How To Write Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s)

Here at EBS, we know just how important it is to mind our P’s and Q’s AND our SOP’s! No, that’s not an abbreviation for something inappropriate, we promise. Standard Operating Procedures may be referred to with a number of four-letter words from business owners and managers but, for all, they’re entirely necessary and very important. Across the globe, we support companies to ensure their paperwork is in order so that when they’re faced with an audit or any sort of legal investigation, they’ve followed the law as well as industry-specific rules and regulations. We cannot overemphasize the importance of Standard Operating Procedures, but how do you write SOP’s and where do you start?

Tya, EBS founder and business administration extraordinaire, has just returned from a trip to El Salvador. There, she put the finishing touches on a USAID project that’s been a three year labor of love with customer, Global Business Solutions, Inc. The purpose of this trip was to work with the team to close out the office we have in El Salvador since our project is ending.

For this project, we setup and maintained policies and procedures, oversaw staff, managed multi-million dollar project costs and ensured the policies written for the project were followed to the letter. We happen to have a staff of professionals who specialize in the writing and implementation of SOP’s but it’s true that any business owner, with enough research and focus, can create reasonable Standard Operating Procedures for his or her organization. Here are some tips on how to write SOP’s for your business.

1. Get input. Ask other industry-specific business owners to see if you can catch a glimpse of their SOP’s. If you already have employees doing jobs that require SOP’s, ask for their opinion to ensure your guidelines are reasonable and consistent with what they’re already doing.

2. Consult a professional. Exceptional Business Solutions, LLC is a prime example of a professional organization that specializes in SOP’s. From us, you can learn how to write policies and procedures that keep your company running smoothly, virtually immune to scandal from inefficient, inadequate documentation.

3. Review regularly! Once you have great SOP’s, you need to regularly review both how they’re being adhered to AND the industry and legal regulatory changes to be sure you’re following all necessary rules, regulations, and standards.

It’s true, this can all be very complicated and SOP’s can be an overwhelming task for business owners and administration. If you could use support with a policy audit and/or help to create or update your own standard operating procedures (SOP’s) for your office, let us know!

Photo credit: moppet65535 / Foter / CC BY-SA

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