In today’s world, where computers and smartphones have taken over, there’s almost no reason that we have to cut down the forest for paper. However, people are notoriously resistant to change, so offices across the country are still keeping files and writing checks. If you’re ready to meet technology where it stands, you’ll enjoy many benefits.
Below, the Hartland Area Chamber of Commerce shares insight into how your business can go paperless.
Perks of a Paper-Free Office
There are dozens of reasons why a paperless office makes sense. From a business perspective, perhaps the most important reason is that it saves money. Utilizing online documents, for example, means you don’t have to run to the office supply store for paper or ink when your printer runs dry. Further, going paperless makes it easier to collaborate, increases security, and ensures that your files are more easily accessible to those who need access.
Ways to Save The Trees
As you save money, you’ll also save the environment by reducing reliance on deforestation. A few tips to go paper-free include:
Use online forms. Switch from paper documents to online forms, which can be submitted to your database. This transition not only reduces paper, but also eliminates the need for tedious and time-consuming data entry. PDFs are great for creating fillable forms, too. To convert your file to a PDF for free, just add the file to the drop zone and the tool will automatically change the format. In the Tools menu, select Prepare Form. The program will detect areas that need fillable fields, but you can also adjust and add new fields as needed.
Invoice electronically. Not only can upgrading your invoicing software help you stay compliant, accurate, and organized, the right platform will also let you email or text invoices directly to your customers. You will further save time by seeing when, exactly, your customers open your invoices and remit payment, which means you aren’t calling every Friday for payment reminder if you simply missed a paper check that came via snail mail. You can also schedule invoices ahead of time, so you never forget to send a bill.
Use the cloud. The cloud is safe, secure, and accessible from anywhere. If you’ve yet to adopt cloud storage, now is the time to do so. You can also use the cloud to run certain software programs, which eliminates the need for a disk packed in paper and cardboard. The ITProPortal blog discusses the ins and outs of the three top cloud storage providers.
Have your employees install note-taking apps. We love our notes, lists, and hand-written schedules. But, these are inefficient and easy to lose. Ask your employees to download Evernote or a similar note-taking software, which can help them take notes, organize information, and retrieve data all from their device.
Give your customers digital receipts. Digital receipts are far superior to paper receipts for many reasons. Not only does it eliminate the need for cash register tape or printed 8.5 x 11 pages, it’s also one less thing for your customers to keep up with.
Pay via direct deposit. Paying via direct deposit means you don’t have to write a paper check, seal an envelope, or use a stamp. Plus, your direct deposit won’t get lost in the mail, which US Global Mail explains can happen as the Post Office moves more than 100 million pieces of mail through its infrastructure each day.
Remove your business from mailing lists. Your employees probably get dozens of pieces of mail, flyers, and catalogs sent to them each day, both at home and at work. Set a good example by removing yourself from these mailing lists, and then set aside a couple of hours so they will have time to do the same without interfering with their home time.
Make a Positive Impact
Paper was once the greatest invention of mankind. But the more it gets used, the harder it is to replenish. You can have a positive impact on the environment, save money, and run a more organized workplace by going paperless. There are plenty of great digital tools and resources to make the transition easy. Give it a try, and you’ll wonder why you did not do it sooner.