How Giving to Charity is Good For Your Business

With the holiday season upon us, you’re going to hear a lot of talk about giving. ‘Tis the season, after all.

Most of that talk tends to be focused on individuals, but businesses can give, too – and they should. In fact, there are even sound business reasons to do so.

Of course, the very best reason to give is because it’s in your heart and you can to do some good. However, we recognize that business is business. That’s why we offer this list of 6 reasons why charitable giving is actually good for business:

Fantastic Tax Deductions

This one is obvious. Charitable donations are tax deductible. Be sure you donate to nonprofits that are approved by the IRS, but otherwise feel free to give as you see fit. The cash value of your donations is tax deductible, which means you can donate old vehicles, stocks, and in some cases even your time.

Develop More Loyal Customers

When you give to charity, you tell your customers something important about you: that you are a business that actually cares. That’s a powerful message and one that can help develop increased loyalty among you customers. Charitable giving humanizes you and brings your customers and clients closer to you, and that is priceless.

Get Your Customers Involved

Charitable giving can also be a way to get your customers more involved with what you do. By participating in or even hosting fundraising drives and charitable events, you can encourage your customers and clients to participate, get more involved in what you do, get to know your company better, and feel as if they gave a stake in what you do.

It’s An Added Benefit For Employees

While you should never make participation mandatory, taking part in charitable events can feel like a nice perk for employees. Going out to charity walks or taking part in some enjoyable local event is not only a fun way to serve a good cause, it makes your employees feel as if they are getting something extra, something they enjoy and like participating in. Basically, it’s like another benefit.

It Gives You More Publicity

Yes, this entry might seem a little crass and cynical, but it’s also the truth: when your company is involved with local charities, it gives you another platform to get your name and brand out in front of people. It’s for a good cause, too, so you can feel good about it even while reaping the benefits of having your name associated with a respected charitable organization.

It’s Just Plain Good

When all is said and done, the best reason for your business to be involved in charitable endeavors is because those charitable endeavors help people (or animals, or the environment, or whatever your chosen cause is). And at the end of the day, isn’t that what’s important?

So this holiday season, get with the spirit of the season and GIVE. Your business will be better for it.

6 Reasons Why Your Business Should Go Paperless

The revolution is now. The digital age is upon us, but too many small businesses are lagging behind. They’re not lagging behind for financial reasons, either.

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The cost to go digital or partly digital is negligible. It all comes down to whether or not they recognize the benefits of eliminating the paper shuffle in their workplace.

Here are six reasons to have a paperless office that can’t be ignored:

Less Time and Space Spent on Storage

Storing documents takes up a lot of space. Even a single filing cabinet takes up space that can be better used for other purposes, and if you’re in a legal or medical office those filing cabinets will multiply like bunnies.

But consider this: you can fit the entire contents of that filing cabinet onto a single flash drive. In fact, you can probably fit the contents of several cabinets onto one flash drive.

No wonder why medical records scanning services are so in demand these days!

Less Time Spent Finding Documents

Directly related to the point above, it takes time and effort to sort through even the most well-organized filing system. Documents get misplaced, folders have to be shuffled through, and so on.

Those are man hours you’re paying for. With a digital filing system, you can find what you’re looking for in a few quick keystrokes. Which leads to our next reason…

A More Efficient Staff Saves Money

Every business owner knows one of the best money saving office tips is to have your staff work more efficiently, and there are few things more efficient than eliminating the paper hunt and allowing your staff to pull up the data and documents they need with a keystroke.

That allows them to get back to more important work, and in turn it saves you money.

Fewer Data Errors

Yes, errors can happen no matter what form your data takes, but by going digital you’re going to eliminate a slew of them. No misreading information due to poor handwriting, no mistakes due to lost documents, and so on. Fewer mistakes means happier clients and customers.

Protect Yourself From Disaster

Databases can be backed up. A filing cabinet filled with paperwork cannot. If god forbid you have a fire or flood and your documents are not backed up, you’re going to have a world of problems.

A digital database, on the other hand, can be easily backed up and stored wherever you like, even in the cloud. This should offer you huge peace of mind.

Better Customer Service

Engaging in some document scanning so that you can go digital does more than save you some money, it helps you make money by improving your customer service.

You’ll be able to respond to queries faster, solve problems faster, and access information faster – and improved customer service means your customers and clients walk away happier, which in turns means they’re more likely to come back and/or recommend you to others.

There are other reasons, too, such as the savings you’ll experience by not having to buy as many office supplies. By now it should be clear: going digital is the right choice for your business.

10 Easy Ways to Streamline Your Operations and Save Your Business Money

Running a business in 2017 isn’t like it used to be. The days when you could run a business with a Rolodex and some index cards are long over.

