Are you wondering how to manage digital documents for your small business?
As a business owner, you likely are concerned with identifying your target audience, creating a marketing plan, ensuring your website is up-to-date, creating a budget, and more. One thing you likely don’t think about is your document management.
Depending on the type of business you operate, you likely have a lot of documents you need to sort and store. While document management used to mean managing physical documents, today, the documents you are managing are likely digital.
Although digital documents can help you reduce your paper use, save money, and protect the environment, you still need a robust management system. You can accidentally delete files, save them in the wrong location, or send them to unintended recipients. You can also be the victim of an online scam or hack.
For these reasons, knowing the best way to manage your digital documents is key.
Fortunately, by following a few tips and a few best practices, you can manage your digital documents efficiently and effectively. If you are wondering about the best way to manage your digital documents, this short and simple guide is for you.
Know the Rules and Regulations
The first step for managing your digital documents is to understand the rules and regulations you need to follow. Data compliance is essential, it protects your business and your customers. Make sure you understand the rules and are staying in compliance at all times.
Get Secure Desktop Computers
Information is one of the assets of your business. As such, you should keep it safe at all times. Unfortunately, the digital space is full of hackers, phishers, and scammers. You can protect your computers from these threats by being cautious of the links you click and the files you download. Apart from these, the most practical way of managing and protecting your digital documents is by investing in secure desktop computers. They can be pricey, but the goods news is that there are refurbished units that sell for a fraction of the price of brand-new ones.
Understand the Threats You Are Facing
An essential tip for document management is to understand the common cyber threats you face as a company. Where there are issues that are threats across the board, some industries face more specific threats. Do your research and make sure you understand the threats you are facing.
Learn How to Properly Secure Your Data
Do you know how to sure your digital documents? As a small business, you are susceptible to all kinds of security risks.
Hackers and scammers target small businesses because they are usually not as secure as medium and large businesses. For this reason, it’s important to ensure you are using the best practices and technology to secure your digital data.
Establish a Protocol
If you want to manage your documents properly, you need to create a document management strategy. This is a great way to ensure everyone in your company is on the same page and is handling your documents in the same way.
Create a Document Management Team
A great way to manage your documents is to create a document management team. This is a small group of people who update the company’s policies and procedures related to documents, provide training and support, and make sure your documents are properly managed.
Provide Ongoing Training and Support
One of the most essential tips for managing your documents is to educate your employees and provide ongoing training and support. You need to train your employees on everything from how to display html inside an angular binding to how to correctly name files. By educating and training your employees, you can ensure your document management efforts are consistent.
Use the Same Place for All Documents
A great tip to follow is to keep all of your documents in the same place. You can have a designated drive or “root” folder for the documents for your business. This makes it easy to find documents and simplifies your management system overall.
Organize Your Folders
Perhaps one of the most important tips to follow is to organize your document folders. You can do this in a variety of ways, depending on your business.
You can organize them by client, category, employee, or more. Make sure everyone in your company is using the same organizational system.
Avoid Using Obscure File Names
While choosing names for files might seem like a fun thing to do, it can make managing your documents feel impossible. For this reason, it’s essential to choose logical names, such as the business name of a client or the last name of an employee. Choose something so obvious, even new employees can understand it.
Take Advantage of Sub-Folders
A great tip for managing your digital documents is to take advantage of sub-folders. Do you have one client with several projects? Then using a master folder for the client with a sub-folder for each project is a good way to stay organized.
Make sure your sub-folders have a logical connection to the master folder.
File as You Go
A good rule of thumb to follow is to file as you go. Cultivate the habit of filing documents immediately to avoid backing up your system. This will also make your documents easier to find, use, and more.
Audit Your Files Regularly
Although saving your business documents is recommended, there are times when you can discard some of the documents you are storing. For this reason, consider conducting a regular audit of your digital documents and culling anything that is no longer needed.
Backup Your Data on the Cloud
One of the many benefits of the cloud is extra storage for backing up your documents. To prevent problems from human error, system downlines, cybersecurity threats, and more, make sure to back up your data regularly. Alternatively, you can leave it to third-party backup solutions that have scheduled backups for your important data. They offer backups from a simple Microsoft office backup to backing up your entire Google workspace. If you’re interested, find more information here.
Use These Tips to Manage Digital Documents for a Small Business
By using these tips, you can effectively manage digital documents for your small business.
Start by knowing the rules and regulations for your industry. You should also know the risks you face, create a document management strategy, and train your employees.
Make sure to use best practices for storing your documents, such as using logical file names, filing as you go, and staying organized. You can supercharge your efforts by auditing and backing up your files regularly.
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