When building and growing a small business, entrepreneurs often forget smaller details such as digitisation. It’s completely understandable; saving and organising documents or backing up data doesn’t quite demand your attention in the same way that products, services and employees do. However, digitization offers a number of benefits for business owners that can really make a significant difference when it comes to efficiency, profitability and innovation. Let’s take a look at five key ways in which digitization could benefit your small business.
What Is Digitization?
Digitization means converting documents into a digital format that can be processed by a computer. This means that they can be scanned and searched easily, which is far easier than searching through mountains of paperwork to find what you need. It also helps you to easily record and observe your business growth. In addition to this, it is safer to keep digital documents than physical ones because digital copies can be backed up and restored, protecting them from physical damage.
Benefit #1 – Storage
Digitizing paper documents means that you are no longer required to physically store them. This is also a cost-effective option because it means you do not have to fork out for filing cabinets and storage space.
Digital storage is also safer for several reasons. Firstly, paper deteriorates over time and is very susceptible to fire and flood damage. Digital documents won’t degrade and they can be stored on an in-house server and/or the cloud. Cloud storage is very secure and allows you to access your documents from anywhere in the world with an internet connection for increased convenience and flexibility.
Benefit #2 – Organization
Digitizing your records allows you to index them, which enables fast and easy access. Digitization puts your business information at your fingertips, allowing you to find what you need in a matter of seconds rather than spending hours combing through the filing cabinet.
Benefit #3 – Security
As discussed, digitizing files enables them to be stored safely but there’s another important security benefit we want to mention: controlled access. When you digitize your files, you can specify which employees have access to which files and easily change this whenever you need to.
Benefit #4 – Access Anytime, Anywhere
Digitizing your files gives you and your employees greater flexibility to work from home or on-the-go, without running the risk of losing or damaging documents. Multiple employees are also able to access the same document at once, permitting easier communication and collaboration.
This is great news for your small business because remote working means happier and more productive employees. According to a UK survey by Microsoft and YouGov, 56% of workers feel happier when able to work from home.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported that remote working is expected to increase productivity by 5% post-pandemic in the USA thanks to the reduction in commuting time.
Finally, according to Global Workplace Analytics, 60% of employers say that reduced spending is a major benefit of remote work. Therefore, digitizing your files and increasing remote work opportunities is a great way to build a more profitable and efficient business.
Benefit #5 – Stay Up-to-Date
Technology is constantly evolving. The software and hardware we use today could be obsolete in as little as ten years. Therefore, digitally storing and archiving your files allows you to stay up-to-date as technology advances and create continuity, ensuring that you don’t fall behind.
Digitization may not feel urgent but the sooner you get on board, the better. Digitizing your business will protect you against future changes, streamline your organisation and increase the security of your data. There are so many benefits to having all of your records at your fingertips, so don’t delay.