Dave Meadows and Mike Sovie are co-founders of ColdCallRX, a Tampa Bay, Florida-based outsourced cold calling and lead generation service provider that started in 2020.
One of the ways they’ve positioned their company to scale is by creating standard operating procedures, or SOPs. Employers use these documents to describe how they do things in the company, whether it’s answering a customer service call or entering information into a database, so it’s easier to train new hires.
Later, some find that when they sell the business, having SOPs in place makes it more attractive to potential buyers, who know they can walk into the property without confusion about how to keep things running smoothly. “A business that can operate without the owner on a day-to-day basis is worth a lot more than a business that requires an owner,” says Sovie, who has a background in pharmacy, where many processes are standardized in this way.
In the case of ColdCallRX, the SOPs consist of simple videos of each task, along with written instructions. “If someone has a question, you can send them a quick video,” says Sovie.
ColdCall RX has organized the SOPs into a playbook, which has a table of contents for all of its SOPs, covering topics such as customer onboarding, software systems and training, and virtual assistant management support and training .
The company also shares a “best practice” SOP with its customers to help them get the most out of the relationship, offering guidance on scenarios such as what to do if they receive a call from a key contact at a company who ColdCallRX has been presenting on your behalf. “We’re an extension of their sales team,” says Meadows.
So how do you create SOPs for your own business? I turned to Carrie Wulf, an operations expert and self-described “SOP geek” at Wulden Professional Solutions in Wallingford, Ct., for advice.
“In the last year there has been an increase: people are realizing that they need to put these procedures in place,” he says. “They want to start taking holidays. People are realizing that I can give my assistant this SOP library and they’ll know exactly what to do and how to do it.”
Here are three tips to start applying today.
1. Consider all types of learners. Some people learn better with a video. Others do better when they learn from an audio recording or a written document. Your SOPs will be more successful if you create them in multiple formats. “Whenever I write an SOP, I include a link to an explainer video,” he says.
2. Consider each step. Someone should be able to follow SOP even if they have never worked for your company before. “My goal when I write SOP is to be able to hand that document to someone who has never done this task before, so they can do it by following the SOP as written,” says Wulf.
3. Make it easy on yourself. Wulf uses a video messaging tool called Loom to talk and record the steps of each process. If you choose to use it, it suggests recording with a Zoom screen share.
In short, SOPs are a simple tool. However, they can make a real difference if you want to grow your business and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
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