Say your SMB is still doing mail-out campaigns, and you’re still spending all that money on postage. You still do paper invoices. You still print everything out so you can collaborate on projects. You are a paper-fiend, and honestly, it’s costing you a pretty penny. Today is the day you can not only reduce, but almost completely eliminate the cost of doing things the old-fashioned way with pen and paper. Today is the day you can take advantage of a mostly digital marketplace!
Okay, so maybe you’re not ready to change everything over, but here are a few tips that can help you start small and save a bundle, too.
Invest in the Technology to Enable a Paperless Office
Having the correct technology to help your employees do the things they need to do without paper is a huge step in the right direction. A few examples:
Dual Monitors. Monitors aren’t that expensive, and sometimes one of the reasons something needs to be printed is because cross-referencing something you can’t see is kind of impossible. Switching from tab to tab is annoying for a lot of people, so they simply print their documents to prevent that. Another monitor gives them an entirely new work area and, in some cases, two – a large screen can and will allow for more than one document to be seen at a time. Plus, you probably won’t have to buy screens for a long time after your computer upgrade; screens often outlast computers.
Use a Digital Fax Machine Service. Just because someone else insists on using fax doesn’t mean YOU have to. In fact, many “fax machines” these days consist of a digital service, a scanner, and an internet connection. Services like MaxEmail or eFax allow you to send and receive faxes digitally through a phone, email, or the service portal they have online. Faxes come in attached to emails, and faxes go out to machines and other digital fax services just like they would from a regular fax machine.
Duplex. If something absolutely HAS to be printed, then investing in a duplex printer – which is a very common, affordable technology – will save you bundles. 50%, to be exact, as a document can be printed on both sides just as quickly and effectively as one-sided printing.
Online Collaboration Tools. Gone are the days where something needs to be printed to travel along proper channels and seen by a ton of people. A document can be passed, with notes and corrections, digitally now. Something as simple (and free) as Google Docs enables you to do this by uploading the document and simply passing along a link that allows people to edit or view.
Even if this doesn’t prevent all printing, it will reduce it significantly.
Digitalize Notes. Notes that have to be handwritten can be scanned and saved for later, and along the same lines, notes that don’t have to be handwritten can be done on a tablet, small computer, or even a smartphone and saved in the same way. This begins to discourage paper use among your employees who will likely begin to see the convenience of digitalizing things they will need later.
Investing in technology that helps your office go paperless will save everyone time, money, and the environment to boot. Whether it’s just another monitor or a brand new printer that can print duplex, the investment will be well worth it in the long run.