I spoke to a local business owner the other day. As we talked we discussed his struggles this year due to the economy. He’s in the car business and customer traffic onto the lot is down significantly. High-end purchases are out of most peoples reach these days. His customers are looking for quality cars that are value priced and that’s what is driving sales in the used cars. This business owner is constantly looking for ways to increase revenue, become more efficient in the sales processes and keep costs down.

Get Organized

I told him the best way I know to become efficient is to get your office organized. One of your first steps should be to evaluate how you process paper, filing and storing of your records. Many business owners have learned that scanning their documents and electronically filing them has improved their paper flow and organized their systems tremendously.

Scanning Documents

Many car dealers I talk to have the need and ability to start scanning their paper documents BUT are afraid to let go of control. They feel the need to store these records. They feel the benefit for them of doing this is they can see, touch and access their records if needed. The downside is that these files take up valuable space, often are stored off-site (read leaky barn…) and are exposed to deterioration or loss. Electronically filing to a secure third-party server that has back-up (redundancy) is far safer and secure for your business.

Electronic filing systems

We live in a digital age. Right now 20% + of ALL book sales are currently being ordered and shipped digitally (to your Kindle or Nook). Newspapers and many magazine articles are available in real time on the web. If the major media companies have shifted their energy and time to offering all of their content on the web, why not your business? Electronically filing all sales orders, invoices, time sheets, inner office communications, letters, bids, quotes, etc. will save your company time, money and increase staff productivity over night. Employees will have access to these electronic files based on security settings you control. This electronic filing system is also available for viewing off-site, as you need not be in the office to open a file drawer. It’s in the “cloud” and immediately accessible where ever you are working. Hard economic times often bring out the best in us as business leaders. We’re challenged to produce more with less, so try evaluate your paper filing and document storage needs for the coming year. See if changing to an organized electronic filing and scanning system will pay dividends for your company.