8 tips for going paperless in your small business

 Want your small business to go paperless? Are you looking to incorporate more sustainable business practices into your growing company? Reducing the amount of paper (and hence, trees) you currently use is mandatory as the average office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of paper a year. A paperless workspace brings enormous environmental benefits, but it can also save your business time and money and help boost productivity.

By switching to digital documents, you’ll cut out most of your stationery expenses - which is helpful for any growing business. You and your employees will also spend less time fixing printer jams and searching through mountains of paper to find the right document.

You can gain a competitive edge by modernising and digitising your business no matter what industry you're in. This article looks at taking the work out of paperwork by going paperless in the office.

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. This helps you go paperless as there’s no need to go through the hassle of saving, printing, signing, scanning, and emailing documents. Instead, the entire process can be completed digitally with just a few clicks.

2. Digitise financial transactions

Manually managing and sending out paper invoices is time-consuming and prone to errors. Accounting software like Xero automates tasks and ensures your finances are in order. You can use Docusign eSignature with Xero to accelerate invoicing and make processing contracts even more efficient. You’ll be able to pull information from previous invoices, track invoices and more. With Docusign eSignature, you can save an average of £30 per agreement ​by reducing costs and time associated with paper transactions, and you’ll be paid faster. Discover more about using Docusign for taxes for accounting

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 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 via the cloud or 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 by empowering your people to quickly locate and share documents online and forget filing cabinets.

Microsoft SharePoint is an intelligent platform that lets you create a centralised 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 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.


5. Move your marketing strategy online

Many online experiences start with a search engine, and Google takes up the largest share of that online search at over 85%. Digital marketing allows you to capture this audience - it can help you to increase exposure for your brand, attract new clients and boost conversion. It can also be more cost-effective than paper-based marketing and advertising. There are two main ways to generate leads via search engines - 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 a search engine like Google. 

6. Make use of mobile in 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 organised based on specific criteria. You can also use eSignature for sending important documents for signature via mobile instead of going through cumbersome manual processes. Here’s more on designing a seamless mobile experience for customers.

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. Create folders in your email account where you can store receipts as they arrive, which is an efficient way to keep them organised. 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 is a nuisance; it’s also environmentally wasteful. Growth business owners looking to go paperless can reduce the amount of personal correspondence they receive by registering with the mailing preference service

It’s time to go paperless

Going paperless ultimately boils down to choosing the right tools. Switching to a paperless workplace can bring tremendous benefits to your growing business. Most importantly, your firm will be taking an active stance toward reducing waste and protecting the environment. 

Docusign can be a crucial ingredient in your transition to a paperless office—remote or onsite.

Daisy O'Malley Glynn
Marketing Communications Specialist