When running a small business time really does equal money. The last thing that you want to do is waste your time filing and finding documents that are inevitably in the wrong place. You also don’t want to spend your money on hiring someone to preform these relatively simple tasks. That is why document management systems can be an integral part of your business. Although, like finding the right employee, finding the right software for your file management may take a little time and effort, it will be completely worth it in the end.
First off, make efficiency a priority. This may seem like the most obvious first step, but you’d be surprised at how inefficient the wrong software can be if it is not designed with your type of business in mind. You also need to make sure that the workflow (the ability to find and access files in a streamlined manner) is up to par and arranged in a way that makes sense to you. Try and test out the software yourself by uploading a few documents to it, and see if the process is intuitive for you. Also, if you have employees ask them to do the same. Although it may be tempting to simply buy the cheapest software (especially if your budget is tight), be warned that it can add numerous kinks into your workday and end up being exorbitantly time consuming.
Also, you may want to look into hosting. The right software will allow you to host your information where you want it to be hosted, either locally or on your own system. This hosting system should also allow you to access your information from anywhere. Some companies prefer to allow another company to host the information for them because of security issues, while others believe that a third party is more risky in itself. Either way you are garnishing some risk, so it is extremely important that you encrypt your files accordingly.