Paperless Office

6 Types of Documents and Files You Should Be Storing in the Cloud

A case can be made that there is no more powerful an online tool for business than “the cloud,” a term for online storage services that allow you to access your scanned documents from the Web.

cloud staorage

cloud staorage

After all, when cloud services allow you to virtually expand your office to reach anywhere a laptop or mobile phone can go, that is nothing short of a game changer that brings the paperless office closer to reality.

Consider how much you would benefit from having these six types of scanned documents stored in the cloud:

1) Business Correspondence

Letters and emails that go back and forth between you and clients, correspondence that outlines key dates and milestones in a business relationship, and other business correspondence is ideal for cloud storage.

This ensures this data is not only safely backed up, but it allows you to easily share it with relevant parties. These documents will even be accessible no matter where you are, making it easy to reference them from anywhere.

2) Multi-User Documents

If you’re collaborating on a document with others in your company, cloud storage is the way to go. At one time, such documents would be traded back and forth by email.

This was not only cumbersome and inefficient, it was also a recipe for disaster, with it being far too easy to accidentally access an older version of a file. When everyone is working from the same document, such disasters can be averted.

3) Calendars & Schedules

Giving your staff or partners easy access to calendars and scheduling documents keeps everyone on the same page and ensures everyone is working from the same game plan. It should go without saying why that is a major boon for your business.

4) Site Photos

For contractors, real estate agents, and others, the ability to make photos of job sites or real estate locations easily available via the cloud can make life far easier.

They can also be shared so that sales staff can use them as examples for potential clients, other work crews can use them as reference, and so on.

 

5) Price Lists

An invaluable resource for a wide variety of reasons, cloud-based storage of company price lists allow staff to have this vital data available at all times.

No more calling back to the office to check on their numbers, accidentally giving clients the wrong information, and so on. The latest can be shared with everyone who needs it.

6) Password Manager Files

If you use a password manager program, you can consider backing up the program’s database to the cloud – provided it’s fully encrypted, of course.

That way you’ll be able to access the web services you use no matter where you are without having to remember the password. It also serves as a valuable backup.

What are YOU sharing or storing in the cloud that has changed the way you do business? 

4 Big Ways to Boost Your Business By Going Digital

At one time, there was no business on Earth that could operate without shuffling a lot of paperwork. In many ways, paperwork was the lifeblood of business, containing all the data, facts, figures, plans, and information needed to keep the dollars flowing in and out.

New laptop on a table at modern office

New laptop on a table at modern office

That is no longer the case. Thanks to digital technology, document scanning, and changes in how we conduct business, the paperless office (or nearly paperless office) is a reality.

Many business owners assume the idea of a “paperless office” is only for tech, IT, and financial businesses; that it doesn’t apply to small and mid-sized businesses like theirs, especially if they deal with a lot of customers.

But that assumption is wrong. To understand why, you first need to understand how document scanning and paperless initiatives can benefit you:

1) Improves Your Customer Service

The nature of your business doesn’t matter, a general rule is going to apply no matter what: customer service is paramount.

You ability to succeed and grow begins and ends with your ability to service your clients’ needs. Going paperless can be a big boost in that regard. You can ensure their phone calls and visits are resolved quickly when the information they are looking for – copies of a contract, old medical records, past invoices, and so on – can be retrieved quickly and easily.

That means your customers will walk away happy, and happy customers are return customers.

2) Boosts Your Employee Productivity

No one likes to shuffle paperwork. The feeling is nearly universal: employees hate it.

When you eliminate paperwork and instead have all those documents at the tip of their fingers, however, you give your employees the ability to work smarter rather than harder. This lets them hunt down those old invoices, review that contract from two years ago, and so on with minimal effort.

And that will not only make them happy, it will make them far more productive, too.

3) Saves Your Business Money

A result of having more efficient employees is that your employees can do more with their time. You might not need as much staff, or they might not have to work as many hours. That has a direct impact on your bottom line.

You can do the math yourself and see: If your typical employee has to dig up 20 documents per day, and it takes five minutes to find each document, that’s over an hour and a half per day sorting through papers.

If it instead takes 10 seconds when that document is scanned into the computer, they will have saved 100 minutes of work per day. At $12 per hour, that’s nearly $5,000 annually.

The numbers don’t lie.

4) You’ll Enhance Your Security

When it comes to identity theft and electronic theft, the biggest vulnerability for businesses with data to protect – legal offices, medical practices, contractors, those in the financial sector, and so on – comes in the form of good old fashioned paperwork.

Rummaging through dumpsters is still the primary way thieves get access to key data about you, your employees, and your customers. It’s how criminals clone your checks, get your bank account numbers, and more.

