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social media Archives | Spillly

What the hell is a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)?

By Coaching Entrepreneur Social Media Strategy

An SOP is a procedure specific to your operation that describes the activities necessary to complete tasks in accordance with industry regulations, provincial laws or even just your own standards for running your business.

 

Any document that is a “how to” falls into the category of procedures. In a manufacturing environment, the most obvious example of an SOP is the step-by-step production line procedures used to make products as well train staff. An SOP, in fact, defines expected practices in all businesses where quality standards exist.

 

SOPs play an important role in your small business. SOPs are policies, procedures and standards you need in the operations, marketing and administration disciplines within your business to ensure success.

 

These can create:

  • Efficiencies, and therefore profitability
  • Consistency and reliability in production and service
  • Fewer errors in all areas
  • A way to resolve conflicts between partners and staff
  • A healthy and safe environment
  • Protection of employers in areas of potential liability and personnel matters
  • A roadmap for how to resolve issues – and the removal of emotion from troubleshooting – allowing needed focus on solving the problem
  • A first line of defence in any inspection, whether it be by a regulatory body, a partner or potential partner, a client, or a firm conducting due diligence for a possible purchase
  • Value added to your business should you ever wish to sell it

 

Developing an SOP is about systemizing all of your processes and documenting them. Every business has a unique market, every entrepreneur has his/her own leadership style, and every industry has its own best practices. No two businesses will have an identical collection of SOPs.

 

Below is a listing of just a few typical SOPs, which you will want to consider writing for your own small business.

 

  • Production/Operations
  • Production line steps
  • Equipment maintenance, inspection procedures
  • New employee training
  • Finance and Administration
  • Accounts receivable – billing and collections process
  • Accounts payable process – maximizing cash flow while meeting all payment deadlines
  • Marketing, Sales and Customer Service
  • Approval of external communications: press releases, social media, advert, etc.
  • Preparation of sales quotes
  • Service delivery process, including response times
  • Warranty, guarantee, refund/exchange policies
  • Acknowledgment/resolution of complaints, customer comments and suggestions • Employing Staff
  • Job descriptions
  • Employee orientation and training
  • Corrective action and discipline
  • Performance reviews
  • Use of Internet and social media for business purposes Legal
  • Privacy

 

 

Tips

  • Establish prior to opening; review at least annually
  • Develop procedures in the language style and format best for the establishment (your industry/operations knowledge is crucial here)
  • Write SOPs in clear, concise language so that processes and activities occur as they are suppose to
  • The level of detail in SOPs should provide adequate information to keep performance consistent while keeping the procedures from becoming impractical
  • Keep written SOPs on-site and in the cloud so that supervisors and employees can use them
  • Drafts should be made and tested before an SOP is released for implementation
  • The more decision makers, employees and complexity in the business, the more SOPs are required
  • SOP’s should be developed in existing businesses by all the stakeholders in each process.

 

In my experience, companies with well built, managed and maintained SOP’s are far less likely to make the same mistake twice and are often more resilient internally. An SOP can often be the difference between getting new work and not as clients can see the value of a well-run organisation.

The real cost of Influencer Marketing

By Coaching Entrepreneur Social Media Twitter

Having received more than my fair share of branded disposable pens and matching lanyards over the years, I feel its my duty to inform brands and agencies to stop trying to buy my loyalty with cheap plastic gifts and branded promo-gear.

My loyalty should be curated, nurtured and rewarded.

Let’s be honest, you are looking to use me as another marketing channel and hoping that my mid level influence can help grow your brand or deliver your campaign objectives. It can, but only as long as I already believe in your purpose and buy into your marketing message and most importantly, love your product.

Influencer marketing is a very smart way of using a third parties voice to authentically portray your brand in a way that would only seems paid for and fake, if it were coming directly from the brand. Influencer marketing has been around before the dawn of social media, before the web and before traditional marketing was even dreamt up. Storekeepers would ask patrons to spread the word, and if the customer had a good experience, would do just that. Nothing has changed except the medium on which we spread the word.

I understand what you, the marketer, want to use me for and feel that I should be fairly rewarded for my part in your process. It is paid-for media and the reward should be cash.

My voice to my followers is far more powerful than any other medium you have in your vast arsenal of marketing channels. The consumer of today no longer believes your polished message and scripted values. The consumer of today wants to hear an honest message, one that is unique to the influencer but the truth no less. Consumers want someone that will answer the questions asked, with deep insight into the product and will kill for the brand if he is truly an ambassador.

Would you rather have a message being broadcast to thousands of people that don’t necessarily care or a conversation between an ambassador and a few real potential clients of the brand, who will most likely spend money with you? Influencers who believe in the brand will not only drive awareness but will drive an action that is valuable to the brand.

Involved affiliate marketing has proven to be hugely successful in industries like travel, fashion and restaurants. This is because people will trust the voice of a virtual stranger over the “your call is important to us” tone of taglines. Influencers have taken the time, often over years, to build credibility with their audience and have their own authentic voice and tone, which resonates with their own audience.

