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How to Go Green, Small Business Style

Thursday, April 12, 2012   By Mike Reddy

 



Irrespective of your thoughts on green issues there can be some real benefits of incorporating a green theme into your business culture.

Although there is little evidence that, in general, green-focused businesses are chosen on that differentiator alone, it can prove to be the tipping point when competitors are fairly even in other areas.

There is added incentive when you consider that "going green" can also result in an improvement in business efficiency and security.

Some studies have shown that as much as 60% of your stationery budget could be reallocated to other income producing areas if some simple changes were made in the way many businesses carry out traditional administrative functions.

The "paperless" office scenario was seen as a potential advantage to businesses back in the 1980's when computers became a commercially viable tool. However a lack of trust in the technology coupled with an inability to share information resulted in paper trails on a level not seen before.

Today technology has moved on and there is a great opportunity for businesses to do the same. "Cloud" applications have made many of those paper trails redundant. Cloud based invoicing programs allow the client to be emailed invoices which they are free to process and file online. They can often settle the invoice in the cloud by credit card, PayPal and other means; the system can send them off acknowledgement of payment and update your accounts receivable system instantaneously.

The days of having to tolerate the "check is in the mail" story are gone. Reminders to delinquent clients can also be sent automatically.

From a management perspective, cloud-based information is available to you anywhere in the world – providing you have internet access.

And utilizing cloud solutions developed by reputable providers also means your data is being regularly, reliably and securely backed up, perhaps on different continents.

Often an investment in a 2nd computer screen can significantly reduce the need to print documentation to look at while processing work. For a small investment the savings can amount to thousands over just a few years. This can also reduce the workload, and therefore the required specifications of the printers themselves.


Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.