In an increasingly virtual world today, it is vital that small and medium businesses catch up to current trends in managing data, keeping records and transacting their businesses digitally as well as on the web.
Maintaining physical files is not only cumbersome, but it also increases clutter and could create a lot of confusion if any important documents or papers have a chance of getting misplaced. Here are 5 effective ways to transition your business into a paperless way of working.
1. Prioritize and clear:
Dig deep into your existing databases, files and documents, and sort through them to figure out which of those are worth digitizing, and which will be fine if they are left as it is.
2. Digitize your documents:
There are many ways to digitize documents, including scanning and manual data – however, if you have a whole lot to deal with, it could take up a considerable amount of time. To help with this, you could segregate them into various categories and then hire an external data digitization agency to help with the final process. Organizing these documents post digitization is very important.
3. Decide on a place for data storage:
Cloud storage is lauded as the best way to back up your data on the cloud to make it accessible on the go in addition to keeping it secure, where some services have data encryption as well. There are many cloud-based services available, that could help you back up all your important company documents and statements securely and in an organized way.
4. Use-cases for paperless work:
Think about the various company processes you have in place. Are there ways you can see them turning into online or digitized processes? This includes invoices, managing financial documents, streamlining updates between employees, receipts and so on. For example, you could start slowly transitioning onto e-receipts, or use PDFs with digital signatures for contracts, make clients or customers fill forms on a tablet instead of on paper and so on.
5. Change your thinking:
Rethink your organization’s current ways of functioning. If you currently use business notebooks and pens for taking meeting minutes, consider switching to an app like Evernote or OneNote, which sync your notes across devices and enable sharing between teams and people. Try maintaining records, attendance of employees and contact details on cloud-based spreadsheets like on Google Drive and so on.
Going paperless has a lot of advantages, especially for small and medium business enterprises, when it comes to issues of time, costs, space and information sharing. While it can take a while to smoothly transition on to a paperless way of working, it will be appreciated and will make working much easier and enable smooth communication within your startup or SMB.