Should your small business go paperless? | SupportBiz

Managing Growth

Should your small business go paperless?

 
Going paperless is not a bad idea. However, this decision comes with its own pros and cons. Both of these aspects need to be considered before you decide whether it is the right choice for your small business. Here is a look at the positives and negatives of going paperless.

THE PROS:

Cost-effective

Having a paperless office is highly cost-effective for a small business. It saves a lot of expenses on paper, ink, printing, among others. You also save on the cost involved in creating storage space for all the paper/files that you use.

Eco-friendly

Going paperless is very environment-friendly. Deciding on a paperless office means that you are doing your bit to save trees from being cut, for the production of paper. You also help educe the evil environmental impact involved in the production and disposal of ink cartridges; and cut down on the energy consumption involved in using a printer.

Ease in organisation

A paperless office helps in the easy organisation of files. You can use a digital filing system, which helps you find any file that you want easily, saving you from the cumbersome task of searching for paper files in a storeroom.

Easy access

Using a digital filing system can give you easy access to any document that you want, at any time, at any place. You can plug in from anywhere you want to and work on any document, without losing out on precious time waiting to get to office to get a particular file.

THE CONS:

Risk of hacking

Paperless files cannot be protected under lock and key in a filing cabinet. There is always the risk of your system being hacked into; your files being accessed by an unauthorised person, and the information being misused. Of course, you can always adopt solutions that protect information stored digitally.

Nature of business

The nature of your business is an important consideration in deciding whether to go for a paperless office or not. There are some businesses in which it is almost impossible to shift entirely to a paperless operation.

Risk of loss

In a paperless office, there is always the risk of the system crashing. This would lead to the loss of files and valuable data, and might lead to the loss of productive man hours. Taking a back-up of your files is an effective way to deal with this risk.

Time consuming

Converting to a paperless office is not a task that can take place in a day or two. It requires a thorough consideration of the various day-to-day business operations, and finding paperless alternatives to the same. Then, the staff needs to be trained in using the new system, and it takes time for everyone to feel comfortable with the new processes and perform them effectively.