Yesterday, Brogan (yeah, he’s reduced to his last name now...sorry, Dude) kicked my ass into gear. It was a painful kick because it’s the same kick my sweet hubby is CONSTANTLY giving me. My ass is a little sore, ya know? “Manage your time.” What??? I DOOOO. Gah! Well, I plan it. And I plan it well.
But I don’t execute it and my excuse is always because X came up or the babies needed Y. The keyword: excuse. And honestly, I’d have great plans in my head and on paper, but I sit down to the screen and get lost in the sea of crap I had open. OMG. The crap I had open.
Email. Google+. Facebook. Video lessons about web design. Hello?? Web design?? What? (It’s an intro course so I can know how to create buttons and crap. Who doesn’t need that??) :) I digress. SEE?? Sidetracked again.
So, wandering through all the shit open on my screen + production paralysis (you know, that fear that stops us from doing anything because we might not get it exactly right??) = zero done.
Small Business Habits
Then, it hit me. The gold we're learning in Mastering the Digital Channel needs to be in a binder where I can put my hands on them the same way that cubicle employees can put their own hands on their company's SOPs if they are ever inspected by some merciless agency.
So to figure out what other things should be in an SOP, I did what any respectful group owner does and asked my EntreFiends peeps: If you had an Standard Operating Procedure for your biz, what would be in it? I got very thoughtful answers like, “Clients first, Target Audience first too.....repeat!” From amazing Chicago photographer, Todd Nettelhorst.
Which is a great motto to operate on, but his (and the other answers) showed me no one knew what I meant by Standard Operating Procedure. It’s a term from corporate America that means a standardized way of getting shit done - you know, by the book.
And in places like the restaurant industry, it includes everything from the temps of the fridge to the smile on the hostesses faces. It’s a manual for the employees to know how to run the biz successfully.
So if corporate teaches employees how they want even these tiniest details done and succeeds at growing and moving forward, then why don’t we teach ourselves how we want to do things in our own businesses? You know, a handbook to keep us focused and on-track.
Welcome to the world, little Small Biz SOP. Never get lost in the Sea of To-Do again. With your SOP, you'll streamline your day-to-day operations so you get more done, book more clients, and never, ever stare at a blank screen again by focusing and creating habits around the things you have to do and leave out the things you don't.
So how do you come up with your biz's SOP?
Draw Up Your Biz’s SOP Today
First things first, you’ll need to block out a day to do this. Maybe two. When you sit down to get your SOP onto paper, you’ll have to list alllllll the things you do as a biz owner (marketing, education, helpworking, product creation, design, social media, blogging, email marketing, billing, accounting, meetings, etc.).
The, you're going to write out each task and what it entails. For example, marketing requires you’ll have to investigate ad options, generate ads, research, etc. So you’ll list the steps involved for each item in your SOP.
Now, set up a process for each activity so you’re always clear on what you need to do to and you never misstep. Once you’ve listed the activities and defined them, then comes the fun part: scheduling them.
How often are you (or should you be) blogging? Schedule it. Schedule the prewriting, writing, editing, and publishing on your calendar.
How often are you emailing? Schedule it. Same as with blogging: prewriting, writing, editing, and publishing.
When do you check email? Schedule it. (Don’t forget to set up a standard for this: DO it. Answer it. Delete it! And get out of email.)
When do you send invoices? Schedule it.
The whole point: Automate your biz. Take back your time. Kick ASS.
Now that you’ve gotten all of this done (or at least a version that you can adjust as you grow and learn what’s working and what’s not), USE it. Just like you would for a boss.
Because if you’re not running your biz like a BOSS, your biz is running you. Take control. NOW.
Losing is never an option.
Thanks for hanging today! I truly, truly appreciate your shares and comments! By the way, the survey is still open and your answers will help shape future products to help you get better at rockin' you biz. :) Oh, and if you're on the email list, you're 7 Copy Mistakes Stopping You from Scoring More Clients download, you should've gotten your copy! (If you're not, well, maybe you should join them and get yours :)) Hand over those 7 Copy Mistakes, Woman!