Why Your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) Are Broken

A lot of people – clients, prospects, and contacts in my network – come to me saying:

“I’m frustrated with my VA, they aren’t doing what I want!”

“Why isn’t my team isn’t more proactive?”

“I have to pick up the slack and work keeps ending up back on my plate!” 

If this sounds like your experience with your team, it’s probably not their fault.

The secret to delegating with confidence and creating a high performing team that is proactive, that gives you the results you want and can read your mind, is to tell them how to read your mind.

This is where your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) come into play as more than just a task to cross off your list.

Maybe you’re thinking ok, “Well, what’s the deal with SOPs? Are they really that important?

Well, you need SOPs if…

  • You don’t want work in your business full time, forever
  • You don’t want to be the person that’s doing every single thing within the business, and want to maintain control when you delegate.
  • You want the business to reflect who you are – what your brand is and the values that you have.

Your SOPs are the way that your VA and your team can replicate your thought process, but they have to be built with delegation in mind.

Here are common mistakes business owners make with their SOPs that make it harder to delegate and impossible for their teams to support them.

1️) You don't realize that your SOPs are not one-size-fits-all.

You can search for templates. You can buy a book or you make a copy of your coach’s SOP. But not all SOPs are created equal.

Your SOPs have to be created 1) So it’s specific to your business and 2) Makes it easy to digest the work, the purpose and how far your team are empowered to act.  If you don’t have all of those pieces built into your SOP, you’re not setting your team up to own the work for you.  

2) You're combining and skipping steps.

 I do this as well. When we do things often, it feels natural and we discount how we really do the work.

One example: How I do client calls. I do a client call, I take notes, then I do the session wrap-up and send the client strategic notes and my internal team strategic actions. I think of that as one step (a client call) because it’s so automatic. When handing those calls off to my team, I realized it was actually 8 specific steps.

By combining those little steps into one vague big step, no one is going to be able to take over that work for you.

3️) You’re forgetting the control points.

Sure, you do want to delegate a lot of day-to-day work as you scale your business, but at the end of the day, the business still belongs to you.

If you’re someone who feels like:

  • you can never unplug
  • you’re never really sure if your team is doing the work that they’re supposed to be doing
  • you have to micromanage or check in
  • you have to double-check the work to make sure it’s correct 

… chances are you probably missed the control points in your SOPS. The points and processes where you’re being notified and work passes through approval and quality assurance.

These are the three big mistakes business owners make with their SOPs. 

If your team isn’t proactive and owning the work that you’re assigning, a major reason for that might be the fact that they don’t know the process and don’t have the SOPs or ops manual to execute the work

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