4 Tips on Building a Document Management Strategy for Small Businesses, check below
Inefficiency in the workplace is costing US companies an incredible $650 billion each year.
Having to hunt down files in a complicated or non-existent document management system (DMS) is just one of the myriad ways in which staff waste time. A document management strategy can be as simple as a few folders on your desktop. Ideally, since a DMS protects your business and personal data, you aim to create something decidedly more robust.
Below, we outline a few handy tips to keep in mind when creating a digital document organization system for your small business.
1. Who’s in Charge of the Document Management Strategy?
When creating a document management system (DMS), a single staff member must be responsible for coordinating the entire project from start to finish.
In small businesses, this person might be the business owner. In larger organizations, this role might fall to the office administrator, an executive assistant, or the IT manager.
The document manager will identify which documents your company needs to save indefinitely, which you need to keep for a set period, and which you can get rid of.
They can synchronize actions across the entire system, from the names for files to privacy permissions.
2. Accessible Files Lead to Greater Productivity
When it comes to creating a workable document management strategy, you need to look at access to documents from two angles: convenience and security.
If you want to ensure efficiency in the workplace, make sure documents needed by particular employees are easy to find. This means you need to organize files with productivity firmly in mind and using a logical, repeatable filing structure.
In terms of security, not every employee in your business needs access to all of the documents in your DMS. It would be inappropriate, for example, for an intern to have access to your company’s financial statements.
3. Taking Stock of Your Documents
Before you dive into any kind of organization task, you’ll need to take an inventory of the files you have on hand right now. This might mean pulling out boxes of dusty paper data. It will require scouring the company server and work computer hard drives for important documents.
The key types of documents you will want to store include:
- Records and forms
- Financial and tax information
- Client information
- Reference and legal materials
- Duplicate copies of documents
- Marketing materials
- Photos, images, and videos
- Personal documents
Do you have hardcopy files that you need to digitize or documents you want to watermark for security purposes? Conversion and editing software like Activepdf makes the job easy!
4. Document Security Should Be Top Priority
Having a digital document management strategy in place is key to ensuring the cybersecurity of your company.
Whether you are protecting personal information from clients and staff or company financial and legal data, a carefully set up and managed DMS will help keep it all safe from common cyber threats. Even if it’s backed up to the cloud.
Once you have your filing system in place, make sure all paper files are backed up to your system, regularly review and update staff access permissions, schedule database backups, and run security audits at least annually.
Let Technology Take Over
If you don’t have time to DIY your small business document management strategy, consider purchasing document management software. These systems offer advice on filing categories, allow staff to access files from anywhere, and ensure the security of your data.
Are you desperate for more tips to optimize your small business? Browse the other articles for entrepreneurs on our website.
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