One of the most prominent ways to present a business in the best possible way is through keeping accurate and professional documentation. It shows a company in a light that it wants to be seen, and is also a testament to its managerial process’s effectiveness.
A good percentage of businesses seek to access information from around the world. Technological advancement has significantly reduced the need to be physically present before conducting a business. And because we have digital documentation now, businesses can be run faster in a shorter time while still achieving excellent prospects.
First impression matters and you never get another chance at a first impression. Because of this, every business must take special care in documentation if they want to prove to shareholders and potential investors that they can be trusted with their resources.
Documentation serves as a step-by-step narration of what a business or an assignment within the business is all about, and this is why all business documents must be created to the correct corporate standard that involved parties can easily understand
So, to ensure that your business’s professionalism isn’t compromised due to poor business documentation, we have put together ten helpful tips to ensure you have a professional business documentation procedure.
10 Tips to Create Professional business documentation
Choose The Perfect Font
For your content to be primarily about your documents, it is unnegotiable that your text must be professional, easy on the eyes, and appealing to the senses.
Fonts are an integral part of typography, which means the art of arranging text in an appealing and eligible way, and choosing the right font for professional business documentation depends on how you want your documents to look.
Suppose you want a classic and traditional feel, or something more classic. In that case, the perfect font style for your professional business documentation can be found in two font types: sans serif and serif. Recommended serif fonts include Cambria, Georgia, and Times New Roman.
It is also essential to limit your font usage within one document to three or less, if possible, to avoid unharmonious-looking content. Jampacking different font styles in one text is an unprofessional business documentation practice that must be avoided at all costs.
Use a Logical Font Size
For a font size to be effective, it has to be bold enough for ease of reading but small enough to take up just the right amount of space. So, it is best to keep the body of your text to the recommended and popularly used 10-point to 12-point font for professional business documentation. And in a situation where you cannot decide between the two sizes, a 12-point font is always reliable as anything more significant will start to look like a sight chart.
A 12-point font is quite standard in the business world because it offers adequate readability without taking up too much space, especially for texts that are to be printed.
Create an Optimized File
The practice of professional business documentation also means that your document files are optimized fully. By optimizing your files, we simply mean that your PDF file size must be reduced to the barest minimum, and you can achieve this by compressing your file before uploading them to your business page. You can try formatpdf.com to compress your PDF files.
Why is this important? It is simple, business and growth go hand in hand, and one of the integral facilitators of businesses is the ability to send and receive files to your customers and potential investors in the shortest amount of time. This is why optimizing your documents by compressing them is a professional business documentation practice because smaller files are easier to download and access than larger files.
Follow Your Brand Book
Every business must have a Brand Book, because every business documentation tends to develop a style over time, and every document from your business must retain a great amount of consistency in its style. For example, this style could be from your preferred font style, size, method of writing, etc. So, to appear as corporate and business-minded as possible, stay professional and maintain your brand style.
Also, using abbreviations and nicknames in professional business documentation is a huge blunder that must be avoided at all costs. Business is no joke and must not be treated as such in any circumstance.
Use Consistent Formatting
Formatting is very important in terms of creating business documentation. They are one tool that breaks down texts and makes them easier to read. However, it is vital to stay consistent in the use of formats.
Do not switch from numbers to bullet points in the same text; you may end up with a body of text that looks like children’s illustrations. The goal is to have professional business documentation that will attract potential, boost shareholders’ confidence, and show your business in a good light.
Set the Perfect Heading
Choosing and staying consistent in the correct heading provides clarity in a document, and formatting sub-heading in a consistent pattern will help to differentiate them from the main titles.
Similarly, for professional business documentation, the heading font size can be more than a 12-point font which is the standard for the body text. Taking the heading size up to a 14-point or 16-point is adequate to make the heading stand out. You can also leave the default heading size if it is consistent with your brand style.
Set the Perfect Hierarchy
For improved readability, it is essential to establish an obvious hierarchy within the text as soon as you begin. For instance, if you wish to use headings, start with that pattern, and if you choose to go for secondary and tertiary headings, stay consistent and create a clear flow of text in relation to the body of work.
In doing so, your document is easy to read and will look professional and appealing.
Go for a Template
It is vital to have professional business documentation for all intents and purposes, and you must spare no resource in making sure that your business documents are as tight as possible, including outsourcing resources.
Yes, chances are that there may be no professional designer available in your team to help your business documentation process, or there is no budget for it, but that doesn’t mean your business is sentenced to poor documentation.
Thankfully, there are pre-designed templates available on the internet that facilitate an easy professional business documentation process. You can find templates pre-designed for professional graphic design, infographics, charts, maps, documents, printable texts, etc., at little or no cost. So, if you are not confident in laying out a standard document, pre-designed templates will do fine.
Avoid Large Sections of Text
Even the most avid reader will be turned off an endless stream of text, so it is natural to assume that if you are sending out business documents, you want them to be read, understood, engaged with, etc., to produce the desired result. And, even if the documents are for reference purposes, they still need to be read with ease; therefore, having a large block of text is far from enticing to any reader.
So, how do you ensure that your documents will be read and not just tossed aside? First, make people actually want to read them by making them appear less cumbersome. You can do this by breaking the texts into paragraphs whenever possible, using subheadings, numbering, or bullet points for emphasis.
Ultimately, try to keep all copies concise and relevant. This way, your business documents will be easy to read and soft to the senses.
Use Referencing When Necessary
Another way to create legible and professional business documentation is by referencing your texts whenever necessary.
If another person’s work features in your documents, you must acknowledge the source or sources. Referencing simply means acknowledging your source via in-text referencing or citation and linking your citations to your works cited list, including creating a reference list or bibliography.
There are different referencing types for various documents, but the referencing style mostly adopted is the Harvard system, which is the industry standard.
In conclusion, documentation is clear proof of an operational process that provides clarity during operations. It also helps businesses achieve long- and short-term goals because they will always have detailed documentation of processes to look back on while making necessary improvements, be it on how a simple task is to be carried out or to resolve a dispute.
Another benefit of professional business documentation is the marketing aspect. Whether you are reaching out to investors, shareholders, etc., a standard document is how businesses send proposals, goals, intents, and ideas, and if done right, you already have one foot in the door.
In essence, documentation remains an integral part of any business, whether big, medium, or large scale, and no resource should be spared to ensure that they are of industry standard and will not sabotage your business’ shot at greatness. Thankfully, the existence of pre-designed templates means that you will have standard business documentation one way or the other!