The nine-step guide to writing the perfect SOP

July 19, 2023

Anyone have tips for a “how to stay cool during a record-breaking heatwave” process? Asking for our team in Arizona (stay safe, everybody!).

Hot off the SMB press this week: 

  • The step-by-step guide to creating consistent SOPs.
  • Start asking for customer referrals with this process template.
  • Attract Gen Z job candidates with updated job descriptions.
  • Find more time to work on your business by learning the right way to delegate.


Writing SOPs that deliver consistency and help you grow

We love standard operating procedures (SOPs). Love ‘em. We’ll shout it from the mountain tops, hire skywriters to proclaim it from the clouds, and stop every person in the street to talk about them. 

Sounds extreme, but when you start using SOPs to help your team perform processes more efficiently and consistently — setting you right on the path to scaling — you’d start singing their praises, too. (Bet.)

And documenting your SOPs is simple, starting with a single step: Write the process name.

Sounds almost too easy — so why not do it? Taking that first step sets you up for the second (assigning an owner) and then you’re practically rolling down the simple, nine-step guide to writing the perfect SOP.

How To Build a Business Playbook episode 7.

So, get started today with Trainual CEO Chris Ronzio, as he outlines the entire step-by-step process in episode 7 of the “How To Build a Business Playbook” masterclass. Plus, he talks about the best time to start documenting and how you can measure the success of your SOPs.

👉 Access the full masterclass now.

Want some more actionable steps on setting up processes for seamless business operations and consistent results? Then mark your calendar for Monday, July 24 at 9 a.m. PDT (12 p.m. EDT) — Trainual partner manager Joe Corcione is hosting a special process documentation workshop with EOS® implementer and “Process!” co-author Lisa Gonzalez! Register here.


Template of the week: Asking for Customer Referrals Process

Asking for Customer Referrals Process template.

Marketing is a tough gig, and often involves trying (and re-trying) a lot of different strategies to see what works. But one wildly effective (and often overlooked) way to spread the word is referral marketing.

According to Texas Tech, only 29% of customers refer a business after a positive experience, even though about 83% are willing to do so (they just don’t have enough motivation to do it). Which goes to show how much impact a little nudge could make.

But, how exactly do you ask your customers to share your business with their network? We got you.

👉 Snag our Asking for Customer Referrals Process template to help your team learn about your customer referral program — including the types of customers who give the best referrals, how to ask for them, and how to manage and follow up. It’s locked and loaded for you — just rip off what you don’t need and slap on what you do. You know the drill.

Want more templates to help you build your business playbook? Check out our entire template archive of free, multimedia-enhanced, and customizable policy, process, and role starters. New to Trainual? Try for free.


Want to attract Gen Z workers? Start with your job description. 

Wait, I’m the employer. Shouldn’t they be swarming to me?
Not if your job descriptions aren’t up to snuff. Even though Gen Z workers don’t have the most job experience compared to their associates, they’re flooding the workforce with desired traits — like their unmatched skill, social consciousness, resilience, and creativity. And they know it.

"If you want it, come get it."

So if you want them to come flocking to your job postings, it’s probably time for a job description makeover. Here are four things you need to change up:

1. Stick mission and values at the top.
Gen Z cares that you’re an inclusive company that provides equitable experiences and values diversity. So help them get fired up about your culture and team by sharing your mission statement, core values, and other foundational need-to-knows.

🔥 Tip: Paste a public share link to culture-centric Trainual content right at the top of your job posting — like your Mission & Vision subject, DEI Policy, or Equal Opportunity Policy. That way, prospects will not only see that you’re cultivating a sense of purpose and belonging — they’ll see how you leverage an organized, cutting-edge training system.

2. Tell them what they’ll contribute
Gen Z employees not only want benefits like flexibility and good pay — they want to make a difference. So show them how they’ll contribute to the day-to-day operations of your business and highlight what you can give them beyond their salary and benefits. Like mentorship, development, and career path opportunities.

👉 See the other two changes.


Are you delegating everything you should be?

I delegate a lot of stuff!
And we applaud you — delegating work is one of the hardest moves you can make as a business leader. Your business is your baby. And because you're protective of it (understandably so), you want to do as much of the work as possible to make sure it's done right.

But if you want to grow your business and streamline your operations, you need to give yourself the time and space to work on your business, rather than in it. And that means delegating the responsibilities that your team can handle for you.

So if you’ve already delegated a lot of your tasks, great! The question now is: Are you delegating all the responsibilities other people can handle?

Well, there might be one or two things…
Then it might be time to re-evaluate your recurring task list. Follow these five steps to successfully delegate:

  1. Determine what to delegate. Write down everything you’re currently responsible for. Is there anything that someone else could handle? Or something that’s not worth your salary? Delegate it.
  2. Choose the right delegate. Who has the bandwidth? Who already takes care of similar tasks? Who has the skills and experience to take care of these responsibilities? The best candidate is the person who comes to mind when you ask yourself these questions.
  3. Align your delegates. Communicate what your delegate is authorized to handle, how the task should be done, and the results you’re looking for. AKA, document the SOP for your task and share it with your employee. (Did you see the step-by-step guide on documenting SOPs at the beginning of the newsletter?)

👉 See the other two steps.


This week's highlight reel

  • GOOOAAALLL. Good news: The FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off this week. Better news: Brands prove the hype is real, as many have partnered with broadcasters, teams, and players to take advantage of the ever-expanding popularity of women’s sports. Best news: VISA is taking their partnership one step further — by awarding $500K in grants to 64 women-owned small businesses (one per match) during the tournament.
  • À la mode. To help cut down on textile waste, France is introducing a program that will pay people subsidies to repair their clothes and shoes. The French government hopes this scheme will incentivize keeping good-quality textiles, as opposed to getting rid of them. Think they’ll repair our knock-off Coach goods?
  • With our powers combined. Did you shop during Prime Day? Then you contributed to their highest sales volume ever: 375M items sold with over $2.5B in savings for Prime members. But Amazon also reached an even more impressive milestone: the biggest ever event for independent sellers (the majority of whom were small businesses) on Amazon’s marketplace. SMBs FTW!
  • Skip ad? What would you do for a free 55-inch screen TV? If your answer is “deal with ads on a secondary display and commit to having your viewing data sent to advertisers,” you’re in luck: There’s a company called Telly that ships free, ad-supported TVs. There’s a waitlist, so you likely won’t see that screen for a while, but it might be a better plan than buying a Costco TV and then trying to return it after three years.

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