Have you ever considered going paperless? Small business owners, especially those of us working from home are always looking for ways to increase our green credentials and ultimately save money. Becoming a paperless office is not only great for the environment but also for your wallet. A survey conducted by YouGov (2015) stated that UK small and medium-sized businesses wasted more than £42.2 million per day in income looking for printed and filed documents. This could be easily remedied by creating a paperless office.
Even worse is the fact that UK small businesses spend a crazy amount of money storing and transporting paper and it doesn’t have to be this way. A paperless office isn’t too difficult to achieve there are plenty of ways in which do decrease your paperless usage here are my top eleven.
11 Simple Tools To Becoming A Paperless Office:
- Look to the Cloud: Cloud-based applications are useful as you don’t need to worry about file formats, they are stored online on secured servers they are safer, and reduce the space utilised on hard drives. Virtix takes the stress out of data migration by providing your business with a team of IT experts who will guide you every step of the way. Use data migration tools to move your business data to the cloud securely and efficiently.
- Digital Documents: With modern advances in technology digital documents are the future. Not only are they easier to store and share but they are faster to access and locate. Digital documents are far more versatile than paper ones you can even access them on a mobile phone. With a plethora of software available at your fingertips enabling you to share data, contracts, even invoices with customers, co-workers and clients.
- Investment: Going paperless will incur some start-up costs. Upgrade equipment such as faxes and consider installing dual monitors. The second monitor will eliminate the need to print documents to cross-reference with others.
- Customer Service: Digital Documents enable you to locate and deal with customer service issues, i.e. Complaints, delivery issues and warranties quicker and more effectively. Providing you with a more responsive customer service department.
- More Efficient: Electronic invoicing is a great way to save and make money. At a glance, you can see which invoices are outstanding, unlike shuffling through paperwork and bank receipts.
- Simpler to Recover: If there was a fire or flood in the office it’s much easier to recover data stored on a laptop than paper inboxes.
- Space: Whether you work from home or in a communal office paper is a distraction. Paper clutters up desks and minds, we are far more productive in a tidy environment. There is also the serious issue of space. Paper documents take up an awful lot of space and equipment (shelving, boxes, paper-clips, files) which needs organising, maintaining and cleaning.
- Saving Money: Reducing the need to print documents has an obvious impact on ink, paper and storage space and boxes. As well as the aforementioned organising, maintaining and cleaning of storage and documents. You won’t know what to do with that stationary budget!
- Saving the Planet: On average 55,000 trees are felled every year in order to produce receipts and invoices for UK small business owners. Less paper usage via small businesses also equals less energy consumption for the creation and transportation of paper. Which in turn is good for the environment.
- Productivity: You should see an increase in productivity as co-workers are no longer queuing (possibly chatting) at the printer. Desk areas are also tidier and all information is just a click away.
- Easier Business Development: Moving to new offices is easier and more cost-effective if you don’t have to move boxes upon boxes of stored paperwork. Digital documents allow for easier business growth.
If you don’t feel your small business is ready to go completely paperless you can always look at ways to reduce the amount of paper used on a daily basis.
4 Ways to Reduce Your Paper Usage Towards Becoming A Paperless Office:
- Keep track of what items are being printed and why? Would any of these be more beneficial to be digitalised or shared on the cloud?
- Limit the number of printers available in the office and set printing budgets.
- Digitalise pamphlets, leaflets and brochures enabling you can send PDF copies instead of hard ones to prospective clients/customers.
- Use your email signature to discourage receivers to print.
Have these tips inspired you to go paperless?