Humans are creatures of habit. Change can feel chaotic, overwhelming, or perhaps not the best use of your time. But when it comes to document management, you may be hanging on to some bad habits that are actually slowing down your business. Here are a few effective ways let go of your old practices and begin making progress.
Stop Filling up File cabinets
When your business is growing, and your number of customers increases, you are likely focusing on things like budget, brand awareness, and customer service. But with more customers comes more information—often in the form of paper documentation. Instead of adding yet another file cabinet to your office space, consider storing your less-frequently accessed files offsite.
Move from Active to Archival
Of course all of your information is important, but have you taken the time to flag some of your documents as archival? When paperwork is no longer needed on a routine basis, you can archive it and keep it out of your day-to-day workflow. Consider setting up a system to identify exactly when each paper file needs to move from active to archival.
Know When It’s Time to Let Go
There are documents that you need to archive, but there are also plenty of documents you simply don’t need anymore. Get up to date on your industry’s documentation retention requirements, and know when it’s appropriate to destroy files. Once it’s time to let go of documents, ensure you do it safely, by properly shredding unneeded information.
Don’t Take Safety for Granted
Stories of identity or corporate theft are more commonplace these days, and it’s impacting individuals, small businesses, and large corporations. If your risk management policy focuses around the concept that “it could never happen to me,” it might be time to rethink your strategy. Not only is the risk of theft real, there are also nature-based threats like fires and floods that can destroy your documentation. Ensure you have a plan in place to keep your documents safe and secure.
If you can embrace change and kick these habits to the curb, your document management process will be stronger—and so will your business.