What Business Document Templates should you have?
You put in so much time to your client work and running your business.
Why should you have business document templates? Well, have you ever heard of “re-inventing the wheel?”
Yeah, it’s a waste of time and energy. Having business document templates saves you time, money, and hassle. Here are some essential ones to consider:
1. Proposal Template
2. Invoice Template
3. Contract Template
4. Non-disclosure Agreement Template
5. Marketing Plan Template
6. Business Plan Template
7. Meeting Agenda Template
8. Presentation Template
By having these templates readily available, you’ll be able to streamline your workflow and focus more on growing your business instead of wasting time on repetitive tasks. that.
Using business templates can help you:
- Save Time
- Ensure Consistency
- Increase your Level of professionalism
- Ensure Legal Compliance
- Make you Efficient
- Allow you to Scaly
I am Going to talk about the templates today that will save you the MOST amount of time in your business. You know you are EXCITED
As a small business owner, you know that time is your most valuable asset. You need to focus on growing your business, serving your clients, and managing your team.
But what if you could save time and effort on routine tasks like writing emails, creating proposals, and organizing meetings? That’s where document templates come in.
Document templates are pre-written, reusable documents that can help you standardize your business processes, ensure consistency and quality, and improve your productivity.
In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the most important types of templates that small businesses should have, and how they can benefit your business.
Why are Business Document Templates are so important to small businesses?
“Time is a created thing. It cannot be bought or sold. It is intangible, but it is the most valuable resource we have.” – Harvey Mackay
Preparation is key when it comes to saving time. Even just setting up documents and files with the appropriate format and basic information beforehand can be incredibly helpful.
Starting from scratch every time you need to create emails, proposals, or other documents not only saps your energy but also takes away from the valuable time that could be spent on more important tasks such as delivering exceptional work for clients, growing your team, or pursuing personal projects.
To avoid wasting precious resources of writing emails, creating proposals, and scheduling meetings repeatedly, it’s best to focus on what truly matters.
This is why I advocate for the use of templates in any business-related document that requires repetition. Using templates standardizes your business processes while ensuring consistency and quality. Ultimately, this leads to improved productivity and greater efficiency.
Some of the most important templates that I have in my and my clients business I have listed below for your perusal!
Ah emails… the bane of my existence and the starting place of every potential client communication. Email is one of the most common and important communication channels for businesses of all sizes regardless of the fact that I love to hate it. (More on organizing your email in another blog post, which helps a LOT)
Emails however are time-consuming to write (even with ChatGPT), especially if you are sending introductory emails or connecting with leaders in your industry. I also cannot tell you how many times I have mistyped or accidentally deleted paragraphs when writing emails.
So for our first business document templates example, we are talking about the many types of Emails you can actually create ahead of time! By using these email templates, you can save time, ensure consistency, and improve your effectiveness. Here are some of the most valuable I have found for my business
- Welcome Email – This email template is a great way to introduce yourself to new clients or customers. It can help you make a great first impression, establish trust, and set expectations for your relationship.
- Follow-up Email: After you’ve made a sale or provided a service, it’s important to keep in touch with your clients and customers. This email template can help you stay top-of-mind, build rapport, and generate repeat business.
- Invoice Email: Sending invoices is a critical part of any business, but it can be tedious and time-consuming. This email template can help you streamline the process, reduce errors, and ensure prompt payment.
- Appointment Reminders: If you schedule appointments with clients or customers, it’s important to send reminders to minimize no-shows and keep your schedule on track. This email template can help you remind your clients of their upcoming appointments and provide any necessary details.
- Feedback or Testimonial Request Email: Gathering feedback and testimonials from your clients or customers can help you improve your products or services, build social proof, and attract new business. This email template can help you solicit feedback in a professional and effective way.
- Frequently Asked Questions Email: If you find yourself answering the same questions from multiple clients or customers, it can be helpful to create an FAQ email template that you can use to provide consistent and accurate answers.
Time for one of my FAVORITE business document templates to talk about, Standard operating procedures (SOPs).
