The question of how to do paperwork for business is an important one for small companies and startups that begins with taking control of documents and papers. The best way to do this is to write down a management plan for your office-related paperwork and make it clear from the start that both you and your employees need to follow this plan. It should describe how paperwork moves through your office — from when it arrives in the mail and is entered into your computer system to when it lands in the recycling bin.

Another important step is to make sure you are using the appropriate tools to help your business be as productive as possible. Programs and apps can help your business in a number of areas, including:

  • Contact management.
  • Communication and meetings.
  • Bookkeeping and accounting.
  • Expense tracking and travel.
  • Social media management.
  • Email management.
  • Project management.

Tools for Keeping Your Office Organized

When it comes to contact management, technology can help you do more than keep track of your customers. A contacts app or customer relationship management tool such as Salesforce can help you to remember all the people you meet at networking events, as well as other potential leads for new business.

With regard to communication and meetings, technology offers many ways to make these more organized. Services like Do can help you make your meetings more organized, whether you are conducting them face to face, via phone, or over video conferencing software.

Streamlining your bookkeeping and accounting processes is easy with tools such as Xero, Quickbooks Online, and Wave. These services make sure you use as little of your valuable time as possible on tasks such as invoicing, receiving payments, and managing cash flow.

Keeping track of expenses on business trips is easy thanks to apps like Expensify. It also makes the reporting processes after the trip much simpler. When it comes to making travel plans, you can rely on apps such as TripAdvisor and Expedia to help you get the most out of your trip with the least possible administration.

These days, no small business can afford to be without a social media strategy. You can approach this in an organized and effective way by making the most of tools like Buffer or Hootsuite.

You can simplify email management by using Gmail for your small business, which gives you access to a number of Google extensions that will make quick work of organizing your inbox. If you're not using Gmail, SaneBox offers reminders, filtering, and much more.

Good project management apps allow you to share files, track tasks, and collaborate with colleagues. This is one of the areas in which small businesses generally gain the most from technological help. Give Asana or Basecamp a try — these are two one-stop solutions for project management.

Another way to get organized is to work toward a paperless office. Scan as much paperwork as you can onto your computer. Save these files into appropriate folders as PDFs, and you'll free up space in your office that would otherwise have been dedicated to filing cabinets.

Paperwork Startups Needs to Do

When you launch a new business, it's natural to want to get started and make your first sale as quickly as possible. Before you do this, however, you need to complete an array of paperwork. Some of this paperwork relates to registering your business name and obtaining the necessary licenses.

Other paperwork serves the purpose of informing your local and state government about your new business venture. There are also documents that will help make sure the launch of your business is a resounding success. Certain documents, such as business plans, are not essential but make it easier to stay focused and succeed.

The paperwork you might be required to complete when starting a business include:

  • Forms for permits and licenses.
  • Applications for Employer Identification Numbers.
  • Requests for business bank accounts.
  • Special forms related to the choice of a business structure.

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