Startups, by their very design, thrive on efficient, quick-moving decisions. Keeping poised and ready in the modern age, however, isn’t always easy. That’s why many ventures rely on standard operating procedures, or SOPs, to help harness growth. But why else are SOPs essential for small enterprises?
Considering SOPs and Startups
SOPs vary in terms of size and purpose. At their most basic, they can be checklists, and at their most complex, they can be intricate flowcharts and pathways. Crucially, an SOP is a roadmap which businesses refer to again and again. They are built following intensive analysis of process and end product and can take much refining.
However, it’s tempting to think startups don’t have the time to go too deep into process analysis. This, however, is where the idea of a pivot comes in. Venture pivoting can occur at any time during company growth, and it can often happen as a result of process stagnation.
Consider some of the biggest examples of successful enterprise pivots. Pinterest, once a fledgling e-commerce app, pivoted to become a ‘collection’ network. Groupon started life as a fundraising platform before pivoting allowed them to focus purely on offering discounts on shopping brands.
Where Do SOPs Come In?
Without some form of change in procedure, or creation of a SOP at all, a company pivot would be rather difficult. Small companies and innovators are always ready to change and evolve at short notice. That is mostly thanks to their unique approach to SOPs.
For example, a typical operating procedure is one that keeps quality in clear focus. You could have a process that analyses where product quality is likely to drop during design or manufacture. You could use this SOP, too, to review areas where you are taking too much time to process or market products.
Ergo, a SOP or two can help change the whole look and operation of a business. For example, their employment might help you identify if it is worthwhile removing certain focuses altogether. While pivots may seem brave or even risky on paper, with an SOP, these decisions become easier to make.
A business owner might, therefore, choose to set up an SOP at the very start of setting up a venture. Those who stand by SOPs advise that they can be useful to help map customer journeys, team roles, and to ascertain where specific inventory and machinery may be required.
What Will This Mean for Enterprises?
As always, there are no one or two ‘correct’ ways to run a business. SOPs continue to be popular with a portion of business owners looking to streamline their processes.
Startups, meanwhile, might just be perfectly suited to this ad hoc approach to improvement. Investors and third-parties looking for innovators and companies ready to pivot can use databases such as Fundz to narrow down the online field. A company willing to shift its focus is one that’s willing to drive for success, no matter what that might entail.