Creating SOPs For Your Freelancing Business
SOP is a Standard Operating Procedure, guidelines that outline how to do specific tasks in your business, like how to onboard a new client or how to send invoices. Some people call them playbooks, etc.
I love the idea of SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures). But, apparently, I hate actually doing them. Because, here’s a secret. I should have been preparing these from the moment that I started my freelancing business. But I didn’t.
The extra work seemed unnecessary. I didn’t think I needed them. After all, I knew how to do the things. Why write them down?
And, I was thinking of myself as an extension of other companies instead of a small business owner.
But now that it’s grown, I realize the error of my ways. Big time.
So now, I am shifting things around and creating SOPs.
Benefits of SOPs.
They Help you outsource.
I may know how to do the things. But someone else won’t. And when you’re in the middle of crazy, if you don’t have SOPs in place that you can just hand over to the VA, you are likely not to do it because it will feel easier to just do the work yourself instead of having to explain to someone else how to do it.
Having SOPs in place means that you have documented processes that anyone can follow.
Increase Efficiency + Reduce Brain Clutter
By having SOPs in place, you can take all those tasks that are rattling around in your brain and put them down on paper. This frees up mental space and reduces brain clutter, allowing you to focus on the task at hand without worrying about what you might be forgetting.
Having clear processes documented also means that you don’t have to waste time figuring out how to do things every time you need to do them. You can simply refer to your SOPs and follow the steps you’ve already established. This not only saves time, but it also reduces stress and helps you stay organized.
Sure, I know how to do the work. For example, processing invoices. I know how to do it. But when you have an SOP that you follow you don’t have to think as much. You reduce that brain clutter and conserve it for other things that are more important.
And, by having a clear process to follow, you can identify ways to improve your workflow, which saves you time and makes sure you’re always delivering high-quality work to your clients.
SOPs can help you avoid mistakes. When you have a documented process, you’re less likely to forget an essential step or make a costly error. This is especially important when you’re juggling multiple clients and projects.
Start by making a list of all the tasks and processes you do regularly.
Then, write down the steps you need to take to complete each one. Be as detailed as possible, including any tools or software you use.
Once you’ve got everything written down, organize your SOPs in a way that makes sense to you. Group them by client, task type, or project stage.
If you work with other freelancers or virtual assistants, be sure to share your SOPs with them so they can follow your processes too.
Remember, your SOPs aren’t set in stone. As your business evolves, your processes may change. Make sure to update your SOPs regularly to keep them relevant and effective.
Take some time to create them. Good luck to you. And to me!