Influencer’s audiences are often incredibly niche. Understanding whom their audience is absolutely key to using an influencer to sell the right product to their niche audience. My personal online audience has evolved drastically from a comedic one to an entrepreneurial business base in the creative and tech industries. You can’t expect me to promote food brands or fashion, as my listeners know that this is not what I talk about and it won’t appear credible. I have taken years to have the right followers for my brand, my business and my messages, and if you want to gain access to this market and put my own credibility at risk, then you should pay for the privilege. If you are financially compensating someone then you also get the right to guide the conversation towards your own goals and expect certain clear deliverables to be executed by the influencer, in the influencers own unique tone and fashion. Giving the influencer the freedom to express your message intheir incomparable voice will deliver the greatest results for your business.

You want your influencer to feel rewarded, acknowledged, loved, important, or any combination of those and ensure that they are partners in your communication strategy.

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A late bloomer digital native with a passion for education. | Ryan Sauer #Proudprofile

By Business Coaching Motivation Social Media Twitter No Comments

ryan sauer

Ryan Sauer loves to be the center of attention, its half the reason he loves lecturing so much. Ryan is called “Sourz” by his close friends from the late 90’s and “Ryan” by everyone else that met him post Y2K.

The strange thing is Ryan grew up with little to no technology in his life, his parents were so slow on the digital revolution that Ryan went from Betamax to DVD, never knowing the true joy of VHS.

So how does a boy born technologically challenged, grown into a man worthy of lecturing Marketing masters students at Wits Business School? Beats us.

Ryan loves digital marketing like fat kids like candy.

In 2009 he decided at the age of 22 with his vast expanse of wisdom in industrial psychology and HR management to open a digital consulting agency in JHB (bright idea) and has grown his operation from 2 clients barely spending enough to buy a bag of chappies, to over 74 clients spending just enough to buy 2 bags of chappies.

Ryan’s agency specializes in customized digital solutions that generate results for their clients with a measurable ROI.

Some of the services Ryan offers include:

  • Website design and development (baai Mooi!)
  • Search Engine optimisation
  • Paid advertising
  • Social media management and campaigns
  • Email marketing
  • Customer retention management software
  • Powerful reporting tools

We also specialize in:

  • Audits
  • Research studies
  • Consulting
  • Training
  • Pure reporting

 

So if you need an agency that is small, agile and has moderately attractive people you don’t mind meeting with, give us a shout.

 

CONTACT

082-788-2249

Email : ryan@searchoc.co.za

www.searchoc.co.za

3rd floor 5 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg.

Twitter @searchoc

Facebook SOC

 

SOC

Developing a marketing communications plan using the SOSTAC model

By Business Coaching Mentoring Motivation Social Media No Comments

Ask any consultant, business adviser or successful business owner what you need when starting or developing a business? The answer will invariably include “A Good Marketing Plan”.

It is certainly the case that if you want to successfully build a business, a plan of where you are going is essential.

But it can be little help if this plan is simply an overview of objectives and strategy. It is important that the plan is a practical document, actively used in the ongoing management of the business, rather than a nice report that sits on a shelf gathering dust. Over many years working with clients in developing effective Marketing Plans, I have found that the SOSTAC Model developed in the 1990’s by PR Smith is difficult to beat.

It is a straightforward model that goes systematically through the steps to build a marketing plan, and helps to ensure that all relevant factors are considered, without the need to go into excessive and expensive detail. The model then continues to look at the practical issues of putting the plan into practice.

DOWNLOAD this working tool below:

 

 

The importance of storytelling and authentic leadership by Kevin Welman

By Business Coaching Mentoring Motivation Public Speaking Social Media Twitter No Comments

Kevin’s presentation was entitled ‘Importance of storytelling and authentic leadership’ and covered the importance of good storytelling in your business and the duties that MD’s and business owners have to become authentic story tellers.

Check out the full presentation here:

 

The overriding theme that Kevin shared was as follows:

  1. Be as you wish to be seen and be authentic
  2. Be available and have an opinion
  3. Your reputation is all you have

Mr Nic Haralambous Founder of NicSocks.com speaks!

By Business Coaching Mentoring Motivation Public Speaking Social Media Twitter No Comments

Nicholas Haralambous is the founder of the online fashion company, NicSocks.com.

Nic was the CEO and co-founder of Motribe, the mobile community platform, before the company was successfully acquired by the social network, Mxit in October, 2012. He also founded ForeFront Africa consulting firm before selling that business to Imperial Holdings.

He was selected as one of the 200 young South Africans to take to lunch by the Mail&Guardian, featured on GQ’s list of top 30 men in media and was also a finalist in the Men’s Health Best Men Awards. The company he co-founded, Motribe, was named by Forbes as one of the top 20 startups in Africa.

His career included roles at the Sunday Times, Financial Mail, 702, Mail & Guardian as well as Vodacom SA.

PART ONE

PART TWO