Running any business, particularly a construction business, is difficult and complex. This complexity requires owners and managers to maintain clear, accurate, and thorough records. Documentation of meetings, agreements, expenses, and other important factors can help keep the business running smoothly while also reducing disagreements and disputes. Here are some useful documenting tips for contractors.
Establish the habit of documenting all transactions, interactions, events, and other elements of your day-to-day business activities. Although this sounds like it could become tedious and time-consuming, it will actually save time in the end by ensuring that important information is recorded and available when needed.
Proper documentation may include anything from making brief notes after a conversation with a project manager to executing complex contracts that are signed by all participants and stakeholders. You should also:
- Keep notes covering discussions and meetings with clients, customers, suppliers, employees, and managers.
- Maintain receipts, order forms, and other documents from suppliers and subcontractors.
- Make detailed notes about all disputes or disagreements, changes to plans, or other interactions that could cause legal, financial, or procedural issues.
- Record information about delays or other problems, the reasons for the delays, and what is being done to resolve them.
Remember, having a written contract is not just a matter of proper documentation: a contract, when properly executed and signed by all affected parties, provides critical legal and financial protection for all parties involved. Have a qualified attorney prepare the contract and ensure that the client’s attorneys, managers, and owners review it. Contracts should set out details such as project milestones, due dates, financial information and responsibilities and expectations from both sides. Have the contract signed by the proper representatives on both sides. Customer and contractor should address any later additions or changes in an addendum that is also reviewed and signed.
Construction Monitor helps today’s construction professionals take charge of their business with important information such as data on housing starts and reportage on the latest best practices in the industry. Contact us today for more documenting tips for contractors and suggestions for maintaining your important records.