Contributed post by: Susan Solovic, THE Small Business Expert

I’m a road warrior.  Nearly every week I’m on a plane traveling somewhere for business.   In most cases, I can easily manage my business from anywhere in the world thanks to technology.  But recently, I ran into a glitch.

It was a Thursday and I was headed home for the weekend.  I was booked on an early Monday morning flight headed off to an appearance.  One of my clients needed to send some materials to me for my upcoming trip.  I suggested email, but unfortunately this particular company didn’t have the documents in an electronic format.  So we had to consider alternatives.

The obvious choice was to use an overnight delivery company to send the documents, but that was expensive.  What about mailing them?  Because it was Thursday, my client thought if she mailed them that afternoon there was a fairly good chance they would be delivered on Saturday.  But then we wondered, “Does the Post Office still deliver on Saturday?”

The answer was “yes” and the documents did arrive on time.   However, I’d say we simply got lucky.  How many times has your mail been lost for days or even weeks?

With the unreliability of the U.S. Postal Service, small businesses more than ever should be thinking about ways to digitize their businesses.   For example, in the case of my client a digital version of the documents would have simplified our situation.  She could have emailed the materials, and I could have printed them over the weekend for my presentation.

Another concern for small businesses relating to mail service is cash flow.  Sending invoices and receiving payments via the mail is time consuming.  And don’t we all hate to hear, “The check is in the mail.”  Reducing mail delivery from six to five days will further complicate this process.  Consider sending your customer invoices via email and accepting electronic payments to avoid the frustration and enhance your cash flow.

Technology is a game-changer for small businesses.  Make sure you small business is leveraging it to enhance your success.

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