Last updated on February 10th, 2017
Startup businesses need to use every advantage to remain competitive. Larger or more established companies may have more capital and standing because they have been around for a longer period of time. Startups by nature, however, gravitate towards innovation. As commercial enterprise moves toward a global marketplace and e-commerce become more integrated into the business, a shift toward a paperless operation becomes a more attractive option.
Start-ups can use these 6 tips to go paperless.
1. Paperless Defined
A paperless start-up operates by using as little paper as possible. Many start-ups aim to go paperless as a way to reduce clutter. Businesses typically generate enormous amounts of paper in the creation of letters, reports, proposals, documents and invoices. This places a strain on limited budgets and can contribute to landfills as well. Businesses with a dependence on paper often utilize antiquated filing systems for client files and company data. This poses a security risk. By converting to a paperless system, clutter is eliminated, costs are slashed, productivity is increased, and data is secured.
2. Environmental Impact Of Paper
The paper has many long term effects. Dependence on paper contributes to climate change, and deforestation can occur as a detrimental effect of using too much paper in the office. Forests are cleared to make way for other projects. This can displace numerous animals while also disrupting the natural ecosystem. Start-ups would do well to consider the impact of paper in their office place. Adopting a paperless model can appeal to clients and the general public as well, putting a positive and socially conscious spin on the start-up brand.
3. Scan Your Paperwork
The process of becoming paperless can be a great step in the modernization of a start-up. By adopting a paperless system, redundancy is greatly reduced. Replace paper forms, Rolodex, and index cards with computerized databases, computerized forms and e-mails. Scan your paperwork, and save them as electronic forms that customers and clients can later complete. Create PDF documents. PDFs can appear identical to paper forms, so do not have a detrimental effect on clients or the business. Allow digital signatures on electronic forms to reduce time as well. This method does not require the individual to sign a paper copy physically.
4. Automate Time Consuming Processes
Automate time-consuming processes to boost productivity. A lot of automation software is available to help you in this process. For example, you can incorporate systems like auto invoice, auto payroll etc.
5. Pay Bills Online
Set up a high risk payment gateway. Pay bills and accept payments electronically. This serves to safeguard personal and financial information, as the data is transmitted electronically to the appropriate parties.
6. Move Your Business To The Cloud
Transport paper filing systems and company files to the cloud. Using the cloud will serve to reduce paper clutter. The cloud preserves personal and company information and protects from fire and flooding. It centralizes data and allows for interaction regionally and globally, as authorized parties have access to files without having to retrieve paper files for the office physically.
Many businesses are migrating their start-up infrastructure over to the cloud. Adopt the trend and demonstrate your commitment to the latest in innovation.
Make a budget for cloud security. Earmark funds exist for this very important need. The new technology also presents clients a tempting opportunity to try to circumvent typical cyber-security measures. Placing safeguards to protect the digital content is key and demonstrates a commitment to preserving data.
The Importance of Apps
Take advantage of time-saving apps. Look at your business and think of ways to do things easier. Take careful inventory of company processes to identify areas of opportunity. There are a variety of apps that can prove useful to a start-up.
Glaring constantly at the keyboard and groaning in frustration is a daily ritual for many workers. It also wastes time. Many businesses lack a dedicated IT department. Apps like Dashlane 3 can increase productivity, and get employees back to work quickly. Features such as fast password recovery, password strength suggestions, and the ability to sync passwords across multiple devices make this application very useful.
Some apps help to increase productivity by streamlining tasks. An app that converts voicemail into text messages is also very useful. The kinds of apps save time and allow users to screen calls quickly without having to dial in and listen to each voicemail message.
Multi-taskers would benefit from an app that syncs and prioritizes information. People with multiple things to do would appreciate an app with a tool to create a to-do list. Some apps offer document and database creation online while integrating other useful applications such as spell check and grammar review. These tools reduce the time spent composing documents as well as having to utilize a number of singular applications to review and edit them.