Business often rely on past successes to guide them. While this is a tried and true tactic, it can sometimes hinder you from making changes that could catapult your business into more success than could have been imagined.
One way this is apparent is in the business world’s resistance to going paperless. Transitioning your business over to the digital world can seem overwhelming at first, but the benefits go far beyond the most obvious of eliminating paper waste.
The old adage, “time is money” certainly rings true especially as a small business owner. Making sure every change is cost effective and doesn’t put too much of a strain on day-to-day is vital to this transition. So how does going paperless benefit your company?
It saves you money.
Office expenses may seem small at the time, but over time, they add up to big money. Printing invoices, contracts, paper checks, and other paper communication not only uses paper, but you can easily breeze through massive amounts of printer cartridges or toner. Additionally, you're saving postage for invoices and contracts you may have mailed to your clients instead.
Possibly the largest money savings comes in the form of time. Since going paperless generally means being more automated, you can save on hours you may have paid an administrative staff or other employee to write up, print, and mail each form.
It saves you time.
As mentioned, time is money and going paperless can save you time not only in the creation of content, but in other ways as well. Organizing and searching for documents is a breeze when you transition to a digital lifestyle. Gone are the days you’ve spent manually alphabetizing and filing away records. Now that your records are saved digitally, you can simply enable your computer’s search feature to search for a document in seconds. Now you can spend that extra time on things that really matter!
It keeps your documents more secure and safe.
How you handle customer privacy can make or break your reputation. If a customer feels their private financial information may be at risk, they will not hesitate to go with a company who can meet those needs.
In the paper world, you need to make sure you have proper secure storage like locked rooms with locked cabinets and a plan for disposal, such as a shredder. Even with these precautions, all it takes is one person to easily gain access to customer data.
In a digital world, you can work in a completely encrypted environment, making it nearly impossible to retrieve data. Your main business platforms, Windows and OS X, both offer encryption protocols built directly into the OS keeping everything you do secure and resistant to theft.
Moving your content to the digital world also affords you the ability to keep everything backed up automatically. Many financial or record keeping applications have secure, encrypted cloud- based backup for your documents. You can also opt for your own cloud storage service outside of the app like SpiderOak, or Tresorit. Another option is local backup storage with an external drive you encrypt yourself.
It’s easier on your clients.
Millennials are now transitioning to their late 20s - early 30s, making them the primary patrons of most businesses - especially when it comes to contract jobs. Having grown up immersed in technology, millennials expect their business partners to exist in a digital world. The ability to make payments, see invoices, contracts, and other communication digitally is vital to this generation. Plus, with busy lifestyles and non-traditional work hours, this generation is more apt to make payments on time and respond to communication quickly when it is available digitally.
Ready to make the big switch? Over the next few weeks, we’ll discuss ways to make this transition easier for you, your employees, and your clients. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks for moving over to a paperless office!
How has going paperless helped your business? Share in the comments below!