By going digital, your data can be safely encrypted, keeping it safe from prying eyes even in the virtual world.

That kind of security is priceless.

Are you ready to take your business virtual today?

The Real Cost of Paper: 15 Facts That Show What Your Business Spends (and Where it Can Save)

Doing as much of your business as possible in a paperless way isn’t necessarily about being “green.” Paper is expensive – and not just the cost of the paper itself.

document management

document management

A number of studies have looked at the cost of working with paper, and the results may be surprising. The numbers don’t lie: working with paper costs you time and money, impacts your productivity, and just plain serves as an anchor dragging your business down.

Take a look:

• Industry studies show that it costs companies $20 on average to a file a paper document. (This includes labor and salary costs, storage, office supplies, and other factors.)

• Gartner Research found that those in professional fields working with paper spend 50 percent of their time looking for information.

• That same study revealed that on average, professionals take 18 minutes to locate each document.

• On average, it costs American companies $120 to find a misfiled paper document.

• Lost documents become even more expensive, costing $220 on average to reproduce.

• On average, companies misfile about 20 percent of their documents. When coupled with the numbers cited above, those errors can get costly.

• Paper documents impact productivity. Studies show that upwards of $14,000 of productivity is lost per worker each year as a result of difficulties in finding data needed to complete their job.

• Paper costs add up. Citigroup conducted a study and found that if each employee saved just one sheet of paper per week, the company could save $700,000.

• The labor associated with paper usage adds up, too. One study showed that a $5 ream of paper ends up costing the average business $155 in labor costs associated with what is done with that paper.

• In terms of labor cost, your standard four-drawer filing cabinet will cost about $25,000 in man hours to fill with documents.

• That same four-drawer filing cabinet will cost about $2,000 per year to maintain. Again, this factors in storage space, labor, and other factors.

• Even today, office workers use a lot of paper. The average office worker uses about 10,000 sheets of paper per year. That’s two full cases of paper per employee.

• While this is changing, at the moment some 90 percent of business information exists only on paper. One fire, one accident, one flood, one theft and it’s gone.

• A study by Cooper & Lybrand found that 70 percent of businesses existing today would fail within three weeks if they had a catastrophic loss of their paper records.

• Cutting waste is easy. Industry studies show that the average business can cut paper usage by 25 percent by increasing the use of email and online services, and doing double-sided copying.


At this point, the facts speak for themselves. The traditional way of conducting business – on paper – is a relic that smart businesses are leaving behind.

What kind of business is yours?

7 Simple Ways For Your Business to Go Green

These days, everyone talks about “going green.” It might sound like a lot of expensive mumbo jumbo, but the truth is that it’s never been easier or cheaper do it.

And yes, it’s a good idea for any business. Even if you’re not inclined to go out and hug a tree, you’ll find that going green will save you money in the long term. And in business, the bottom line is everything.

Here are 7 reasons why going green is way easier than you thought:

green business

green business

1. You Can Pay Your Bills Online

Why are you still getting invoices in the mail? Why are you still writing checks? It’s 2015. You can do 90% of your banking and bill paying online.

2. Fax Machines Don’t Need Paper Anymore

The days of your fax machine spitting out reams of paper are long over. These days, you can have faxes sent straight to a digital document, no printing or scanning necessary.

3. Your Devices Come With Energy Saving Settings

You don’t need to have a great memory or bend over backwards to remember to power down your devices when not in use. Most will now have energy saving sleep settings that do it for you. Remember to configure things on your computer, laptop, tablet, and so on, and you’ll never need to remember again.

4. And If They Don’t, Affordable Surge Protectors Can Help

For devices that don’t have energy saving sleep settings, it’s easy to accomplish the same thing with today’s better power strips and surge protectors. Look for models that automatically power off when device are not in use, cutting back on so-called “phantom power usage.”

5. Scanning Services Do The Work For You

There is no need to burden yourself with scanning all your important documents in order to create digital archives and go paperless. There are third party services (such as ScanDoc) that can handle the workload for you. Once everything is in your system, keeping up with it in the future so you stay paperless will be a breeze.

6. Letting Employees Telecommute Is Painless

There is nothing to fear from letting certain employees telecommute. The technology that will let them work from home and for you to remain in close contact with them is well-established.

7. Rearranging Your Office Layout Is Free

Getting workstations near windows means you can utilize sunlight instead of lamps and indoor lighting, and depending on the weather, it means you can nix the heat or A/C. This means less reliance on using energy, and that’s the very definition of “green.” Plus it saves you money.

Didn’t realize some of this was so easy, did you? No more excuses. Even small business owners can bring their operations into the 21st Century – and the time to start is now.