LifeCity has teamed up with local businesses Techy Becky, (our technical guru) andConvertsations, (our online marketing authority) to get the scoop on going paperless in the office. By dissecting the logistics of the switch, we've found that paperless businesses are not only saving trees, but also saving time and money. Once paper is removed from the equation, it becomes evident that physical documents are less practical and less economical. One area where businesses waste the most paper is in marketing. Convertsation uses a large retail sale as an example: "Normally, they would mail out three to five thousand flyers directly to their customer base. The cost of this with printing, postage, and not to mention time, is pretty high." Instead, online marketing campaigns prompt an equal or greater turnout without taking a toll on the earth or the company's funds. Email campaigns, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, blog posts, and online calendars can more than compensate for a paper campaign. It is also important to customize your social networking to your business. Convertsation recommends that event-based businesses utilize the "events" feature of Facebook along with Eventbrite, a site that creates a ticketed event and takes credit cards. For more streamlined email campaigns, our pros suggest sites like MailChimp that allow users to input 2,000 email addresses without a monthly fee. Above all, it is crucial to be genuine and to respond to the online community. Consumers will feel like they are having a conversation with your company, and furthermore, that communication will be online for the world to see. In terms of storage and security, paperless businesses also come out victorious. Techy Becky points to the efficiency of digitizing documents, sighting the ease of transferring and storing. "Security comes because digital information is easier to back-up offsite and digital information is easier to find if its 'misfiled.'" A study done by The Garter Group found that "paper mismanagement" affects 12-15% of company revenue and 40-60% of office workers' time. Who knew that moving online could promote peace of mind! We guarantee you won't miss your file cabinets. With the right tools, ditching the file cabinets for electronic systems can be a straightforward process. Techy Becky tells us each key employee needs a $400 scanner. Beyond that, it's best to hire someone who has experience with implementing a new workflow based on digital documents. Ultimately, the businesses that do cross over respond with increased savings, productivity, peace of mind, and environmental efficiency. Techy Becky gives us the bottom line: "The benefits of digital information are overwhelming, and the costs of paper are sometimes hidden, but when you measure them you see that they are constantly rising. If you approach the issue rationally you can't fail to see that being paperless has virtually no downside." We couldn't agree more. Want to know more about our experts? Convertsation customizes online marketing strategy, posting and event promotion for their clients. They also assist nonprofits and small businesses in developing their own systems and social media strategy. Check out their website for more information! Techy Becky assists clients in finding proper equipment, and then provides installation and instruction for the new implements. She also gets managers and employees on the same page by explaining the common benefits of going paperless. Visit her website.