🪖 Simplify ⚙️ Automate ⚡️ Accelerate
Wednesday September 06, 2023
Welcome to this edition of Creator Ops Insider!
This is the newsletter for creators and online business owners who are ready to scale their business by streamlining their back end operations.
Each week you’ll get an inside look at what’s working for business owners as we speak.
Preview of this week:
- Practical lesson – SOPs Improve Communication
- Reader question – Organizing Files With Dates
- Recommended resource
No fluff. Just straight shooting. Simple lessons, practical strategies, and actionable insights that get results.
Get ready to take action.
Previously I shared about the The 5 benefits of implementing Standard Operating Procedures In Your Business.
And today, we’ll continue with benefit number four (click the links to access past issues).
- Consistency & Predictability
- Increased Efficiency
- Better Communication
- Reduced Stress
This week, let’s look at how using standard operating procedures (SOPs) can help improve communication between team members.
When everyone is following the same process, it is easier to communicate about the work being done. It also makes it easier to delegate tasks and responsibilities.
Let’s look at four ways SOPs help teams communicate better.
1. Consistent Terminology & Expectations
SOPs help to ensure that everyone on your team is speaking the same language.
This is especially important for projects that need teamwork between different groups, departments, or people who live in different parts of the world.
Using a common language in your company can help prevent errors or misunderstandings that easily cause big delays or problems later on.
SOPs that provide clear and consistent directions help team members know their:
- and how their tasks contribute to the team’s overall success.
Clear expectations increase accountability because everyone knows where they fit in.
In my experience, teams who communicate using the same language have more trust. They share a common vision, the path to success is clear for everyone, and they just need to complete their part of the puzzle.
2. Institutional Knowledge
In many small businesses, there’s always that one guy who knows everything about the business. And when he gets sick, takes a vacation, or heaven forbid leaves the company all that knowledge walks out the door with him.
Creating SOPs helps your company build a shared knowledge base so you never risk losing everything when someone gets a new job.
Capturing team members’ knowledge and experience means you don’t have to make the same mistakes again and again. Make a mistake, learn from it, communicate solutions to the team.
The idea of kaizen, or continuous improvement, is a powerful concept for business growth.
Making small, 1% improvements over time can have a massive impact on overall success. James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, provides an example of this with the story of the British cycling team.
In the early 2000s, the team was struggling to win any major races.
However, they hired a new coach who implemented a strategy of making small, incremental improvements in every area of the team’s performance.
From improving the nutrition of the athletes to optimizing the design of their bikes, the team focused on making small improvements every day. My favorite example was improving their pillows to get a 1% better night’s rest.
Over time, these small improvements added up and the team went on to dominate the cycling world, winning multiple Olympic medals and Tour de France titles.
By focusing on making small improvements every day, businesses can also achieve significant growth and success over time.
I share an example below of one of my clients and how continually improving his SOPs improved his client onboarding and got his some amazing reviews for something he previously struggled with..
As team members provide feedback on SOPs, any business can constantly refine and improve their processes, creating a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration.
It really is that simple.
3. Improved Onboarding (Team Members & Clients)
As I’v mentioned previously, SOPs are crucial as a training tool for new team members. But they work just as well for client work.
We can apply what we know about using SOPs with your team to onboarding a new client and making them more confident about their purchase.
Let’s look at one quick example from one of my clients.
This particular client runs a marketing agency designed to help their customers scale through partnerships.
As his company grew and he brought on new team members it became necessary for those team members to conduct client onboarding calls freeing him to build more relationships and close more deals.
His team had already developed some processes around client onboarding. They knew what to communicate, but they were still struggling because the client’s expectations a few months later didn’t always match what his team thought they had promised.
I took his team through a process of documenting every piece of information they needed from the client, every question new clients would need to have answered, and every promise they could deliver on.
Once this list was created, it was all added to a single document where each step was put in its logical order.
As the founder onboarded the next several clients using this document, he refined the process and shared it with the whole team (and the clients).
This became their new onboarding checklist or as they call it, the 90 Day Plan.
He now gets messages every week telling him how efficient the onboarding process is. Something he used to struggle with has become one of his main selling points.
His clients rave about how professional his team is, how clear their communication is, and how their expectations are perfectly aligned with what he’s promised.
Need Help Documenting Your Processes So You Can Communicate Better WIth Your Team & Never Risk Losing Your Institutional Knowledge?
I keep struggling with organizing files with dates. How do you keep track of everything?
Maybe it’s because I was trained by the Army, or maybe it’s because my mom is a secretary, but I use something called the ISO date format to almost all of my file names that are date sensitive.
ISO, or International Organization for Standardization, date format is useful because it gives an exact and simple way to show dates and times.
It’s the same everywhere (because its standardized) and easy to understand in different countries and cultures.
Here’s the format:
Here’s what the ISO date looks like for American Independence Day, July 4, 1776:
Not only does it give me a way to quickly identify the date of a document, it helps when I want to sort and filter dates in order.
If you enjoyed playing with LEGO as a kid, or if you’ve struggled to integrate your project management tools, process documentation, and team communication Notion is the perfect app for you.
Imagine having a single tool tailored to your exact needs. Notion allows you to build your own all-in-one app without writing a single line of code, and it’s quickly becoming my go-to tool for streamlining my business and working with clients.
I’m working on a ConvertKit migration for a client right now, and I have the entire project, communication plan, and documentation inside Notion.
Plus, Notion AI helps me every day by drafting processes, brainstorming, and cleaning up my writing (including this…whoa totally meta).
Thanks for reading this edition of Creator Ops Insider.
If you have a question you would like to see featured or have feedback about this week’s newsletter, please hit reply.
Found this helpful? Share it with a business owner you know.
Here’s to taking action!