These little beauties are so so so important for maintaining consistency and quality in your business processes. Without them (and a few other key pieces in your operations), chaos may ensue. That’s not good for anyone.
They can help you ensure that your team members understand their roles and responsibilities, follow best practices, and deliver high-quality work. If you have ever had a freelancer or contractor in your business, you know how valuable these little beauties can be.
Here are just some of the types of SOPs that small businesses should have. This can be different depending on your type of business, but the general list below should still apply.
- Email List
- Customer Management
- Financial Management
- Client Onboarding/Offboarding
- Team Onboarding/Offboarding
- Project Management
While each of these types of SOP’s have their own specific needs and details, having a consistent template for each type will help those that read them understand the context and be able to execute them effectively.
It’s also important to have the SOP’s in a place that is well organized and accessible by all that need them. I have created a ClickUp SOP Library structure just for YOU to be able to write and link the SOP’s directly to the tasks that need them.
Check outmy YouTube video of how to do it (plus some tips and tricks to make sure that your SOP’s stay safe! (Always have a backup of your most important documents!)
Make sure to download your free SOP template library here!
Proposal Template. If you are in creative services, proposals are one of those things that you are constantly finding yourself working on. In fact, with most of the creative agencies I have worked with, this is what the CEO spends most of their time on other than networking and finding clients.
Now, I’m going to throw my speech about creating a Tier-Level system out the window… for now. BUT I am going to encourage the creation of SOME sort of template that will only require you to change the deliverables and the prices (and maybe some personal details of the client) every time you need it.
Remember. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel folks!
Your clients would rather you use your creative energy for your graphic design or copy efforts for them anyway.
Here are some of the types of proposal business document templates that can be created ahead of time depending on the types of services or products that you have.
- Service Proposal : Outline your scope of work, your deliverables and the time that it will take to complete said scope of work.
- Product Proposal : Outline the features and benefits of a product, as well as pricing and delivery details.
- New Employee Proposal : Employee’s need proposals too, this type of proposal can help you outline the position, qualifications, and compensation so they have a full understanding before signing any contracts.
- Grant Proposal : Grant proposal templates can help you make a strong case for why your project is worthy of support.
Ah Contracts and Agreements. Those ultra-necessary, better have your ducks-in-a-row documents where you sign your life away (or ask your clients to!).
I am not a lawyer, even though I am related to 3 of them, but I still make sure that I have my Business Contract Templates to clarify terms and conditions of my business relationships and transactions.
But you need more than 1 type of contract when think about all the types of agreements you may need.
Here are some types of contract templates you should have:
- A Service Agreement Template : This type of contract outlines the scope of work, deliverables, pricing, and terms and conditions for a service project between your business and a client.
- Sales Agreement Template : This type of contract outlines the terms and conditions for the sale of products, whether physical or digital, between your business and a client.
- Independent Contractor Agreement : This type of contract outlines the terms and conditions for a 1099 contractor, including scope of work, payment terms, and ownership of work produced. The business is not responsible for providing benefits or taxes for the independent contractor.
- Employment Agreement : This type of contract outlines the terms and conditions of employment for an employee, including job duties, compensation, benefits, and termination policies. The business is responsible for providing benefits and taxes for the employee.
- Partnership Agreement : This type of contract outlines the terms and conditions of a business partnership between two or more parties.
- Non-disclosure Agreement : (NDA) is a legal contract that establishes confidentiality between two or more parties. It prohibits the sharing of confidential information with unauthorized third parties and can be used to protect trade secrets, intellectual property, and other sensitive business information.
To find contract templates, you can search online legal forms providers such as LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer, and LawDepot, or check out Boss Contract Society, which offers a variety of contract templates for small business owners.
Meeting Agenda Templates
Now we can get into the fun stuff. Meetings can be a valuable tool for collaboration and decision-making, but they can also be a waste of time if they’re not well-planned and organized.
Creating Meeting Agenda templates is perfect to make sure the meeting stays on track and you avoid those “rabbit holes” that I know I have a tendency to go down on occassion
One of the key aspects to productivity is the ability to stay on track and focus on the most important topics.
