Memorialize Your Decisions...
You did it! After years of thinking about it, you finally took the step and started your own business. It’s just you and your closest friend or trusted family member, so you skip the formality of documentation. Conversations take place, emails pick up where conversations left off, the business is launched and things are sailing along better than you could have expected. Then the inevitable monkey wrench is thrown in and things get sticky. The questions start; who is responsible for next steps, what was compensation supposed to look like in good times and bad? You search your emails, rack your brain to recall conversations from memory, but everyone recalls and interprets the conversations differently and the emails are cryptic and vague.
Taking the time to document your business decisions is one of the most important things you can do for your business and it’s not just during the start-up process. Just look to the lesson The Walt Disney Company learned when they failed to thoroughly document events and decisions in their board meetings. The lack of detail in their minutes led them down a path of litigation for almost a decade. Many business owners lament about the amount of administration and paperwork they need to deal with as an owner. Documentation is certainly not glamourous or exciting, but doing so up front can definitely lessen future headaches you will inevitably encounter.