As a business owner, you’re likely always on the lookout for entrepreneur resources. Why? Because starting a business and growing it comes with a lot of challenges and finding more time in your day so you can get more done is always at the top of the wish list.
Arvo, a software company located in Cookeville, TN, set out to solve this problem for founders and entrepreneurs. With the support of LaunchTN’s community partner program, Arvo launched a Resources and Template library for TN Entrepreneurs that is completely free for any TN company to use. The library has over 45 business related templates and resources, such as, work from home policies, sales proposals, and job offer templates. They also partnered with other amazing Tennessee companies like Pathway Lending to host resources around getting small business loans.
Arvo made using the library and the templates a breeze and created this playbook for getting started. In the playbook you’ll find:
- 30-minute video on using the resources in the library (pro tip: watch it at 2x speed and it’s only 15 minutes!)
- A quick-start guide on using Arvo
- Scheduling calendar for a free 1:1 call with Arvo to create a resource together with one of their experts
What are Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)?
Simply put, a Standard Operating Procedure or SOP for short is instructions on how to do something. A more detailed description of an SOP is:
- A comprehensive set of instructions that outlines how a particular task or process should be completed within an organization.
- A document that provides step-by-step guidance on how to carry out a specific activity in a consistent and efficient manner.
- Designed to ensure that all employees are trained in the same way, and that tasks are completed to a high standard, with minimal variation or error.
- Information on key roles and responsibilities, timelines, quality control measures, and any relevant policies or regulations that must be followed.
If you think about how your business operates, you may have some things documented in docs, email, Slack, Trello, or maybe the most common… in your head! The problem with SOPs existing in your head or someone on your team is that no one else can execute them so they are reliant on the person with the knowledge. The worst part, what happens if that person leaves the company? All of that company knowledge goes with them. That is why SOPs are so important. Not to mention, you as a founder would love buying back some time not having to answer questions all day and get some of those wishlist items done on your task list!
Arvo was created to make creating and reading SOPs a lot easier. Most people cringe thinking about an SOP, a boring word doc that is difficult to find exactly what is needed to answer their question. But Arvo changed everything you think you know about SOPs. They made them visual and include color, images, and video. In the Resources and Template library for TN Entrepreneurs you’ll see none of the 45+ templates available in it are boring, long form text, or anything like you would have imagined a traditional SOP to look like. It is often called the Canva of documentation.
The Benefits of SOPs
I’ll paint you a picture of the benefits: you go to work and focus on getting your tasks done. So much so that you are done by 3pm. None of your employees needed to ask you questions and they perfectly executed on everything they needed to get done. Your company culture is outstanding because people aren’t suffering trying to figure out where to go to get their questions answered. No one gets interrupted by their co-worker with questions and they too get their work done early. Everyone is relaxed because there isn’t chaos happening behind the scenes. Those are the benefits of having SOPs and why Arvo created the Resources and Template library for TN Entrepreneurs. It isn’t a dream scenario, it is a real achievement that can happen in any business.
Here are more descriptive benefits to having Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place within a company:
- Increased efficiency: SOPs provide a clear and concise set of instructions for completing specific tasks or processes, which can help to streamline operations and reduce the time required to complete a task.
- Consistency: SOPs ensure that all employees are trained in the same way, and that tasks are completed to a high standard, with minimal variation or error. This can help to maintain quality control and ensure that the end product or service is consistently delivered to a high standard.
- Improved communication: SOPs help to improve communication between team members by providing a common language and approach to completing tasks. Employees can refer to the SOP when they have questions or need clarification on how to complete a particular task.
- Compliance: SOPs ensure that tasks are carried out in compliance with relevant policies and regulations. By following the SOP, companies can reduce the risk of non-compliance and avoid potential legal or financial penalties.
- Training: SOPs can be used as a training tool for new employees, helping them to quickly get up to speed on how to complete specific tasks or processes within the organization.
Why You Should Use Templates
Starting with a template saves you brain power and time! Some templates can save upwards of 90% of your time on creating them by simply having a starting place and editing what you need to make it fit your company.
If there is a template available, there is something to be said about not recreating the wheel and making you and your team substantially more efficient. Another benefit that isn’t always as apparent: it may include things in it that you haven’t thought about including before and would be helpful for that process!
Starting a template can be a more efficient and effective approach than writing something from scratch, for several reasons:
- Saves time: Templates are pre-designed with the basic structure and content already in place, which means less time and effort is required to create a document. You can simply fill in the gaps with your own content, rather than starting from scratch every time.
- Ensures consistency: Templates provide a consistent format and style that can be used across multiple documents. This can help to maintain brand consistency and ensure that all documents look professional and polished.
- Reduces errors: Templates are often designed with best practices and common mistakes in mind, which can help to reduce errors and improve accuracy. For instance, a proposal template might include sections for key information that is often overlooked when starting from scratch.
- Provides a starting point: Templates provide a starting point for your document, which can help you organize your thoughts and structure your content in a logical way. This can be particularly helpful for complex or lengthy documents.
What will I find in the Library?
Arvo’s Resources and Template library for TN Entrepreneurs is full of over 45+ templates ready made for you to edit for your business needs. This ever growing library includes the following resources categories:
- Funding / small business loan resources
- HR and hiring templates such as job descriptions and employee handbook policies
- Property management / short-term rental resources
- Sales proposal templates
- How-tos for common business software like Zoom, Loom, and Calendly
How to Access the TN Entrepreneur Resource & Template Library
As a Tennessee entrepreneur you get access to Arvo’s Resources and Template library for TN Entrepreneurs for free.
There are two ways of using the templates found in the TN Entrepreneur library:
- Create a free Arvo account and drop the template in your account – this makes it easy for editing and you won’t lose any of the visual components of the template
- TN entrepreneurs get 25 free docs automatically in their Arvo account when they sign up (5 playbooks with 5 pages in each)
- If you exceed your 25 free pages and want to upgrade, TN Entrepreneurs receive 50% off the lifetime of their account. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive your discount on your account.
- Copy and paste the template into the software of your choice such as Google docs or Word. If you choose this option, although you will have the content from the template, you will be missing out on the skimmable, visual design that makes reading them fun and not a chore!
The Biz Foundry + Arvo
No matter what stage of business you’re in, The Biz Foundry is here to help you imagine, launch and grow your business. Through our business coaching, events and programs we can equip you with the guidance, connections and resources you need to succeed as a Tennessee entrepreneur.
By combining our support services with Arvo’s Resources and Template library for TN Entrepreneurs you’ll be ready to start your business with a solid foundation and take your business to the next level.
Need a resource not in the library?
If you’re a Tennessee entrepreneur and need a resource or template not currently available in the TN Entrepreneur Template & Resource Library, feel free to submit a request to email@example.com.