Some of the ones you should have in your arsenal
- Status Update Meeting : This type of meeting is focused on providing updates on ongoing projects and initiatives.
- Client Meeting : This type of meeting is focused on discussing the needs and requirements of a client and providing updates on project progress
- Team Meeting : This type of meeting is focused on discussing team goals, projects, and initiatives.
- Quarterly Review Meeting : This type of meeting is focused on reviewing progress and identifying opportunities for improvement.
To make the most of your meeting agenda templates, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Set clear objectives and outcomes for the meeting.
- Include only the most important topics and prioritize them.
- Assign owners for each agenda item to ensure accountability.
- Allow time for discussion and questions.
- Follow up after the meeting with action items and next steps.
Sales Page Templates
Have you ever created a sales page? For yourself or someone else?
If you have, my condolences…. it isn’t EASY, that’s for sure. Trying to fit everything that individuals may be interested in on 1 page is a challenge. That’s why, I don’t want to do it more than 1 or 2 times.
While a sales page is a critical tool for converting visitors into customers, creating a sales page template makes the process so much more enjoyable the next time around… because you aren’t creating it from scratch!
By using sales page templates, you can ensure that your sales pages are well-designed, optimized for conversion, and consistent with your branding. Here are some key elements that your sales page template should include:
- Headline: A strong and compelling headline that grabs the attention of the reader and communicates the main benefit of the product or service.
- Introduction : A brief introduction that provides context for the product or service and creates a connection with the reader.
- Problem : A description of the problem or pain point that the product or service addresses, and why it is important to solve that problem.
- Solution : A clear and concise description of how the product or service solves the problem and provides value to the customer.
- Features : A list of the key features and capabilities of the product or service, and how they contribute to the overall value proposition.
- Benefits : A description of the benefits that the customer will experience by using the product or service, such as increased efficiency, cost savings, or improved outcomes.
- Social Proof : Testimonials, case studies, or other social proof that demonstrates the effectiveness and credibility of the product or service.
- Call to Action : A clear and compelling call to action that encourages the reader to take action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a free trial, or scheduling a consultation.
Creating your own business document templates
So, at the end of each of the previous mentions of types of templates, we gave you a few hints as to how to create your own and specific items you should pay attention to.
I thought it would be a good idea to add some more “Best Practices” while we are thinking about the documents or items to templatize!
What documents do you need to be templatized?
Start by identifying the business documents that you use most frequently in your business or your find yourself spending the most time recreating. For me, this means email templates, proposals and Discovery Call notes. (And of course those contracts!)
Some others may need meeting agenda templates and Customer Care emails. It’s really what YOU are using the most.
Reviewing existing templates
There’s no reason to create anything from scratch if you already have the information somewhere. Check your email outbox or previously used meeting notes for information that has worked for you before. Sometimes even some of your software applications already have templates. Of course, you can always check online for templates for specific documents or items.
I happen to know that Pinterest is FULL of these types of free templates as well.
Customize your business document templates
Once you have a starting point, it’s time customize! Make them fit your and your clients unique needs.
Ideas to customize may include adding your logo and branding, changing the language to be more informal, and adapting the structure to fit your specific requirements.
Test and Refine
If you are anything like me, you like to have perfection out of the gate.
The sad truth is, that NEVER happens.
Be okay with “good enough” and continue to update and upgrade them as you see how they work out in the real world. Just having a semblance of organization and workflow baked into the documents is a huge leap forward for your productivity.
You can always improve and make any necessary adjustments based on feedback and continue to refine your templates over time.
There are so many opportunities to create templates for things in your business, but as usual I’m going to suggest that you start simply noticing the types of things you find yourself creating over and over, perhaps already using a “sort” of template that can be shared with the rest of the business or made more “official” somehow.
Make sure to check out my FREE ClickUp SOP Documents that will make SOP creation in your project management tool super-easy to use.
Take it one step at a time and the time saved will eventually add up to give you the freedom you crave.
Looking to learn more?
Check out these blogs: