For a long time, before e-commerce and digital media snowballed into indispensable entities for the trading industry, every small and big business war primarily influenced by one-to-one interactions with its customers.
Most of the business was done through brick and mortar stores, which is why paper played a big role in the process- the invoices were submitted in paper, receipts were in paper, and even the brochures, and other forms of marketing material etc. were in paper. However, those days are long gone.
Today, your business will only struggle to survive unless you embrace the digital tools and services that have become the norm.
In fact, as we are making progress in powerful technologies like artificial intelligence, deep learning, natural language process, etc. by leaps and bounds, it won’t be an exaggeration to say that paper will be scaled down to play just a small role in our lives in the near future.
Today, a large number of business processes, including lead identification, lead conversion, marketing, payments, talent acquisition, etc. are executed on the Internet with digital tools and technologies.
Thus, the Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) need to adopt paperless methods now more than ever because of the following reasons:
- Time Saving
Why would you want to waste hours in reconciliation using paper invoices and receipts when even a decent software program can do that for you in less than an hour?
When the startup industry is becoming so competitive, then there are only a few things left that can give you an edge over others, and time is easily one of them.
With enterprise-level software programs for bookkeeping and invoicing, you save more time for identifying and nurturing more leads, or expanding your business in new areas while your rivals stay busy with their paperwork, collecting and organizing files and documents.
- Easy Access
One of the key characteristics of every competitive business is that they know how to make bold decisions without delay. But how is this possible?
To make decisions for your company, you need to consider a variety of factors, your revenue collection, the performance of individual products offered by your company and that of your staff, market penetration, etc.
Now, if this were the 80s or 90s, you would have limited options to pursue that task. However, today there is no death of powerful software that are capable of offering detailed insights into your business and accurate reports.
With these, you can get on top of every small process of your business, manage cashflow with a high level of accuracy, and identify areas that need the most improvement easily.
- Increased Productivity
With digital technologies, your employees can be the most productive. They can share files with each other without leaving their desks and collaborate on the fly with cloud-based office suits.
They can also communicate with each other conveniently through a secure in-house IT network, and even mark their attendance automatically by using mobile-based GPS technology.
In fact, there are all kinds of ways your employees can excel their duties when equipped with the right tools and technologies.
- Limited Human Errors
There are some things that a human can do better, such as writing a poem or painting a picture. However, when it comes to calculations or analytical tasks, then clearly a computer takes the lead.
Since accounting and bookkeeping is a tedious yet critical operation of any business, by making it automated, you can minimize instances of discrepancies and plug cashflow leaks that result from poor management.
The Inevitable Change
We are already living in a world where businesses are largely paperless. Even the small mom-and-pop stores, local service providers, etc. are adopting the “paperless” ways to enhance their business through mobile wallets, digital marketing (online classified portals, for instance), and digital invoices, etc.
In other words- the change is inevitable. However, the best time to completely revamp your business infrastructure towards automation and technological adoption was 5 years ago. The second-best time is today.