It's the first week of 2022 and chances are you told yourself this is going to be "your" year. This is the year your business grows. This is the year you start to scale.
This is the year you're going to get your shit together.
Look, if you're a web designer or even a developer, chances are that you might be a bit on the creative side. And creatives, well, we're not so great with the whole organizational, processes thing.
In the years I've been in business, not being great with the processes and or treating my business like the actual business it is is the reason I've failed before. I tried to freelance years ago, and I could never get to a consistent revenue.
Because I wasn't treating my business like a business.
One thing you can do to improve all that? Implementing some processes - or Standard Operating Procedures - into your business.
It's the first week of 2022, and chances are you told yourself this is going to be your year, this is the year your business grows. This is the year you start to scale. This is the year you get your shit together. Look, if you're a web designer or even a developer, chances are that you might be a bit on the creative side. And creatives are, well, we're not so great with the organizational processes and, you know, stuff like that and the years I've been in business not being great with processes and or treating my business like the actual business it is is the reason I failed before I tried to freelance years ago. And I could never get to a consistent revenue stream because I wasn't treating my business like a business. one thing you can do to improve all of that implementing some processes for standard operating procedures into your business. Well, hurrying, why do we need standard operating procedures? Do you really want to do something the same way every single time you do it? Yeah. Long and short of it is you do. Think, for instance, about some of the largest businesses in the world, McDonald's. Love them or hate them, grew so rapidly and so massively, in part because everything was so consistent across the board while a franchisee could come in and buy their own locations. They still had to do it the McDonald's way. If you have ever worked fast food or for a larger corporate chain, chances are you went through some kind of corporate training in your first few weeks. Every single employee that starts has to go through the same training, not because companies love to waste time where you ease you in, but because they want those things done the same way. But all of their employees. Now, you may be wondering, how does this all apply to Web design? Aren't you creating a unique product for every client? Why do you need to do some things the same way? The long and short of it, it helps you to do things more efficiently and with better precision. Now, when you take the time to think through the process and write it all up, you're removing any of the guesswork when you have a process to follow. You know exactly what the next step should be, and you don't get mental blocks just because you're not sure SRP is also help you to scale your business. Simple as that, you can only do everything in your business for so long until you're capped at what income you can earn. There has to be a way to scale, and often that means bringing on some help now creating an SRP. That means that it's easier to train that new person and they can come in and get started without you having to take a huge chunk of your time and your day to teach them the nitty gritty. Now, a few months ago, I hired my first junior developer. I knew that I wanted her to help me with specific tasks, but I wasn't sure exactly what all I could get over myself and trust her with. But for those things that I knew she would be doing, I created detailed soapies. Having those SRP is created before she even started meant that I could literally just hand off those assignments pretty easily. We reviewed them. I showed her a few things through screen share and a way she went. She also has those to refer back to every single time she helps with those tasks, so she not only has the process to follow, but it cuts down her having to ask me the same questions over and over again. And at this point, you might already be thinking of some speakers that you can implement in your own business now. But let's talk about actually creating them. Now the first thing to remember is that an SRP doesn't have to be crazy complicated, like an e-book with everything under the Sun. Personally, I just do simple Google Docs that have step by step instructions. one of my speakers even has my phone number and a note to text me if something goes terribly wrong. I have clients that have created a set of US copies by recording a series of Lume videos. Others that have documents with screenshots. When you're creating your recipes, you want to first focus on what makes sense for you and your business and how you work. Now writing your first stop when I know that I have a new SRP, I'm going to create, I simply bring up a Google doc, put it on my second monitor. Then I start the task. So it helps me because I'm going through the task itself while I'm writing the piece, so I don't miss anything. So every time I click, I log in or write otherwise do something different. I know. Take that in my. Now remember when you do this all the time, but you might be sharing this document with a new freelancer or contractor or employee. Remember, they don't know your business, so someone was zero. Knowledge for how you work needs to be able to come in and understand this. Break it down into a simple steps, as you can. You also want to break it out into any sub steps that might fall under those initial steps. Think of it like an if else loop. If it's not this, then do that. Make sure to include everything through to the very end of the task, including how to mark off or notify someone that the task has been completed. Now, how do you determine what supplies you need? How do you select what to take the time with to create standard operating procedures? I mean, creating a suppliers can definitely take time. So you can approach it in a couple of couple of different ways. If you want to hire someone soon, you've just hired someone or you're trying to justify bringing in help creating supplies for the tasks. They would help you with is a great place to start. Not only will it make it easier on yourself when they join your team because you'll largely have those recipes created. But you'll know exactly what you want them to do and how you want them to help you and your business. Knowing the tasks will be helping with will help you finding and hiring the right person to it also let you see the gaps and prepare for those gaps. Now, in a web design business, you might need standard operating procedures that cover things like the client onboarding process, the same app copy design and development processes, templated emails to send to clients at different phases of their project. How to update websites, how to perform security updates and maintenance, even how to create content for your business's marketing. Now my junior developer only helps me with specific development tasks, but the SOPs and templates I've created for other parts of my business helped me to work faster, smarter and more consistently. Now, one of the first steps I wrote was one the one for updating my hosting clients WordPress websites as a part of their hosting. I promise to update their WordPress core and plugins once a month and then do a general sweep of the website to ensure all looks good. And then I take a full backup and I save it in a secondary location because this process was a bit more involved. When I brought in my junior developer, I knew that having an SRP would help her to do the work the way that I did without missing any steps and provide the same level of service that I would myself now in this case. Her first few steps would look something like this one. Check the the daily backup was taken under production backup points. If not, create backup titled backup pre. Plug in updates. Enter your email after mine separated by. Com Hit Production Backup. Hit Create production backup. Once notified, backup has been completed. Refresh backup points and it goes on from there with the rest of the steps to update each plug in WordPress core, checking the website to ensure there are no conflicts and how to take the final update and where to save it. When I hired help, I was literally able to just give her this document in a way she went. Easiest training solution. However. Standard operating procedures. Really, they're all about making your life easier, but it's also about growing your business easier. Think about every time you have to train someone contractors and they only stick around for a short length of time. And if you're having to teach one person who then quits and then teach another person, what's the point in the first place of hiring? Having written processes and as Opie's allows you to bring on help as needed, but it also helps to keep your business consistent. This makes it far easier for you to scale your business, but also makes you more efficient overall. And honestly, you know that you're more efficient, that when you're more efficient, that just means that you're able to get more billable work done. It's not what we all want. Thank you guys so much for tuning in to the episode this week. I will see you again next Wednesday for another episode of Become a Digital Master.