Documentation is a crucial part of every operating business. You need documents to operate, record, and grow your operations. While there are multiple types of documentation, they all are equally important.
If you keep your documentation in order, your business will thrive. While some documents are the building block of your business, some are the safe keeper. For example, you need to keep your finance books in order to avoid legal troubles. In addition, regularly updated books can be a remedy for your financial health.
The benefits of having organized documentation
Managing your business takes time and probably the last thing you want to keep track of is status reports, guides, product information, etc, rather than focusing on tasks that generate profit. But if you dedicate your time to doing that, your clients and employees will thank you.
For instance, if you want to have a central hub for your documents, consider setting up an internal wiki. On this knowledge-sharing website, all your documents can be uploaded and organized so that employees can extrapolate information regarding your business operations whenever necessary. Furthermore, keeping all your documents on the same site will make it easier for everyone to acquaint themselves with your modus operandi.
Now that you know where and how to organize your documentation, we’ll explore some documentation examples that every business should have.
Proposals are the client winners, better known as written pitches. Well-structured and detailed proposals allow you to offer business solutions to prospects without wasting time talking.
Creating proposals is inevitable. At some point, your network of clients will require your services, and you will have to present them professionally and diligently. To create the perfect proposal, you can either develop a template or use cutting-edge software that will allow you to encapsulate what value your business offers.
Regardless of whether you choose to be the sole creator of the proposal or you will rely on software, make sure to create eye-catching business proposal templates to improve your chances of closing a sale.
Running a business sometimes translates into a messy paper-filled desk. However, to achieve greatness in the industry you are operating in, you will have to do it by the book. Financial, sales, and technical reports will help you keep things on board with employees, clients, and legal bodies.
Reports won’t just serve as a sign of transparency; they can be analyzed and allow you to devise a better strategy.
A business plan
The business plan is the engine behind every business operation. While creating an all-in-one business plan is challenging, trying to do so will always add points to your dedication to professionalism.
If you have a solid business plan, you will have no problem pitching and sharing your business vision with prospects, investors, and clients. Having said that, business plans are not static. They can be easily updated, and you can embellish some topics that generate the most profits.
Just like internal wikis, you can create a comprehensive and captivating business plan with the help of tools. Templates are widely available, and if you have yet to have the pleasure of crafting a business plan yourself, you can take a look to get inspired by the expertise of other entrepreneurs.
Compliance and regulatory documents
Your state and business industry will determine how your business operates and which documents you must keep track of to ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines. For example, you’ll have to keep payroll data, tax ID verification forms, and tax documents on hand for several years, even after they have left your business.
Any documents regarding compliance with security information training and diversity training will have to be signed by employees and kept on file by your HR department.
Securing these documents
While keeping your documents organized should be your number one goal, security must follow second on your list of priorities. Nowadays, depositing all of your essential documents in a safebox is becoming more popular as cyberattacks are becoming more frequent.
Still, there’s nothing wrong with depositing a small portion of your document on a cloud or an HDD device. Having said that, ensure there are no document leaks, as that can prove costly for your business, and clients might take their business elsewhere.
While all businesses are different from each other, all the abovementioned documentation types are universally important. For example, internal wikis can help you with your onboarding process and boost your productivity, while business plans and proposals enable you to communicate your vision to prospects.
However, keeping your documents secure and organized is far more important than creating them. A data breach can cost you your public reputation, and you might suffer dips in profit.