Guest Post by Leslie Laws of JustSayingSocial.com
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Learn how to use Standard Operating Procedures and Outsourcing to Streamline Your Business
Are you thinking about outsourcing in your business?
I’m pretty sure I just heard a resounding “YES!”
According to the 2018 Global Outsourcing Survey by Deloitte, outsourcing your business procedures can give you a competitive advantage by making your business more “agile, efficient and effective”.Outsourcing your business operating tasks doesn't have to be difficult. Find out all the steps you need to do from documenting processes to finding the right people and tools to run your biz! Click To Tweet
How do you start the outsourcing process?
Then the next question is: “Do you know where to start?” The urge to outsource may be great, but the who, what, when and how can stop you dead in your tracks.
That’s why processes are SO important!
When you document your day-to-day processes, you are taking the first step to outsource. By documenting your processes, you are not only paving the pathway to outsourcing in your business, but you are setting up the stage for what you will outsource first in your business. So how do you start documenting? That’s simple:
Documenting Your Business Using SOP’s – Standard Operating Procedures
A standard operating procedure is a set of step-by-step instructions compiled by a business to help team members carry out complex routine operations. In other words, it’s a guide that outlines exactly how YOU complete tasks in your business so an assistant can follow your processes and replicate them.
So, what all goes into an SOP?
Here’s a list of all the categories that should go into each SOP and a breakdown of the information that should be explained under each category:
- PREREQUISITES: To outline information, knowledge, training, software, equipment, etc. required to implement a procedure. Adding all linked documents and software to be used in the SOP.
- PURPOSE: Describe the functional purpose of the SOP and the task to be accomplished. (ie. How is this SOP meaningful in the grand scheme of things and what performing the duties included in the SOP contributes to the business in the long-term?)
- POLICY: The rules associated with performing the procedure and the parameters within which the person performing this task must perform it. (ie. Must be performed on X day, final product must go LIVE at a certain time, etc.)
- PROPERTY: Person responsible for managing the SOP. (ie. This is the person in charge of keeping the SOP up-to-date and organized. If there are any questions by the person responsible for executing the SOP on the task, they will be directed to whoever is detailed here.)
- PARTIES: Person responsible for executing the SOP.
- PROCESS: Layout the general steps that must be taken to complete the task (ie. a skeleton breakdown).
- PROCEDURE: Identify activities that occur for the main process in EACH part (ie. Use screenshots and provide as much clarification as needed).
*Just Sayin’ Social has created an SOP Starter Kit. In the kit you will find an outline, template and bonus (how to make a graphic in Canva) to get you started on the right track to documentation: https://justsayinsocial.com/sop-starterkit/
How to Start Outsourcing Your Business Tasks
Now that you know what all goes into an SOP, let’s talk about how it can help you outsource.
Once you’ve documented all your routine processes, you can then decide what you want to outsource first in your business. By taking the time to look over all the tasks involved in the back-end of your business, you can better determine if you need a:
- Admin VA – responsible for customer service, email management, calendar management, etc.
- Techy VA – responsible for website updates, setting up of sales funnels, managing of sales pages, etc.
- Social Media Manager – responsible for setup, maintenance and/or scheduling of all content onto all social media platforms.
- Graphic Designer – responsible for the development of the overall layout and production design for social media advertisements, brochures, magazines, corporate reports, etc.
- Website Developer – responsible for designing, coding and modifying the website, from layout to function.
- Online Business Manager (OBM) – responsible for team management, systems management, product launch management, metric management, etc.
And the list just goes on and on. Hey, maybe the first thing you outsource in your business is the documentation process of your routine tasks……#justsayin!
Regardless of where you start, making sure that you have processes and procedures documented is going to give you the peace of mind that you need to outsource in your business. AND with that peace of mind you are going to be asking yourself:
Why didn’t I do this sooner?!?
Free Tools for Project Management
One last thing to consider when outsourcing in your business is the project management tool you are going to use to layout, schedule, track and communicate about tasks that need to be done daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly in your business.
Two of the easiest to use when starting out is Asana and Trello.
Asana combines the elements of project management + file storage by providing the ability to collaborate on projects across a team.
Its top features include:
- Project dashboard for quick overview
- Simple section and task layout
- Ability to set up sub-tasks within tasks
- Designation of who is responsible for each task and/or sub-task
- Notifications as projects or tasks are completed
- Review of milestones and/or progress
What makes this tool special, is its simplistic layout. Asana makes it easy for you to communication, setup and tag your assistant on tasks. Checking off all the boxes for staying on task and communicating within projects.
Trello is known for visualizing project tasks on a whiteboard-like dashboard. This makes it easy for managing short and quick everyday assignments.
Its top features include:
- Simple whiteboard task management
- Ability to create unlimited task lists
- Image and file uploading + sharing capabilities
- Organizing + assigning of lists by dates and priority
- Commenting and collaboration with members
What makes this tool special, is that it’s the most visual way for teams to collaborate on a project. Bringing the vision behind the brand to life with this project management tool.
AND what’s great about both of these tools is that they are FREE with upgradable features. So you can have as many team members on each, without it costing your business a dime!
How do you choose the right management tool?
Start by asking yourself: Which one appeals to how YOU like to see things laid out?
If you’re a list person, then choose Asana. It offers the ability to set up tasks and check them off.
If you’re a visual person, then choose Trello. Trello can be laid out exactly like you would a whiteboard in your office, giving you the ability to visualize your ideas.
Now that you better understand the documentation process, how it can help you outsource in your business and the importance of a project management tool to help you bring it all together, there’s just one final question left:
Are you ready to start outsourcing?
*If you are considering outsourcing in your business and aren’t quite sure where to start, book a coffee chat with Just Sayin’ Social and let’s talk through the process together: https://JustSayinSocialScheduler.as.me/CoffeeChat
Leslie Laws is the owner of Just Sayin’ Social, an Online Business Management Agency that helps business owners direct and manage their systems by providing social media management, team management, product launch management and metric management. Leslie Laws has been the go-to expert for helping business owner’s set up systems in their businesses and grow their online social media presence. As a business owner herself, she understands that back-end processes and visibility online are the key to success in every business. When she’s not working with her clients or in her own business, she can be found drinking coffee at her local coffee shop or traveling to the mountains with her family.