by Greg Slaughter

THE SOP DIFFERENCE I quickly observed the incredible difference in results between the businesses that had proper SOPs in place and those that did not. It became clear that SOPs are the foundation of every business regardless of the industry or whether the busi- ness is product driven or service driven. Without SOPs, long-term success is not possible, in my opinion. The only exception I can imagine would be if you do every - thing yourself for that business, but in that case, how long will success last until you are burned out? True long-term success begins with a solid foundation of SOPs. Creating them is the only way a business can ensure consistent results for the customer, have well‑trained internal staff, and allow the business to grow without you. Customers depend on consistency. Between your marketing efforts and the customer’s first experience with your business, that customer has now has an expectation of your company. Whether it is a product they expect completed a certain way or a service performed in a specific manner, your customer now expects the same result each time. If you do not meet their expectation, they will stop being your customer. How many times have you quit patronizing a business once your expectations were not met? As we’ve established, the best way to achieve consistent results is with SOPs. Procedures for every task and function are documented precisely so the same steps are followed every single time. Let’s use McDonald’s french fries as an example. All the potatoes are grown and harvested in exactly the same way. They are then cut, packaged, stored, and sent to the restaurants according to the exact same procedures. They are then cooked in the same type of oil, at the same temperature, for the same amount of time. Then they are salted with the same amount of salt, in the same manner,

s your business set up for success? Or is it doomed for failure?


Multiple factors will decide the ultimate outcome, but one of biggest—if not the biggest—determining factors is the SOPs you have in place.

WHAT ARE SOPS? SOPS are standard operating procedures. SOPs provide documentation, in writing, for how everything within the business is accomplished, whether it is creating a product, completing a task, or performing a service. If SOPS are written properly, someone from outside the business should be able to follow them without any help and get the same result you do. I had no idea just how extremely critical SOPs were until I retired from corporate America in 2002 to pursue real estate investing full time. For the previous 19 years, I was working for McDo- nald’s. I started working there as a 17-year-old teenager and was general manager of a store at 19. When I retired, I was part of the department responsible for training and overseeing all the franchisees and their management teams in the Southwest U.S. After leaving McDonald’s, I started attending multiple real estate conferences across the country, where I met dozens of business owners who were also investing in real estate. Of course, in my conversations with them, their business ventures would come up. After learning my background, they would ask me questions to help their business. I was shocked at the number of them who had little to no SOPs in place. I had taken them for granted and assumed every business had them. That was all I had known, experienced, and taught my entire career with McDonald’s, so I just figured that was the way it was with all businesses. It was not.

52 | think realty magazine :: july – august 2022

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