Turning Your Back On Paper In The World Of Business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Paperless Business
 
People have been aware of the issues which come with using paper for a long time. Unable to keep water out, protect from the elements, or fight off any large animals, the materials used in the modern world aren’t always designed to do a job well. Instead, they will be going at this area with one thing in mind; making something work. To help you to get around this, this post will be exploring some of the areas which could do with losing their toys, exposing the reality which comes with paper in today’s society. Going down a route like this is perfect for modern businesses, with loads of customers caring about this area.

Digital Documents

Businesses will always have a lot of documents to deal with, ranging from things which are created internally to those which other companies provide. To ensure that you can always open files like this, companies like Google have made word processors, along with other Office software, which can create and edit documents within your browser window. Tools like this often start out free, making it possible to start getting access to the tools you need without having to spend a small fortune in the process.

With documents playing such a heavy role in business, you will probably always have them coming in on paper for a long time. When you receive something like this, having access to a document management service can make things far easier, turning scans of your paperwork into editable documents which are found online. Going down this route can save a huge amount of time when you’re making transcripts. Of course, though, if you need something like this for professional use, it will usually be best to hire a dedicated company for it.

Making The Transfer

The transitionary period between being a company which uses a lot of paper to one which uses nearly none at all can be a challenging one. If your business has been around for a while, changing something like this could be hard, and the older members of your team are likely to struggle with big adaptations like this. Below, you can find some of the steps which can be taken during this stage. A lot of people simply try to make this transfer without giving it proper thought, but this will be too hard for most to get right.

  • Start Recycling: While it doesn’t get rid of paper entirely, recycling is the best route to take when you don’t have any choice regarding this resource. Not only will this enable you to deal with waste paper in a responsible way, but it will also ensure that your customers stay happy with you, with loads of people considering this part of life to be extremely important.
  • Team Training: Getting to grips with using far less paper can be quite a shock to the system when you first start. People may not realise quite how many tools they have open to them in this area, leaving them to struggle through options which don’t make much sense for them. You can provide something like this yourself or use a third party company to help you out with it.
  • Letting Customers Know: The people buying things from you should always know about your efforts in this sort of area. While it will make it feel a little cheaper, making the most of this with your marketing is always well worth it. Most people will ignore this opportunity, letting the chance to get some good press slip away. It doesn’t have to be this way, though, as long as you’re willing to put the effort into it.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Paperless Business
 
Bills & Invoices

When you’re trying to remove paper from your business, you will be relying on the companies which you work with to also follow this sort of direction. Bills, invoices, and other documents which come from other teams will often be delivered on paper, and this can contribute a huge amount to the resources you’re using. Of course, paperless billing systems are becoming more popular, and you can often request that you get your documents by email, limiting the amount of paper which you have to deal with as a result.

Along with this, you could also think about the paper which these companies are using themselves. When you work with someone who is wasting a resource like this, you will be contributing to something which actively undermines the effort you’re making. For this reason, it will be worth doing some research, checking to make sure that the people you choose to partner up with have the same values as you. With most companies wasting loads of paper, it makes sense to look for someone doing the right thing.

The Hardware

One of the biggest benefits which can be found in an effort like this is the savings which can be made. You’re not saving money on the paper itself, though, as this is a very cheap product, and most companies can easily afford it. Instead, you will be saving money on hardware. Using digital documents takes away the need for printers, scanners, and shredders, leaving you with a computer and some tools found around the web. This is a great way to make savings while also looking after the planet.

A lot of people worry that they will lose functions which they use a lot when going through a process like this. In reality, though, when you need access to something which can be done with a machine, you can often find the very same service being offered over the web. Secure internet faxing, for example, takes away the need for a physical fax machine, but will still enable you to connect with companies which are using them. Using options like this will give you the power to cut paper out without changing the way that you work, often making your little daily jobs just a little bit easier.

Why Avoid Paper?

