For decades, paper documentation has been an important part of running a business. Generally, average office workers use 10,000 sheets of paper per year. However, times are changing. And an increasing number of small businesses are thinking about going paperless in order to save money, stay organized, and help the environment. This article will teach you the eight steps to going paperless in your small business.
What Does Going Paperless Mean?
Going paperless is the process of ceasing to use paper documents. Usually, it involves swapping those papers and invoices for digital files and invoices. For example, you could transfer all of your tax and company documents to a cloud-based application. You can also contact energy suppliers to request online billing instead of paper statements. If you follow this process, you can easily reduce office waste (paper waste).
Top 8 Ways to Go Paperless in Your Small Business
1. Digitalize Your Paper Documentation
The digitization of your process can improve your small business’s capability and performance. Digitizing your finances is also another effective strategy for going paperless. Digital receipts, for example, are ideal for salons, restaurants, retail shops, and other small businesses, providing benefits to both you and your customers.
2. Utilize the Cloud Storage
Maintaining your files in the cloud does not only reduce waste from printing hard copies; it also provides environmental benefits for your employees. So, when you are away, you can work cooperatively with your business employees and make the next marketing strategy while everyone works from home.
So, you can use online cloud storage services like Google Drive, MediaFire, or Dropbox to store and back up important files and documents. Additionally, it gives the security of your documents.
3. Sign up for eSignatures
Because certain documents must be signed, some businesses avoid going paperless. Even so, now there are services that allow you to digitally sign documents. Nowadays, there are numerous online programs available for digitally signing documents. E-signatures are legally binding and allow you and your clients to review and sign documents from anywhere, making them a popular method of going paperless in your small business.
4. Get Rid of Junk Mail
Junk mail is not only inconvenient. In terms of resources, it is also harmful to the environment. These days, nobody wants to receive junk mail. But it always seems to get delivered. Find ways to avoid constantly throwing or recycling waste paper. Moreover, you may be able to contact the sender directly and request to be eliminated from their list for some of the mailers.
5. Eliminate Paper Bills
Bills are a different issue because information must be received. However, almost every service provider now offers the option to pay online or by phone. And doing so can help you save money by eliminating paper bills, envelopes, and checks, which will not mention the time you will save by establishing digital or automatic payments.
6. Receive Digital Invoice
Every time you purchase office supplies or make another business-related purchase, such as travel, lodging, meals, or entertainment with customers, it makes good sense to preserve your receipt. You can request to have your receipt sent to you via email rather than collecting a print copy.
7. Say to No Paper Printing
Going paperless can help you get rid of printers entirely in some cases. In others, you can significantly reduce the number of documents you print. Create a policy about what can and cannot be printed as a team to accomplish this. Furthermore, removing the printer and fax machine from your office can easily follow this activity if you can avoid printing entirely.
8. Improve Your Office Supply Efficiency
The majority of workplaces still require a printer or copier, despite the many options for going paperless. As part of your digital transformation and related energy-saving efforts, it may be necessary to replace older models with newer ones, which might be costly. In such cases, if it is necessary, you can update energy-saving equipment for your office.
The key to becoming paperless is choosing the right paperless strategies. A move to a paperless workplace may be extremely profitable for your expanding company. We hope your business will actively contribute to waste management and environmental protection.