We all like to trust people and we would like really be much better of if people always did what they said they would do. But we all know that this is not always the case. If you are a business owner, you can find yourself in deep trouble if you do not document.

What do you need to document? Anything that requires an action on your part or on the part of someone else. Here are some examples:

- You tell an employee that if they meet a certain sales quota they will get a certain raise.

- An agreement with a vendor for discounts or payment terms

- An agreement for ownership of the company in exchange for an investment of some type

- Payment for services of any type

- An agreement for payment or ownership in exchange for information or help

- Disciplinary action of any type

Legal quiz: which of the following is considered a legally binding contract?

1. An email
2. A saved chat log
3. A recorded telephone conversation
4. A verbal agreement witnessed by one other person

If you answered all the above congratulations! All of these have been upheld as legally binding contracts.

There are cases where you need to be particularly vigilant about not only documentation, but the format of the agreement. One is persons with disabilities. Certain classes have extra protections (blind, mentally disabled, etc.) with regard to contracts and agreements. Be sure that you are aware of all the rules regulating how you communicate with these special groups and be sure you follow the rules and document the fact that you followed the rules. This may require an extra witness or other special considerations. Another case is when you are dealing with employees. Proper documentation will help protect you should there by any legal actions later.

How do you go about documenting? The documentation should be specific. If the documentation is in writing, if possible, it should be signed by everyone involved. Documentation also includes things writing down just for your own records. When you talk to a great number of people in a day, it is easy to forget what you said and what you promised. Keep a journal—either handwritten or on the computer. (Handwritten is sometime more portable). Put in this journal anything you want to remember. This is also a nice record of you business (and it is always interesting to go back to old journals to see what you were doing one week ago, one year ago, etc.). Be sure you are accurate and stick to the facts. Start another personal journal if you want to make comments on how things are going, you latest gripe or anything else of a personal nature.

Good documentation can save you a lot of headaches. No one wants to get into the “he said/she said” conversation. Good documentation can also help you run your business efficiently. You will have a much better handle on the expectations for yourself as well as others. It can also save you when there is a dispute. It may take a little extra time, but it will help you sleep better at night!

Author's Bio: 

"Dr. Robin”, the well known MLM Radio personality is and has built his “honorary” doctorate in the Network Marketing world and has had experience in numerous other network marketing companies. He is a nationally recognized expert in the network marketing business.Dr. Robin is the current host of his radio show, “Networking with the Blindguy” with up to 4.7 million listeners daily. http://drblindguy.com For more information about DR Robin go to http://robintrushlo.com

Also time to help you going GREEN. http://gobewisenow.com DR Robin will help you with going green with products that do work and are safe.