You have created all your different SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) in your business but now you’re wondering where to house them.
First of all, it’s important to create ONE central hub or SOP directory for all your SOP files so that everybody on your team has easy access and your documents are not “flying around”. Think of it like a master recipe folder where you store all the recipes, so when you need them, you’ll know where to search.
Before you start creating your SOP directory, make sure the SOPs you have created are all labelled correctly and consistently. You can read more about how to label your files in this blog post.
CHOOSE A PLATFORM
First of all, you will have to decide on a platform that you use to house all your files. There are a number of different platforms that you can choose from, common ones are Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, Vimeo or YouTube.
When you decide for a platform, keep in mind that a) it should be easily accessible by all team members or contractors and b) it should suit the format of your SOP (i.e. if you have many video SOPs it might make sense to store them on YouTube or Vimeo rather than Google Drive).
My favourite go-tool is Google Drive since it’s easy to set up and it allows to give different levels of access to team members and contractors. This is a very handy feature when your team grows and you want to control who has access to which documents in your business.
CREATE A SYSTEMS FOLDER
Once you have decided on a suitable platform, create a folder or playlist called “Systems”. Make sure that this folder is ONLY accessible by team members or contractors that need to work with your SOPs. This is the heart of your business so you don’t want to allow people outside of your organization to access your files.
CREATE MASTER CATEGORIES
Think of Master Categories as a high-level hierarchy of organizing your SOPs. Using our recipe book analogy from before, categories, in this case, would be Appetizers, Soups, Main Course and Desserts. The goal is to make it as easy as possible to search for a certain SOP.
There are different ways of doing this, but in general, master categories reflect the different areas of your business.
For example, your master categories might be:
- FINANCE & ACCOUNTING
- MARKETING & SALES
- SERVICES & PRODUCTS
Then you might have sub-categories such as:
- Invoices & Receipts (Finance & Accounting)
- Opt-ins (Marketing & Sales)
- Programs (Services & Products)
- Retreats (Services & Products)
There is no right or wrong when it comes to how you set up the structure of your directory. The important part is that it makes sense to you and your team, that it reflects YOUR business structure and that you come up with a single, consistent approach to store your SOPs in the specific folders.
PRO TIP: Create a “Default” folder where you save files that are yet to be categorized. Check this folder from time to time and move the files to the correct folders.
I suggest creating subfolders in order to structure your high-level categories. Remember that we want to make the process of locating an SOP as quickly and effortlessly as possible.
An example of a subfolder structure is:
In the SOPs folder, you save all the actual SOPs that you have created.
The Template folder is used to store templates or swipe files. Often one or multiple SOPs will link to a template. The reason you want to keep templates separate from your SOPs is that you don’t have duplicate information in multiple SOPs which leaves room for error when you have to update a template.
START ORGANIZING YOUR SOPs
Now it’s time to start organizing your SOPs 🙂
DON’T HAVE TIME TO GET IT DONE?
If you don’t have the time to capture your systems and set up a directory, you’re talking to the right person here. As an Online Business Manager, this is what I do all day, every day.
Click here to book a discovery call where we will chat all about what’s going on in your business, what your big goals are and decide if I’m a fit to help you get there.