How Standard Operating Procedures Set-Up Your Team for Success

By Jason Swenk on March 18, 2020

Are you struggling to let go of some of the control and bring on new team members? Or, when you bring in new talent do you discover they have no idea what to do? A lot of your agency and team’s success comes down to process. If you don’t have an established process or documented SOPs, your team doesn’t have a map to follow.

In today’s episode, we’ll cover:

  • Does your agency have long-term sustainability?
  • Why and how to document processes for agency team success.
  • 2 secrets to finding great agency talent.

Today I sat down with Damon Burton, founder of SEO National. Damon started his agency 12 years ago when SEO was just becoming a thing. Now, Damon says he has retained many of his original clients and has learned how to build a team he trusts. Damon is on the show to share tips on how you can do the same.

Does Your Agency Have Long-Term Sustainability?

We’re in the midst of the, “I want it now” era. People are easily distracted, quickly moving from one thing to another. With social media, it’s swipe left, swipe right, like this, and move on. In this fast-paced world, a lot of people are clambering to get attention. And a few do.

But often, those that grab ahold of today’s current shiny thing find themselves wondering why they are not seeing any long-term success. Damon says he has a lot of the same clients he had when he first started his agency, and he attributes a lot of this stability to consistency. While SEO sees some changes here and there, overall, it’s the same basic principle. As an agency owner, you have to be careful about jumping onto trends or buying into the “next big thing.” Stick to your values and principles, and you’re more likely to find long-term success.

Why and How to Document Agency Processes

One of the most important things you can to do help your agency grow is to develop a process for everything and stick to it. Processes help reduce variation and are a huge asset when you bring on new employees. Look, without SOPs you’re SOL. 🙂

Damon says many agencies fear bringing on new employees because they feel new people will mess everything up. But if you have bad employees, it all comes back to you. If you have hired competent team members and they are failing, it’s because you don’t have processes, or you haven’t found an appropriate way to document your processes.

There are many ways to document your process. The most important thing is to get it done. Damon spent two hours every other day for a year, writing down his processes. My system for documenting processes was recording videos and screencasts of tasks I wanted to delegate. To avoid spending hours documenting your processes or spending a bunch of money to have someone write up two years worth of work, document as you go.

2 Secrets to Finding New Talent

Delegating is a great way to free up time to allow you to focus on more important tasks. But it’s all about having processes in place and hiring competent team members. So how do you find the right people for your team?

  • Find people who are really good at one thing. We all dream of finding the perfect employee who is good at everything. But ultimately, this isn’t the best thing for you or your employee. Find people who are not only good at what they do but like what they do.
  • Be creative. Damon says he likes to hide Easter eggs in his job posting to have applicants prove they actually read the whole job description. This helps him narrow the field down to people who pay attention and can follow directions. You don’t have to put Easter eggs in your job descriptions, but try a non-conventional approach to finding, qualifying, and interviewing new talent.

Developing a process and learning how to delegate are two of the most important things you can do as an agency owner. Remember, you don’t have to do it all, you just need to be able to hire the right people.

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