At this point, this topic is talked about from business coaches to tax preparers and even corporate bankers. Why is this such a big deal?
Going green, as they call it, means more than going paperless and adapting to a digital way. Really? Let me break a few things down for you here and we will, in later blog posts, talk in more detail about strategies for going green.
Simply put, converting to a digital system creates so much increased efficiency within an organization that most companies experience a rapid increase in the quality of work and the sheer amount of work accomplished in 1 day. Take the banking industry for example.
On average a bank that has recently gone to a paperless system experiences a 39% increase in staff efficiency. Don’t believe that stat? www.fiserv.com posted an article on this very study in 2014. 39 percent increased efficiency leads to a minimum of 10% increase in dollars and cents to the bottom line, but likely more! Yeah… I said it, fewer people can do more work because they can work faster than ever before by going paperless.
How is that possible?! Needless redundancy kills! If your account manager now only has 1 form to fill out and distribute to the team for production, and the distribution can happen digitally, you now stream line the process allowing for easier, faster, and more accurate work flow.
How does Green Business Increase the Margin?
Ok so we talked about your workers being more efficient adding dollars and cents to your bottom line. But that isn’t all. Going paperless or even nearly paperless means no more paper! I know, shocking right? But seriously though, take a moment and calculate up your Office Depot bill on paper and toner alone. Now imagine for a moment that this bill is now 1/3 of the price you are looking at in the paper and toner arena.
Can your company live with that much more in your margin? Considering the cost of integrating all the equipment and software, this becomes break-even in year 1, but after year 1 you are making profit sheerly by not buying 50,000 reams of paper and 20,000 toner cartridges (numbers obviously exaggerated for effect here.)
Green Business Attracts the Younger Workforce
Not convinced yet that your bottom line with thank you for the digital technology? Thats ok… I want to leave you with one more heavy thought to consider when debating “Should we go Green, or not?” Ready?
Last BIG reason to go green, you know all those baby boomers’ kids… yeah they grew up. Guess what? They are looking for work. But here is the catch, they grew up with tech. They can use paper and pen but they don’t want to be like mom and dad. They want to revolutionize the working world… we are past pen and paper to do that. Let’s also add that they are environmentally conscious group of people who don’t want paper simply because paper kills trees and we need trees to breathe.
With this influx of digital thinkers in the work force, they want and need a lot to be happy and stay the course. One problem with paper is the responsibility to report to an office/desk/chair all day. Studies have shown that this particular group of people are more efficient, effective, and engaged with their work when they can work where they choose.
Inside/outside at the beach, in a car, it doesn’t matter to them as long as they have WiFi they can plug in and crank out the stuff you need to keep the lights on. Within these studies they have also shown that the higher the perceived quality of life your employees have, e.g. freedom to work from wherever, the more work and better work they do because they don’t feel like they are working. They feel like they are living. That’s really the key isn’t it? We are after all… living… right?
Actually, Huffington post has written an article on the rise of millennials in the work place and what that means for the dying office environment.
Change Is Inevitable; Longevity Isn’t
I am not trying to convince you that converting to green business practice is the right thing to do… or the best thing to do… or even the smart thing to do. Well actually… yeah I am. But I am not doing it to save your green, or increase your margin, those are just great side effects.
Here is the rub: what business do you know today that doesn’t have a basic website? Hummm… having trouble thinking of one? I mean even the plumber has a website now a days right? But consider, 10 years ago you could have named just about any small mom and pop across the country right? Right! But guess what? The mom and pops that got on board with the website technology are still in business today — because they embraced the change.
The point of this article is simply to ask yourself the very real question: are you going to be in business in 10 years? Or are you closing your doors because you didn’t embrace this change? Sadly, this is a real decision business owners in the market place today need to make. The way we do business is changing, where we do business is changing, and with whom we do business is changing. Change is inevitable. So why not embrace it?
I know… it costs money to make these changes, and there is a learning curve to the training involved on the front side. It’s a good thing there are resources that can help with all of this!
The Small Business Association has a great list of how to’s to start the green business conversion process.
Need help with implementation? There are great schools in the area with eager students itching to show the world what they know about tech, and internships mean credits towards graduation. Humm that sounds like a win-win-win to me. I like win-win-win situations… if you do to, then you should check it out, save a headache and save your business by future-proofing it now while there is still time to get on the wave!
Thanks for reading! Please join the conversation or call me today and start the green business conversion process!