Being a business owner requires you, or your team, to document many different elements surrounding the operation of your business. These documents must be exhaustive and complete while also providing future readers the ability to grasp what is being said with only a basic understanding of your business. That can be tough, but it is vital to sustaining a healthy business that develops yearly.
Focusing on documentation should play a crucial role in your everyday business operations.
Related reading: Why do we need product documentation?
Why is Adequate Documentation Important?
While documenting the day-to-day activities of your business may seem like an unnecessary and mundane practice, it provides significant value for your business. Adequate documentation:
- Paints Picture of Your Company: Stakeholders and potential clients or customers receive much of what they know about your products or company through what you have documented. Documenting your business activities, as well as updating all reusable documents, tells stakeholders that you care about your company and the impression that it gives off.
- Creates Transparency and Integrity: While you don’t want proprietary information available to all those who have access to your company’s documents, keeping minutes and sharing the progress your business has every year is essential. This tells stakeholders where you came from and where you are going. Documentation can sometimes air out dirty laundry, but it also tells potential clients and stakeholders how you approached high-risk situations, failed, and overcame them.
- Keeps Everyone in the Loop: Keeping all company associates and stakeholders involved in the everyday processes of your business makes everyone feel valued. Not only does it provide vital information about the company, but it allows others to provide input and suggestions based on relevant information.
- Provides Insight: One thing that employees and stakeholders tend to hate is not having a “why” when decisions are made. Documenting the process removes these barriers and provides relevant parties with enough information to feel assured that their best interests are in mind.
- Ensures Collaboration: Documentation often requires company owners and associates to engage and collaborate. This is because not everyone has every piece of the puzzle. Keeping adequate records and up-to-date portfolios and company literature keeps employees connected.
- Ensures Compliance: Compliance is key. This can be compliance with company bylaws or compliance with legal requirements surrounding your business practices. Having a paper trail creates integrity and enforces compliance without a watchdog. Since your company’s history, minutes, and literature is available and well documented, you are forced to remain in line to ensure its success and future.
While these are a few key benefits to adequate business, there are many more benefits that are not listed, such as legal implications or ease of temporary capital acquisition due to sufficient documentation.
Related reading: What is a Product Required Document (PRD explained)
Examples of Business Documents
Business documents can range from a variety of different messages that you wish to communicate. Here are a few examples of items that qualify as business documents:
- Job Applications: Believe it or not, the job application that you put out to prospective candidates tells them a lot about what they will be walking into. Providing a document that candidates can use that is easy and clear will help paint a better picture of your company.
- Financial Agreements:These documents are everything regarding remaining compliant with the law. Adequate and thorough documentation for your financial agreements may also assist in gaining capital for future investments in your company.
- Business Reports: These reports tell all stakeholders what is happening within the company. It allows people to make educated decisions based on every aspect you divulge in your reports. Having a dynamic and well-thought-out business report can greatly impact your business.
- Job Descriptions: Especially relevant in this modern age, prospective candidates seek to know exactly what they are getting into before joining your company. A job description document that adequately expresses what is expected of new hires will ensure that you hire and retain high-quality employees.
- Bylaws: Providing bylaws regarding the status andgovernance of the executives within your organization helps create trust within your stakeholders. Having a document that is clear and covers every element and loophole within your organization is crucial.
- Minutes: The minutes gathered by a secretary is a document that is both utilized by you for notes and hints back to what you discussed, as well as a way to remain transparent with all stakeholders. A clear presentation of meetings through documented minutes provides all attendants and stakeholders with information on what transpired.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to types of documents your company releases. Documentation is essentially all official written information and communication. It is used throughout every facet of your company.
Types of Businesses that Rely on Documentation
Business documentation is used in every industry. Here are just a few examples of what businesses rely on documentation in their day-to-day operations.
Doctors, nurses, receptions, and more all rely on thorough and adequate documentation to ensure the highest quality of care for all of their patients. Every step of every encounter needs to be fully documented so that future visits and medical record transfers can provide the right information to get patients the care they need.
These documents must provide extensive information that is both accurate and simple to read. This can prevent errors that can be harmful to patients and their care providers.
Automotive technicians provide detailed reports regarding the status of a vehicle before and after they service it. Without adequate reports and signatures, customers can easily say that they did or did not authorize a service or even claim damage to their vehicle, costing the company a large sum of money.
Technicians that provide clear and concise information about the status of the vehicle, with every scratch and dent notated, provide auto shops an invaluable service. The documents can save thousands of dollars per vehicle.
Transferring funds and money is a trail that you want to be documented at all times. If anything goes missing or is improperly documented, there is a chance that the individuals handling the finances could be on the receiving end of legal action.
Ensuring that every “T” is crossed and every “I” is dotted will prevent any unnecessary adverse actions from being aimed toward your company or the associate working with the financial information. Keeping everything transparent and by the books is crucial.
Documentation plays a vital role, even at your company. From payroll to disciplinary action, a well-documented trail is crucial to ensure that everything operates as smoothly and proficiently as possible. With all elements of your business fully documented and available to stakeholders or relevant parties, you can avoid mishaps and ensure success.
Sometimes creating and developing professional documentation can be difficult, especially for those that are primarily focused on the operation of the company. That is where seeking out resources to assist in documentation comes in handy.
Why Documentation Software is Right for Your Company
Fortunately, software exists that can assist your company in creating documents. Award-winning documentation software like Docsie can take your thoughts, reports, minutes, and whatever else that you may want to bring to life in a document and put it together in such a way that your company is adequately represented.
Docsie has functions that allow for the dynamic change alteration of documents by multiple parties to ensure correct and adequate information is provided through the collaboration and input of others. This allows users to present information that is accurate and understood by all possible parties.
In addition to collaboration, Docsie also presents the documents to necessary parties in a way that is engaging and interactive. Stakeholders and interested parties can receive and participate with the information so that they gain a broader understanding of the work that your company is doing. Through this form of presentation, more individuals have the access and abilities to understand what your company is doing.
Documentation software makes it easy by providing templates and reminders on what information may or may not be necessary. You or your team can complete reports and provide documentation for all necessary information with relative ease and in a timely manner.
Consider Documentation Software
While it may be easier to lean on the old tried and true methods of pen and paper or an associate within your company creating and distributing all necessary documents, implementing a document software into your toolbelt will save your company time and money.
Your associates can utilize their time focusing on more relevant and impacting parts of your company while your documents become more versatile and usable for anyone that desires to read them. Stakeholders, candidates, and any other relevant party will be able to have your company’s documents available to them at the push of a button.
Switching to documentation software just makes sense for every company in the modern world. Your company will continue to grow, and making this process easier by streamlining is just one more piece of that puzzle.