Today I'm talking about seven systems every business needs a standard operating procedure for (or an SOP). You don't want to have to reinvent the wheel every time you or someone on your team does these tasks. We'll map it so it's clear for the whole team, and where you can, automate it or at the very least be clear on the triggers that keep the process moving.
System number one is client onboarding.
This would include contracts, payments, delivery of your service or product, and establishing communication, for example, emails, standard emails, reply emails, response emails, or maybe it's in a Slack or Discord channel or something to be clear about the best way to communicate with your clients.
The second system is client off-boarding. This could mean obtaining testimonials from them. It might mean upselling them into a different product or service. It might mean down-selling them into something they can use long-term. We're talking about email response templates, access removal if they have access to certain benefits, and archiving, but also being able to use data for future examples of onboarding and offboarding for that client and the success and the metrics or problems that you are able to solve for them.
The third one is team onboarding and offboarding. To, your staff, this really is an integral piece of your business. It will make or break the success of somebody who is joining your team through the way they are onboarded, the company culture and their system education process. You'll want to include information like how and when they're going to get paid, what information you need from them, what information they need from you, how to do their job, KPIs, who is their first point of call, and even long-term development plans and reviews are all part of this onboarding process for your team. You may also need to ensure there is a comprehensive offboarding process for security.
The fourth SOP is your leads and sales tracking. Leads and sales are different from marketing and content. How many channels do you have leads come into the business? How do you nurture them? How do you convert them? This might be done entirely via your website. It might happen through sales calls. It might happen through a webinar or special event that happens via emails, but the process and journey of your potential client will need to be clear and have an SOP plus be automated as much as possible.
System number five is cashflow and reporting.
This would include paying for suppliers, contractors, goods, team payroll, taxes and data entry into software for tracking and reporting. It could include how credit cards and spending is used by your team. Are there rules and boundaries around using those credit cards? If not, does the team need you to pay for something using a credit card? And what is the best process of how that happens? Are there spending limits? Bottlenecks? Are there budgets for different members or different areas of the team? Does the reporting reflect back to KPIs of what goals are we trying to achieve? Are we achieving those goals? Do we hit them regularly? Do we need to work a bit harder to attain those in KPIs and key performance indicators?
System number six is content and marketing. If you use social media, or if you send out a regular newsletter to your clients, if you like to nurture leads, that can all be part of the content and marketing, trying to get reach and in front of new eyes. It might be through referrals. There are 101 ways how to market using content, which means there is a wide variety of ways to systemise. It could even mean different ways of marketing for different products or services that you sell.
You want to be clear and you want everybody on your team to be clear on the process of perhaps turning macro content into micro-content plus repurposing and archiving. What that can look like from start to finish, and how we can make the most of what we are creating and not just create one asset, use it, and then never be used ever again. The asset can be reproduced and reused and tweaked and regenerated each time that you use it.
And the final one is mapping out SOPs for conversion events.
Conversion events can be webinars, sales calls, or challenges. It could be just simply a series of emails. It could be an evergreen funnel. It could be something unique that's happening on your website. Conversions, basically, are when you're taking a lead and you're turning it into a sale. There are likely a series of questions or prompts for you to ask them or guide them to a purchase link.
You can map the process of how you take someone through a sales call, so you don't' have to be the only person on the team that can do it, but maybe down the track, somebody on your team can also do them or at least a part of the process.
So, there are your seven standard operating procedures that I think every business needs. I also recommend that you automate as much as possible. There is amazing software out there to help you do this like Zapier, HoneyBook, or Dubsado. There really is a solution to every problem out there. And if there's not, well, then I think you've just found yourself a business idea.
So, I have a free team onboarding template that you can use to plug and play into your own project management software like Asana or ClickUp, which you can download here.
I hope you find it super useful. Have a productive day.