As a small business owner, you’re likely to always be pressed for time. The to-do lists never seem to end and most of the time, you just find yourself doing routine tasks and being pulled in every direction.
You’re not alone. According to a survey, nearly 72% of small business owners said that administrative tasks keep them the busiest.
One of the ways to free up some time so you can focus on business-related matters is by using small business templates for repetitive tasks. Not only do they save you time and increase productivity but they also ensure consistency and leave little or no room for error.
Let’s take a look at the six essential small business templates you should be using to help you save time.
Whether you’re sending a business proposal, drafting legal documents, or sending a job offer letter, what you need is a letterhead.
It makes your company appear more professional, helps keep the branding consistent, and on many occasions, serves as a marketing tool too.
Here are some design tips while creating a letterhead:
- Pick one to three contrasting colors, in line with your brand colors
- Place your logo at the top of the letterhead
- Create a striking header or add a full-page border
- Consider adding a creative footer
- Add icons or illustrations depending on the audience or purpose of the letterhead
Take a look at this simple letterhead template. It uses blue and green as the primary colors. The geometric shapes in the footer give the document a modern edge.
Single-page business plan
You might have worked on a 10-page business plan but let’s face it, chances are very few will have the patience to sift through that lengthy document.
One way to ensure your business plan gets read is by summarizing your business plan into a one-pager.
The idea is to highlight the key details of your company so that readers get a quick overview of your company in one glance. This is also beneficial for strategic planning and building a business roadmap.
Bplans shares an interesting hack for writing a business plan under an hour, “Write your business plan like it’s a series of 10 tweets—one for every section of your business plan. 140 characters are all you need to get your point across.”
Here are the essential elements you must include in a single-page business plan:
- Company description
- Target audience
- Industry overview
- Financial summary
- Marketing plan
- Management team
Here’s an example of a one-page business plan that includes all the important details without being a heavy read.
The key to running a profitable business is staying on top of your finances.
From planning growth strategies to forecasting and ensuring you’re meeting targets, small business owners need to keep a close eye on financial reports.
According to Small Business Chron, the three basic reports that a small business requires are:
- Balance sheet
- Income statement
- Cash flow statement
Instead of creating them from scratch every time, it’s a good idea to have a template for each. You can use a chart maker to create charts and graphs to visually communicate your business’ financials and improve reporting.
Here’s an example of a cash flow statement template.
Source: Corporate Finance Institute
Sending invoices is part of every business process but you shouldn’t have to create a new one every time.
When you use templates for invoices, you have a readymade layout and all you need to do is enter the details. Not only will this save you time but it will also ensure you get paid on time.
An invoice template needs to include the following elements:
- Invoice date
- Company name
- Company address
- Client’s company name and contact details
- Description of products purchased or services rendered
- Terms of payment
It’s a good idea to customize the invoice by incorporating your branding so it stands out and is easily recognizable. You can easily customize them for branding in Billings Pro.
Here’s an example of a simple invoice template.
Regardless of your company size or industry, performance reviews play a crucial role in improving employee morale and cultivating a culture that promotes employee growth.
This is why it’s important to do quarterly or annual performance reviews where you can offer constructive feedback while highlighting their strengths and areas of improvement.
Using a performance review template helps you streamline this process and establish specific key performance indicators. This leaves little or no room for ambiguity and bias, thereby resulting in a fair performance review.
Here’s an example of a performance review template you can use. It takes into account KPIs such as overall performance, goals achieved, areas of improvement, and core values.
Social media posts
Having a social media presence is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s become a must-have considering how powerful a medium it is.
Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, engaging with your target audience, establishing expertise, or generating sales, a strong social media marketing plan will help you grow your small business.
However, the challenge small businesses face is the inability to post consistently due to the lack of time and resources.
This is why it makes sense to create templates for social media posts. You can create templates in line with your branding guidelines so that you’re able to develop a consistent aesthetic while optimizing your time in the process.
Here’s an example of Omnisend’s social media posts. Notice how they’re similar in terms of the colors, fonts, and layouts used.
The takeaway: save time with small business templates
For your business to grow, you need to focus on the larger picture. This will only be possible when you manage your time wisely by delegating and automating more tasks.
Using small business templates for repetitive tasks is sure to leave you with more time, helping you invest your time and mental energy on the strategic, business-related aspects that matter.
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