Like it or not, paper is all around us! You are no doubt reading this because you want to lead a more paperless life and be kinder to the environment. Plus, you may also be fed up of the sight of stacks of invoices and other paper in your business. Believe it or not, having a paperless office isn’t that big a challenge as it might seem.
More companies are taking steps to reduce the amount of paper they use, receive, and waste. And regardless of the size of your business, it’s also possible for you to do the same thing too! Check out these six practical strategies you can follow to have a paperless office:
- Find out who prints the most in your office
If your business comprises of two or more people, you will need to determine the “worst offenders” that do a lot of printing each day. Why is that information relevant, I hear you ask? Well, it helps you to find out what they print and why so that you can propose alternatives to them that don’t require a hard copy of the information.
- Opt for digital invoices and receipts from suppliers
Most businesses will be more than happy to send you invoices and receipts via email instead of printing them on paper. Large corporations, for example, use systems such as EDS to connect directly to their accounting systems. In some cases, you may even get a discount from your suppliers for receiving digital invoices and receipts!
- Scan and shred incoming documents
There will undoubtedly be some documents you receive that get sent to you in paper format. In the past, you may have just filed them in a folder or box somewhere in your office. But, did you know that you could scan and shred them? There are document scanning services available where you can store the scans in the cloud, so you don’t need to keep them on your premises.
- Offer discounts to customers that pay electronically
Do you have clients who still pay you by cash or check? If so, keeping paper records of such transactions can be time-consuming. And, of course, it means you need to use and store paper in your office! Encourage them instead to pay you by bank transfer or a digital wallet like PayPal. The discount will give them an incentive to forego “traditional” payment methods.
- Train your staff to make digital notes
When you get people calling you during the day, you may sometimes need to make notes on paper. Rather than using notepads, your staff can make digital notes! Most CRM systems allow you to make notes of phone calls and “attach” those notes to a customer’s record in the database. Training your staff to do that will mean less paper gets used in your office.
- Get rid of your printers
Yes, it might seem like a radical solution to the problem. But, if your business has no need to print things out, why keep your printers? You’ll remove the temptation for your staff to print things out. Plus, the extra desk space will come in handy!