How to Create Standard Operating Procedures [SOPs] for Your Online Company
June 21, 2021

In this video, let’s talk about SOPs: Standard Operating Procedures. If you’ve been following me or have been subscribed to my channel for a while, then you know how much I talk about this. So I’m gonna walk you through, in real time, how we create standard operating procedures in our agency to help scale our web design agency efforts and help as many clients as possible develop super dope websites.

Standard Operating Procedures: An Intro

As many of you know, I’m all about creating operating procedures. If you want to learn a little more on how to create standard operating procedures, click the video in the upper right— probably one of my most popular videos—if you initially want to just understand how to create them.

So in regards to a web design agency or company, I wanna show you how we create operating procedures anytime we find issues. So, if you look at this—this is the Google Doc that has all of our operations for the business inside of it.

You can use Notion, a platform called Trainual, or anything else to really create your knowledge base. We keep it simple with a Google Sheet.

Sample SOP: The Design Process

Now one thing that I just added—you can see here in yellow—is The Design Process. So one thing that we were running into is we were having issues with team members being able to upload and delegate specific things in regards to the design process.

So if a designer was working on something, they didn’t know when to put it in Figma or Asana, and so what I did was I sat down and really thought about the process. And for any SOP that we create, we always have video training, we always have documents needed, a checklist, and then we also have all the directions.

So as you can see here, I have a video here, I have the last time it was updated, I have a link to another SOP, I have the details of what’s included, and then I have a little checklist here that they can use if they need, and then a precursor, and steps in that process.

So in this case, the process for design, review and updates for design projects included graphic design and wireframing. So I wanted the account executive and the design team to be able to collaborate on projects without me having to have direct input. Because I saw myself kind of jumping in there, I saw it caused a little bit of confusion, and so one key point is: your SOPs are only going to be updating and changing.

So what we did was, anytime we were doing a design project, these are the files that were uploaded: logo files, brand guidelines, open graph image, Favicon, and so forth. And again, feel free to screenshot this, if you like.

And then, in regards to using Figma, we have specific naming conventions for all these files. So what’s happening was that the designer went and uploaded the wireframe but they might have just put “Wireframe” as a title. They didn’t specify if it was LoFi or HiFi, or what type of wireframe it was.

So these are all the naming conventions that all the team members need to follow so that we can make sure that we’re following and having consistency.

Now when designers begin a project, they are provided with the resources that they need to facilitate that design. So a lot of times, we give the designer the brand discovery that we did with the client, we’ll give them a logo or art board, and then we’ll give them current websites for inspiration or mood boards, so they’ll know how to design and create these assets.

Sample Art Board For Logo Design

You’re probably wondering what something like that looks like, and we literally just created one today. So I’ll show you a really brief and quick one that we created for a client. We’re basically creating an art board because we’re doing a logo design, and so we showed some competitors, as you can see here, we showed some simple Sans-serif style fonts that we’re looking to emulate, and then we provided them with a color palette.

So this is, again, a really simplified version. I’ve been trying to keep this concise and tight so you should be able to leverage this.

Final Steps in the SOP

So once we give a designer all those assets, once it gets worked on, there’s two things the designer needs to do:

  1. They need to update it in Asana, leave a comment that it’s been updated, and
  2. Notify team members in Slack

Now what this does is, one: it creates a repository in Asana for the history of how we’re working on the project. And then the Slack channel gives an instant notification to anyone working in collaboration with the projects.

So again, when you’re creating systems in your agency, think about how you can itemize it and make it easier for all of your team members. After the account executive review changes, they add their notes and then send to the designer for updates. Then, once it’s approved, the update is sent to the client for final review and then all these files get updated to Google Drive.

So by creating this process—called the design process—this helps the account executive of our team collaborate with our designers. At closing hour, I can just look at the big picture and focus on the larger scope of a project.

So when you’re thinking about making SOPs in your web design business, a few things you want to look at are: little holes and little issues that you might run into as an agency. When you see those issues arise, try to sit down, itemize and document your process. Because by doing this, you’ll be able to mitigate issues, find problems, and make solutions.

I hope this was helpful, y’all. A quick training, but again: if you have any questions, drop a comment below.

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