How to Write SOPs for your Event Rental Business

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are a HUGE key to success in your event rental business.

Crew member from our clients Paisley & Jade. Photography by Bri & Wes Photography used with permission.

I recently spent eternity trying to figure out how to attach a backdrop to a ceiling. The actual process of attaching the backdrop took less than an hour. Figuring out how to attach it took three hours. 

And the worst part? We’ve done it before. Multiple times. 

But we never wrote down how we did it and the person who did it last time wasn’t there. The ceiling has been painted since and and and. 

What would have saved the day? SOPs! 

If you don’t know it by now, hear this: Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are a HUGE key to success in your event rental business. 

Even if you already believe that. It can be hard to get started when it comes to the big task of documenting your processes and procedures. We’ve got lots of reasons to sing the praises of SOPs (including making more money) but today we’re talking about HOW to actually write them. We’ve got some tips to jumpstart your SOP writing (or rewriting) process.

  1. Commit some time to documenting your process. Whether that means you’re tacking on 10 minutes to every activity you do in order to write down what you just did, dedicating one afternoon per week to beefing up your SOP manual, or going on a work retreat just to write, write, write, you need to prioritize the task on your calendar in order to get it done. 
  1. Remember that perfection isn’t the goal. For instance, if you’re documenting the process for pulling an order and loading a truck, start with the basics. Here is a sample: 

Once you’ve run through pulling an order a few times using this checklist, you might realize that you need to add some steps like

Creating SOPs is always an iterative process. Expect that you’ll need to edit, update, and change them frequently. Don’t wait until they are perfect to start using them. Starting with something (that you continually improve upon) is better than having nothing at all.

  1. Use videos to your advantage. Whenever you’re doing a repeatable task (whether you will do it again yourself or someone else will), video what you’re doing, how you do it, and narrate along the way. After you’ve finished your video, you can use a service like to transcribe the narration and Voila! You have a draft of your SOP!  
  1. Revisit your SOPs often so you know everyone is working from up-to-date info. Using a system like Guru can make sure you verify your SOPs at regular intervals.  
  1. If you’re struggling with where to start with SOPs for your Event Rental Business, grab our free checklist to see a list of the essential Standard Operating Procedures you should have in place and documented. Don’t get overwhelmed by the list– you don’t have to do it all at once. Slowly chip away by setting goals or deadlines for particular sections. If you have a team, you can also divvy up the responsibility so each person documents things in their own department. 
  1. Remember that nothing is set in stone. Writing down an SOP shouldn’t stifle your creative mojo— it should give you freedom. When you have a manual for how things should happen in your business, others can join in and meet your expectations. If they have ideas for improvement or you decide down the road that you want to change things up, do it. But be explicit. Your business is better when everyone knows what is expected of them. 
  1. Plan a vacation to test out how well your SOPs are serving your business. In our recent Get Out of Town: How to Successfully Take a Vacation From Your Event Rental Business Webinar, Morgan Montgomery of Paisley & Jade shared about how SOPs have empowered employees in her business:

“When we use SOPs and we teach people the standard that we want them to work to for one task, it’s much easier for them to them apply the idea behind that or the structure or the approach to something different. So even though they may not have encountered this exact disaster […], they know what they’ve done before […] so they can use that to do their best work to try and solve the problem.”

Morgan, Paisley & Jade
  1. Iterate. Iterate. Iterate. We can all always get better at our craft. We rise to the standards we set for ourselves and our teams. SOPs are where we communicate those values. We can always make them better and better. 

Let’s elevate the industry together! 

Free PDF Guide

Ready to level up in your Event Rental Biz?

We’ve created What’s Next For Me? Life Stages of an Event Rental Business to help you grow in whatever stage you find yourself in.

Identify which phase you’re in and what tools you'll need to scale up in your rental business.

Get the Free PDF
Subscribe to our Newsletter