That’s not a bad thing, though. Embracing a modern approach can actually save you money and make your business more efficient.

It all starts with your employees. Here are 5 ways a modern approach to managing your staff can save you money and improve your efficiency:

1. Allow Employees To Work Remotely

Not everyone needs to be in the office 40 hours a week. Save energy, fuel, and other resources by allowing some employees to work from home a few days a week.

2. Encourage Carpooling

Helping your staff save money on gas, tolls, and wear and tear on their cars is key; boosting staff loyalty to one another will be a nice side effect.

3. Share Work Space

When coupled with employees working remotely, save work space by allowing two staff members to share the same desk. Each works 20 hours in the office and 20 at home, sharing the same workspace.

4. Cut Expenses Instead of Staff

Laying off staff is the easy way to cut expenses, but it’s short-sighted. Your employees help you better serve your clients. Instead, cut expenses first and operate more efficiently.

5. Consolidate Business Trips and Deliveries

Don’t make separate trips to drop off this product and have that meeting and so on. Work out your scheduling so trips are consolidated as much as possible.

This saves you fuel, energy, time, and money.

Once you’ve embraced a more digital, 21st Century way of doing business, you’ll want to pursue some “green” initiatives to cut costs and streamline your operations.

Don’t be fooled: “green” doesn’t mean you’re an environmental activist, it just means that you’re cognizant of the resources you’re using – and resources cost money!

Here are 5 “green” ways you can become a more efficient business:

1. Utilize The Cloud

“The Cloud” is just a fancy term for remote computing. Use cloud storage, online apps, virtual file sharing and other features to streamline your reliance on in-office technology.

2. Go Paperless

Use document scanning, digital, archives, the cloud and more to your advantage. Even if you can’t convert to a 100% paperless office, any move in that direction will save you money in storage and payroll costs.

3. Cancel Your Print Subscriptions

Newsletters, business magazines, membership publications. This stuff is a relic and a waste of resources. Cancel those subscriptions and get them digitally instead. Almost any modern company will offer a digital alternative – and if they don’t, send them a message by saying no to print.

4. Try To Barter

Trading your expertise for other goods or services can be a big savings for you. What you do have value to other businesses, and vice versa. Find ways to make bartering work for you.

5. Use Non-Traditional Marketing

Legacy media is expensive. Instead, look towards social media, SEO, YouTube videos and more. These modern methods are better for your bottom line.

The way ahead may not mirror the way businesses have traditionally operated, but those who are ready to succeed are also ready to embrace those changes. Are you one of them?

Top 5 Reasons You Need To Be Shredding Documents

If you are doing business in the modern world, you have more rules, more regulations, more laws, and more taxes to worry about than businesses of yesteryear – basically more of everything. And that means more paperwork.

All that paperwork may assist you in tracking information, managing your accounting, keeping your staff paid and ensuring the money keeps rolling in, but it comes at a cost: security.

All the paperwork you deal with contains vital information that can be used to do damage to you, your business, your employees and your customers.

That’s why document shredding is so important for 21st Century business owners. It allows you to make sure all that sensitive information does not get into the wrong hands.

So with that in mind, here are the top 5 reasons why document shredding is something you need to take seriously:

5)HIPAA Requirements

If you work in the medical field, you know about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Passed by Congress in 1996, this important law covers patient privacy and confidentiality, including what you can and can’t do with patient documents.

In many cases, HIPAA requires that these documents be stored securely or disposed of, which is where document shredding services and document scanning can be helpful.

4) Going Green

One advantage of document shredding done is that it’s green. Shredding your business documents makes sure paper you would be unnecessarily saving is recycled, and that helps reduce demand for new paper.

Rather than tossing out that paper, the documents get recycled into dozens of new products, including more paper.

3) For Security

Like any other business, you have client lists, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, employee names and social security numbers, internal memos, pay stubs and tax records, and more on file.

This is vital information to running your business, but in the hands of information thieves all that data can be used for nefarious purposes.

From competitors stealing your secrets to thieves stealing your identity, security is a key reason to ensure you are shredding paperwork no longer in use.

2) It Clears The Clutter

Running a business means long hours, but it doesn’t have to mean a lot of paper. A good document shredding service can help you keep your office clear of unnecessary documents. And that’s good, because it’s far too easy to let them stack up and take over. Shred them to reclaim that space.

1) It’s The Law

Doesn’t get any more direct than this, does it? In some instances, the proper and secure disposal of certain documents is the law. If the other entries on this list don’t convince you, this one should. Shredding documents may be your obligation as a business owner!