Be more systematic when it comes to your documents
Your team should all be on the same page and producing the same high quality documents (either in house or external facing). A key advantage of being more systematic is that you will be able to produce the same high-quality work time and time again.
Importance of templates
A good way to start is make sure all important documents have templates. Invest in these looking good, particularly as they get closer to the sale. Meaning, don’t just get a graphic designer to design your billboards but also get your documents designed too. It is very common to see a company with a great billboard and a great advertisement but terrible and hard to use quotes, contracts, invoices and catalogues. Don’t do this to your potential customer. Wow them all the way through the sale. And don’t forget about making sure you email templates are set up too if you are selling online.
All your templates should sit in a good file structure that is available to all staff. This way when they need to make a particular document, they find the template easily and use it. Templates will save your staff time. They also ensure consistency across all your documents.
Your files might be stored on a cloud server so that everyone always has access to the latest files. Make sure that you are also archiving old files so that there are no mistakes because someone used an old file.
Using paragraph styles
All document processer software include paragraph styles. Word as a few heading styles built in and they look like this:
Never manually set or alter any fonts in your documents, ever. You should have built into your template all the styles your company will need. And you can build in hundreds if required! An example of this is:
The reason you want to be using styles is so that you know that all your documents are consistent. All fonts, colours and sizes (and any bullets, numbering, indents, shading etc) are the exact same between documents. It is also helpful to be able to search within a document based of styles. You can easily set up cross referencing. And if you ever needed to change a font or colour or size quickly, you can apply that change once.
Bonus Tip: In Word and InDesign, you can copy paragraph styles from a different document into your new document. Useful if you need to bring a document in line with your branding.
It also helps to have a checklist for each document for staff to go over at the end. Things like: making sure images are high quality and licensed, hyperlinks are clickable, spell check done. This check will make sure your documents are top quality.
By having these systems in place, you are more easily able to grow as you leverage the templates by hiring more staff to meet more customer demand. Without a systematic approach to your documents, the work will not be as quick and easy or repeatable so will slow your rate of growth.