Updated: Apr 10
Composed by Tina Martin
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A paperless business is one that's modern, streamlined, and planet-friendly. Going paperless might seem an impossible feat, but with commitment and a willingness to embrace new methods, it can be done. Whatever your business type or size, transitioning to paperless is a best practice. All that's needed is a strategy on how to do it and buy-in from employees to embrace the change.
Benefits of Going Paperless
It reduces your carbon footprint.
Going paperless can reduce carbon dioxide emissions. One tree makes just 17 reams of paper and emits 110 pounds of C02 during the process.
You could save on office rent.
Mountains of paperwork, cabinets of files, and shelves of lever-arch files can take up a lot of space. Without all that clutter, you could potentially reduce your office size, which can mean a cheaper rental.
It increases productivity.
Changes made online can be synched, and sharing permissions can be company-wide, which saves the hassle of scanning and emailing.
Going digital provides quick access to archived data.
Instead of scrambling through old files, a simple digital filing system can help you find that valuable document.
How To Go Paperless
The key is to start small and minimize your paper usage. Decide which aspects of your business can be paper-free, and start there.
Complete Business Documentation Online
Try to do all of your business documentation online, and this includes tax paperwork and even registering as an LLC. An online formation service can help you register your business, change business entities, file Articles of Incorporation, and complete other paperwork.
Move To Cloud Computing
Store media, documents, calendars, and meeting minutes in the cloud. Allocate a period of time to convert all hard paperwork into digital copies, and then create an organized filing system. The cloud also speeds up processes and works well for exchanging and archiving information.
Convert to Digital Signatures
Create digital signatures that can easily be inserted into PDF documents, sales contracts, and other paperwork. This eliminates the need to print out documentation and manually sign and scan it.
Use Online Forms
If you own a company that requires reams of information from a client, then use an online form builder. A form builder will let you customize your form, allowing you to capture a wealth of information. These forms can all be stored online, and the information can be captured digitally.
Create Digital Receipts and Invoices
Invoicing and receipts can be done digitally. There are timekeeping applications where you can generate invoices and other applications where you can integrate expense management, receipting, and invoicing.
A Paperless Office Is Worth the Effort
Not all businesses have the capacity or ability to shift to an entirely paper-free environment, but making the effort can certainly help the environment and with organization. Establish ways to go paper-free, and perhaps offer incentives to employees and departments to find creative ways of going paperless.
Visit Greenisms for more information about sustainability.
Thanks for reading!