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Are templates cheating?

Sometimes people talk about templates as if they are cheating, inferior and inappropriate as a business tool.

A blank page can be hard to fill

I don’t agree – there are times a template is not the right answer but they can be very useful in business.

Using a template doesn’t mean everything is exactly the same  – adjustments are made to suit the purpose.

Templates for letters, emails, style guides, procedures, web pages and other business materials can help your business in three key ways.

  1. Consistency
    If every letter sent from your business has the same format, it looks professional, builds your brand and shows attention to detail
  2. Time saving
    Using a template saves a lot of time. An email or webpage template can reduce the time needed for formatting, setting meta data and remembering the necessary details (phone, ABN, disclaimer, etc), and so on.
  3. Getting started
    A template can provide a starting point and can be much easier to work from than a blank page – this saves mental energy and time. If you don’t know where to start with preparing a style for your business, a corporate style guide template can get you started and inspire you to ask the right questions

I think templates are suitable for many things (e.g. procedures and standard information) although they can be misused and abused.

What templates do you use (or have you used) in your business? What advantages do you get from them?

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