Four Types of Records You Should be Keeping in Your Business

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World Executives DigestBusinesses run on information. If you are a business owner, you need information about your market, customers, vendors, competition, opportunities, taxes, the law, and so much more. All of the information is, for the most part, available online. But that doesn’t mean that business owners know what they need to be keeping records of, or the frequency with which they should be keeping these records. Many assume that digital records are all that is needed, but there are times when paper records are still a good idea. Here are four types of records you should be keeping if you are a business owner.


A lot of business owners have moved toward electronic record keeping for accounting and day-to-day bookkeeping, but it’s still a good idea to keep certain kinds of receipts, aside from the electronic copies. For instance, if you purchase a piece of equipment, or a laptop, you’ll want to hang on to that physical receipt so that you can return it or exchange it if needed. We don’t always think something will go wrong when we make a purchase, but anything can happen and a good business owner will have their receipts organized and easy to find. If you can’t do this yourself, or don’t want to, make sure you ask your bookkeeper to maintain physical receipts for reference or if needed.

Sheets

Another kind of record that you should get in the habit of maintaining and storing are sign-in sheets. Of course, not every business is going to need something like this, but if you have a steady flow of traffic in and out of your establishment to visit different departments or employees, a sign-in sheet can help you track people, traffic, and busy times of day. If you have a front desk person or a security guard, they can be in charge of managing the sign-in sheets. Sign-in sheet templates are easy to use and make tracking your visitors simple and fast. It’s always a good idea to check identification at the door as well, if possible, to verify people are who they say they are. Records like these can come in handy if there is an emergency and you need to verify how many people are in the building; or if there has been an incident or event that requires the police to get involved. You can provide information about who was in the building at the time of the incident.

A List of Opportunities

This type of record is not for public use, but your own as a business owner. Aside from your email list, customer base, and existing network contacts, you should also have a list of potential opportunities for collaboration, future projects, or things you want for which you want to keep an eye out. For example, you may be looking for opportunities to partner with a company who offers complimentary services to your company. Writing down what you need and are looking for can help ensure that you keep those opportunities top of mind and can capitalize on them when they present themselves. Opportunities lists may also include opportunities for others to work on your projects, and any government or private industry contracts you may be seeking or watching for.

Employee Files

It’s still important to have physical employee files for your business. Depending on the industry in which you work, you may be subject to certain file types or items that need to be included. For instance, paramedics need to have their training and license on file. Nurses need to have their licenses on file. Teachers need to have their ongoing professional development credits on file. Paper records might seem inefficient, but they are easy to manage and can be maintained by more than one person. Employee files should also contain copies of resumes, performance reports, and any incidents or issues that have been documented. Those items are difficult to digitize