Every business should have standard forms that are to be used for various office and business procedures. Such forms include those used to record incoming telephone calls, sales leads, proposals, and completed contracts. There are even forms that can be used for problem solving and flow charts.

Maintain completed forms on file for future reference and to expedite follow-up procedures.

Be sure that your employees use all forms consistently. Provide training and sample completed forms for everyone to review and learn the procedure for. Make note when an individual does not comply with your request in order to reinforce their use of the required forms.

Be sure that all forms are completed accurately. This will provide a written documentation of the all-important phases of your business and will provide consistency and confidence in your operation. Maintaining a central file of all forms used by your business helps in form control (keeping the proper number sequence) and reordering when necessary.

There are commercially available forms and workbooks that can help you organize your firm’s procedure better. You can purchase them at discount office supply stores or by catalog. It’s often cost-effective to research these items and determine their necessity. Occasionally, your local library and the Internet can offer help in this task.

NOTE: For other closely related topics, be sure to review the sections on Record Keeping (#56), and Company Policy (#78) in this series of articles on Financial and Labor Management.

Mike Holt’s Comment: This newsletter was extracted from my Business Management and Management Skills’ Workbook. Watch for our next newsletter, and as always, we encourage your comments and feedback. Send us your real-life experiences. Please respond to

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