8 Tips on Improving File Management Strategies for Small Businesses

File Management Strategies

Did you know that over 31 million businesses exist within the United States?

Your business stands more to gain if you improve your file management strategies. After all, it can be as simple as having descriptive names for files. But to beef up your security, you might not know what file management can do.

Don’t dismiss it yet.

With this guide, you’ll learn tips on how to improve your file management techniques. That way, you’ll have a more efficient and safe method of storing your files. Read on and find out more:

  1. Digitize Your Files

To make your documents more resilient, you must make a digital archive. Do this by scanning your physical documents and importing your existing digital documents into a central system. The good news is that document management systems make it easier for you to both make and maintain this digital record repository.

You can scan records after receiving or processing them. Alternatively, you can assign an employee to scan record batches regularly, whether it’s daily or yearly. If you aren’t keen on using your internal resources, the best alternative is to outsource it to reputable providers.

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  1. Use Document Imaging

To digitize your paper records, you must invest in document imaging. This process involves scanning your physical documents and let your document management software handle it. It’s because these applications have optical character recognition (OCR) that identifies and indexes documents using the on-page text.

The best part is that the OCR programs of today are intelligent. This means they have a high rate of accuracy on most printed and handwritten text. Take note, the accuracy of these records will depend on the quality of the document.

This means if the pages have smudges or stains, the program will find it more difficult to recognize the data. It’s especially when the image isn’t clear. That’s why you must prioritize accuracy even as you automate the system.

  1. Establish Quality Control

To ensure the proper imaging of documents, you must set a custom confidence rate in your document management system. It means that the software will only accept files that satisfy a certain threshold. For example, if the software determines that the document they imaged is at 90% accuracy but your confidence rate is 95%, then it won’t accept it without your manual approval.

This is important because you must ensure that all digitized records must go through quality control reviews. This ensures they’re accurate, complete, and sound. Depending on your desired system, you can do this as soon as you scan or after checking the images.

Whenever possible, remove obstructions from paper records like paper clips and staples. Do this before you scan them into the system. This goes a long way to ensure that your document remains accurate.

  1. Organize Files Using a Document Management System

After digitizing your paper documents and putting your other digital files, you must organize them. Always remember that your archive’s effectiveness comes from its accessibility. Poring over a disorganized digital repository is like looking at various file cabinets to find a certain document.

The good news is that document management systems organize your documents using OCR. The software looks at some elements and keywords in the document. After that, they put metadata indexing the document.

Take note, this is the barest minimum. To ensure organization and accuracy, you must add more details and metadata. Do this by using manual methods that satisfy your standards.

  1. Think of Storage Methods

Storing your digitized documents is easy since you need only pick from two options: on-site servers or cloud-based platforms. The former requires a higher investment upfront since you need to get an in-house IT department. The latter removes this burden and is cheaper, but a third party handles your data.

Regardless, both options are viable, but cloud storage gives an automatic backup offsite. That’s what makes it the more preferred storage choice for most businesses. After all, most cloud providers are secure, efficient, and certified.

You have various methods of backing up. You can use a scanner to archive records or store various sensitive files in different locations. After that, make policies to keep them as secure as possible.

  1. Invest in Security

With over 500 data breaches within the first half of the year, you must go beyond simple considerations in storage. It’s because your digital archive will have all your business’s documents. This includes sensitive business and personal data.

When picking a software program, you must look for ones with SSL technologies at least. These systems must give an uneditable version of a document whenever documents get accessed. Also, it must have procedures in place to verify whether the person accessing it have the privilege to do so.

  1. Consider File Retention

You must understand the proper length of time to retain some word documents and files. This makes it easier for you to avoid common cyber threats. Aside from security concerns, it also helps to free more storage space.

You need not keep all your documents permanently since only some are important enough for retention. Even the IRS recommends that small businesses only retain their records for a maximum of seven years.

  1. Use Tools for Team Collaboration

After digitizing, organizing, and making your archive easy to access, you must focus on enabling teams to revise documents spontaneously. But at the same time, they must do so without making contradictory edits. This means having a system with tools that aid team collaboration.

This will make team efforts seamless within the document management system. This is essential if your teams revise and rework files constantly.

Use File Management Strategies Today!

These are some of the best file management strategies around. Use these to ensure your business records stay secure, organized, and accessible. Watch your company become even more organized and increase productivity today!

Do you want to learn more about organization and management? Check out more of our guides to learn all you can about file management today!

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