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Considering to go paperless? Check out this handy list of reasons why it would be beneficial for your small business.

Six reasons to go paperless with your small business

Six reasons to go paperless with your small business

Six reasons to go paperless with your small business

A small business is small in name only. Have a quick look around the building to all of the places where paperwork is used and stored - contracts, invoices, receipts and records are all over the place and are the core of information on which your business operates. If that is the case, why is everyone preaching about going paperless with their businesses? 

Going ‘paperless’ is used to describe the act of replacing paper-based information with digital information - essentially transforming the analogue into digital. The emphasis here lies on ‘transformation’, where your documents are converted into digital counterparts of the original. It sounds like a fairly simple concept, but here are strong use cases for improving your business process by joining this movement. Let’s look at a couple of advantages below:

Physical space and clutter

The most obvious of these advantages is the reduction in physical space and clutter in your work environment. As sure as you’ll find a phone or a laptop on a desk, there will be paperwork scattered around your office. Rows of filing cabinets line storage rooms or administrative areas. Inbox and Outbox paperwork trays. Printers. That’s a lot of space and clutter that could easily be shifted to a digital, non-invasive environment. 

Physical documents are vulnerable to everyday life

Documents can get damaged, destroyed or lost if a physical document has to move through the checkpoints in your business processes. Avoid that completely by having a digital version that can be sent around with much less risk and effort.

Your information is now actionable

Instead of sitting in a filing cabinet, your documents can now provide actionable information using your business systems. Feed your documents into business intelligence or customer relationship management (CRM) systems and use the insights gained to improve your business’ operations.

Save time in retrieving documents

Short and sweet - why get up, go to a filing cabinet and rummage through an ancient filing system to get a document? In most cases, these cabinets have staff dedicated to maintaining and retrieving information from them. That’s both your time and the retrieval operator’s time being wasted. With a digital document, it can be available in a centralised location or retrievable through a simple search right from your browsing device. 

Have access to your documents wherever you go

A big benefit of having digital versions of your documents is that they are no longer restricted to a single point of access in your office building. Depending on your technology infrastructure, documents can be retrieved and shared from anywhere in the world through a myriad of devices. Anywhere where you can access the internet, you’ll be able to do business.

Reducing your carbon footprint

The last advantage here is focused less on your business itself and goes more towards a greater cause: the environment. The collective human conscience has been shifting in reducing our impact on the planet and are looking to businesses to follow their example. Consumers are in some cases supporting business purely because of their environmentally-friendly practices. Reducing paper alone does not mean that your business is going to save the planet alone, but does form a critical component in the overall carbon footprint reduction strategy. 

Once documents are digital, there are numerous ways in which to safely disposed of the original documents (depending on their nature, some might require warehousing for a time period due to legislation), but this will be discussed in another piece soon. There are many more reasons to start investigating the digital transformation journey and the rest of the world is following this trend, adapting their processes to match consumer preferences. The only question you have to ask yourself is if your business is going to make the change or get left behind with the old way of doing things?

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