The Premier Success System for Women Entrepreneurs

6 Steps to Turn Boring Processes into Profits

Special thanks to Nikkea Devida for making SOP's cool!

Published Date:Jun 27, 2017 | Blog Category: eWomenNetwork
Nikkea Devida

Let’s face it.  In many ways, creating, implementing and following processes IS boring.  Creating processes the first time can be hard, tedious, and time consuming.  Since we’re already overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time to do it, it’s the last thing we put on the list.  It’s one of those things we know we “should do,” but we tend to procrastinate on with seemingly more “urgent” things to do first.

That’s perfectly understandable.  So, how can we make creating processes exciting, fun and urgent enough to implement in our businesses now?  And how do we take the drudgery out of creating processes?

Part of it is changing your perception.  While processes might be “boring,” the results of good processes are exciting.  That’s because the most successful businesses Profit through Process and Productivity™.

For the purpose of this article, we’ll use the terms “process,” “systems” and “SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) interchangeably.

Find Your Core Purpose

One of my clients, Patty, was a financial planner and mindset coach. She was feeling burned out by her marketing efforts. They weren’t working and she was waking up wondering if it was all really worth it. Do you ever get like that? 

She was close to calling it quits. Then we worked together to explore her purpose, her mission and her WHY for doing her business. Through questioning and introspection, we were able to dig down to her core purpose. That alone revived her motivation. Then we explored her “back story” around her purpose that she could share with prospective clients.

. Then we wo��D�

 

She was close to calling it quits. Then we worked together to explore her purpose, her mission and her WHY for doing her business.  Through questioning and introspection, we were able to dig down to her core purpose. That alone revived her motivation. Then we explored her “back story” on her purpose that she could share with prospective clients.

j��*!�problem, create a process to get it done, and make it happen.

 

3 Ways Your WHY Story Will Attract Loyal Customers

Why are Processes Important?

A process is series of actions that produce something or that lead to a particular result. Systems are simply processes that have been proven to work over time.

 Processes are important because they allow you to grow your business…

• With the least amount of headaches (i.e., chaos , drama, friction & stress)

• In the shortest amount of time

• In a way that is sustainable, scalable … and satisfying

• With the highest amount of passion, purpose … & profit

• Through inspiration vs. desperation

• With the greatest amount off freedom, flexibility … & Fun!

Systems Work!

And here’s why: Systems are simply processes that have been proven to work over time. Doing “what works” the same way every time is your guarantee that no steps will be skipped, nothing will be lost or forgotten and nothing will slip through the cracks - especially by you! It allows you to leverage yourself with confidence. This is how you get the freedom to walk away from key aspects of your business (that you don’t like or don’t do well) knowing that it will still run the right way without you. You create your own "paint-by-number" systems. Whether it’s your intention or not, processes allow you to turn your business into a turn-key franchise that can be duplicated and run without you - as well or better than if you were doing it yourself!

I call it “(Your First Name) Not Needed”.

____________ N. N.

(Write your first name initial here)

(Your First Name) Not Needed can only be achieved with proper systems, processes and SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures).


3 Critical Functions of Business

Every successful business only do these three things:

Function                Description                Your%Time                Ideal%Time                Model Type                Revenue/Expense

Marketing/Sales    Get Business                _________             65%                            Marketing Model        Revenue

Operations            Do & Keep Business    _________              25%                            Business Model         Expense

Admin                    Keep Score                  _________              10%                            Revenue Model         Expense

• Get Business: There are only 3 ways to increase your sales:

                    ↑ Number of Clients
                    ↑ Revenue Per Client Transaction
                    ↑ Frequency Client Buys From You

• Do & Keep Business: Operations, delivering your products & services, new product development, keeping clients

• Keep Score: Admin, keeping track w/ metrics & KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

How to Turn Boring Processes into ProfitsToo Much Time on the Busyness of Business

If you’re like most small businesses, you’re spending too much time in operations/doing business and admin/keeping score (but not the metrics and KPIs!) than you are in marketing & sales activities.

Therefore, the goal is to focus on maximizing and freeing up time for the most important functional area, which is:

Marketing/Sales = Get Business = Revenue Generating Activities

Goal: ↑ Revenue Generating Activities          ↓ Expense Generating Activities

So while 65% of your time should be focused on revenue-generating activities, the other areas need proper attention too. So, in order to do that, at some point you’ll need team members to do some or much of the operations and admin activities for you. As much as we need and want help, hiring others can get expensive. In fact, labor is the largest expense category in nearly every business. In order to maximize your and other team members’ productivity, it’s best if you have systems/processes/SOP's to follow. Otherwise, you run the risk of the job not getting done, things slipping through the cracks or not measuring up to your standards.

Therefore, Lack of Processes Leads To:↓ Process = ↑ Cost + ↓ Productivity + ↓ Profit

This is exactly the opposite of what’s necessary to run a successful, sustainable, scalable, salable, profitable business!

But not all processes are the same...

2 Main Goals with Creating Processes

Goal #1:
↑ Written Step-By-Step Processes
↓ Stored-In-Your-Head Processes

Goal #2:
↑ Automated Processes
↑ Delegated Processes
↓ Manual Processes

Initially, your goal should be to create written processes for revenue-generating activities. Once they are created, then you can either automate or delegate them. Automated systems free up valuable time, money, energy and resources. You set them up once, and then they run by themselves. Automated systems won’t call in sick, forget or not be in the mood to do your critical functions in key areas.

As much as possible, you then want to delegate other tasks and processes to your team. This requires hiring, training and managing your team and holding them accountable with written SOP's (Standard Operating Procedures). SOP’s are the proven, step by step process to follow to produce a desired result or outcome. They are the standards or “best practices” in order to most efficiently and effectively get tasks or projects done successfully.

