Manage Your Information Assets
Above all us, you need to ensure that whatever information you maintain, whether financial, business strategy, or partner and customer contact information, you MUST maintain it in a confidential manner. If you can’t be trusted to keep information confidential, then who is going to trust you to do business?
With your accountant or bookkeeper, select how you are going to keep your financial records. Are you experienced with accounting software or are an outside bookkeeper and/or accountant more appropriate for your situation? Consider the interests of your financial providers who might have a preference in this area. The bottom line, however, is that knowing the numbers, where you are against your plan/budget, is critically important through-out the life of a business operation.
General Record Keeping
Your business might very well have important information that you want to keep and track (maybe to meet regulations). Maintaining well ordered records, allowing for easy access to information to assist in decision making, to provide historical perspective, and to document decisions made are important to a well run and successful business.
Vendor / Partner Information
A key to success in business is maintaining positive and win-win relationships with your vendors, suppliers, distributors and/or partners. The old adage of “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” is a time proven lesson. Your business network of partners should be one of your greatest assets, assuming you keep them cultivated and weed free.
Know thy customer!!! Whether it is obtaining customer feedback, resolving customer complaints, looking for customer testimonials, doing market research for a new product or business expansion, or simply cultivating customer satisfaction; maintaining customer information is key to being able to reach out and touch the people who make your business viable.