By now, the concept of a paperless business shouldn’t sound new. Many traditional businesses are accustomed to using paper. However, we now live in the age of digital where most of us are more connected digitally than ever before. There are many benefits of going paperless in business including:
- Free up physical space in your office
- Get faster access to files and information
- Reduce costs – no more money spent on printing, postage, etc.
- Increased security of sensitive information
- Be more eco-friendly
It is easy to consider the idea but implementing it into your business can be a daunting task. The key to effectively making the switch to a paperless system is to strategically plan out the transition process.
If you want some tips on how to transition your business to a paperless system, keep reading.
Assess which tasks in your business use the most paper
Going paperless is definitely not an overnight process. It involves research and planning a strategy for reducing paper use efficiently. First, you’ll need to identify the areas of your business that are producing the most paper. Then decide whether switching to a paperless system can be done. It is possible to go paperless in almost all aspects of your business, but you must consider whether it will be a more beneficial choice.
Calculate potential savings
Gather all your current expenses for paper and the equipment related, such as printers, scanners, fax, ink, toner, technical support and storage. Compare this with the cost of using a digital system to see if you can switch over without any additional costs.
Sync files to the cloud
All that paper piles up over time, demanding large amounts of storage which fills up your office and reduces working space. Thankfully, you can store important documents and files digitally using cloud storage. There are many systems out there you can choose to use, such as Dropbox, Box and Google Drive. Choose which one is best for you based on your business’ preferences.
You and your employees will be able to access files much easier and if needed, on the go. You can share files with employees or clients instead of printing it out and giving it physically or via email. Most importantly, storing in the cloud is much more secure than keeping documents physically stored in your office. Files in the cloud are encrypted and protected by multiple layers of security.
Share files digitally
Your business can save time communicating back and forth about a project via online collaboration. Apps like Google drive will allow your team to work together in real time. Whether it’s a presentation, collating data on Excel, or writing a report.
Switch to digital bills, statements, invoices
Consider getting all your statements, bills and invoices sent digitally – whether it’s your power bills, bank statements, invoices from contractors and clients. Most organisations will prefer sending out digitally because it will save them costs and it will also be convenient for you. It’s a win-win situation.
If one of the reasons you are still sticking with a paper system in your business is because of legal reasons such as having physical signatures on documents, think again. Programs such as Adobe Reader will allow you to create an electronic signature which acts just the same as printing off the documents and signing it with a pen.
Educate and train employees
It’s one thing to implement a digital, paperless system in your business but if your employees are not digitally-savvy enough to understand or use the system you are putting into place, it’ll be redundant. Give employees the incentive to use less paper and move digitally by giving them a limited printing budget or offering rewards for using digital systems. Make sure they understand why the business is going paperless and the long-term benefits. If needed, invest time and money into training employees to reap the full benefits of your paperless business.
Do you apply a paperless, digital system to your business? Let us know in the comments below.