There are plenty of very good reasons to cut paper out of your business, and it’s more than just money which you need to think about here. It makes sense to make the most of these benefits from the very beginning, using the resources around you to start a better company, all while making your work simpler. Below, you can find some of the main driving forces which will push an effort like this. Of course, when you’re running a company, it makes sense to look for the services and tools which do more for you.

Reputation: Running a business makes it incredibly hard to avoid the watchful eye of the public. Whenever you make big decisions, someone will know about it, and word will quickly spread when you’re doing good. If you’re doing bad, though, like using too much paper, your reputation can quickly become a negative one. Not a lot of people realise quite how much action like this can impact the way that people see their business.

Responsibility: Making sure that you’re responsible for the resources you use is incredibly important in the modern world, and not enough people are working towards goals like this. If everyone continues to use paper at the current rate, though, there soon won’t be enough left for everyone. Like most of the resources people use, paper is very limited, making it make sense to avoid using it when you don’t have to. Of course, though, this doesn’t mean that responsible paper can’t be found.

Productivity: Handling paper can take a long time, especially when it comes to filing it and finding it. Most people won’t have experience using systems like this, forcing you to give training if you want to continue to use paper. Online systems take this out of your hands entirely, giving you the power to search for your files, while also making them easier to put away and store at the end of the day.

Security: It can be hard to see something like paper as a security risk. Most people have been using this resource throughout much of their life, and won’t have had any issues with it. When it comes to business, though, you will have information on documents like this which is far too important for you to risk falling into other people’s hands. By hosting your documents online, you can use encryption to secure them, ensuring that no one outside your business ever has access.

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Paperless Business
 
Paper has long been one of the most crucial resources a business has behind them. Since the early days of society, people have been using materials like this to store information, creating records of things which the brain can’t be relied on for. As you enter the digital age, though, it doesn’t make sense to keep using old methods like this. Instead, you should always be looking for ways to push your business into the modern age, using the latest tools you have available to make your work easier and better for everyone else. Of course, the future will be a lot brighter for the world when more companies focus on this.

Outsourcing Might Be The Answer You’ve Been Looking For

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Outsourcing | Entrepreneurship
 
One of the biggest challenges of running a business is simply the fact that there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything that you need to. There are hundreds of businesses that had huge amounts of potential but fell apart simply because they took on too much and weren’t able to handle the workload or the pressure. There can sometimes be a sense of pride connected to how much of your business you are dealing with personally, but you should never let that get in the way of your success. So what is the answer? Since you can make the days any longer then there’s only one solution: share the workload. And the very best way to do that is through outsourcing. Outsourcing is simply hiring a professional in a particular field to handle a certain aspect of your business for you. That way you can focus your energy on more specific places, and you don’t end up feeling like you’re spread too thin. There are plenty of different areas of your business that you can outsource to other people, but here are some of the most common that you might want to consider.

Your IT

Let’s face it, we live in an intensely digital age and if your business isn’t able to reflect that then you’ve got a pretty major problem on your hands. Connecting to a company that can offer managed IT services for your business can help you make sure that you’re always right on the cutting edge of all modern digital developments. Otherwise, you run the risk of falling behind the competition entirely.

Your branding

It might sound kind of shallow but the truth is that without great branding, your business is never going to succeed. Customers will be drawn by what they see when they first look at your business and if your branding is ugly and amateurish, then they’re going to assume that your business simply isn’t worth dealing with. You need to make sure that you’re working with someone who can really make the most of your branding and help you connect with as many customers as possible.

Your finances

Despite how important they are to your business, not everyone is going to be an expert with numbers and figures. If that’s the case then hiring an accountant is going to save you a great deal of time and hassle. Not only that but you can be sure that your finances are always in order no matter what, that way you’re protected from any nasty surprises down the road. Not only that but your attention is now free to focus on the kinds of things that are really important to you.

The truth is that there are too many different parts of your business that would benefit from outsourcing to count. You need to think about the things that are really important to your business and make sure that you’re putting them in the hands of the people who can really make the most of them.

