All businesses are built on documents, whether it is a startup or an established business. These documents range from business plans, which is used in developing the business model to the final document, which could be employee’s pays lip.
As a business grow, the documents accumulate and take a lot of space. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to go through these documents when looking for some information. Well, time is an important factor in any organization and for this reason, there is need for business to go paperless which many have ignored for a very long time.
What Are Paperless Technologies?
These are tools that enable start-ups to operate without relying on paper. These technologies remove paper-dependent methods while at the same time guaranteeing process efficiency.
Paperless technologies increase productivity, save time, and increase quality if it is implemented well.
Should You Implement Paperless Technologies?
To determine whether implementing paperless technologies will add value to your business lies in how you’ll respond to these questions:
- How does this technology work?
- In case you implement paperless tech, how will your organization process these changes?
- What challenges are you addressing?
- Do you have what it takes to make these changes?
Once you get answers to these questions, you will know whether you should implement paperless tech or not.
Now, let us look at the paperless technologies to consider for your startup business.
Eight Paperless Technologies to Consider
- A document scanner
The first step to go paperless from the beginning and keep things that way is investing in a quality scanner. This scanner will help you digitize your document at all times. You’ll have your documents just a click away rather being buried inside piles of documents.
When purchasing a scanner, consider one which is affordable, have super-speed and efficient.
- Explore Cloud Storage
Trusting your computer to keep your scanned and tossed hard copies is a mistake you do not want to make, as there is always a consistent loss or damage to back-up drives. For this reason, when it comes to your most valued files, it is significantly important looking into the cloud. For scalability and extreme flexibility, you can use cloud services like Dropbox and Box.com. Most paperless experts use Evernote because it combines note taking with file management. To ensure that your documents are disaster-proof, it is highly recommended to use second backup like iDrive or Carbonite.
These cloud services are encrypted and therefore you should not be worried about security. One advantage of using these services is that you can remotely access your documents using your phone or laptop.
- Electronic billing and invoices
If you are preparing to collect payments from your customers, the electronic invoicing is the way to go. It automatically tracks unpaid invoices and send reminders to clients, keeping them on toes.
Electronic billing cuts down the bill-pay process, therefore, saving time.
- Using smart contracts and electronic signatures
Smart contract automatically executes, control or document legally relevant events and actions according to the terms of a contract or an agreement. It replaces paper in a digital office. People are past the hassle of printing a document, signing it, scanning and then sending. The electronic signature saves time and paper and if you’re starting your business, this is the way to go.
- Setting up virtual mailroom
Have you gone through the monotonous sorting of mail? I bet you have. This set up saves you a lot of time and gives your business a professional address. It scans every envelope you receive and the address. It then gives you options whether to open and scan, shred, or forward.
- Hiring a third party as your registered agent
You’ve got a startup business lacking a physical office? Then it’s highly recommended to hire third party as your registered agent. Its responsibility is to store organizational files in addition to receiving and scanning official mail on behalf of your company. Moreover, you could do the hiring virtually by conducting online aptitude tests.
- Cutting down on business junk mail altogether
One of the biggest resentments and paper-wasters of the 21st century is junk mail. Using apps like PaperKarma can be useful. It only requires you to take a picture of the offending mail and leave the rest to the company.
- Find an online fax service that meets your needs
Faxing is still one of the ways to complete most of the paperless office task. If you happen to have clients with fax machines, you can still interact without using papers. Pay-as-you-go services like GreenFax could be ideal. But, if you’re frequently faxing, you can use eFax or Nextiva as subscription services.
The list of paperless technology is countless. Startups can use other solutions depending on the role they play ion their organizations. What determines the workflow in your organization is the tools you use. And again, businesses should consider applying all-in-one solutions as switching between many tools can be hectic.