Are you one of the millions of people who operate a business out of their homes? The number of home-based businesses is on the rise in the United States, as technological innovations have created an abundance of opportunities for working from home.
According to Forbes, approximately 543,000 small businesses are started in the U.S. each month. There are also about 28 million small businesses that can be categorized as sole proprietorships, which includes an owner with no employees. What’s more, about half of all small businesses are operated out of a home.
Home-based businesses come in many forms. Some can be performed in the home such as bookkeeping, freelance writing, baking, and operating a bed and breakfast. Others require providing services outside the home such as dog walking, pickup and delivery services, on-site computer training or photography. Many individuals use a home-based business as a way to earn a side income by engaging in an activity that they’re passionate about, with the hope of eventually turning it into a full-time enterprise.
The Need for an Efficient Home Document Management System
Even the smallest at-home startup requires a home document management system to help manage and keep track of receipts, tax information, marketing materials, business expenses and more. If your business is extremely small, these documents could be managed effectively with a paper-based system. But as a business gains traction and starts to grow, the time may come where a paper-based system becomes extremely difficult to manage properly.
The need to find additional storage space for all the extra documentation could pose a major problem for many businesses. The lack of organization that results from an increasing amount of paper could hinder productivity and operating efficiency, which will ultimately have a negative impact on your business’s bottom line.
That’s when you need to start thinking about home document management software.
Home Document Management Software Can Provide a Cost-Effective Solution
More than likely, you’re already using a computer for your home-based business in some way, even if it’s just for managing your business’s website. If not, you probably at least have a laptop or desktop computer for personal use. You can make your computer a highly valuable business tool by equipping it with home document management software. The best home document management software solutions combine affordability with ease of use while giving you access to customizable features that can be tailored to your specific business requirements.
Business Benefits of Home Document Management Software
A home document management software system can be advantageous to your home-based business in multiple ways:
- No need to store paper files — If you’re like many home-based entrepreneurs, you probably have extremely limited space for operating your business. A paperless home document management software system prevents the need to turn your garage or spare bedroom into a document storage facility.
- Faster, easier document searches — Rummaging through boxes of paper files to find the document you need takes time. The best home document management software products include search tools that help you quickly locate and retrieve documents by criteria such as keyword, file name or file date. This prevents you from wasting productive time and allows you to provide better service to your customers.
- A professional image — One of the biggest challenges that owners of home-based businesses face is projecting the appearance of a “legitimate” enterprise. Instead of mailing a document, you can use your home document management software to scan it and send it via email attachment. In addition to saving time, this also adds a touch of professionalism that will make a favorable impression on your customers.
- Reduced business costs — If there’s one thing that most home business operators do not have, it’s an overabundance of cash on hand for expenses. In fact, the majority of home-based businesses operate on a shoestring budget. By reducing or eliminating paper, printing, storage and shipping costs, home document management software for home use can have a positive impact on what matters most: your bottom line.
Types of Home Document Management Software for Home Use
The available types of home document management software systems include:
- On-premise — This is the simplest, most affordable home software solution, and it’s likely to meet the document management requirements of the vast majority of home-based business owners. You’ll have everything you need to create a paperless work environment in your home, while also providing easy scanning, capturing and data management capabilities. The best on-premise solutions also include automatic file backup to the cloud.
- Online — An online home document management system is completely cloud-based, which could be a benefit if your business involves on-the-road sales or requires you to be away from your home office for extended periods of time. You’ll also be able to access and manage your documents remotely via a Web-enabled computer or mobile app on your smartphone or tablet.
- File sharing — If your business requires you to exchange large volumes of documents and files with clients, file-sharing software can save you a significant sum of money on shipping costs. You’ll be able to safely and securely share files without regular file limitations. File sharing software can also be used to add file sharing capabilities to on-premise software solutions.
Home Document Management Software for Personal Use
The best home document management software can also be used for personal as well as business purposes. Do you have old photographs or important documents lying around in albums or boxes or stored haphazardly on your computer? Use your software to manage them efficiently. You can also use it to organize and manage your personal emails, bills, tax information, recipes, mp3 files, e-books and more. If you’re like many people who are concerned about protecting the environment, home document management software also poses a more eco-friendly alternative by reducing your dependence on paper products.
Regardless of whether you use it for your home business or personal purposes, a software-based home document management system can be a sound investment that will help you save time and money. Become more organized and efficient with eFileCabinet today.