Why Every Business Should Outsource

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | OutsourcingOwning and running a business is not a 9-5 role; it takes a highly committed, dedicated individual who will strive for success every hour of the day, whether that means working until 9pm on a Friday evening or waking up early to take a business call on a Sunday.

However, running a business is not a sole effort for the majority of the time. It takes an army, especially if the business owner lacks the necessary skills for marketing, web development, or even accounting.

When you need an additional skill set in your company which you currently do not have, outsourcing is your best option. This increasingly popular practice allows a business owner to receive the talent and workforce they need, but without requiring bringing a new member of staff into the business permanently.

Why Outsource?

As a business owner, if you currently lack a number of skills which could see your company grow and succeed, it can be daunting to begin the recruitment process. Plus, recruitment takes valuable time and valuable resources. You may end up spending a number of weeks trying to find a suitable candidate only for them to reject the job offer. In this event, it’s back to the beginning of the process.

An alternative path is to seek the assistance of a contractor or freelancer and outsource the role. This person will hold the qualifications and skill set you need to get the job done, except they won’t be hired for a full-time position. This way, once the task is complete, you have the option of working on another project together, or exchanging payment and thanking each other for their contributions.

When you choose to outsource, you reduce the risk of losing time, resources and money into a stressful recruitment period. Instead, you gain the experience and expertise your role requires with minimal fuss and effort.

What’s more, it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement — the business owner benefits by getting a project completed on time and within budget; the contractor benefits by earning a paycheck, boosting their experience and their reputation. After all, reputation within outsourcing is highly valuable.

What Should You Outsource?

Now you know why you should outsource, it’s time to learn what projects and roles you should outsource, including:

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is a specialist skill on its own; you need to understand the many factors, such as SEO, PPC, copywriting, editing skills, social media, and so on. It’s also a rather time-consuming role, one which needs constant monitoring and measuring of which methods are successful, and which you need to change. Outsourcing digital marketing means you get the knowledge and expertise from a reputable marketer who can help drive your campaigns to success. For a fledgling business, it’s an essential role you cannot be without.

Security

In the modern age, security is extremely crucial for all businesses. With so much private data being held on our systems, it’s critical that it’s protected at all costs. A data breach or ransom can be devastating for enterprises of all sizes, and even be the reason why a company fails. However, an experienced Chief Information Security Officer is an expensive role, something brand new businesses can’t always afford. Therefore, opting to outsource CISO is a cost-effective solution.

Web Development

If you don’t have a website, you won’t get very far in today’s digital world. It’s your virtual storefront, and as such, it needs to be attractive and easy to navigate. Website development and coding is a specialist skill, but your website isn’t something to cut corners over. Choosing to outsource your web design needs means you receive a visually stunning and technically correct site from the experts without the high price tag.

Hot Desking, Dedicated Desks And Coworking Spaces – What You Need To Know

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | Hot Desking | Coworking Space
 
If joining a coworking space, one can get lost in a maze of spaces, each offering similar amenities but also being very different in culture and attitude. In New Zealand’s coworking landscape, you can find a mash-up of spaces, but choosing one depends on the fit of your business. Unlike typical office space, spaces have a personality of their own.

However, many spaces have a basic menu that provides a place to work and use the amenities associated with most offices. Some spaces provide office support in the form of a receptionist while others might focus on improving the amenities. To maximise the use of the spaces, prospective coworking professionals should research hot desking, dedicated desks, and coworking spaces to get an idea of what they might encounter.

Let’s take a closer look at the coworking platform and all its variations so you can choose the best option for your business.

Ins And Outs

Excepting the basic coworking space that provides Wi-Fi access and a table to work at, and maybe coffee, most coworking spaces worth their salt provide businesses with a menu of options. In addition to both the hot desk and the dedicated desk, private office space is available as well. Many of these spaces include the use of meeting room space with some providing the option as a part of an a la carte menu.

