8 Tips for Making Your Growth Business Paperless
Stop the Paper Chase
The average office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of paper a year. If you’re looking to incorporate more sustainable business practices into your growth company, reducing the amount of paper (and hence, trees) you currently use is mandatory. A paperless workspace not only brings enormous environmental benefits, it can save your business time and money, and boost productivity.
By switching to digital documents, you’ll cut out most of your stationery expenses. You and your employees will also spend less time fixing printer jams and searching through mountains of paper to find the right document.
No matter what industry you’re in, you can gain a competitive edge by modernizing and digitizing your business. Here’s how to take the paper—and much of the work—out of paperwork.
1. Integrate DocuSign eSignature with Google Workspace
Most growth business owners rely on Google Workspace for a number of essential tasks. Its powerful digital tools allow your team to collaborate on projects in real-time, schedule meetings, store files and much more.
By connecting DocuSign eSignature to Google Workspace, you’ll be able to sign and send agreements electronically, from within the apps you already use like Gmail, Docs, Sheets, Drive and Chrome. There’s no need to go through the hassles of saving, printing, signing, scanning, and emailing documents. Instead, the entire process can be completed digitally with just a few clicks.
2. Digitalize financial transactions
Manually managing and sending out paper invoices or checks is not only time-consuming but also prone to errors. Accounting software like Quickbooks Online automates tasks and ensures your finances are in order (a bonus for tax season).
Use DocuSign eSignature with Quickbooks Online Advanced to accelerate invoicing and make processing contracts even more efficient. You’ll be able to send estimates, pull information from previous invoices, track invoices and more. The best part? You can save an average of $36 per agreement by reducing costs and time associated with paper transactions, and you’ll be paid faster.
3. Transition to paperless meetings
When it comes to presentations, instead of printing out slides, opt for digital tools like Google Slides or PowerPoint. Simply use a projector or screen that connects to your laptop via an HDMI cable to showcase your slideshow. You can also display work over Zoom or other video conferencing tools by sharing your computer screen.
Finally, encourage your team to take notes with their laptops and share key takeaways through a cloud or over email, rather than copying multiple forms.
4. Opt for digital document storage
Filing cabinets are expensive, take up physical space and can be highly inefficient when it comes to retrieving documents. Recent DocuSign research revealed employees spend an average of 3 hours per contract storing and managing completed documents.
Switching to digital document storage gives your team access to shared resources in real-time and allows for greater collaboration. Enhance employee productivity just by empowering your people to quickly locate and share documents.
Microsoft SharePoint is an intelligent platform that lets you create a centralized digital workspace and collaboration system, secured by state-of-the-art encryption. Here, you and your team can safely store, manage, and share files. You’ll also maintain control over important company information and user access through advanced permission features.
As a bonus, SharePoint’s integration with DocuSign also allows you to easily pull up documents for signature to multiple recipients, right from within the platform itself. All signed documents and attachments automatically save back to SharePoint—and eSignature as well.
5. Move your marketing strategy online
As of 2020, daily social media usage of internet users worldwide amounted to 145 minutes per day. Also, 68% of all online experiences start with a search engine, with Google taking up the largest share at 90%.
Digital marketing allows you to capture this audience. You’ll be able to increase your exposure, attract new clients and boost conversion. It’s also more cost-effective than traditional ads.
There are two main ways to generate leads–organic search and paid search. Organic search is when customers find you by entering keywords through Google or social media. You can improve your organic search results by focusing on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and staying active on business social media sites.
Another strategy is to create highly targeted, paid ads through Google, and paid posts for LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Paid posts can amplify your reach and enhance targeting—ultimately leading to better conversion.
6. Mobilize your paperless strategy
Tired of keeping track of receipts? Another great way to go paperless is to make use of your smartphone. Apps like Shoeboxed and Expensify allow you to snap pictures of receipts and other business-related spending reports. They’re stored as digital data and automatically organized based on specific criteria. You can also use eSignature for sending important documents for signature, instead of going through cumbersome manual processes.
7. Get electronic receipts for purchases
It’s natural to save your receipt every time you buy office supplies or other business-related purchases, such as travel, hotels, meals, and entertainment with clients. Instead of grabbing the physical copy, ask to have your receipt emailed to you. You’ll cut down on paper waste and have one less piece of paper to keep track of.
Make sure to create folders in your email account where you can store receipts as they arrive. This is an efficient way to keep them organized. When the time comes, you’ll be able to forward your receipts to your accountant or another software system.
8. Reduce junk mail
Junk mail isn’t only a nuisance, it’s also environmentally wasteful. Growth business owners looking to go paperless can select which offers they’d like to receive through the Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) consumer website DMAchoice.org.
If you’re looking to opt-out of all credit card and insurance offers permanently, head over to optoutprescreen.com or call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688) to begin the process.
It’s time to go paperless
Going paperless ultimately boils down to choosing the right tools. With your digital files stored in a cloud, you may want to get an external, portable hard drive and automatically and continuously transfer all of your documents onto it, through Apple Time Machine or Microsoft’s File History app. This is a great way to remain paperless and still have a local copy of your forms.
Switching to a paperless workplace can bring tremendous benefits to your growing business. Most importantly, your firm will be taking an active stance towards reducing waste and protecting the environment.
DocuSign can be a key ingredient in your transition to a paperless office—remote or onsite. Not an eSignature subscriber yet? Request a 30-day free trial here.