7 Simple Steps To Create SOPs & Get Back Your Freedom!
This is just the beginning Boo this is just the beginning of the process lab. I warned you because like I've mentioned already and other videos, and today for the next few weeks, we're going to be focusing on knocking out your process, documentation and creation in 2021 for your book. [Inaudible]. Hey there, my loves welcome back to CPTV I'm CP.
And this is the place for aspiring and growing entrepreneurs who want to turn their passions into businesses and their businesses into freedom. Does that sound like you? Well, you are going to want to come on in, take a look around and check out all the content on this particular channel and subscribe because every single Tuesday, I am giving you the strategies and the step-by-step business processes to implement immediately in your business so that you can get to that level of entrepreneurial freedom that you so deserve and desire. So go ahead and hit that subscribe button and click that bell.
So you don't miss any of it. And of course, if you like it, then show me smash that like button and say, give me processes CP in the comments below. That's a good one for today, right? Okay. As entrepreneurs,
we all have this dream of building a profitable business that works without us, but we still get trapped in our businesses. You get to a point where you can't step away from it for more than a day or two, or it will collapse, right? That means we have built a machine that depends on us and only us. And then we are stuck.
But the worst part is that's the opposite of why we started our businesses in the first place. We wanted freedom, but now we are chained to our businesses. How did you end up here? My love. Why are you stuck? But more importantly, how do you get out of it? I mean, how do you change it? I totally get it. I have been there so many times and each time I had to learn and work through the process of removing myself from the day-to-day tasks of my business, the answer was simple for me. It was easier said than done. However,
so it's time that you evolve, grow from being an employee of a business that you own to the business owner and the solution to your problem lies in your business processes. Do you have them? Of course you do. We all, do. You just may realize it yet, or maybe you do realize it regardless. You must have concrete, well-documented documented processes in order to step away from your business. Because when you step away, you still have to guide the ship and your documented processes are the directions that you give your crew to get you to the destination.
The fact is once your business is working without you, your life will change. And today I'm going to teach you how to create business processes and SLPs. So you can create those maps, give folks those directions that will lead you to being unstuck and on the path to that freedom that you. You deserve. So let's get to work. Okay. First, I want you to know that I'm going to go over a lot of information in today's episode.
So I would definitely recommend that you pause and go grab a pen and a paper. I'll wait. And so that you can begin to jot down some notes about what I'm going to go over, but I'm also going to give you a free guide. And in that guide, you're going to get more details about these steps and you're going to get my updated SOP template. And the link to that description is below in the comments, as well as in the description, or you can go to cherylcperez.com/processguide to grab it. So make sure that you do.
And I also want you to know that I'm not going to spend a lot of time in this video talking about the importance of business processes I have been there, and I have done that. So I'll go ahead and link to that playlist right now, because I've got more than one video. So you can check that out because if you find yourself still confused about why you need business, processes and systems, then before you can do anything that I'm getting ready to show you, you've got to go back, watch those videos and get your mind wrapped around. Why? Because there is work involved when documenting your processes, there's work involved in creating your processes. There is mental bandwidth that you are going to use.
There's time there's effort. It takes dedication. It takes commitment. And if you don't have your mind wrapped around how critical all of this is to your business growth and to your journey towards freedom, then you've got to start with those other episodes. But if you're still watching, then you all ready know, boom.
Okay. So let's go ahead and get into creating these processes and these SLPs step number one in creating your processes and SOP's is pretty simple, but it requires a of bandwidth. And that is writing down all your tasks associated with whatever it is that you are doing. Now, let's just say that I'm going to be documenting my refund process, which is a very important money out process. So I'm documenting my refund process.
And the first thing I'm going to do is really write down all of the things that I've done in the past when I've had to issue a refund. So if you've done it before you already know all the tasks that you had to do in order to successfully get it completed, it may have been messy. It may have been all over the place and it may have been really ugly in order for you to do it, but you did it. So those tasks are the ones that I'm talking about. So in this step, you want to write all of those tasks down. Now, if you've never done the process before, and I always recommend to my startup business students and my very early stage entrepreneurs to still think through what you will do when you get that refund request. Okay,
you got to think through that future thing and their thoughts, everything that you think about, it's not going to be perfect. It's going to be messy. Um, but you will appreciate taking the time to really think through it and to consciously make a decision on what's going to happen when someone requests a refund from you, because the worst time to figure it out is as it's happening. And because this really does require some brainstorming and some thought processes. I like to use a big old whiteboard, and I know how I feel about whiteboards and I just start writing and I just start thinking, and I usually got some music playing in the background, so I'm chilling. Um,
but I'm just focused on really thinking through all of the detailed tasks that I have to do in order to get someone, their refund. Now, now that I've done step one, and I've written out all of the tasks. I look at my whiteboard and I move on to step number two. I reorganize them into a sequential order.
