Some small businesses don’t prioritize digitizing their documents. A survey found that many small and medium businesses are still reliant on paper processes. Only 37% have started going digital. Perhaps, working with physical copies is much easier for them since they’re used to it. But this outdated practice is costing more time and money than these owners realize.
The best decision you can make right now regarding file management is to digitize all your files. And do it as soon as possible, too. Digitizing documents will help your businesses in various ways.
Secure Your Documents
One of the best things about document scanning and digitizing documents is improved security. Physical documents are stored in filing cabinets and drawers. They can be easily compromised. Thus, going digital will help you protect and secure your files. Digital files may be stored in hard drives, but uploading all to cloud storage will provide extra security. Cloud storage services provide data monitoring, so you’re assured that all your important documents and office backup files are guarded well. These services also have strong encryption that is difficult to pass through, protecting your business from malicious parties.
Easily Access Your Files
When all your files are stored digitally, you and your staff can easily access and share them. This eliminates the need to meet in person to turn over files or have papers delivered to someone’s residence, which is not ideal given that we’re in the middle of a pandemic.
This easy access also extends to finding documents swiftly when needed. Sometimes, an employee would have to skim through several folders and cabinets to find certain documents. This will no longer be necessary when all your files are digitized. If you or anyone from your staff need a certain file, they would go to your database, type what they’re looking for in a search bar, and get the file.
In 2017, the U.S. generated 67 million tons of paper waste. Small businesses handle a lot of paperwork and contribute to this number significantly. For example, some documents have so many copies, even when unnecessary. Businesses are expected to fulfill their social responsibility to the environment, starting with reducing their carbon footprint. And you can contribute to this cause by digitizing the documents of your business. This way, all your files will be in your computer or database, so you no longer need to print anything unless you really have to. You also don’t need to make duplicates of documents anymore.
Save Money and Time
While document scanning services and secured cloud storage may be costly, having digitized files will save you a lot of money in the long run. For instance, you will reduce the cost of acquiring certain hard supplies such as paper, folders, envelopes, inks, and printers. You will also no longer need to acquire physical storage space for your files.
The risk of data loss and replication is also reduced since cloud storage services offer backup and file restoration if employees accidentally delete files. This feature will save you a lot of time and money to recover lost documents. Also, as mentioned earlier, accessing files will be swift. As the adage says, “time is money.” Instead of locating documents for hours, employees can focus on the more important tasks that will drive your business to achieve your desired results.
Be Prepared for Unexpected Situations
Many unforeseeable situations might disrupt your business workflow due to a lack of access to your company files. A relevant example is the COVID-19 pandemic. In a flash, businesses were forced to make all nonessential employees work from home to ensure their and others’ safety. But many employees were unprepared for the sudden shift. They might have left their important work files back in their office buildings. As a result, they couldn’t resume work immediately and had to risk going to the office to retrieve these files.
You can avoid this similar situation in the future through digital file management. If there’s an urgent need to be somewhere else, your employees can easily resume their work since all their files are backed up in the cloud.
Digitizing files is important in any business. It’s not easy to have all your physical files scanned, encoded, and uploaded to your online database. It’s also time-consuming. But these things are minor inconveniences compared to all the benefits of a digital file system. Digitizing your small business will help you future-proof it, streamline your processes, and create a smooth workflow for you and your employees.