In Auckland and a few other cities, you might find spaces that cater to a particular type of business, as coworking has definitely evolved to include all businesses. Furthermore, the cost can run the gamut as well with high-end spaces catering to a more sophisticated crowd and more affordable spaces offering up practical amenities that can help businesses. Usually, the leases are month-to-month, or very short, and so being tied to a protracted lease is not an issue.

The coworking space is one that can be used to help your business comfortably grow. With larger spaces that have other plans, you can transition your business up or down to suit its needs. Finally, if lucky enough to find an internationally-operated coworking space you can benefit from spaces in other locations around the country and world.

Hot Desks Versus Dedicated Desks

While they occupy the same space, there is a marked difference between the hot desk and dedicated desks. The hot desk simply is a workspace that is shared with other professionals. You have access to the desk. In many cases, these spaces provide free Wi-Fi to professionals and come equipped with the standard office equipment you might find in your average office.

The dedicated desk, alternatively, is a permanent desk that professionals can lease monthly at a higher cost. These desks provide a little more privacy, and so if your business requires confidentiality, the dedicated desk is ideal for this option. While you might get more perks with the dedicated desk, you have access to similar office equipment.

Whether one is better than the other all depends on the needs of the business. Generally, sharing space requires everyone to leave the space clean. Furthermore, those who need workspace all the time might not be able to access a hot desk during peak times, but a dedicated desk is always available. Conversely, working alone in the dedicated desk, you remove opportunities to socially interact with others. Really, the advantage or disadvantage depends on the needs of the renter.

In The Know

These are the basics of the coworking space and the two most popular plans, but again once, heading out into New Zealand’s coworking community you are apt to find variations on the coworking concept. Any way you look at it, both options are still much cheaper options to even leasing the serviced office. More importantly, the potential to grow your business on platform primed to for success makes any choice good.

Proven Methods For Maximizing Business Efficiency

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Business EfficiencyIn order for any business to reach its potential, it will need to be operating at maximum efficiency. The company will be held back if the business processes are not as streamlined and efficient as possible, but identifying ways in which you can improve the efficiency of the company is a huge challenge, particularly when it is a complex operation. It can also be hard to judge when it is your own company, but there are a few ways in which you could identify areas and make improvements which could help your company to improve efficiency and find greater success.

1. Analyze Each Process

First, it is a good idea to look at each process in the business and identify if there could be ways to improve. List every process no matter how big or small and carefully consider if this is the most efficient way to perform this task.

2. Speak With Staff

It is also helpful to speak with your staff about areas in which there could be improvements made. It is the employees that know the challenges of the operation better than anyone else as this is the work that they are doing each and every day. Listening to your staff and making their role easier can also do wonders for morale and job satisfaction.

3. Upgrade Technology

Due to the rate that technology evolves, the majority of businesses are operating on technology which is not top of the range. Upgrading your tech can significantly increase the efficiency of your operation and maybe even improve the quality of the product and service that you provide.

4. Delegate

When you set up a small business, it is understandable that you want to retain control over each aspect of the operation. Ultimately, this is not the most efficient way of working. Instead, you need to put trust in your staff to handle responsibilities through delegating. This can be effective as it frees up more time for you to focus on areas to improve the business.

5. Outsource

Following on from this, there are also business tasks which should be outsourced to experts to improve efficiency. The best example of this is accounting as this is a highly critical area of business. Using a recognized firm like Del Real Tax accounting services can improve efficiency while maximizing profits for the company. It could make a big difference in the success of your company.

6. Look After Staff

Efficiency will always come down to staff productivity, so you need to identify ways to keep morale high and incentives your employees. This could include positive feedback, rewards for hit-ting targets, company events and offering training and development for staff.

When a business can find ways to improve their efficiency, they can go on to maximize profit while simultaneously making work easier and more enjoyable for staff. It can be a big challenge to improve efficiency, especially for large, complex operations, but the above are all highly effective methods to use which could transform an entire business when used in combination together.