going paperless: 5 big benefits
Do you think your business still needs paper to conduct everyday processes? If the answer is yes, consider that need for paper like the need you once had for a Walkman or mullet. It was important until something better came along — like the iPod or the short fade.
The average office employee uses 10,000 pieces of paper annually and wastes more than half of them. It’s time to embrace the better way: Go paperless.
Whether you’re an electrician, plumber or HVAC technician, you’ve been using paper for decades: For contracts, invoices, reports, presentations, client communications and anything that involves a signature. Going paperless may seem impossible, because it’s engrained in most daily business activities.
Put your concern on hold for a minute and read on to discover five benefits your business could recognize by going paperless (or mostly paperless).
Going Paperless Supports the Environment
Much of your daily work may be conducted outside of the office, but consider the role your office plays in the 10,000 pieces of paper an average office worker uses annually. Ultimately, offices greatly contribute to the four billion trees cut down each year for paper use.
The sustainability advantage of going paperless is undeniable. And for some, this negative environmental impact is enough to discourage use.
Others may wonder, “What’s the benefit of being sustainable for me and my business?”
A study reveals that one third of consumers now buy from brands based on their social and environmental impact. Consumers want to do business with organizations they feel are doing their part to better the world. Going paperless offers that added bonus (in case saving the world isn’t enough).
Going Paperless Saves You Money
Like all operational supplies, paper comes with a direct cost to your business. In fact, the true cost of paper extends beyond the physical material, costing businesses approximately $6 in handling and distribution for every $1 spent on paper.
Eliminating, or highly reducing, the role paper plays in your company will translate into significant savings over time. Those savings can then translate to a better bottom line, or be reallocated to other important operational and overhead needs.
Going Paperless Saves Space
Take a look across your office, are bulky filing cabinets infringing on walkways? Or is there a hidden storage closet paper goes to hide? Paper, especially decades of old files, can take up substantial space in your office.
Going through those out-of-date, obsolete files has probably been on the to-do list for years, but going paperless can end that paper trail in its tracks. Move relevant documents to the cloud or save them on a hard drive to make them easily accessible and secure — a huge improvement to organizing files in a forgotten cabinet. Not to mention, digital files are easy to search and take up significantly less space.
Business News Daily provides a relevant guide to document management systems with comparisons between cloud-hosted and self-hosted systems.
Going Paperless Increases Efficiency
Contractors are often pulled in many directions at once, having to balance customer and employee interests, while also executing tactics and business strategy. The last thing you want to get bogged down with is an inefficient paper process.
Continued paper use is likely a product of tradition. It’s something businesses continue to do because they always have.
In fact, most processes can be conducted exclusively through digital programs, such as:
- Signing client contracts documents
- Paying bills
- Viewing reports
- Saving documents – i.e. project records, invoices, tax returns, invoices and more
Beyond that, these processes can be done with greater efficiency, without the need to print, fax, and file the documents.
Consider what available programs exist to simplify the processes you still rely on paper for. With increasing competition, these products offer significant advantages to current processes and continue to improve.
Go Paperless — Get Started Today!
Maybe you’ve been in the contracting business for five decades or have just gotten started. Either way, the thought of removing all paper from everyday processes is overwhelming.
Start small by transitioning certain processes away from paper. In the long term, with undeniable benefits, going paperless is a process businesses of all sizes and maturity should consider.
In the end, the earth, your customers, your employees and your wallet will thank you.