Business Growth Planning – Don’t Be a Sap, Use a SOP

Owning a small business is equal parts rewarding and stress-inducing. Success is often coupled with a unique set of challenges. Initially, a growing business is the dream of every owner. The phones ring incessantly, clients place orders or retain services at a harrowing pace, and company revenues shoot up. However, once the initial high wears off you remember that there is inventory to account for, accounts to reconcile, payroll and taxes to calculate, and record-keeping in dire need of organization. You think to yourself, “How did my business get out of hand”? The answer: you did not create a standard(s) of operating procedure (SOP) to guide your company.

What is a SOP?

A SOP is essentially the layout of your business procedures. A SOP is as simple or complicated as you, the business owner, desires. Generally, a SOP explains the policies and procedures of the company:  standardizing everything from accounting to record-keeping.

Advantages of a SOP

Planning out your internal procedures to a uniform standard creates greater efficiency in your business. In addition, employee turnover is less costly to your business. Training new employees using a single, uniform policy simplifies hiring. Moreover, a SOP will avert bookkeeping disasters that set your business back. Without an accurate representation of revenue, account balances, or outstanding debts you cannot make informed decisions about investing in growing your business. Writing in a stringent, standardized set of accounting and bookkeeping procedures guarantees that each employee is keeping records accurately and similarly. When you decide to reconcile accounts or review your business financials, you will save time and money.

Properly drafting, editing, and employing a SOP grows your business efficiently and uniformly. Your records are neater, your business is more efficient, and your employees are better organized and equipped to answer client questions or complaints. Most importantly, your business is ready to expand without experiencing the growing pains that destroy too many companies before they take off.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

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