June 4, 2020

Best Places to Store Processes or SOPs

Written By Charesse Spiller

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One of the #1 questions my team gets is: Where do I store my processes once they’ve been developed? It can be frustrating to spend years honing your processes and standard operating procedures, only to realize you don’t have a way to store them for maximum efficiency and accessibility.

One of the #1 questions my team gets is:

Where do I store my processes once they’ve been developed?

It can be frustrating to spend years honing your processes and standard operating procedures, only to realize you don’t have a way to store them for maximum efficiency and accessibility. When we work with clients, we help financial advisors determine several things to make sure they’re leveraging their carefully-crafted processes:

  1. What SOPs require storing

  2. Who needs access

  3. How these processes can be streamlined

Ready? Let’s dive in!

What SOPs Are You Storing?

Your first step is to determine what processes and standard operating procedures you need to store and access regularly. These typically fall into a few key categories:

  1. Lead Generation. You should have a clear process for generating leads and handling prospects. As your team grows, you may have someone fill this role eventually. It may include social media and webinar management, events, speaking, and gathering contact information for prospective clients.

  2. Sales. Having a well-defined sales process is essential for growth. Having a clear path for inbound leads to convert to clients is critical. These processes may include meeting set-up, qualifying prospects, pricing, and key metrics for tracking sales. 

  3. Client Relationship Management. Service calendars and delivery, client surveying, client close-out, service requests – all of these things need to be part of your client relationship process. 

  4. Document Storage and Record Tracking. This can include your filing systems, storing client documents, creating set naming conventions for documents, and more.

  5. Employee and Personnel. Hiring, training new employees, employee close-out, and communication standards all fall under this category. 

  6. Work Environment. This is especially important in light of the recent coronavirus pandemic. You need processes in place for working from home, sick policies, and unexpected catastrophic events. 

  7. Legal and Accounting. These procedures should encompass compliance, billing, accounting, and payroll. 

  8. Cybersecurity. Every financial planning practice needs to have a set procedure and process around cybersecurity and protecting client information. 

  9. Technology. Your clients and your employees both need to be trained on your tech stack. You’ll want a process for what to cover during tech review, and possibly a review process for auditing your tech stack as a team.

Ideally, you’ll have one central location to store all of these processes and SOP documents. 

Who Needs Access?

Once you determine which processes you and your team will need and use regularly, you need to decide which team members will need access to which processes. Depending on the size of your team, different levels of access may be necessary. After all, you can’t give everyone the keys to the castle! This is true even if you have a small team. 

For example, even if you and one other team member access all client work, you may not want to also give them access to your legal and financial information. The same is true if you have contractors – only job-relevant information should be released to individuals who aren’t directly connected to your organization.

Someone on your team should manage who has access to what processes and documents. For example, a Director of Operations or Office Manager can create a hierarchy chart that dictates who needs access to what. 

Depending on what systems you use to run your business, you should be able to dictate the level of access to each of your processes. Even in non-financial systems, like Google Drive, you can determine who can view which folders or files. You can also remove access if you ever need to offboard your personnel. 

How Can You Streamline?

Now that you’ve developed your processes and determined who on your team needs access, you can figure out how to store and streamline your SOPs for easy-use moving forward! The #1 tip we share with clients is to store all of your processes in one place for ease of access. This will save you time and energy, make training easier, and simplify updating these same processes in the future. This is why it’s so important to find a system that allows you to build out SOPs in one place. 

There are several comprehensive (and affordable) options available like Process Street, Dropbox, or Google Drive. Some systems will also allow you to easily train your employees on your processes. 

Remember: most firms don’t operate directly from their standard operating procedures. They store these written procedures in one location and then build out checklists and workflows in their CRMs or project management tools. You can always provide links and attachments to the SOPs within these workflows for easy access and team efficiency! 

Get Started

Having efficient, consistent processes helps you build a scalable business as an entrepreneur. They help you stay on track, train your team, and create an exceptional experience for your clients. However, it’s also important to embrace the fact that your processes will evolve with time! This is another great reason to store them in an accessible location. That way you can make revisions as needed, and your team can offer solutions for increased efficiency within their roles, as well. 

Need help creating and storing your business processes? Reach out! Our team would love to help you level up.

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