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Simple Steps To Creating a Paperless Business

by Jennifer Rees

You can also read this article in German, Spanish, French, Indonesian, Italian, Portuguese and Russian.

What used to be costly and cumbersome to implement has become much easier to do and saves costs in the long run. Here’s our advice on going paperless.

Even though the paperless office has long been aspirational for businesses, it was the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic that made it a necessity. We’ve put together a handy list to help you get your business on the road to digital transformation.

Develop a Paperless Company Culture

Every effort to change the way a business works will start from the inside and from top to bottom. Moving towards a paperless work environment can be challenging, but with careful planning and implementation, plus the right tools, it can be done.

Set Up an Enablement Team

Depending on how big the organization is, an enablement team—or person—can be a really helpful resource to support change and offer advice and training. Going paperless means having to digitize and automate multiple company processes, which means you’ll need to have the right people leading by example and training employees on new software and processes.

Switch To Paperless Billing

Switching over to paperless billing doesn’t only make business processes easier, but it saves on costs. A few tangible benefits of digitizing invoices include:

  • Avoiding late fees from misplaced, forgotten, or lost bills
  • Improved security (paper billing can leave businesses vulnerable to theft)
  • Cost savings on postage and mail
  • Saving time on tracking down invoices

Have Paperless Meetings

Using a digital platform to keep paper out of the meeting space might seem challenging at first, but digital meeting documentation has many benefits for everyone:

  • Set up complex agendas in minutes
  • All participants stay aware of agenda changes
  • Prepare and update material in an interactive environment
  • Get all meeting information upfront
  • Have all meeting notes easily accessible in digital format

Switch To Paperless Tasks & Memos

Switching to paperless task lists, memos, and notes is easy, especially with a host of clever document management software on the market. Most of the available options also come with the option for collaboration—and synchronization—with teammates.

Mobile-First Work Environment

Even in a fully paperless office environment, paper is still sometimes used. This is usually because of communication with external vendors, partners, and clients who haven’t yet gone the paperless route. The easiest way to put a stop to any unnecessary paper usage is to hook employees up with a way to digitize documents on the go. The Smallpdf Mobile App is an especially useful tool for scanning, editing, storing, and sharing documents on the go.

Paperless Signatures

Printing, signing, scanning, sending, and storing contracts might be one of the most time consuming tasks to take place in business, but it’s also the most important. The time difference between getting a traditional versus electronic signature is five days and 37 minutes, respectively.

Smallpdf's eSign tool responds to the need for quick and easy electronic and digital signatures that meet security requirements. The tool also incorporates an editing function for adding dates and text before signing. Users can also request up to 100 signatures from outside parties and keep track of the signing process from within the software. Users are encouraged to check in with their local laws regarding legality and e-signatures.

Invest in PDF Software

Even when a business has gone fully digital, it’s still important to know how to edit, convert, and manipulate different file types to maintain the new paperless ecosystem. It’s even more important to ensure that everyone in the business can easily understand and use the new PDF software. Even though PDF software used to be expensive, there are agile and user-friendly options, like Smallpdf, that are both affordable and require little to no training to use.

Ready to sign your documents without ink and paper?

Jennifer Rees
Jennifer Rees
UX Writer