Advantages of Taking Your Upper Tampa Bay Business Paperless and How to Get Started

As offices across the world continue to embrace technology, paper and traditional stationery are becoming less widely used. Adopting these new innovations within your business is more than just hopping onto the latest trend. It can be a transformative change that reaps benefits for your staff and customer experience. Below the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce offers some tips to get started on this transition.

How Can Going Paperless Help Your Business?

Going paperless pays off in increased efficiency. Because staff can transmit, edit, and sign documents electronically, they no longer waste time walking up and down the office. Customers also appreciate the convenience of receiving files and contracts without having to travel to your office or receive you at theirs. That creates a smoother customer experience, which gives your business a modern image. 

You can also achieve a neater, clutter-free office once you've done away with messy stacks of paper and folders. The tidiness also extends to your workflows, since correcting mistakes and making updates are much easier to handle on electronic files than on those using paper and ink. Even then, a paperless office leaves much less room for human error. Besides that, many business management processes, such as registration, now have digital alternatives.  

What's Involved in the Transition to a Paperless Office?

As with other large-scale digital transformations, going paperless requires having the right digital infrastructure for your business. That includes the tools you plan to use to create and edit documents, store them securely, and share them with colleagues and customers. Vendors commonly offer such tools using a Software-as-a-Service model these days, meaning you pay for a subscription that matches your business's use cases and needs. 

Many documents you're printing out now are simply converted to PDFs as your transition progresses. If you need to merge PDFs online in the same way you would previously paper clip or staple different hardcopy files together, you can use a merge tool to compile your softcopy documents into one. This saves staff from having to search for multiple related files, and it makes cross-referencing easier. These tools also let you rearrange pages so that they're in a logical order as you or a recipient go through them.  

Instead of sending paper invoices, use invoicing software. This type of program enables businesses to create and send invoices electronically without having to use paper. Not only is this more efficient and cost-effective, but it also helps to save trees and other natural resources. In addition, an invoicing tool for smallbiz offers features that makes it easy to track payments and manage customers.

Preparing Your Staff for the Change

Going paperless requires not just a change in your systems and workflows, but also in your employees' habits. To make the transition smoother and avoid facing resistance, involve your workers at the earliest planning stages. Communicate the reasons behind the changes, how the changes are likely to improve their workdays, and how you plan to help them adapt. All this facilitates getting employee buy-in, which is crucial as you need their input with ironing out bugs that may arise as part of the rollout.

Creating an Office Fit for the Modern Age

Bringing the latest innovations into your office may require some extensive planning, but it pays off in increased efficiency and convenience for all your stakeholders. Look for the right digital tools and free resources, and involve your staff in the transition process to increase by-in. In the end, everyone will see the benefits of going digital.

Join The Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association for special events and networking opportunities for your business.