The times are changing, and many businesses are opting to reduce or eliminate paper from their operations. While certain industries still require some paper to run smoothly, you might be surprised how easy it is to convert many of your tasks to digital platforms. Doing so can save you money and help you stay organized while benefiting the environment.
Are you ready to go paperless? Consider this information and advice from the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce!
Why Go Digital?
Essentially, going paperless means that you stop using paper documents. For example, you could ask your utility companies to send online bills instead of paper statements. And you could start using digital files and receipts.
Going digital can save your company significant money by boosting collaboration and overall efficiency. Besides minimizing human error, using digital platforms will allow you to eliminate unnecessary equipment and free up employees' time to spend on more meaningful tasks. Digitizing can also bolster data security and benefit the environment, improving your brand's image.
Tools for Digitizing
Digitizing will require you to invest in specific tools. But these upfront investments can pay off big in the long run. For instance, you could create electronic invoices to send to customers in the place of paper bills. Not only will you reduce your use of paper, but invoicing online can help you get paid quicker as well.
Here are some other technologies to help your business go paperless:
PDF forms for contracts and customer surveys
Collaboration software for remote and in-person employees
Document scanning apps
Document management software to improve workflow
Cloud storage services to house digital documents and files
Customer service tools like CRM software and social media platforms
Getting your employees more familiar with PDFs can be a great way to move towards digital practices. This format is easy to access, it can be password protected for security, and it maintains its formatting despite the device and platform used to open it. Fortunately, even if you create a file in another format, like Word, you can convert it to a PDF quickly and easily using an online conversion tool. Simply select the file and place it in the drop zone. The program will automatically start converting. When it’s done, save the file and share away!
If you're thinking about launching a new company and digitizing from the start, your first step will be to conduct market research and confirm your idea can bring a profit. Then, you'll need to draw up a business plan with critical details about your company, such as what your company will offer, what it will stand for, and how it will achieve its short- and long-term goals. You can find great resources online, and even share your finalized business plan digitally while also submitting it with your official business application documents.
Managing multiple filing cabinets of documents can be overwhelming. You may need to keep a few physical documents around, but chances are you can digitize almost everything. Scan all the hard copies in your filing system and load them into your document management system where you can access them easily and securely.
More companies are converting to document storage in the cloud, particularly those with remote workers. Doing so means you don't have to print hard copies, and it lets your team members access files from anywhere. Find a reliable document storage service to back up all your digital files. Then, it will be easy to save collaborative documents to the cloud.
Paper Bills and Printing
Most service providers allow businesses to pay over the phone or online, which allows you to eliminate paper checks, bills, and envelopes. Digital payment also saves a lot of time. You may be able to operate your company without printing a single document. But even if hard copies are necessary, you can institute a policy for your team that drastically reduces paper printing.
This could be the year that your business says no to paper. Consider the many advantages of going digital, and invest in the necessary tools for fully digital operations. Also, look for free online tools as well to cut costs and increase accessibility. Even if it requires time to adjust, your team and organization as a whole will start realizing the benefits of going paperless in no time!
Connect with and learn from other local business leaders by joining the Twinsburg Chamber of Commerce.