For so many decades now, paper documentation has been such a huge part of running a business. Offices and businesses go through hundreds of paper products in a day—from invoices, receipts, memoranda, financial records, among many others. Today, however, with so many technological apps that could replace the usual high dependence on paper products, offices can go the sustainable and eco-friendly route of paperless transactions.
The benefits of going paperless are far and wide, as it can also extend to possibly reducing the operating costs of your business, since you no longer have to spend for as much paper products. But like any other change, this isn’t one you can do overnight. It entails a lot of effort to make sure the transition is smooth for everyone in your business.
If you’re keen on going paperless for the year 2021, you’ll find these tips handy:
Organize And Catalog Your Existing Documents
As your business transitions to paperless transactions, this means you have your old files from your business to take with you as well. If you had a room filled with filing cabinets and each are filled with documents, then you have to do a major purge. This means shredding or recycling all the older documents you know will no longer be used and then converting the files you’re keeping to digital ones.
The best way to go about with this is to scan all those physical documents and maximize productivity with high speed document scanners. The next thing you’ll do is save them on your cloud storage and a hard drive for backup. Any document that’s beyond five years or more can be discarded, as these may no longer be necessary for keeping anyway.
Here are tips on how you can organize your documents from a physical storage to a paperless system:
- Keep all the file names consistent.
- Keep the file names concise, keeping important details like dates and names, for instance.
- Categorize either by date or type and then alphabetically.
Depending on the extent of all your paper documents, going through this step may take time. But it’s definitely worth it when you see less clutter with fewer paper items on each of your employees’ desks. And you may even be able to drastically reduce the office or business space eaten up for physical file storage. Now you can use that for other more important functions for your business.
Create A File Sharing Solution
File sharing is always an inherent part of business operations—you can’t do without it. But this need for file sharing doesn’t necessarily mean that the only way to share files is through physical printouts. You can still have an efficient system, even if it means implementing a digital one.
To encourage everyone in your team to go paperless, be sure to implement a digital file sharing solution by which everyone in your team can abide and with which to follow through. Make it easy for them to adapt to those changes; otherwise, your team can’t even be bothered by it anymore.
Remember that file sharing is integral to business operations, so you can’t take that away from your team. In the long run, digital file sharing and collaboration will turn out to be more efficient, organized, and cost-effective, compared to traditional, bulky, file cabinets.
Get Rid Of Paper Bills
If you can bill your customers without printing out physical receipts, then that’s the better and more eco-friendly choice. You can drastically reduce the amount of paper your business has to process every day if you focus on paperless billing. You can choose to send digital copies of your invoice to your clients’ email addresses. Or for your physical stores, you could also go for soft-copy receipts where your customers can sign through your mobile tab or any other gadget.
The same applies to you as well—this time, as the customer. Businesses have their own bills too, and you can always make the better option of asking for paperless bills for your rent and other utilities.
In this day and age of running a business, digitalization is now an important part of any business. However, this isn’t as simple as it may appear, as there are a lot of layers that come with this decision.
Think of all the transactions you go through, from opening to closing time. When you make the transition to digitalization doable, however, eventually, you’ll find that the returns for your business are far greater than the expenses it entails. It’s a commitment you must make, not just to cut down on your expenses but for your corporate social responsibility as well.
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