What's first what's second what's third. And I put those tasks in the order. They should be in for the process to be as smooth as possible. So even as I was brainstorming those tasks on that whiteboard, I may have been jotting them down in a disorganized way, cause I'm just regurgitating tasks. But once I've read out all the tasks, now it's really my job to step back, look at those tasks and begin to put them in the appropriate order so that they flow into a smooth process. And that's what I'm doing here. That's why I love a good whiteboard because I can write everything down.
I can erase numbers, I can rewrite numbers, I can just read number them. And then ultimately at that point, I've got a great idea of what concrete process flow is going to look like. And then I move on to step number three, which is mapping out that process flow into a visual sequence or a process map. I like to see it visually because it's easier for me to follow. The detailed is great, but it's really nice to be able to just look at a map.
So I ultimately create the process map and my favorite place to do that is Microsoft word. Believe it or not. Now there's a lot of mapping software out there and I've actually used tons of them over the years. Um, and I still do, like when I'm creating sales processes or sales funnels, I actually use a specific mapping software, but for an overall process, especially when you're just starting out in documentation word is amazing for doing and creating your maps. So let me show you exactly what I mean. Okay. So let me walk you through really quickly kind of what I do when I am mapping the process flow and I use words to do it. Um, so here's my word document.
We're going to go ahead and open that up. And the first thing that I do is I insert and one of my favorite things to insert is going to be smart art. So if you click on the smart art, it actually opens up all kinds of smart art graphics. I always use the process, smart art graphic, and there's lots of different ones that you can choose from.
And you can pick the one that you like that you think is going to be the easiest or the funnest. I tend to choose a repeating bending process because it allows me to put many, many steps on. Um, so it's either the vertical bending or the repeating bending. Um, and so typically I just go with the repeated bending and I hit, okay, once I do that, it's going to insert this process map in there for me.
And as you can see, you can enter text into each of these boxes. So in the instance of this, um, particular process that we're looking for, which is the refund process, um, you've got texts that you can enter now the easiest way to enter texts, that it just kind of continues and you can do it pretty quickly is that I click right here on text pain. So it shows me what text is actually being entered into the process. And that first bullet point, as you can see, when I start typing, it's going to just go ahead and type it into that first box.
So in this refund process, I'm just going to put refund request received via finance email, notification, and then I'm going to hit the tab. If I can just spell guys finance, and then I'm going to go ahead and hit the next text box and enter the next step. So review I am profile. I'm just going to keep typing in all of the steps of my process. So on and so forth, I'm going to compare client findings so on and so forth. So when I kicked down to this last little box of text, as I enter in my last one, this particular process has eight steps.
I've only got five boxes, but when I hit enter, it's going to continue to add boxes. So I will be able to continue to add as many steps as I need to add. And once I'm done entering all of those steps, I can click out of that text box and then I can actually stretch and move this to whatever size I need it to be. You can also go into your layout in your word document, change the orientation of the paper or of your actual process flow. You can spread it out. It's going to ultimately then do we need to do?
And the arrows are automatically going to be in there. And for me, you know, I always like everything to be branded. So I click on this design button. I make sure that my colors are chosen.
And then I can ultimately go in and change those colors. If you want to change the colors which I typically do for my branding, I always use kind of the colorful ones where it takes any of my brand colors and it turns it into those colors. And so you can kind of play with it and get it to a final version that you like. But it's really simple. As you can see, word is a perfect place to use your smart art and then ultimately to create your process math and your process flow.
Cool. Right? Yes. I may be getting a little nerdy on you because I've told you about my nerdy background, but I just love that visual map of what this process looks like. It allows me from a different angle to kind of step back and make sure that I'm not missing anything.
And to think through the steps that I'm doing in even more detail, making sure that they make sense. And then also helps me move on to step number four and step number four is something that I think is very unique to my process because I've never seen anybody else who does Lean Six Sigma or Kaizen or anything like that. Trainings guys that I've gone through. I'm actually a yellow belt. Y'all okay. And I've never seen this step and that is determining your assets and responsibilities based upon the process flow and the process map that we just created. So let me explain what I mean, when I say determine your assets and your responsibilities. Once you have your process flow written out step-by-step and you've got your process map done that visual depiction, you can visually see what flows from each step to step.
