By Kunle Adebunmi
Documents are very necessary and the key to doing any business. One of the ways you can be successful as an entrepreneur is for you also to be a document person. Documents should be taken as important as the business itself. Many Small Business owners find it very has to generate documents and also keep them. At some points in your business, you’ll find someone who may demand or have a need for any of these documents before transacting with you. Today, we still find many entrepreneurs who trivialize every little document involved when running their businesses e.g. whether from ordinary sales receipts to even Tax Clearance. Documents in small business could range from a brief email message to a complex legal agreement. Let’s look at some of such business documents amongst others;
One set of documents that is germane and critical for all businesses to have and keep is the registration documents. Your particular form of business structure will determine the kind of registration documents you’ll have in your possession. I am referring to documents like the Certificate of Incorporation, Articles, and Memo of Association and so on. These documents are technically your business permit which validates your daily operations as an entrepreneur. It shows you can legally carry out your proposed business activities anytime, anywhere with anyone you so wish. They are the most important documents to keep because they are the formation documents. They are sensitive documents and must be kept safe at all times. Once in a while, as you proceed in business, there may be the need for you to present these documents to someone or an organization. Kindly keep it safe.
BUSINESS PLAN DOCUMENT
This is a document that summarizes and shows your operational and financial objectives for the near future (usually lasting from one to three years) and how you will achieve them. Since it’s a document that clarifies your purpose and direction. It is capable of attracting the required financing your business requires and the right partners who will support it. Ideally, a solid business plan is the first document any small business owner should have. In it are the goals and objectives of the business, a management plan, marketing strategies and a financial budget. Anyone who looks at this document will see your strategic goals and the blueprint of your entire business idea.
BUSINESS PROFILE DOCUMENT
No matter what you do, you will need to have a short business or company profile which will be a professional introduction of your business. It will inform your target customers about your products and services. It gives you an opportunity to show what your business is capable of offering at a glance. In it also, will be a concise description of your business history with your past, current and anticipated performance. As you go along in the business having made some success, you’ll need to keep updating your business profile document. Sometimes, it is required by people who you may want to have a business relationship with or when you are seeking for more business opportunities.
TAX CLEARANCE DOCUMENT
Tax clearance document is an evidence and official confirmation which shows that your business has complied with the tax authority law. It could also be any proof of payments to the authorities either in the form of dues or permits in line with the government demand for your business category. They are documents that will show in the nearest future that your Small business has been compliant within the business environment you are located. Businesses are frequently being asked for their tax clearance document. If you are a small business owner who still needs to get the understanding on tax matters. Try and make proper inquiries from the tax office closer to you.
AGREEMENTS & CONTRACTS DOCUMENT
On a daily basis, Small business people are entering into all kinds of agreements depending on what the transaction is all about. Yours could be rent agreement, equipment lease agreement, partnership agreement, contracts, loan agreement, vendor agreements, etc. Whichever, as a small business owner, if your business has ever entered into an agreement or contracts with any partner, shareholder, landlord or any company, you need to lay hold on such document and keep very safe. Any small business owner who carelessly handles such documents may end up being short changed when there are issues. You shouldn’t underestimate the power of agreement and contracts because they can be used to make a case for your business in the near future. Kindly seek more advice from the legal experts.
The right thing to do in small business is to be familiar and relate to any document you need for accounting purpose e.g. bank statements, a budget document, operating expenses, cash flow statement, etc. Each of these documents has their own key influence on your small business once they are generated and should always be kept in view.
As you get involve in sales and purchases, income and expenses or receipts and payments which are actually in line with your business operations, documents are being generated in the form of sales invoices, receipts, local purchase orders, deposit slips etc. They are expected to be properly filed away and kept safe too. As mundane as they may look, they are vital supporting documents that contain the information you may need in the days to come. Whenever you are to engage in a basic record keeping or a comprehensive financial account, they will form a support for the entries that will make up your book. It is better to keep them orderly according to dates. There could also be a request for any of such document either for audit purpose or when trying to have the relationship with other business.
EMAILS AND LETTER DOCUMENT
In the course of doing your business, you will write a lot of hard copy correspondences or emails (soft copy) to communicate with recipients like customers, service providers, suppliers, vendors and job applicants. As you generate all these on a daily basis, you must make sure your business emails are not mistakenly deleted at any time, and your hard copy letters are properly filed away. Whichever one you use more, you must take them as important documents to your business.
SALES REPORT DOCUMENT
It is important to keep the record of sales achieved for products or services. Your sales report could be periodic such as a monthly sales report. It is better to have a template for convenience so as to be able to make a comparison with your previous reports. This is a document that can form a basis of analysis for you. It shows you your actual sales for a specified period; a quarter, a year, or any time frame that you feel is important as a business owner. It can also help you generate a better sales budget.
Kunle Adebunmi has helped few organizations run and manage their businesses successfully at managerial capacity level. He has impeccable credentials and untapped expertise that enables him multi – task as a Small Business Advisor, Technology Enthusiast, Entrepreneur, Consultant, SB Analyst and Nation Builder. Today, thousands have benefited and are still benefiting from his rich online and offline insightful materials across the continent. He is the founder of Mooregriz Global. You can find specific information on Small Business Citadel and other involvements at http://www.kunleadebunmi.com