Aaugh Paperwork!

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July 12, 2016 – Issue 37
Photo: Paperwork (Jason Grose) © www.flickr.com

How many dread the paperwork to set-up and regularly complete for your business?  Some may feel that you didn’t get into business to have to do all this paperwork, but, it is a necessity if you want to move your business forward.

No matter what type of business you are in, we all need to have certain documents, forms, checklists and templates in place.  Some businesses will need more administrative work then other types of business.  However, no matter the type of business, you will need to examine and determine the purpose for these forms, documents and templates and why you would implement them into your business.  You also want the form / document to work for you versus you working for the form.  It should be clear, concise, easy to read and fill out, while collecting the necessary information you want.

Your business forms, documents, templates and checklists should be re-evaluated every 3-5 years to determine if they required updating.  Whenever possible, arrange to use and store them electronically, nonetheless, make sure you always have extra paper copies on-hand in case your computerized system ever goes down or there has been some type of disaster which may prevent you from using your computer.  Whenever possible, if you can obtain a program or app that will automatically back up what you need to do for your business then implement it into your organization.  It will definitely save you time, money and improve your quality and efficiency of your overall business.

“Paperwork wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for all the paper.  And the work.”
~Darynda Jones

I have compiled a list of documents / forms / templates which may be essential for your business.  Of course, it will all depend on the type, size and industry of your business in what is required.  As your business grows, you are more likely to require additional assortment of paperwork for your business, especially if you plan to hire staff.


  • Daily Cash Flow
  • 12-Month Income Form
  • 12-Month Cash Flow Statement
  • 12-Month Sales Forecast
  • Operations Budget Template / Worksheet
  • Marketing Budget
  • Profit and Loss Statement
  • Balance Sheet


  • Checklist Start-Up
  • To Do List
  • Business Letter
  • Fax Cover Sheet
  • Checklist way to Communicate
  • Work Step by step document
  • Meeting Agenda Template
  • Meeting Minutes Template
  • Phone Memo
  • Checklist
  • Inventory Sheet
  • Business Expense Form (travel, food, parking etc)
  • Stats Forms
  • Executive Summary


  • Customer Information Sheet
  • Follow-up Form
  • Estimation Work Form
  • Time Sheet for Contract Work
  • Client Price Quotation
  • Customer Order Form
  • Customer Invoice
  • Bill of Sale
  • Packing List
  • Return Policy
  • Return Form
  • Catalogue
  • Price List
  • Receipts
  • Thank you Letter
  • Request for Referral Letter
  • Account Past Due Letter
  • Client Satisfaction Survey
  • Customer complaint form
  • Claim for Services on Damage Goods


  • Purchase Order
  • Return Form
  • Catalogue
  • Price List
  • Return Policy
  • Request for Price Quote
  • Claim for Services on Damage Goods
  • Schedules and purchasing requirements
  • Thank you Letter

Human Resources

  • Job Descriptions Template
  • Application Form
  • Interview Questions
  • Reference Check
  • Hire Letter Form
  • Hire Checklist and Orientation
  • Orientation Package
  • Employee Handbook
  • Employee Performance Evaluation
  • Emergency Contact Form
  • Daily Time Sheet
  • Job Application Rejection Letter
  • Employee Compliance Surveys
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Mission, Vision and Values
  • Privacy / Confidential Policy
  • Harassment and Discrimination Policy

Legal Documents

  • Contracts
  • Request for Proposal
  • Proposal for Services
  • Sales Proposal
  • Business Proposal
  • Business Consultant Agreement
  • Independent Contract Agreement
  • Non-Disclosure Agreement
  • Fulfillment Services Agreement
  • Terms of Service Agreement
  • Times and Material Agreement
  • Joint Venture Partnership Agreement
  • Franchise Agreement


  • Business Plan
  • Strategic Plan
  • Yearly Action Plan
  • Project Charter
  • Project Estimation Form
  • Emergency Management Plan
  • Succession Plan


  • Marketing material
  • Marketing Planning Document
  • Marketing Research Checklist


This will depend on the industry you are in, and the need to meet certain regulations and standards.  You may have to develop forms to assist you to ensure your organization is meeting and monitoring the benchmark standards for your industry.

  • Forms for quality assurance and control
  • Equipment maintenance log
  • Preventative Corrective-Action Reports
  • Various types of Checklists i.e. Audit checklist

“I have so much paperwork.  I’m afraid my paperwork has paperwork.”
~Gabrielle Zevin

There are many other forms and templates but this list is your starting point of all the possible paperwork that would be essential for your business.  Why not review the list and identify the forms / documents / templates and/or checklists that you may not already have in place for your business.  Then, plan sometime to either develop these forms or instead of inventing the wheel why not check-on-line to see what kind of examples there are and what is available to download for free or a minimum cost.  For some forms you may need to hire an expert, especially for legal documents.

If you are part of a Mastermind group, at your next meeting have the members bring a hardcopy of the various forms / documents / templates and checklists they are using and do an exchange.  In fact here is an opportunity to possibly improve some of your own forms and templates by seeing other examples.

Plan to utilize your downtime by setting aside time to review what you have in place and what you will need to improve quality, efficiency and effectiveness for your business.  Then take the steps to ensure you add these necessary forms, documents, templates and checklist into your business.

PLAN for Your Success!


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