Free Template for Standard Operating Procedure. Download Yours Instantly

Standard Operating Procedures. What a joyful experience it is creating these things. However, you can make it easier by using a template and before you know it you will be back into your coffee and donuts.

Standard Operating Procedures make a dramatic difference to the performance of your business, company, organization or club. SOP’s as they are commonly know are instruction manuals for team members that are learning or even experienced team members that need reminding of how to perform tasks accurately.

If you are looking for a free Template for Standard Operating Procedure then keep on reading as we look into your options and also provide a free sop for download. OK, this is a basic SOP but it will at least get you underway in creating your SOP’S. So let’s get into it.

By the way – we won’t be ‘diving into it’ because diving is something you do at the pool after you have checked there is nothing in the way and you know it is deep enough…

Template for Standard Operating Procedure

So, we are assuming here you already know what a standard operating procedure is. Really, it is a step by step instruction to complete something. A set of steps that is used repetitively to ensure a task is completed accurately.

You definitely want people to be using these step by step tasks. For example, think of a pilot landing a plane and you are sitting in the back. You would be hoping the pilot is following the step by step standard operating procedure to get that rubber onto the tarmac without bending anything.

So, you can imagine it is a list of items that need to be included including making sure the landing gear is down prior to touchdown. You can imagine the noise if that step is missed. (All the screaming).

Check out a simple step by step procedure below. This is a really simple one created in MS Word. You can smash these out in a matter of minutes if you use our templates.

image of Step by Step Procedure Template Layout Cover
Step by Step Standard Operating Procedure

Creating Your Standard Operating Procedure

So, the easiest way to create a Standard Operating Procedure is to use MS Word. Simple to do and easy to set up and virtually free. No doubt if your business becomes complex then you will need something better to grasp all that information. Otherwise you will be wading in documents.

Really it isn’t anything more than a checklist is it? Start here and finish there and make sure you do all steps in between. (Landing gear is important).

Download Your Free Template

OK in this spot you can download your free MS Word template and get things going. It’s basic but will help you get underway fast.

Remember, you may come across a massively complicated and technical way to create SOP’s online by reading other websites. However, is that really how it should be? SOP’s should be EASY TO USE, EASY TO CREATE and ACCURATE.

Anything else is just a nightmare for anyone but the person who created them.

Check out our Standard Operating Procedure Manual Template.

Cover image of a Standard Operating Procedure Manual Template
Standard Operating Procedure Manual Template

Download a Free Template for Standard Operating Procedure Here

How Can You Improve Your Business Fast for Not Much?

If you have a small business, you will already know as business owner it is a lot of work. There are some very important things you should put in place as fast as you can.

You probably don’t need that business coach. They can be expensive and most of the time haven’t even owned a business. How can you accept advice from someone that hasn’t done it before? I would take their advice with a grain of salt.

Not saying they wouldn’t have some good things amongst the other stuff, but if a business coach has never owned a business, then chances are they are winging it and relying on your cash coming in.

Here are a few things you should be doing as small business owner for success.

Never take any Customer for Granted

Customers provide your income. If you take them for granted, one day you will regret it. It could be when the economy tanks or something else happens. If you have a paying customer regardless of the size of their business – treat them well. It will pay off in the long term and I suspect you are in this for the long-term, not just a fast buck.

Treat your Staff Really Well

If you are not a people person, you might find it hard to treat your staff with the respect they deserve. If so, take the time to sort this out yourself. Talk with someone about it or do whatever it takes. Treat your team with respect and ensure you do everything you can to help them. It will pay off for you in the long term.

Document Your Processes Fast

As soon as you can, start writing down every single task in your business. It doesn’t matter if you are a coffee shop of an engineering firm. Doing this will start to free you up from the everyday tasks that need to be completed by your team. If you haven’t started yet – you are already behind. Get into it and use a template today.

Use Checklists

Create checklists and make sure you ask your team to use them. Quality is everything in business. You need to deliver to every single customer to a high as standard as possible. You and your team will make mistakes. However, you are aiming to get the mistakes low and the service and quality high. Checklists help to do this fast.

Create a System ASAP

Use the above items to create your system ASAP. You need to do this quickly, accurately and efficiently. A logical system will ensure your business output is performed to a higher standard, mistakes are reduced, safety is paramount and team morale and culture is kept to acceptable standards.

Focus on your EXISTING customers

Forget trying to be a world conquering business. It is unlikely to happen. Thinking your business is going to be a massive corporate when you are just a small business can make you forget about your existing customers. You keep chasing new customers and forget that your existing customers are the most important.

