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How To Lessen Small Business Stress With Better Document Management

small business document managementHow a business handles its documents says a lot about its ability to thrive in its current form as well as grow into a mature, competitive entity in today’s marketplace.

In small businesses, specifically, multiple employees are handling multiple responsibilities. Every minute proves vital and valuable. Taking time away from one’s main duties to look for a document that may be misfiled adds hours to the day and employees to the payroll.

Let’s look at a small business approach to document management – and what changes are necessary for scaling the business in an efficient, cost-effective way.

Common Document Repository Applications For Start-Up Businesses

As business owners begin growing their business, they quickly see the need for online document storage and retrieval applications, like Dropbox and Google Drive.

In the small business world, these applications occupy an important role in grab-and-go digital document scenarios. These online file-sharing applications are useful for storing digital files, including document templates and other reference materials.

However, once the business grows from five to ten employees or collaboration becomes a crucial business function – whichever milestone appears first – a document management system is a vital addition to the business.

Online File Sharing Vs. Document Management Software

While online file sharing centralizes documents, it does so in silos – without any visibility into who touched the document, what changes were made or where the document stands in terms of “readiness” within a workflow.

As a business grows and creates digital workflows stemming from documents, the need for a central system to collect these documents and point out operational bottlenecks proves hugely useful to keeping the work moving and the business running efficiently.

At first, these kinds of digital file storage applications are extremely useful repositories for digital documents, and some situations warrant their use. These kinds of applications, however, do not aid the establishment or regulation of digital workflows and company-wide collaboration.

Efficient Document Management Is All About Process

When business information is stored in multiple document repositories, and this information needs to be shared between employees, it’s essential to begin an early integration of such technologies rather than accumulate more of them.

Whether businesses are looking to take advantage of early pay discounts or to leverage business research that has helped one client in order to help another, they need a system of organization that facilitates this flow of knowledge exchange.

Instead of using various technologies to store sets of information – client data, business research, sales details and emails – resource-savvy businesses should aim to centralize this information through one system in the pursuit of more efficient processes, faster collaboration and more profitable transactions.

The ability to grow a business is rooted in the right processes and the right systems, and implementing document management software early helps put these processes in place.

Answering Common Business Document Management Needs

When looking for software, businesses may find a variety of attractive options. It’s important for a business to approach its document management software purchase as a partnership. Ask of the company behind the software: “Will you be around long enough to help support us through our growth phases?”

Establishing better document management processes is an advantage for a business of any size. Yet, doing so presents certain complications, because changing these processes is always a paradigm shift.

Companies that are with you through the long run are there to hold your hand through implementation, help you start small and slowly roll out better document-handling practices across your entire business. This is software support that extends beyond the software into establishing better business practices.

This level of service from a document management vendor is a crucial aspect of addressing your needs as they evolve over the life of your business.

Read about how some small organizations have leveraged document management software to scale their businesses while containing costs.

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