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The How and Why Behind the Importance of Revising Your SOPs

As your business grows and changes, your SOPs should too! Here is everything you should know about the how and why behind revising your SOPs.



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Every service provider knows that their Standard Operating Procedures aka SOPs are the backbone of their business. But maybe you outsourced the creation of your SOPs the first time around, or you hastily slapped together some instructions from a combination of sticky notes written in your messiest handwriting. Your business has more than likely changed since then, and now it’s time for a bit of an update!

No matter how your SOPs were created the first time, it’s important to remember that as your business grows, your SOPs need to grow with it. Let’s take a look at the reasons behind why you absolutely need to regularly review your SOPs, how often to review them, and how best to get the job done.

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Why You Need to Review Your SOPs

The last time we chatted about SOPs, we walked you through everything you need to know about SOPs and how to create them for your business. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the SOPs you first set up for your business might not be as relevant today! Between service refinement, team growth, and overall feedback received, lots of things have probably changed in your business (and that’s a great thing!). However, even though this change is part of a new step forward, it’s easy to unintentionally leave your systems in the past. That’s why dusting off your systems on a regular basis and updating anything that’s outdated should always be top of mind. 

There are several reasons why you should review your SOPs on a regular basis. First, as people do the same tasks over and over again, they’ll often modify how they’re doing them for efficiency without even realizing it. So, it’s essential that we update the documented process! 

Second, you’ll also want to make sure that all team members are up to speed on how things should be done. Whether they’re new to the team or are a tried and true member, everyone deserves to have proper guidelines for getting the job done right. This will help improve productivity and efficiency within your business and will also reflect positively across all client work.

Next, if you’re hearing complaints about procedures (no matter how nicely it’s put) or have noticed inconsistencies in work output, it might also be time to review your SOPs. There’s no room for sloppy work, especially when it’s possible to cut down on the mess and streamline your workflow once again. 

Finally, it’s important to review your SOPs to give yourself the space to ask yourself if everything is running smoothly or if there are areas for further optimization. Reviewing your SOPs will help guide you in the right direction.

When Do You Know You Need to Review Your SOPs?

If you’re reading this, this is the million-dollar question that everyone wants the answer to: How do you know when you need to review your SOPs? Well, luckily, there are several telltale signs that it’s time to revamp your SOPs and begin outlining your new processes. 

1. Answering the Same Question All the Time

Questions are always appreciated. But sometimes it can be a little annoying to constantly answer the same question about a task (not to mention it kills productivity!). If someone continuously brings up questions about a similar task, then it’s time to clarify. Review your SOP to see where the confusion is coming from and how you can implement a solution.

2. Less than Stellar Results

When you aren’t achieving the results you’d hoped to see by now, don’t fret. Even though you might feel tempted to spiral or begin placing blame, it might actually be the best time to revise your SOPs. First, ask yourself if the task and outcomes are clear. Then, it might also be necessary to explore whether everyone doing the task understands each part of the process. Sometimes, there could be a bottleneck, and a simple solution could bring big results.

3. Introduction of a New Tool

Every new tool comes with its own learning curve. Not to mention, everyone has their own way of using a tool that works for their unique business and goals. That’s why when you begin using a new tool – whether it’s with your team or your clients – it’s necessary to document exactly how you use it. For example, if you’re switching from Asana to ClickUp, you’ll want to take time to outline an SOP, as these project management tools vary deeply.

How to Revise Your SOPs

Now that you know why and when you should revise your SOPs, it’s time to actually get to work. 

If you work with a team, incorporating everyone’s feedback is essential for this process to go smoothly. We recommend you have each team member audit their own systems and SOPs. Naturally, they’ll be the ones who can tell you what works and where there’s room for improvement. A 1:1 review with your team members is another great idea and can help you identify areas that need work. 

Next, you’ll want to make time to update any informational videos. If you use programs such as Loom to provide directions, you’ll also need to carve out time to update these how-to videos. While it may take some extra time out of your day, your team will be grateful that all helpful materials have been updated. And this will save endless hours in the long run.

Finally, when it comes to revising your SOPs, be sure to check in on canned responses and templates. These sometimes fall by the wayside but are crucial in conveying timely and accurate information to clients. So, cross-check your responses to ensure that they line up with your newly revised SOPs. If a step has changed, you’ll want that update to be reflected accordingly. 

Create an SOP for Your SOPs

Don’t forget, you can never have too many SOPs! They’re such a neat and tidy way to keep information organized (and if you’ve been with us for a while, you know how much we love organization!). 

While you might not find SOPs the most fun to create, we promise it will pay off in the long run. That’s also why we always suggest creating an SOP for your SOPs. This master SOP will contain all you need to know about how to create effective SOPs that work for you, and it will help to standardize the process of reviewing your SOPs on a regular basis so that your systems keep smoothly chugging along. 

Think of your SOP as a template or a guide. They are definitely not meant to feel like a prison cell that walls in your processes with no room to move or breathe. Just as your business grows and changes, your SOPs should too. Do you have any questions about creating SOPs and how and why you need to revise them? Ask them in the comments down below. Or, if you need some help revamping your current systems in your business, or establishing your internal business operations (SOPs included!), check out our Support services!


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