only way they could get that needed procedural information was to ask me. If they forgot how to do the procedure, they had to ask me again. If they needed the clarify something about the process, once again, they would have to ask me. I didn’t have time to do my work because I was busy doing their work, or at least that was how I felt. The truth is I trained them that the only way they could get the information they needed was to get it from me. It wasn’t that I was doing their work for them; I didn’t provide them with the necessary tools so they could get questions answered without me. I had created a nightmare for myself because I didn’t know how to put tasks into a procedure. Once I learned how to do that, everyone was happier.
Today’s guest isAlicia Butler Pierre, a Jedi master at creating standard operating procedures. It was Alicia that helped me understand the problem I was creating by not having SOP’s. She shared a technique using notes cards that allowed me not only to start thinking about writing the SOP’s but made it very more comfortable to see, understand, and deliver to my team. She is going to share that same technique with you on today’s show.
If you own a business, you need SOP’s. If you work within a company, you need SOP’s. If you do a task repeatedly, you need SOP’s.
Please welcome Alicia Butler Pierre.
Alicia Butler Pierre is the founder and CEO of Equilibria, Inc., a 14-year-old operations management firm specializing in business infrastructure for fast growing small businesses. Alicia has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Louisiana State University and an MBA from Tulane University. She’s also a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and has authored business content generating over half a million combined views across various online platforms.
Alicia hosts the weekly Business Infrastructure: Curing Back Office Blues podcast. She’s also the author of the Amazon bestseller, Behind the Façade: How to Structure Company Operations for Sustainable Success. Committed to doing the right things the right way, Alicia’s mantra is “to leave it better than you found it.”
Scranton Associates [00:08]
Technical Training Schedule [02:56]
Virtual Assistants [07:10]
Process & Procedures [14:48]
Consistency, Quality and Value [18:13]
The Need for “Process” [20:30]
Go Canvas and Google Docs Tool [42:42]
Continuously Improving [47:23]
“If you’re sick, stay home. Practice good hygiene. That means, wash your hands. The more you wash your hands, the less you’re going to spread whatever you’ve touched from place to place.”
“Let’s rethink the way we approach procedures. There are so many different ways that you can represent them now. It doesn’t have to be in the form of a traditional Standard Operating Procedure that’s stuck inside of a binder inside of a manual that nobody’s ever going to look at.”
“Consistency, quality, and value. Those are the three key things that your customers, vendors, suppliers, and employees are looking for from you. When you have a defined way of doing something, it allows you to have that consistency, quality, and value.”
Connect with Alicia Butler Pierre:
Trace was recently feature on the Business Infrastructure Podcast
Behind the Facade by Alicia Butler Pierre