7 Free SOP Templates: Learn to Use Them and Create Your Own

Every business is made up of many interconnected parts, and keeping the machine running smoothly can be a challenge — especially in the era of remote work.

One of the best things a manager can do in this respect is to implement a standard operating procedure or SOP.

If you’re looking to create an SOP (or multiple) for your company, this article will cover some important things you should know.

Moreover, you’ll find a number of useful and versatile templates in Word and Google Docs you can use to improve your team’s day-to-day productivity and streamline your workflow.

Free SOP Templates- Learn to Use Them and Create Your Own

What is a Standard Operating Procedure?

A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a document that covers a range of important information pertinent to a team’s everyday operations. This includes:

  • Basic information about the SOP document,
  • The scope of the SOP,
  • Team member roles and responsibilities,
  • Step-by-step instructions for the SOP, and
  • Additional relevant information and resources.

There are many benefits to implementing a standard operating procedure, as it stands to help you by:

  • Improving efficiency,
  • Streamlining communication,
  • Increasing reliability,
  • Bolstering employee independence,
  • Enhancing quality control,
  • Minimizing project risks,
  • Ensuring a high standard of service or product, and
  • Streamlining training and onboarding.

Free standard operating procedure templates

Below, you’ll find free templates for SOPs, including everything from a general-purpose template to those made for specific teams and/or industries. 

They’re available in Google Docs and Microsoft Word, you can easily customize them to suit your needs, and you can also save the SOP templates as PDF once they’re ready for distribution.

Standard SOP template

Free standard SOP template
Free standard SOP template

This first template is meant to be versatile and open-ended. You can use it to outline standard operating procedures easily, no matter the team or industry, as it covers all the important points every SOP should have. 

This includes:

  • The basic information about the document,
  • The SOP scope,
  • Defined roles and responsibilities,
  • Step-by-step procedure outline,
  • Specific terminology tied to the SOP,
  • Frequently asked questions, and
  • A section for additional documents, resources, and tools.

Download: Google Docs | Microsoft Word

HR SOP template

Free HR SOP template
Free HR SOP template

Human resources professionals often have a lot on their plate, as they’re involved in everything from recruiting, onboarding, and training new employees to legal compliance with local and international laws.

With this HR SOP template, however, you can easily create standard operating procedures for every facet of the HR department’s activities. 

The template is useful both for small HR teams looking to improve efficiency and for larger departments that need to minimize the risk of error.

Download: Google Docs | Microsoft Word

💡 Plaky Pro Tip

Looking to learn more about project management in human resources? Take a look at the article below:

Customer support SOP template

Free customer support SOP template
Free customer support SOP template

Customer support is a department that stands to benefit greatly from well-defined standard operating procedures, as agents are usually handling time-sensitive requests around the clock, and they’re an important part of creating a positive customer experience.

With this customer support SOP template, you can outline procedures for handling general inquiries, complaints, and refund requests, and you can easily expand the template to fit the specifics of your product.

Moreover, you can easily define priority levels for your ticket system, allowing agents to quickly reference it and determine how they should categorize and handle certain requests.

Download: Google Docs | Microsoft Word

Sales SOP template

Free sales SOP template
Free sales SOP template

Much like HR, sales teams have a wide range of responsibilities, from generating potential leads to nurturing leads and customers after the initial sale.

That said, while it’s necessary for sales professionals to be empathetic and adaptable, the sales team as a whole can benefit greatly from a detailed standard operating procedure. And with our sales SOP template, you can keep a detailed SOP for every step of the process. 

This includes:

  • Lead generation,
  • Lead qualifications,
  • Sales calls, 
  • Nurturing long-term leads and customers, and
  • Reporting data on sales activity.

Download: Google Docs | Microsoft Word

Marketing SOP template

Free marketing SOP template
Free marketing SOP template

Marketing is another department with multifaceted and complex responsibilities, with lots of important, data-driven decisions that need to be made along the way.

You can use this marketing SOP template to cover procedures for a wide range of important marketing processes, such as:

  • Market research,
  • Campaign planning and execution,
  • Social media marketing,
  • Digital marketing,
  • Reporting,
  • Analytics, and
  • Performance reviews.

As with the other templates, you can easily add new elements or remove existing ones if they don’t fit your company’s marketing operation.

Download: Google Docs | Microsoft Word

💡 Plaky Pro Tip

If you’d like to learn more about marketing project management, you should take a look at the following article for some detailed insights:

Small business SOP template

Free small business SOP template
Free small business SOP template

If you’re running a small business with a versatile team, an SOP can help employees carry out a wide range of complex tasks efficiently, and it can allow them to determine how certain problems should be handled.

With the small business SOP template, you can set up various procedures for day-to-day operations for a wide range of businesses, such as:

  • Materials and/or goods procurement,
  • Inventory management,
  • Customer service,
  • Workplace safety and hygiene, and
  • Emergency procedures.

That said, you can easily use this as a store or a restaurant SOP template or any other type of business that falls under this umbrella.

Download: Google Docs | Microsoft Word

Simple SOP template

Free simple SOP template
Free simple SOP template

Sometimes, less is more. If you’re looking for a clean, simple, and straightforward template for a standard operating procedure, then this is the template for you.

Our simple SOP template focuses on the core elements of an SOP:

  • The basic information,
  • The scope,
  • The procedure, and
  • Relevant resources.

The template is best used for smaller tasks and subtasks that don’t fit in with the more comprehensive templates or official documentation. You can also use it as a personal checklist.

Download: Google Docs | Microsoft Word

How to write an SOP

Need help creating an SOP? Here are the main steps you should follow:

  • Step 1: Set a clear goal. As a starting point, an SOP needs a purpose, and it should be something simple and straightforward that allows everyone involved to know what the document is about from the get-go.
  • Step 2: Define the scope in detail. An SOP should be clear and unambiguous on what it does and doesn’t involve. 
  • Step 3: Define team roles and responsibilities. Team members should know exactly what part of the process they’re responsible for and what should be deferred to others. 
  • Step 4: Create step-by-step instructions. This is ostensibly the most important step, and instructions should be comprehensive and easy to understand. Moreover, they should account for likely and/or recurring issues employees might face.
  • Step 5: Clarify terminology and add resources. Employees should be able to easily check the meanings of any technical terms or abbreviations, and they should have quick access to any extra materials and tools tied to the procedure.

Once an SOP is finished and ready to go, don’t forget to collect feedback and revise it as time goes on. No procedure should be set in stone, and you could find new ways to optimize it very early on.

Improve your day-to-day operations further with Plaky at no additional cost

Plaky project management app
Plaky project management app

Plaky is a powerful and versatile project management tool you can use to track specific tasks and manage your project workflow more efficiently.

Among other things, Plaky allows users to:

  • Create Spaces with project boards,
  • Create and customize tasks,
  • Organize tasks into subgroups,
  • Choose between Board and Kanban view modes.

Users can also track important information about tasks such as:

  • Assignee,
  • Due date,
  • Status, and
  • Tags.

More importantly, you can see all past activity, share files easily, and communicate with teammates via task-specific comment threads. 

All of this is available with the free plan, and for those looking for more advanced features such as a Gantt view, Plaky offers approachable pricing.

Ready to give Plaky a try? Sign up for Plaky’s free account today and give your team’s efficiency an additional boost on top of the new standard operating procedures.

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