When to Create Processes?

Start thinking that everything you do in your business on a regular basis that takes over 10-15 mins of time can be turned into a written procedure or SOP. If it is a process you need to keep and do yourself, then you follow it. Otherwise, it can be delegated to someone else.

The good news is that when you have written SOP's, you can even hire lower $/hr team members, therefore saving you money and increasing profit. That’s because a written job/task/process is much easier to follow and takes less skill than memorizing or figuring it out. Written processes also take less time to train. On average, it takes 6 months for a team member to become fully productive in a business. With SOP's, that time is reduced to 6-8 weeks, saving time, money and productivity!

Who Writes the SOP's? 

The person who writes the SOP is the person who actually performs the task as part of their job description. The manager or director does not write the SOP for the employee. It is only in rare cases that the manager would do this for a newly created position. In most cases, the newly created position pulls responsibilities from other positions that have been outgrown and need additional support. In this case, those employees currently doing those roles in their limited function should still write the basis of the SOP to transfer to the new role. The person hired in the new role can then modify and expand the SOP to its current functionality.

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6 Steps to Create SOP's

Think of creating an SOP like creating and following a step by step recipe, like baking a cake. Create SOP's for your revenue generating activities first, including how you “onboard” clients for a great client experience.

Step 1: Organize: Do a time study for 1-2 weeks to see how/where you spent your time on a daily basis. To prepare for this step, use a journal or note pad that you visibly keep with you for 1-2 weeks. Do your best to be an “observer” of yourself to notice and be aware of what you are doing with your time while you are doing your normal activities during the 1-2 weeks of the time study's.

Step 2: Prioritize: Identify 10-20 most critical tasks. For yourself and every person on your team, it is necessary to identify the 10-20 most critical tasks that each job function/role performs. The idea behind this is that if suddenly the person who currently does that job were no longer there, how could the company fill that role as quickly as possible and continue the smooth functioning of the company.  

Step 3: Write the SOP:  Write the draft SOP in narrative and bullet format. This should include the step by step exact method of doing a particular task in detail. The task should be documented in the SOP such that someone could successfully complete the task who knew virtually nothing about your job and how to do it. Include sample documents, forms, examples, etc. as references. If the task is computer related, it is best to include screen shots. Also, for computer related tasks, be sure to say “hit enter, click _____, etc. The instructions need to be the exact procedure and keystrokes to follow.

Step 4: Validate and Verify the SOP: For non-technical tasks, the SOP in Phase 1 should be given to a person on the team who has either limited or no knowledge of how to do the task. That person should go through the SOP step by step. If that person can successfully complete the task by going through the SOP exactly, then it is a well written and verified SOP.

Step 5: Create Manuals for the SOP's: There should be one SOP manual for each job description. If there is a large team within a department, then each subsection of the department would have their own SOP manual. These manuals are hard copy manuals in binders with tabs indicating what SOP is enclosed for which job description or role. For a binder that contains more than 3-4 job descriptions with their associated (10-20) SOP's, a table of contents with page numbers should be included.

Step 6: Maintain SOP's: It is the responsibility of the individual team member to, at the direction of the leader or manager, update an SOP. An individual team member is not authorized to make changes to an SOP on their own. However, an individual team member is highly encouraged to bring ideas forth that would improve how their job or department could run more effectively. Once approved by the leader or manager, the individual team member may then update the SOP and go through the SOP process above.

SOP Timeline & Accountability

Create a reasonable SOP timeline to create and implement SOP's in your business. It is the leader’s responsibility to get “buy in” and make sure each team member is on track to complete their SOP's within the specified timeline.

Incentives/Rewards: Yes, creating SOP's is a time consuming and tedious process. Virtually no one likes to do SOP's. The more “fun” that can be infused into the process, the better. Therefore, it is advisable to create incentives and rewards for completing this process. It is best for these to be predetermined and communicated to everyone in the company, and for the team members to come up with an incentive/reward that is important to them.

Consequences: Failure to comply with the creation of validated SOP’s may result in an official reprimand in a team members evaluation or HR file. This may result in getting a poor review and smaller or no raise in compensation when their review cycle comes up, being redeployed in the company, or being placed on probation for further review. If you have Independent Contractors in your business, a condition of their contract is that they don’t get paid until they submit a written SOP for their scope of work with their invoice.

Your Next Step

eWomenNetwork members may use their 2 free coaching sessions with Nikkea B. Devida, who is a Premier Success Coach.

Click here to learn more and receive 3 free gifts 

Accelerated Results Toolkit™ includes:

• Gift #1: Opportunity for an Accelerated Breakthrough session
• Gift #2: 7-Step Delegation & Accountability System Checklist
• Gift #3: Accelerated Results Tips E-zine

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Author, Nikkea Devida

Known as the “SOP Queen," Nikkea B. Devida is a business mentor and coach who is best known for successfully helping executives and entrepreneurs “Profit through Process and Productivity." She helps them organize, prioritize, systematize and optimize their organizations for sustainable productivity and consistent profits by putting high performance systems and strategies into place.

Nikkea is a US Air Force Academy graduate who served as an officer responsible for negotiating and managing nearly $200 million dollars of defense contracts at the age of 22!  Since then, Nikkea’s systems, project management and operational skills have transformed both large and small companies. Affectionately referred to as their “Secret Weapon to Become Unstoppable," her clients include Disney, Macmillan Publishing, Peak Potentials, Lisa Sasevich, Chris Howard, Alison Armstrong of PAX and Infusionsoft.

 


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  • Karen Duncan MS, CTC, DS on 07/05/2017 12:04 AM

    Nikki's this was great information and very timely as a new non-profit it's early enough for me to put processes in place as I grow. This will help me as my need for help increases. Thanks

    Reply




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