Thousands of businesses are shifting from traditional workflows with paper to working without paper. As a small business, going paperless may sound intimidating. However, thanks to mobile applications, online software, and digital storage tools, going paperless isn’t as challenging as it sounds. In this post, we will discuss the benefits of going paperless and walk you through some simple ways your small business on the Internet can achieve this goal.
What is considered a paperless office?
As the name suggests, going paperless is replacing all physical documents with digital versions. Instead of storing all information in file cabinets, businesses can store them digitally on computers and in the cloud.
What are the benefits of a paperless office?
A paperless office is not only environmentally friendly but also more efficient. There are many benefits of going paperless, including:
1. It saves time.
Going paperless can save your business a significant amount of time. In paper-based offices, employees spend many hours organizing and searching for documents. Further, there’s much more room for human error. With digital documents, you can create, organize, share, and search for documents in one-click. By saving time, your employees can focus on improving your business instead of searching for documents in file cabinets.
2. It saves space.
Paper storage takes up a lot of space, requiring file cabinets, printers, and bookshelves. IA digital file system for your small business on the Internet usually takes up much less space than a paper archive.
3. It produces less waste.
A paperless office produces much less waste. Paper negatively impacts the environment and contributes to greenhouse gas production and deforestation. Further, inks and toners are often made from nonrenewable resources. Storing information digitally can help to eliminate this problem.
Steps your business can take to go paperless
In today’s digital age, going paperless is easier than ever. Below are a few easy ways to go paperless in the office:
1. Invest in high-speed Internet for small business
The first step in going paperless is to set up a business Internet connection. Most tools to help you go paperless depend on high-speed business Internet, but getting fast access can be a challenge. Fortunately, advanced technologies like satellite broadband make high-speed Internet for small business readily available, no matter where your business is located. Of course, you’ll want to look at price when weighing your options, but there are other important factors to consider as well.
Look for a business Internet provider that offers business-class support to cut down on costly downtime. Check for special offers like free security tools or free on-site maintenance. Finally, consider your location and understand which Internet providers are available in your area. The time you put into choosing a business Internet plan will more than pay off in increased productivity, better customer service, more efficient operations, and a healthier bottom line.
2. Use cloud-sharing and instant messaging apps to cut down on printed memos, reports and, documents
Business communication and productivity tools have enabled teams to communicate with each other in real-time, eliminating the need for paper memos or reports. Some of the most popular communication tools include:
You can go a step further by replacing your file cabinets with digital storing systems. Common tools include:
3. Implement task and project management apps to cut down on post-its, to-do lists, and printed roadmaps.
Managing tasks and to-do lists is part of an employee’s daily routine. In the past, employees have used paper or post-it notes to keep track of tasks. Today, there are digital tools that can make task management easier and more efficient. Some great apps include:
4. Replace printed agreements with digital agreements
You can also digitize legal documents and agreements through tools like Adobe sign and DocuSign . These tools allow you to share and sign agreements securely without requiring paper documents.
5. Use online invoicing to handle client payments.
Physical invoices and checks can also add to paper waste. Further, they can lead to potential security issues. By using online tools, you can make invoicing easier and more secure. Depending on the needs of your small business on the Internet, there are several online invoicing systems you can take advantage of, including:
Thanks to advances in business Internet and technology, making the switch to a paperless office is easy. Keep in mind that creating a paper-free office is an ongoing process and can be perfected over time.