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05 Ways How SOPs can be useful for Business Growth

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Standard operating procedures (SOPs) are useful tools to structure and standardize a company’s growth roadmap. SOPs are guidelines that clearly define business practices, and convey two clear messages to any growth-driven organization – responsibility and consistency. These are written as numbered steps in a document or as flow charts and are continuously evolving, live records subjected to modifications and reviews from time to time. Normally, it is stored in an electronic format on a web/cloud-based network for easy access and learning.

05 Ways in which SOPs are invaluable for business growth are:

1) Saves money on training or educating employees, thereby boosting overall productivity: In the case of new joiners, SOPs facilitate a shorter learning curve. A well-structured template with all the necessary guidelines ensures quick learning and work evaluation. For example: SOPS for entry to an office facility during times of COVID provides every employee with a set of clear-cut rules about the requirements for the same. This saves valuable time and effort in reaching out to multiple people to understand the facility entry process.

2) Consistent and standardized CX – Customer Experience leading to increased profits: Every client or customer is keen to have the same fulfilling experience each time they do business with a company. This is regardless of whichever company associate they are interacting with and is applicable to every step along the journey, i.e. Presale, Point of purchase, and Post-sale. SOPs help to ensure this standardization, guaranteeing a consistent CX every single time. Moreover, since there is a standard practice laid down for dealing with client queries, refunds, promotions, follow-up, etc. each client is treated fairly and equally, thereby ensuring the best possible client service. Happier clients entail great testimonials and increased profits.

3) Builds a consistent and high-quality performance culture, spurring expansion & growth: Uniformity of behavior, products, processes, and services brings in defined perceptions for companies and brands, transcending geographical boundaries. For Example: In the Cafe Coffee Day café chain, services, and products in one outlet mirror the others, and we know what to expect when we walk into any of their addresses.

It is because of these ready-made SOPs that work processes become portable and businesses can effectively expand to newer shores. Employees at these new branches preserve the brand’s reputation by using SOPs to replicate products and services provided at the original place of business.

4) Controls Quality and Consistency of Products: When a business churns out a product, it strives to maintain the highest quality standards. Standardized procedures guide workers and help to eliminate possible production anomalies that could impact overall quality. SOPs make sure that the product or service is always created in the same way from start to completion. Providing a user-friendly blueprint for production lines helps to maintain consistency and protects product integrity.

5) Simplifies Employee and Performance Management: The SOP framework can be used by managers to assign targets and evaluate individual performance. Employees adhering to SOPs know exactly what is expected of them, and they plan their work schedules to meet their desired goals. When all employees follow the same set of instructions, they can be fairly appraised and measured under standardized performance yardsticks. Similarly, when a key stakeholder is on leave or quits the job, work doesn’t come to a standstill.  By referring to the SOP, someone else can easily and quickly take over the urgent tasks or operations.

Thus, every smoothly run business needs an SOP with clear, documented instructions in a template to optimize its work processes, job responsibilities, and products and services.