Your existing customers are more important than trying to get new customers. Keep existing customers extremely happy and you won’t need to keep finding new customers. Remember, you are a small business, not a global corporate behemoth.

Deliver over and above what you say you will and you will keep your customers happy and they will return. Focus on quality, efficiency and training your team.

Enjoy What you Do

If you don’t – it shows. Grumpy, disappointed, angry or frustrated? All these emotions flow onto your team and customers. Check them at the door the moment you walk in and put them aside.

If you aren’t enjoying it, take some time off. Do something else or work for someone else until you can face it again with a positive attitude. This makes all the difference for any small business.

Charge the Right Price

Nothing will kill your small business faster than competing on price. Just refuse to do it. If you get really desperate, then focus on what makes you different. Let your competitors scrape the bottom of the barrel if they want to – but don’t participate. If you don’t make a profit after taking home a decent salary – then why are you doing it? The joy will run out eventually and then you will be broke, stressed and grumpy.

What Makes Your Business Unique?

For most small businesses, the only thing that makes your business unique is:


That means you should use ‘you’ to make a difference in your business. Usually, your personality and who you are is the difference between you and your competitors – so you better focus on ‘you’, fix ‘you’ if you need to, make ‘you’ better and identify the part of ‘you’ that is different.

Standard Operating Procedures a Waste of Time?

Do you have SOP’s or Standard Operating Procedures and no one in your team use them? Do they even know where they are?

If you operate a small business, you the business owner needs to get behind the SOP’s and embrace them. Sound like fun?

A great way to do this is get your team to create them with you. Have a small session and brainstorm the best way to create instructions and step by step procedures.

Then get your team to help you add the detail in quiet times or moments where you are not working flat out. This will make a big difference.

A massive benefit is that if one of your team members leaves, they won’t take everything in their head with them because you will have documented it right?

Let’s face it. People will come and go, and what you must have as business operator is a place that shows others how to complete their role. A system manual.


Got any of your own tips? What advice do you have for others when creating Standard Operating Procedures?

Feel free to share below. It would be good to hear your best advice.

Operations Manual Table of Contents – 8 Essentials

If you are creating an Operations Manual, you will already know this is a mammoth task. Don’t lose hope. You can actually create your operations manual relatively easily if you approach it with an open mind and persistence.

The best way to do this is to get your team to help you. You need the resources to gather the information and help you collate it in a way that makes sense. So take the time to plan it first.

Want to Save Massive Amounts of Time?
Use our Operations Manual Template.
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Start planning it out by creating a table of contents about how you want it to look and then engage with your team to create each area based on their expertise.

You might need to look at the bigger picture when you start. For example, a crucial decision is how are you going to deliver it? What format will it be in? Will it just be a MS Word document or are you going to create a super-intranet system?

Either way, if you get your team to help, before you know it, you will have a comprehensive Operations Manual. You team will want to use it because they helped create it. They will find it really helpful in their daily tasks and best of all, the performance of your business will skyrocket.

It’s worth the effort. Believe me, it will make a difference and you will be glad you started.

Operations Manual Table of Contents

So the table of contents will help you plan your document. If you list our each section and then sub-sections you will quickly be well on your way to creating a document that is useful and relevant.

The last thing any business needs is useless paperwork that no one reads or uses. This occurs in many organization. It doesn’t have to in your business.

Just create something that is relevant, clear, easy to read and easy to update and use.

What Should be in your Table of Contents?

It will really depend on your business, how complex it is, what you produce and how it operates. However, you can pretty well assume that you will need the basics such as Vision, Finance, Operations and Marketing at the very least. Take some time to get together the main pillars of your business.

There isn’t any right or wrong way to do this. It comes down to your organization and how you want to structure it. Below we propose 8 pillars that are typically relevant to any business.

8 Important Pillars

The following 8 areas will allow you to create a relatively comprehensive Operations Manual and get your system underway. These are:

Business Introduction
Vision and Values
Administration Manual
Finance Manual
Human Resources Manual
Operations Process Manual
Emergency Procedure Manual
Marketing Manual.

You might need additional areas for your business, however if you just start with the above, you will be well on your way to creating something of value for your organization.

Within each area there is likely to be a lot of detail. If you have particular personnel in your business that manage these areas then it would be ideal to get their input and ask them to take charge of their section.

With your guidance you will soon create a significant Operations Manual that will become an extremely useful tool that you can use daily and provide to new team members when they arrive in your business.

Detailed Table of Contents

Once you have determined the important pillars of your organization, you can then drill down into the detail. Below is an example of this within a Marketing Pillar.

