How to Create Killer SOPs to Scale Your Startup

Why do you need SOPs for your startup? It matters because without them you’ll be putting out the same fires 🔥 twice, or a hundred times over!
A group of people working together in an office, implementing SOPs for your startup.

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Why you need killer SOPs for your startup?

Who cares about SOPs when you’re trying to scale, lead a team, and build your product, never mind spending quality time with the family?

It matters because you’ll be putting out the same fires 🔥 twice, thrice, or a hundred times over without them.

Sure, it’s much easier to fix a problem in the moment because it’s quicker. But think about how much time you waste explaining things twice or more? Think about how much time you spend repeating the same activities.

Without documentation, however, there’s no consistency, no standardization and often people will make up their own way. If you’ve taken over and done it for someone else or for a team member then you’ll be stuck having to do that same task, every time! 

10 reasons you need SOPs for your startup

SOPs will help you;

  1. Help to improve overall productivity
  2. Reduce time to onboard team members (if you want to know just how much, use our ROI calculator here)
  3. Train new and existing employees
  4. Help new and current team members perform tasks consistently, with ease, and focus on tasks geared toward customer success
  5. Reduce input (effort) and improve output
  6. Create a system and platform to unlock growth
  7. Ensure little to no downtime when team members move on or are off work
  8. Reduce burnout, and enable better work-life balance
  9. Formulate a culture of ongoing learning, empowerment, and ownership as team members develop the skills and knowledge to solve problems
  10. Attract investor interest

And just on point no 10, investors in startups are attracted to scalable opportunities, strong leadership ability, and wheels that are already in motion, so says Craig Peterson, Co-founder of GCV Capital.

We don’t know a single startup that doesn’t want to scale, but first;

What's the biggest challenge as a startup?

The biggest problem in startups

To be fair, entrepreneurship can be one challenge after another.

And then you still have to create SOPs?! 

  • But they take so much time!
  • And you don’t know where to start?
  • And then how will you make sure your team reads them?
  • And can you possibly use them to train your teams?

But it doesn’t have to be this way. 

Did you know that creating killer SOPs for your business is quicker than ever?!

With documentation tools like Whale which feature AI Assist and templates, you don’t need to spend hours or even weeks creating documentation. Get it done in seconds!

As for how, here’s the plan;

The importance of changing your mindset

If you’ve never had SOPs before or have never had a process to systemize your business, this may sound like heaven. And it is!

But you’ll need to shift your mindset first to unlock the next level of growth in your business.

You see most startups think if they just work harder, they’ll get the results they need. 

But it isn’t about working harder. 

It’s about;

  • Prioritizing the right things (yes, we mean rocks!)
  • Systemizing so you focus on growth-oriented activities
  • Empowering your teams for productivity

Creating SOPs for your Startup - the 3 Hacks you need

Hack no 1: Start with the 80-20 rule

The 80-20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, is a concept that suggests that, in many situations, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

In this case, it means that you ONLY need to document 20% of your processes because they deliver 80% of the results!

The good news is that we’ve done this for you! ✅

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, simply choose the 10 processes we’ve listed here (and have created templates for) so you can get started today!

Hack no 2: Use technology

Scaling is all about using SOP technology to make life and process easy. You can use technology, not only to create engaging documentation but also for the onboarding and training of your teams.

The main aim of using technology, in most applications, is that it decreases the time taken and creates a platform to unlock growth. 

With Whale, you have access to 75+ pick-and-play SOP and process templates to help you get through the journey quicker and easier. The best part is that once the documentation has been created, information gets delivered to your team, at the moment they need it.

Here’s how to choose the right tool for your business.

Image of the Whale Dashboard

Hack no 3: Make it engaging

In the age of memes and Netflix, your employees are used to being entertained at every turn. We’re not saying you need to be a comedy genius, but adding images, videos, and gifs to your docs can greatly affect how often they’re used.

Write like a human, make it visual and make it shareable! 

Ask yourself, would I want to read this?

And don’t forget to actually use your SOPs

We hate to say it but if your SOPs aren’t easy to access, your employees probably won’t bother to read them. 🤓

The key is to create a personalized experience for each role and only give employees the SOPs they actually need. Sounds overwhelming and difficult? It’s as easy as the click of a button. 

SOPs aren’t a way to restrict the creativity or focus of you or your employees but are actually a system to help give you more time for creativity and focus. Ultimately great SOPs and business processes are an asset to help you unlock the next level of growth in your business.

Once created, it’s a matter of tweaking them at set frequencies to ensure that they’re fit for purpose and ensure that everyone is updated with the latest information.

The bottom line

Documenting your SOPs from scratch can seem overwhelming in a scaleup where everything is already overwhelming!

But if you remember these 3 things, you’re going to ace it AND make startup life ALOT easier;

  • Start with the 80-20 rule
  • Utilize technology
  • Make the SOPs for your startup engaging!

That’s it. Keep measuring the impact and let us know how it goes!

Ultimate Guide to SOP & Process Documentation

The why, what, and how to unlock the next level of growth in your business with SOPS & systems