One excellent method to reduce your business’s environmental impact, enhance management, and increase transparency in daily operations, is by going paperless. An added perk is the additional storage space gained by eliminating file cabinets.
Going paperless benefits the environment while releasing significant working capital and offering a more attractive and preferred experience for your customers, partners, suppliers, and workers. Here’s how your business can achieve paperless operations by 2022.
1. Switch To Online Faxing
When transitioning to a paperless office, the first impulse may be to remove all faxes. They look to be out-of-date technology, and there are viable alternatives. However, eliminating faxes is not always achievable if other vendors and clients continue to use them.
Using web-based fax services is the ideal way to eliminate physical documents while maintaining fax capabilities. Any faxes sent to you will be routed to your favorite computer, tablet, or smartphone, making them incredibly accessible.
2. Create A Paperless Billing Scheme
When you submit a paper bill, you are responsible for the cost of printing, postage, and envelopes. To save money, increase your use of online billing. Additionally, sending invoices online enables you to reach your customer faster, which results in faster payment.
Additionally, most institutions now accept digital payments, removing the need for your consumers or business to generate physical checks. You can send PDF files to your customers via email or use electronic billing software to deliver both invoices and receipts to them. It will also assist your business in reducing the number of invoices and receipts it must destroy, cutting down on the expense of shredding.
3. Utilize A Cloud-Based Management System
Cloud-based document storage is gaining traction, mainly as more individuals work from home. Maintaining files in the cloud not only eliminates the need for paper copies but also saves money. It does, however, enable remote access to data for your employees. Consequently, while everyone works from home, you can work on a proposal while traveling and contribute creative material for your next marketing campaign with your team.
To begin, you must locate a cloud-based document storage provider. After that, you can use it to backup your digital files stored on your devices. Additionally, you can save additional documents to the cloud to improve collaboration.
4. Use E-Signatures
Numerous organizations continue to print files due to the demand for document signatures. While this is vital, it should not deter you from your paperless lifestyle goal. If you want to save money and time, electronic signatures are the way to go.
Don’t worry, as digital signatures are likewise legally binding. More importantly, you won’t have to wait many days for your clients to sign the forms. You can send these to them by email, which streamlines business processes.
5. Encourage Staff To Take Digital Notes
Note-taking is another significant source of paper usage. There is no incentive for any employee to take paper notes anymore, especially with so many note-taking apps available. Electronic apps are always more effective at organization, so convincing staff to use them should be straightforward.
Inform them about the software, demonstrate its functionality, and discuss the advantages of utilizing it over paper notes. Taking notes has never been easier or more effective. By going digital, you can avoid the frightening mountains of notebooks that accumulate on your desk, in your filing cabinets, and in your garbage cans.
6. Copy Documents Using Scanning Applications
What happens to your papers when you transition to a paperless office? One approach is to scan them and transfer them to the cloud in PDF format. You can either use the scanner with your printer or download a scanning app on your tablet or smartphone.
As a precaution, shred downloaded papers. If you require hard copies of a document, consider storing them in a safe deposit box as part of your small business’s disaster recovery strategy.
7. Eliminate Old Tax Records And Files
In general, you should retain tax paperwork for around three years. On the other hand, you can properly dispose of your older files. Digital records are frequently employed to free up space in file cabinets. By getting rid of out-of-date papers, you’ll be able to keep track of your files and taxes better.
Legal records and contracts should be kept throughout an arrangement. However, you can typically save digital copies instead. Additionally, you can erase inactive agreements and communications from the cloud to free up space.
Creating a paperless office is a process that must be continually maintained and enhanced. By following the tips listed above, you may begin reducing your company’s document overload and establishing a productive work environment.