Did you know that you can start creating standard operating procedures in ClickUp in just 3 simple steps? As a CEO and DOO, listing down and mapping out processes comes with running my business. Not gonna lie, I don’t particularly enjoy writing those out, so I had to figure out a simple and efficient way to do so. This post will show you how you can get started on those SOPs in 3 actionable steps!
3 Steps to Easy SOPs (you know, like a boss!)
Whether you have a knack for mapping out workflows or not, SOPs need not be a crazy difficult task. In fact, it boils down to how far are you willing to go in the name of streamlining your business efforts. With these 3 steps, I bet you can get several SOPs outlined this week!
Step 1: Get it out of your head
You need to map out or document each step of the journey for a specific process. You can do this a number of ways!
- Old school pen and paper! You can use a notebook or a planner.
- Digital note taking app like Evernote or start up a ClickUp document, or even a Google doc.
- An online collaboration tool like Miro.
- Whiteboard and marker or the app equivalent of this.
- Record yourself going through the process using a screen recorder app like Loom or use ClickUp’s video recording feature. (BONUS POINTS because it’s so easy to just hit record).
Aaaand if you really needed to, you could take pictures of the sticky notes that are surrounding your desk. Whatever floats your boat as long as you have an outlet to get the stuff out of your head and somewhere where other people can reference it.
You can create either a workflow to visualize how the process should proceed or create an outline to list down all the particular steps to complete said process. Recording videos of the whole process is also a viable option, especially for visual learners like me!
Step 2: Sort out your processes
Sort out your processes by tool and/or by person using colors.
You can create a table on your ClickUp document, list out the tools, tag the team member who uses that particular tool, and then color code it based on what works for you.
This will allow you and your team to further visualize what needs to be done, by whom, and what comes next. This also means you’ll need to determine the tasks that go on for each process and which tool goes with that. Now, you can do this in your workflow map chart for very complex processes, or you can simply color code it by the texts inside the list.
If you’re having trouble envisioning this, you can watch the video that I based this blog post on here: 3 Simple Steps for Easy SOPs in ClickUp!
Step 3: Create the templates for each process/tool
Templates are every business owner’s best friend. It cuts down the time and effort needed to work through things from scratch, and since we’re going to be writing up a fair amount of SOPs (whether new or updating existing ones) templates make for an invaluable business resource.
A good example of templates to have at the ready would be, SOP templates for:
- Producing content (e.g. blog posts, social media posts, podcasts, vlogs, etc.)
- Promotions (e.g. new services, products, guests, etc.)
- Finances (e.g. payroll, project budget, ad spends, etc.)
Then break it down further:
Ex. Producing Content
- Transcribing audio/video content to be repurposed into a blog post – Descript
- Creating graphics – Canva
- Store Assets – Google Drive
- Publishing blog post – WordPress
- Batching social media posts – AgoraPulse
You need to create your templates to focus on each tool, this will help provide all the necessary details to accomplish each step using a specific tool.
Wait… but WHY do I need SOPs?!
Before we get down to business, I need to confess… I’m not a fan of writing standard operating procedures.
“But Anne!! You do this for a living, surely you LOVE IT!”
Well, when I say I’m not a fan, it’s not because SOPs don’t work or because I think it’s a waste of time. Actually, creating SOPs and following them to the best of my and my team’s ability has been the secret to scaling and sustaining the biz. It’s mostly because I spend WAY too much time overthinking the processes and procedures, because (another confession) I’m a recovering perfectionist.
Now, regardless of how I felt about standard operating procedures, there had been several reoccurring themes in my and even in my clients’ organization:
- Not having SOPs mean you don’t have clear guidelines of how things SHOULD be done. This makes quality control a harder to maintain because there’s nothing in writing to prove that, say a certain step requires a particular degree of attention.
- When a business can’t be bothered to write up SOPs, onboarding is going to be hell because your new hire doesn’t know where to start or where they stand. Standard operating procedures help protect employee roles and boundaries since it organizes areas of business, projects, and tasks into segments that are essential to an individual employee or your team’s success. Basically, your SOPs lessen, and at times, even eliminate the whole ‘guess what you’re supposed to do and how to do it’ game.
- No sane guru is going to tell you to start a business and wing it because that’s a disaster waiting to happen… AND disaster can + do strike regardless of the scale of your business. The best way to mitigate or avoid crises is to HAVE A PLAN & STICK TO THE PLAN. No SOP? No plan. No plan? Cue Toccata and Fugue in D minor [Google it for fun!].
Bottomline is you need SOPs. Seriously, you do. Don’t fight me. -_-
Now, let me know in the comments, do you struggle with standard operating procedures like I do? If you do, you definitely should go check out My Academy for the simple SOPs mini course.
Ambitious wishes and I’ll see you around!
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