This year, I applied for a professional certification within my industry. It’s worth having, but the process is gruelling. As part of the application, I had to submit eight year’s worth of records, including client names, contact details, invoices and more. 

The process took weeks. Had I simply kept better records from the start, it would have taken minutes. 

And there are many more reasons why it’s worth a professional's while to keep proper records. They help you to spot trends within your own business. They present you with opportunities to re-visit old clients or serve people who made previous enquiries. One day, they may assist you in garnering a certification you may not currently even be aware of. 

3 ways to use this idea: 

1. Keep records of clients - Start right at the level of enquiries, and make a habit of recording names, contact details, and the nature of each enquiry. Repeat business is a massive factor in your prosperity, and you can drive it by using your files to occasionally check in. 

2. Keep records of accolades, awards and testimonials – You may receive industry awards, certificates and glowing testimonials as you go along. Keep a record of them all, even if it just means updating your CV to reflect them. But preferably, use them as part of your marketing collateral. 

3. Horde visuals - Ensure that you capture big moments on film or video. Later on, you will wish you had evidence of that event, that important presentation, that handshake with a client, that installation, or that performance. Become fanatical about collecting visuals early on, and you will thank yourself late

Keep proper records from the start, and you will enable your future growth. It’s one more argument for your eventual status as a top industry expert, and your future self will thank you for the investment. 


Douglas Kruger, CSP, is a global speaker and author of five business books with Penguin. He has won the national championships for Public Speaking, through Toastmasters International, a record 5 times.

In 2016, in honour of excellence in his craft, Douglas was inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame by the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa. In 2018, the National Speakers Association granted him the accreditation of Certified Speaking Professional, a designation held by only 12 per cent of speakers globally.

See him in action, or sign up for his free newsletter, ‘From Amateur to Expert’ at Email