How Documentation Protects Your Business & How Using Prokeep can Help.
Regardless of size or stature, protecting your business from potential liability is always crucial, and keeping adequate documentation is one of the most important ways to do so. We spoke to Don Galvez, senior associate with the James Waite Law firm, who shared with us the importance of keeping meticulous records, and how it can ensure your business’s safety and longevity.
Listen to this interview in our podcast, Distributor Dialogues
Helping others through keeping documentation
Don Galves has practiced law for 22 years, spending the past 15 focusing on the equipment and construction industry. His work has included many things from helping business owners manage records, to taxes and litigation. Don’s favorite aspect of his job is getting to help others.
I love helping people…A lot of these are small companies and they don’t realize often, until we educate them, how important it is to operate a company properly — especially when you’re talking about setting up the company, keeping records, taking care of insuring and complying with the policy so you don’t lose coverage and taking care of their employees.”
Why proper documentation is important
Businesses need to keep records of important tasks to protect themselves and their employees. Things like sales and order receipts, warranties, payment information, and other customer records are crucial to performing daily operations and need to be stored in a safe way.
Avoiding personal liability
Don consistently encourages his clients to keep good records in order to eliminate personal liability. “People generally know what they have to file with the Secretary of State to set the business up, but they don't realize that there are other documents.” He explained. “Such as your operating documents, whether it be bylaws or operating agreements.”
In keeping adequate records your business will avoid litigation from customers around warranties, order receipts, or stolen payment information. Should there ever be a dispute over a sale, warranty, or anything else, evidence will be recorded in past conversations, holding both parties accountable and clearing you of liability.
In order to make a company official, records like bylaws, operating agreements, and customer/company information must be meticulously kept. If not kept up-to-date, you could be held personally liable in a lawsuit.
Earning customer trust
Safety records are also incredibly important for insurance purposes or should a work-related injury occur. “A company may not want to work with you if you don’t have those documents.” Don told us. “So it’s really good for increasing your business and accessing those companies that are more concerned with safety records.”
If every important business function is documented accurately you will earn the trust of your customers. Should there be any discourse regarding past decisions you will be able to refer back to previous conversations. Moving forward, more customers will feel comfortable working with you as your organization has proven to be reliable.
Increasing company value
Don also shared with us that should someone buy your company, having detailed safety records will increase the organization’s value; which potentially increases your profit. “You are going to get more value for your company if you have meticulous records because it’s easier to show the value of your company revenues and that you have very few liabilities.” He said.
Documentation is not only key in protecting yourself from liabilities, but having all of your customer data stored digitally and in the same place will increase value and make your company more attractive to potential buyers. In the event of an acquisition, passing on robust information will be simple and easy.
Different methods for keeping records
Don suggests multiple mediums for storing documents; two sources online and one hard copy. “Because things happen, whether it be a fire that destroys the physical ones, or should one of your technologies fail.” He explains.
When asked if records of conversations, like emails or text messages, would be helpful in keeping adequate records Don said “yes, especially if you find them important….Those that are important to you, you can put in a folder that will not have any day of deletion.”
If your customers are able to ask questions, put in orders or get receipts through text or email, these communications can be important to save. Crucial customer details like payment information, past receipts, and warranties should be kept in a secure place to eliminate any he-said, she-said that should follow.
Physical order receipts can be stored in a filing cabinet, and any transaction or important correspondence that took place online should be stored in a folder without day-of deletion. Keeping a record of business transactions like these prevents future liability and eliminates any doubt about what was said.
How Prokeep can help secure documentation
Prokeep is a texting software built for distributors through which you can text your employees or clients about orders, updates, promotions, or any questions they may have. Conversations through text boost accountability because a clear record is kept, eliminating miscommunications and protecting your business from liabilities by keeping everything in writing.
“Once it’s in writing, that’s what controls it. It doesn’t matter what your conversations were.” Don explained. On having the ability to communicate and keep records of conversation through text, Don said: “Communication is key in so many different ways.”
Say you have a customer who claims they never received a part that was delivered and is requesting a refund. If delivery drivers take a picture of the delivery and document it through Prokeep, you can avoid unnecessary refunds or lawsuits due to assumptions and undocumented communication.
Having a centralized channel for communication where both parties understand they are communicating through writing eliminates he-said-she-said, and can always be referred back to should there be any confusion—in the event of an issue, having clear proof of what was said will be advantageous for your business in preventing liabilities.
Moving Business Forward
Implementing texting software will not only aid in keeping your business safe but boosts communication and helps you score profits. Interested in learning more about Prokeep’s messaging platform and how it can help your business? Let’s get in touch.