Starting a small business is daunting. You have this great idea, but often little experience of how to put it into practice. Some simple advice can help protect your idea and get your business off the ground. This guide suggests some of the paperwork you might need.
Every company, irrespective of size or business interest, will need to communicate with customers, complete transactions and carry out analysis on the productivity of the firm. To be taken seriously and stand out from competitors, your company will need to promote a positive image. Branding is crucial in creating your identity and then in guiding the business decisions.
Templates will help maintain the image; keep a logo on everything to immediately identify the document as having come from your company. Choose a design and keep the size and colour the same. Don’t be tempted to do something ‘wacky’ with it to stand out consistency is the name of the branding game. Both internal and external business documents are important and it goes without saying that they need to be well-written and professional.
A Record of Business Dealings
Solid business documents provide a record of your business, whether for the tax office, your accountant, or historical reference, to show for example if sales have increased on the same period last year. Is the business continuing to market to the right customer base? Records must be kept for some years, legally, so it is important they are well-written to maintain clarity once memory begins to fade.
If your business is likely to write letters of a similar nature, you will save a lot of time by creating some simple templates to be called up and used time and time again. Carefully written, they can ensure consistency of your brand’s message and tone.
Reports are the documents that are most likely to be ‘personalised’ by employees; everyone has their own idea of how something should be presented and in trying to make their own name stand out, an individual might stray from the brand guidelines you’ve put in place. Templates can save a lot of time rewriting to put something into house-style, especially if there are guidelines for text, figures, tables, images and so on.
In the world of business, very few people are experts at everything. Get to know your strengths and then outsource other skills, whether that is book-keeping or marketing or something else. Some templated business documents can help your business on its way with minimal stress and are well worth investing a little money on.
Tom Campbell writes regularly on various business-related topics for a range of websites and blogs. As a freelance writer, he understands the importance of keeping good records and business documents.