What You Can't Document Could Hurt You
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
It's often the "little" things you never thought about when you started your business that can trip you up down the line. Case in point: Records management. Bet it isn't on your to-do list today, but it should be.
Maybe you think it's just for extremely large corporations. Say that to the IRS when they ask for a paper trail for certain expenses, or when you hear the slightest hint of litigation, or better yet, when you're simply looking for that signed invoice or contract from a couple years back.
Having a solid policy in place for retaining and destroying records and being able to quickly retrieve them if required is important. Luckily, it's also pretty easy to create a policy, thanks to solution providers like Fellowes.
Here are some of the biggest misconceptions small and medium business owners have when it comes to document management--and why an in-house solution is often the best one.
My Business is Too Small to Need a Recordkeeping Strategy
Even if it's just you or a few staff for now, keeping things organized will save you time and hassle. In any case, if your goal is to grow (and whose isn't?), you'll need to have an organized records policy that will grow with your business as you acquire more clients, hire new employees, and, yes…pile up more documents to track it all. So think ahead, and think big.
I'll Just Outsource It--It's Cheaper, Right?
Wrong. The time and effort you think you might be saving by outsourcing your records storage and shredding may be eaten up by delays in accessing your files or numerous hidden fees and excessive service charges. A recent survey of small and medium sized business decision makers, called, "2012 Document Management Survey: In-house or Off-site?," showed 65% of small to midsize businesses who moved their off-site document management services to an in-house solution actually named cost as their #1 reason for doing so. Check out Fellowes' Savings Analysis at savingsinfo.fellowes.com to see how much money your business can save by bringing your document management solutions in-house.
By managing your documents internally, you'll also know any document you need is not only at your fingertips, but under your own private security. Big data houses can be a prime target for security breaches.
I Don't Have Time for Document Management!
You also don't have time for a lawsuit--but unfortunately it's a common threat to businesses today--and getting your records straight could be what protects you and your business. But it's not all about the worst-case scenario.
Properly organizing and housing your documents is part of making your business run smoothly, which you know will always save you more time in the end. Plus it's a lot easier than you think, especially with a company like Fellowes that provides a variety of document solutions for your everyday tasks, like shredding, presentation finishing (binding and lamination), and of course, records storage products and solutions.
So before you create another business document, make sure you have a place and plan for it.