We often hear that we need to save paper and ultimately save trees, which help to give us fresh air to breathe. I believe in this and being a thinker and a digital guy I wanted to take it a step further and show how removing paper from your daily operations can yield tangible business benefits.
The business case for less paper : –
Virtualize Your Sales Channel
E-commerce in the Caribbean has some challenges that prevent it from being as ubiquitous as it is in other parts of the world. However, we can still use digital technology to bring some of our sales cycles online and use less paper in the process. An example is a multi carrier shipping software that handles everything related to shipping.
Here are some of the ways :-
- Showcasing products / services
- Capturing Leads i.e. persons interested in getting more information by filling out a form.
- Capturing Orders – persons making orders online.
- Emailing Invoices / Receipts
All you need to make this happen is a simple low cost website or landing page which showcases the products or services you sell. In my experience, having the discipline to keep your website updated and actively using it to engage your customers can significantly impact on sales over time. It can become an outlet for your customers to recommend your products or services. As it grows you have the opportunity to save precious time and money by automating more of the sales process.
Develop Your Business Dashboard – Instant Actionable Feedback
Now your sales are coming in like ‘clockwork’ we can look at other parts of your business where we can reduce paper and increase sales.
Practice keeping details on your business in a digital form, allowing you to stay on top of the moving parts of your business and as a result discover more opportunities to increase sales.
Think about that stack of business cards that are sitting on your desk, receipts you need to capture, your post it notes (wherever they are) along with any customer feedback / information you might have collected at an event or trade show.
Now from a sales perspective this is all valuable information that you should be able to access without any stress.
Imagine if you could see a list of all your potential customers in one place. From personal experience, having a system like this allows you to discover patterns and niche markets within your own market. We often complain about not having enough data in the Caribbean but the data we do have is not collected in any useful way.
Here is an example – Take those business cards you collected from potential customers and put them into excel or a CRM tool and analyse them. Ask yourself questions. e.g. What are they asking for that you don’t currently offer? Will you consider offering this? Will it attract more business?
Make Your Notes Immortal
Most of us now carry an increasing number of devices, however some of us still insist on ALWAYS using our physical notepad to take notes or capture our thoughts. Another way you can save paper is by using the notepad option on your mobile device, tablet or laptop to capture your ideas and thoughts. This saves paper but also ensures that you can capture all your meeting notes, ideas or plans.
One of the most popular note taking apps on the planet is Evernote. It has a free version that is available on almost all mobile and desktop devices currently on the market.
Evernote allows you to access your notes from anywhere and at almost any time. You follow through or develop your marketing ideas wherever you are… whether you are in the airport, bank line or waiting in a doctor’s office.
These are the 3 main ways I believe that a paperless environment can help you to increase sales. Are there any other ways that you can think of?
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