So now it is time to figure out what you need in order to get each step done. Those are the assets and who is going to be in charge of each of those steps. That's who's responsible. So I begin to document those in my process flow chart, and it's the table that you just that I created.
And it basically has all the steps. And then it has columns that say responsibilities assets. And then it also has a column that says timing in that column that says assets. I look at each step in my process and I begin to write down what I need in order to get that step done. So for instance,
in my refund process that we are creating in this example, there's a step that says research client profile and determine which product they bought, right, how much they paid. I was supposed to figure out when their purchase was made and I'm supposed to compare it against their products, refund policy, because each product may have something different with regards to the refund policy. Now, in order for me to do that, I know I have to have a way to store client records, right? To store my client profile so I can look it up. So obviously in order to successfully do this step, I have to have a place to go and look it up. And for me, that is our CRM system, our client relationship management system. Our support system, every.
Single client is in that system. They all have a record that can be checked. They all have a profile in that record. I can see all of those details. I can see what they've purchased. I can see the date and it allows me to store that data. So in this step in order to get it done, one of the assets, obviously that I need is a client management system.
I need some place to store client data. That's an asset. There's also a step in my refund process that says acknowledge receipt of the recent refund request with the client. Well, in order for me to do that, I have to have an email system, right? Because I can't email them. If I don't, I have to be able to email the client back and let them know that we've received their request and that we're processing their requests.
So the asset for that step means I need an email system or an email provider, as well as the email template. Right? Of course I want an email template because it should be a standard consistent message that automatically goes back to every single client that has submitted a refund request. Now, I don't want to leave it up to my customer service representative or my team to figure out what to say, or if I'm that person, I don't want to leave it up to me to figure it out every time either. So in order for me to have create a brand new email effort to avoid creating a brand new email, every time I have to create a template, because otherwise it's not efficient. So in this step, I need an email system, as well as an email template as assets. So you get where I'm going with set number four, right? Each step is going to require assets.
And this is where you determine what those assets are. Now. I also mentioned in this step is for you to determine who's responsible for this step. And that really depends upon whether or not you have a team or whether or not it's still just you or whether or not it's going to actually be a technology tool that really manages that step. So for example, in the examples that we've been talking about here, research client profile, the person responsible for that is the customer service representative that has received the request, right? And in the other step that says acknowledge receipt of the refund request and informed the client that it's being processed. That is the responsibility of the customer service rep who received the request as well, or it's the responsibility of a technology tool that can send out an auto reply as soon as we receive the request. Got it. So moving on to step number five, document everything into an SOP or a standard operating procedure template.
So, as I mentioned, if you grab my free gift to you, that's in the comments and the description below or on the website, cherylcperez.com/processguide. It is going to give you my SOP template on steroids. And now after you've written everything out in these previous steps, and you've created your workflow, you've mapped out that process. You've determined who the assets are, who the responsibility is, what the assets are. All that's left for you to do is to really formalize it by putting it into a standard operating procedure or SOP. And that is exactly what you're seeing right now.
So this SOP document has a place for you to put your process flow. It also has an entire place for you to put that process map that we just created, which is what I just showed you the table. And that map that we just did in word, but it also has some other sections and some other pieces of information that you need to go ahead and add in to formalize your operating procedure.
So you're going to look at what your process goal is and who your process lead is going to be. And that's the person who really is in charge of the process. You have to make sure that you name the process very clearly. So everyone knows what it is.
You have to also look at what the range or scope of the process is, which is included in the process. And what's not to include in the process. You have to note what is going to trigger this process to begin. So that's kind of like the input and then what ultimately is going to be the result or the achievement of the process in your SOP or in this document, you will also document areas that the process might pivot. So for instance, in my refund example that we've been using, I've got a couple of process pivots, like in the first step when the refund request is received by our finance finance email box.
But what if someone requests a refund in a different way that is a pivot from the original step. So in this section, I need to include alternate or additional steps that may apply. And they may replace the previous steps in my previous process in the event that someone requests a refund in a different way. So in this instance,
my process pivot is if someone sends a refund request to the help desk, add step one, a which includes the help desk forwarding the request to the finance email address, because it always needs to start there. So anything that could change or differ in my originally documented process is considered a pivot. And in this section, I'm going to list what should be added or changed in the original process. When a pivot occurs. You'll also notice in this document that you want to write down what checkpoints you're going to use when you're going to kind of check things out and review things and make sure that they're working out well.
