Should My Small Business Go Paperless?
The days of cumbersome filing cabinets and endless stacks of paper are coming to a close. Cloud services and similar technology have made it possible for small and medium-sized businesses everywhere to go paperless. Going paperless offers an array of benefits to companies, especially when it comes to time and money. But it does require an initial investment to get started. So how do you know if you’re ready?
You Want to Help the Environment (and Save Money)
Obviously, the biggest benefit to going paperless is the effect it has on the environment. In fact, the paper industry is ranked as #3 on the greenhouse gas emissions list and #1 for water consumption. Even one company switching to paperless can help. So what does this mean for you? It saves a significant amount of money. With stamp costs at an all-time high, mailing out paper bills gets expensive fast. Add that to the cost of paper and toner needed to print those bills, and you can see just how much potential there is to save a lot of money.
You Want Better Organization and Accessibility
Electronic billing keeps everyone on the same virtual page. Because all of your documents are digital, you can upload them to the Cloud and access them anywhere, anytime. Never again do you have to sift through stacks of paperwork looking for an invoice. You can easily categorize your digital documents, making it much easier to search for them. You can finally ditch those unsightly filing cabinets.
You Want Your Customers to Pay on Time
Electronic billing doesn’t just help you save money; it can also help you make more money. According to Harris Interactive, about 23% of Americans pay their bills late because they misplaced their physical notices. This means you have to spend more money chasing down late-payers. With electronic billing and services like text reminders, your customers are much more likely to pay on time. That saves you money and a great deal of time.
Make the Switch Without Drowning in Old Paper Documents
Switching to paperless definitely has substantial benefits for business owners. But how do you prepare for the time-consuming task that lies ahead?
- Start small by switching the easy stuff first. For example, start using electronic faxes instead of paper faxing. E-faxes go right to your inbox, where you can print out the hard copies you need.
- Then switch internal documents, like spreadsheets, memos, and collaborative work. Platforms like Google Docs let you keep all those forms in the cloud, so your employees can access them from anywhere.
- Consider implementing a service management platform to handle sales, scheduling, and billing. Most service management software integrates with QuickBooks accounting software or has the capability to integrate it. Many also come with mobile field applications. That means you can invoice and quote in a paperless environment, keep customer records in one place, email invoices to customers, and track inventory easily.
- Make data storage paperless. This is one of the biggest time commitments – especially if you want to scan and upload old documents. But it’s worth it. Using an online data storage system will save you physical space and money and make organizing documents much easier. While it may take a large investment of your time up front, it saves you a lot of headaches in the long-run.
Go paperless by switching to an outsourced bookkeeping or payroll service like Contractor in Charge. Find out how to put your company “In Charge” – schedule a call with us to get a free quote!