Virtual Document Management: No Start-Up Survives Drowning in Paperwork


virtual document managementThe statistics are daunting – more than 50% of small businesses fail in the first five years. So when an entrepreneur decides to go out on a limb with an idea and put it all on the line in order to make a go of it, they’ve got to do it right. After all, we don’t get free do-overs.

For most, a big part of start-up success is the ability to organize the plethora of paperwork and electronic documents that come through on a daily basis. The fact is that paper clips, Post It notes, and rusty old filing cabinets really don’t cut it anymore. Sure, they’re still in use, but they’re not efficient and, in the end, they’re really not all that effective either.

For an entrepreneur who’s trying to break into the market, being on top of your game is essential. The ability to quickly pull data and fulfill information requests from partners, customers, or other counterparts is nothing short of a necessity.

Securing Your Virtual Files

Virtual filing cabinets or software solutions that help you organize and manage e-documents are the best way to get a leg up on competitors and step out of the gate with your best foot forward. Not only can you manage your information quickly, you can make sure that all of your data is safe and secure.

Whether critical, proprietary information or personal customer information, it’s essential – and in many cases legally required – that the information you possess is stored in such a way that you can monitor user access. With a virtual filing cabinet, your documents can be fully tracked and made password-only accessible.

Saving Time and Money

The benefit of an e-document management system extends far beyond time-saving organization and data security. It also leads to some significant cost savings. Paperwork can take up a lot of space, and we all know that space costs money on a per square foot basis.

Not to mention, with a virtual filing cabinet all of your information is stored in the compactness of your computer(s) or the cloud. What’s more, paper itself actually costs money – and it’s not merely the direct cost of purchasing it. There’s also the issue of printing, copying and mailing to factor in.

Traditional paper document processing is proven to indulge up to 30% more errors than in virtual file processing, as reported by an Aberdeen Group study earlier this year. For a company that processes 1.5 million pieces of paper, the savings of remediating such errors is a startling $540,000!

Going Green

Finally, a company that leverages an e-document management system is demonstrating a commitment to a healthy, environmentally friendly future. In 2010, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year, which is the equivalent to four million tons of copy paper waste annually.

They also reported that in 2008, paper and paperboard made up 31% of municipal waste.  By omitting a vast amount of their paper usage, start-ups can emphasize their green office behavior as a selling point to potential customers.

Entrepreneurs are up against a lot. More often than not, the circumstances and situations that surround them are willing them toward failure. So it’s critical that they start off with as much of a head start as possible.  With organization a silent crux of success, virtual filing cabinets are a fantastic solution for staying structured and orderly.

Photo credit: traceyullomdesign.com

Bio:  This piece was contributed by Jeff Frankel of docSTAR, a B2B Software firm specializing in cloud document management and business efficiency.  You can also follow docSTAR on Twitter.


Business.com Editorial Staff

Business.com Editorial Staff

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The Business.com Editorial Staff writes on topics relevant to small and medium-sized business (SMB) owners. Posts cover best practices, top tips, and studies that deliver insights specific to SMBs.

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