Image of Marketing Manual Master Template Contents

Operations Manual Template Table of Contents Sample

Looking for a Operations Manual Template Table of Contents Sample? Review this sample below. This is a basic sample for a typical business, so it may not apply to your business.

But generally, there are aspects of most businesses that are the same. Depending on how large your business is will depend on how detailed your Operations Manual is.

You may need to break your operations down into the pillars as mentioned above or just use a simple document like the table of contents below.

Either way, you should start off by setting the direction of your business with a Mission and Vision and then progress to the general details and safety requirements. Then, after that you can jump into standard procedures and detailed tasks. Finally, summarize it at the end.

Operations Manual Template Table of Contents Sample
Operations Manual Template Table of Contents Sample
Operations Manual Template Table of Contents Sample

Operations Manual Template

There is a ton of work to develop an Operations Manual even if your team help you. If you want to speed up the process then purchase a template and be done with your operations Manual in a matter of days instead of months.

Save a ton of time by using our Operations Manual Template. Create your manual in a matter of minutes instead of months.

Learn More Here

Operations Manual Template

Your Thoughts?

What do you think should be in an Operations Manual? Have you created one for your organization?

What does it look like? Share your thoughts below.

Free Process Manual Template – 3 Places to Download Yours

A process manual is a system that identifies every process in your business. From how to create a product through to how to market your product, this type of document is crucial to the performance of your organization.

The simplest way to get a free process manual template is to complete your own using MS Word. This is the easiest and cheapest way to create a manual. However, as your business grows, it will quickly outgrow this format.

You may need to move to some other type of format and there are plenty of options online. However, beware – you could just be wasting a ton of money of some fancy new website that doesn’t really give you value for money.

MS Word really does provide a cost effective and fast way to create a process manual that you can roll out to your team instantly.

A Place to Create and Find Answers Easily

All you really need is a place for your team to create and review up to date procedures and processes. It isn’t really that complex. These days there are way too many choices online about the latest website system that is going to boost productivity.

The truth is – these websites usually waste a lot of time. And they aren’t cheap either. Don’t bother. All you need to do is create a system that is easy to access, easy to update and easy to use and you will excel in this area for your business.

The key is to keep it simple. Make it easy to update. Make it accessible for all your team and keep the cost down.

This is why starting off with an MS Word Process Manual Template is a great start. After you have built your system up then you can move to another space that has more functionality.

A process manual is a document that is given to your team so they can understand all the aspects of the processes of any particular task. Let’s take a closer look and also let’s investigate further where we can find some free process manual template that you could use for your business.

What is a Process Template Used for?

A process manual or guideline explains step by step instructions on a process. It’s nothing too complicated, however the process can be complex depending on what you are creating.

If you have a small business, it is highly recommended that you create this type of process manual with your team. Get them involved in the task of building your manual as soon as you can. Ask for their input. Ask them to review the steps and ask them to help you create it.

After-all, if you involve them in the process then they are more likely to take ownership and actually use the system. There is no point having a huge procedure and process manual if no-one uses it.

What Should be in a Process Manual?

Let’s say you own a small business coffee shop. What should be in the process manual for this type of business?

Well it really depends on how you operate your business, however it is a good idea to include all procedures, policies and processes you and your team perform everyday.

Let’s take a look at an example of how to clean the coffee machine below. This example has detailed step by step processes to get the task done easily and efficiently.

If you are employing people on a regular basis – the last thing you want to be doing as a business owner is repeating yourself over and over and over again. Yes, you will need to repeat yourself a lot – however the best thing you can do is document your processes so you can reduce the amount of repeating you need to do.

3 Places to Find a Free Process Manual Template

If you need a free process manual then consider these 3 options below.

Free Option Number 1

Download this Free Process Manual Template

We are keen to help small business owners as much as we can. We understand that having a small business is a lot of work. Therefore, we have provided a basic Process Manual Template you can download and start getting your system underway. OK, this is a pretty basic manual, and consider using our fully detailed manual if you can.

Download the Free Process Manual Template

Purchase a Process Manual Template. Click the link below to read more.

A process manual template will save you a ton of time creating your processes in your small business. It really is a useful tool if you want to get your systems up and running quickly and efficiently.

Free Option Number 2


Smart Sheet has a few free options for you. Check out their free options as well.

Free Option Number 3


Sample Templates has a few free options also. Check out their website if you are looking for a free process manual template.

Whatever you do, consider the amount of effort you will need to put into a free process manual. It will be significant.

It is likely to be easier to purchase a pre-made manual and start from there.

Your Thoughts?

Leave a comment below if you have any thoughts regarding process manuals in your business.