5 Tips on Managing Documents Online for Small Businesses


Filing a single document costs companies an average of $20 in labor. If a document gets misfiled, it can cost $120 in labor to find it.

Managing documents online in a paperless office can save you on labor costs, reduce physical storage needs, and make your documents instantly accessible. Knowing how to manage the documents properly is important to make the system effective and to keep your files safe.

Check out these five tips for managing your files digitally.

1. Use the Right Tools

Digital conversion tools let you quickly digitize your paper documents. A document scanner is a basic tool you can use to store your papers digitally.

Digital document management software can also be beneficial. Test out the software before you commit to it to ensure it works well for your needs.

Some businesses might need specialty tools and programs such as a C# PDF reader. Consider your needs for online documentation to make the job easier.

2. Ensure Document Safety

If you’re going completely paperless, you need to ensure you have multiple backups of all digital documents so you don’t lose them. Storing them on your local computer or server can put them at risk. Using cloud backup services and storing your documents in at least three different places reduces the risk of losing them completely.

Not only can you lose your documents due to equipment failure, but there’s also the risk of a cyber attack. Small businesses are the victims of cyber attacks 58% of the time.

Using encryption can protect your files. Keeping your systems secure and updated with antivirus software can also reduce the risk of cyber attacks that can destroy your digital documents.

3. Move to More Digital Options

Eliminating as much paper as possible from the beginning of every process makes digital document management easier. If your business involves signing documents, switch to an electronic signature service. This allows clients to sign digitally instead of signing a paper copy, which costs you more time to digitize the document.

E-billing for the services you use also helps. You can file the e-bills easily without messing with paper versions.

Paperless faxes can also make document management easier. Online fax services let you send and receive faxes with no paper involved. If you receive faxed documents that need to be filed, they’re already in digital form.

4. Create Naming and Organization Guidelines

Having standard naming and organization standards makes it easier to sort out your documents. Create a hierarchy for sorting documents to keep them organized into folders and categories. These standards help employees access the files easily when they need them since they’re easier to find.

5. Delegate Jobs

Training your employees on document conversation, naming, and management helps create consistency. It’s also important to delegate jobs in the process. You might assign one person with the job of converting all paper documents to digital versions, or you might let each department handle their own document management.

Excel at Managing Documents Online

Managing documents online isn’t difficult when you have the right tools in place. Creating and enforcing guidelines for document management ensures consistency no matter who handles the work.

Look for more helpful office tips in our archives.