Updated: Dec 9, 2019
I did a quick post on this idea on Facebook not too long ago and thought this might be a good topic to expand on a little.
Did you create a business or a job you go to everyday when you set out to be an entrepreneur?
I have four qualifications. All of which rely on each other. These four, I believe, make up the foundation of what a business should be and needs to have to be considered a business.
1 - Profitable 2 - Standard operating procedures (SOP's) 3 - Replicable 4 - Operate without your presence
I wanted to share the second one with you because I think, and I'm sure you agree, the first one goes without saying. I'll cover the Profit qualification in a later blog though. I feel it's most important but without the others, it doesn't exist.
The photo to the right was from 4 years ago, written during the summer before I started auto detailing as a business/career.
It's my SOP for interiors, the original one. It's actually 3 pages long. I say original because it's been rewritten since then. The newest version has even more depth on spots and stains, windows, shampoo and steam cleaning, etc...
I have SOP's for everything, interiors, wheels and tires, washing, waxing, buffing, polishing coatings, etc...
Every one, laid out start to finish how I would like each process done.
How does an exterior detail start? What product should you use to remove tar? How to handle minor scratches.
Where do you start when doing an interior? What do you start with, vacuuming? Windows? What to do to identify a spot/stain.
All these questions are answered in the SOP's I've written up knowing some day my first employee will need it. This way, he/she should be able to produce the same results I do, over and over again.
In my auto detailing business, I have a 7-step process for washing a car. The SOP for this tells me how to assess the vehicle, which will tell me which way to wash it, how exactly to handle tar and iron, how to clay bar the vehicle and prep it for sealant.
No gray area. No room for mistakes. Nothing skipped. Every foreseeable problem has a solution.
If not written down, it's just a thought. And it's hard to act on a thought and see it through to completion if it's not in writing.
To write it down creates a clear picture of what you want to accomplish.
SOP's are the reason that no matter where you are in the world, a McDonald's hamburger tastes the same.
Which leads me to qualification #3