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5 Classic Document Management Mistakes for Eco-Friendly Startups

avoid these mistakes running a paperless business

Did you recently start an eco-friendly startup? Congratulations, you’ve taken that first very important step! I bet that now is when you’re frantically brainstorming ideas on how to launch your product or service and market it to the customers that matter.

Suffice to say; paperwork is most probably not on the agenda. After all, this is a tiny part of the puzzle, right? Unfortunately, not. It is one of the important things that you have to do when starting a business.

A growing number of businesses want to go paperless. Their goal is to limit the amount of paper that they produce, so they can minimize the impact on the environment. The average American uses seven trees worth of paper every year. We could lower that amount considerably if more eco-friendly companies tried to go paperless.

Unfortunately, going paperless doesn’t mean that you can stop using documents altogether. You can reduce your impact on the planet by using digital documents, but will still need to work with them.

Avoid These Mistakes When Running a Paperless Startup

When we talk about paperwork, we’re referring to the fundamentals of any business – established or not. Sure, there are some significant areas you need to prioritize with your next big idea, but you also can’t forget the basics.

You are going to face challenges handling documents when running a paperless startup. You have to know how to avoid the most common mistakes. Through today’s article, we’ll look at some of the most common paperwork-related mistakes that new paperless businesses make. Avoid these, and you’ll increase your chances of long-term success no-end.

Mistake #1 – You ignore the latest data regulations

When you are running a paperless office, you are going to have to store a lot more documents digitally. This may be better for the environment, but you are going to have to deal with other challenges. Protecting data privacy is one of the most important.

Nowadays, this is a biggie. Once upon a time, companies could almost do whatever they liked regarding data. Now, this isn’t the case in the slightest through the incorporation of GDPR and other similar regulations.

The penalties for failing to comply with data protection regulations are huge, certainly enough to shut down your new company.

We won’t go into the granular details of every little thing you need to check, but if you are holding any customer information (even indirectly through your website), make sure you put some serious research into what you need to do to stay above the law.

Mistake #2 – You don’t keep your company information up to date

This one is a little less serious, but it’s something you need to keep on top of if you want to ensure a seamless operation.

While losing customers is one obvious repercussion of not making sure your public company information is up to date, it can span a lot more serious than this. Let’s not forget that this is one area that financial lenders look at when assessing your credit score. In other words, they can downgrade you if you don’t appear credible, which can wreak havoc if you ever need to borrow money.

Mistake #3 – You don’t register with the right government agencies

Not all businesses need to do this, but if you are starting a company that operates in specific regulated industries, you will almost certainly need to register with the relevant agencies.

If this applies to your business, not doing so can result in some hefty fines.

Mistake #4 – You don’t acquire the correct insurance policies

This one is vital, and it’s also an area that a lot of new business owners overlook.

Depending on your business type, you may need to acquire specific insurance policies to ensure you’re protected. The last thing you want is to find yourself in hot water because you didn’t insure your business against a particular eventuality.

While many of us think we’re immune from big claims, it might be time to think again. An honest mistake in your work can result in hefty legal repercussions but can be offset through professional indemnity policies. Make sure you think about every eventuality.

You can store your insurance policies digitally these days, which also makes it easier to monitor them to ensure you have the right coverage. However, you have to pay close attention to them.

Mistake #5 – Your tax records are left on the side

Finally, let’s talk about everyone’s favorite topic.

As we all know, tax isn’t something you can afford to get wrong. The government is on the lookout for companies that may have failed to fulfil their obligations, and the fines can be pretty drastic.

Fortunately, this one is relatively easy to avoid. Simply make sure you’re keeping your tax records up to date, and you’re ahead of the game. As long as you have a trusted accountant on board, you can rest assured that you are at least doing everything in your power to meet your obligations.

Most tax planning applications allow you to store your tax data digitally. This is great for eco-friendly businesses that want to go paperless.

Take the Right Steps to Run a Paperless Business

As mentioned before, going paperless is an important part of starting a green business. However, you have to make sure that you don’t make these common document management mistakes.

About author

Matt James, editor-in-chief at Smart Data Collective, is a veteran marketer & tech geek that has helped many large brands increase their online footprint. He specializes in influencer outreach and business growth.
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