The capacity of small businesses to absorb losses and cost escalation is usually lower than that of large enterprises. If you have kept your small business costs in check when times are good, chances are you will weather the storm during an economic downturn. The key is to not wait until a recession strikes, but to look for cost cutting strategies when the economic conditions are favorable. One major way to reduce costs is to streamline your small business operations by putting in place an electronic document management system. In this article, we look at some of the ways document management software helps reduce costs for your small office.
When choosing small business tools, companies usually do a cost-benefit analysis. It could be a decision based on simple mental calculation, but it helps. Investing in document management software is one such decision. The points below will show you how the benefits far outweigh the cost of acquiring such software.
When you keep documents in paper form, you need a physical place to store them. You may not have enough space to store documents within your office premises. That means storing paper files on an offsite location and paying rent. Also, a lot of the space you may have on your office premises may be blocked by filing cabinets and other similar furniture.
Document management systems are one of the best cost cutting strategies you can implement for your small business. They usually have built-in scanning software that allows you to convert all your paper files to digital format. Once you have scanned all your documents, you can choose to retain only those documents in paper form that you are legally required to. You can then shred and destroy most of your paper files. This not only eliminates the small business costs of offsite storage, it also frees up precious office space which you can then use for more productive activities. An added benefit is a big cost saving in stationery items; e.g. paper, files, folders, clips, markers etc.
This is another way to save your small business costs. In business – be it large or small – time equals money. Creating and maintaining a massive archive of paper documents takes up endless business hours, possibly resulting in time overruns. In a growing economy, a time overrun could mean escalated costs, which in turn could reduce your company’s profits. Using document management software eliminates the need to hire workers to carry out routine tasks like filing; indexing etc. as such tasks are easily done by your regular staff. This results in work getting done faster.
Let us say you have all or most of your documents in paper form or in digital format, but on Windows Explorer’s file management system. In the event of a disaster, you lose all your paper records and your computers too breakdown beyond repair. How will you make good your efforts of several years of collecting and managing data? If you use a document management system, you will find this simple! Well-designed solutions allow for easy online backup. In the event of a disaster, your documents are absolutely safe. In hardly any time and with very little effort, you can retrieve all your document archives! This benefit, read in conjunction with the previous point on time overruns, will give you a good idea of the magnitude of small business costs you can save in terms of time, effort and money, by having a document management system in place. You can get back to work in no time and maintain continuity of business.
How do you feel when the gadget or software you buy malfunctions after using it just a few days? Isn’t it a familiar feeling for many of us! Or a few weeks later a higher version of the same product is released for only a few dollars more. You wish you had waited a few more days and bought the latest version instead. With a good document management software vendor, you need not worry about these issues. They usually include free version upgrades and email support for up to one year from the date of purchase. This translates into a cost saving, as you need not call a technician to iron out issues faced by you, neither do you need to do away with your old version and buy the latest one all over again.
If you want to keep your small business costs in check, investing in document management software is one of the best decisions you could make. Success stories from organizations the world over prove this. Whether you look at other cost cutting strategies or not, take the first step and invest in a good electronic document management system – you won’t ever regret your decision.