When we finally decide to take the plunge and go paperless, should we do it to make the Business Easier or should we just make it a Way of Life? I had decided to start going paperless, at first I thought it would Make My Business Easier, then I realized how many hoops I had to jump through to get started. The different programs that were needed to adequately be truly paperless.
The extra expenses that it put on my business to do it right. Believe me there is a Right and a Wrong way. I am still experimenting with it, and have found plenty of wrong ways, but also some right ways too. The question is where to start?
I started by getting an EFax number, this way the clients that can't scan or don't have a computer can fax me back documents that are already in the PDF format. Then I realized that when they scanned 8 or 10 different documents and i had to separate them I either had to print them and re-scan them separately or buy software that allowed me to do it paperless. I bought Nitro Pro. I allows me to do "OH SO MUCH MORE" than just separating documents to redistribute and file(but that is for a different blog).
Then I realized that I was going to have all of these huge file, documents, videos, pictures, emails and general correspondence that I was going to have to save (before it was a paper file stored away). Now I had to buy an external hard drive or store all my files in the clouds (additional expense). I am sort of a safety nut, I have always backed up my back-ups so I have the external drive and store my file in the clouds. Yes there id free space, Google Drive, Drop Box, SurgarSync to name a few but that meant having files all over the place, so you have to pay for secure in the cloud storage,granted not that expensive but still an expense.
That being said and done, I had ways to keep my files safe, have them in pdf format, manipulate large files, get faxes directly to my paperless office and look at them whenever needed. I even stated using Google Docs to keep other file handy and transfer them to other agents. Then I started to use DocuSign which I am learning more about all the time. A great way to transfer documents to clients (that have computers) and get them to sign them CORRECTLY the first time. However not all financial institutions accept electronic signature ( they still want them wet). That is where some of the paper come in. that and the fact that many of my clients do not have or choose not to use computers. I deal a great deal with seniors, 70 years plus. Many do not want to be electronically stimulated and do not use computer, though quite a few do. So at this point I am looking for ways to be paperless with these clients, you say have them sign on your IPAD or TABLET! That is difficult to do if they are 2400 miles away and do not have one themselves. Some of my clients will not even fax!
I finally decided to Make Going Paperless a Way of Life but I still seem to go through more than a ream a month, go figure! But I guess it is better than 5 reams a month.