And then obviously that process flow chart that we've already talked about. And so I really could go way more in depth into this and maybe I will. And actually I will, but not in this video. So make sure that you grab that guide because it's a little bit more detailed in there for you than even what I'm able to get to in today. So let's talk about step six and that is execute the process, follow the process and make notes of any bottlenecks that you're experiencing in your process. So you're wondering how do you do that CP? Well, it's really simple. I use project management system.
I've talked about my favorite project management system in previous videos. You guys know already how I feel about Asana. So every single SOP that we have in our business has been added to a sauna as a project and all the steps in order with the assets and the templates have all been added to Asana.
So when we're actually executing one of these SOP's, it allows me to keep track of all the steps and assign the tasks so that we can follow all the steps in order and also maintain the timeliness and the deadlines, because I'm looking at them in this project management software. So I do recommend that in order to effectively execute your processes, they have to be kind of front and center in your face. And in your mind at all times, you have to be looking at them.
You have to be aware that they exist. They have to kind of create your workflow. And the best way that we manage our workflow in our business, and I recommend in yours is through the use of project management software, linked to a sign of a low bid. So I do think that step number six is best completed.
When you add your processes to a project management software, you assign the steps, you give folks on your team or yourself, the deadlines, and you just kind of knock them out. And that brings me to step number seven, which is tweak your processes in order to remove any bottlenecks that you've determined and improve your efficiency, because that's what it's really all about, right? That's really the phase that I'm in this year. I am really in process improvement phase. I have documented the majority of the processes that exist in our business already. I've been documenting them for years,
but every single year, we take a look at those SLPs and we have a conversation as a team about what's not working well. What is working? What's taking extra time. What's been slowing everything down and we try to figure out ways to implement new strategies or implement new software automations, or find new technology that can remove some of those bottlenecks in order to improve the processes efficiency. And I recommend that you review your SOP's regularly as well, especially if they're new processes on a quarterly basis. I would say at the very minimum, because we've been refining ours for so long, we really are in the habit of looking at them every single year. But if it's a brand new process in CP brands that we've implemented, even though my business has been around for a long time, we start out and reviewing that process and tweaking that process on a quarterly basis. Why?
Because I don't want to go a whole year doing something that's not working or doing something that's any efficient. So at the end of every quarter, we take a look at our new process. We say, all right, let's talk about how it worked. Let's talk about how it didn't work. What were some of the things that delayed things? What are some of the reasons, what are some of the problems that we're saying? What prevented us from being able to do things smoothly? And we just work through changing it. We, um, what if we don't put something in place we determined and we test things.
What if we just add an email automation? Um, what if you know, you get it right? You get it, you understand where I'm going with this. It allows you to kind of make adjustments and to remove those bottlenecks. And now I've got a CP impact tip for you. Okay?
Because this is something that I just started doing in the last few years to help with my business processes and my SOP creation. And that is to record the final process and make a video. Yes, record it. Once you have created your processes, you've executed them. You've noted your bottlenecks, and you've worked really hard to improve your efficiency and tweak and remove those bottlenecks. You have gotten your process to what you would consider to be a maximum place of efficiency.
And once you've gotten your processes to where you think they are tight and they are consistent, and they're doing really, really good for you, then I recommend you record yourself or someone on your team doing those processes so that you ultimately have a video training library ready to go. A lot of people will tell you, and I've seen the trainings before from other gurus to just record it as soon as you create it. And I've tried that in the past. And I don't like that because I end up recording things over and over and over again, because obviously I'm still tweaking and improving my processes consistently. But once I've gotten them to a point where I feel like there really isn't much else we can do to make it significantly better, then I record what the process is.
And I stored in our employee training library that way, when I hire new employees, your future employees, or when someone new comes on board and they're going to have to do whatever it is, the process is not only will they have the document. SOP is to look at the process flow charts that we've created, but they will also have a videotaped recorded training to learn from. So what do you think was I right? It was a lot of information. I know. And guess what? This is just the beginning, Boo this is just the beginning of the process lab.
I warned you because like I've mentioned already in other videos and today for the next few weeks, we're going to be focusing on knocking out your process, documentation and creation in 2021 for your business. And I've got so much more content that is coming your way. That's going to make sure that you can get that done. So come on. If you are hella pumped about that smash, that like button, don't forget to share this video with someone else that you know, needs to work on their business processes and make sure that you click that bubble right next to me to subscribe and you click the bell. So you don't miss any of the process, lab, series and videos that we're doing. And don't forget to grab your guide below it. Life-changing y'all.
Until next time, my love stay safe. I'll see you on Tuesday. Bye-bye.