It was 239 years ago that the founding fathers of the United States signed the Declaration of Independence, proclaiming independence from Great Britain—the main reasons being their unreasonable taxation of darn near everything without a whit of representation, and the crown’s frankly disturbing attachment to powdered wigs, which soon led to powder-burned Whigs.
One of the oppressive acts the British imposed on the colonists in the years leading up to the Revolution was the Stamp Act, which forced the colonists to pay a tax on every piece of printed paper they used. What they had once taken for granted as a basic commodity now cost them more than what was fair and reasonable, all because everyone knows that Great Britain was a bureaucracy like no other so they really had a racket going. Finally, the colonists decided they’d had enough; they made flags, crossed Potomacs, sold the French on the idea of throwing off Royal oppression (which the French monarchy almost certainly regretted very shortly thereafter, try Googling “Bastille“) and the American Revolution was born.
Perhaps it’s time modern businesses had a paper-inspired revolution of their own. Paper might not be unfairly taxed by an outside entity, but it is costing your business! Even though we’ve come a long way as a society to digitize some of our documents, paper consumption has increased by half in the last 30 years, meaning we’re using a lot more paper than we ever have in the past. And the prices businesses are paying to keep up with paper consumption are astronomical. Poor Richard would be shocked at the cost of his Almanack today, and he would likely be called “Poorer Richard” or even “Broke Richard.”
The tyranny of paper processes
You spend on average:
- $20 to file a document
- $120 in labor to find a misfiled document
- $220 to reproduce a lost document
- $1.67 to file one paper invoice
If your office still stores physical documents, you’re losing out. Paper itself costs money. Filing it, copying it, printing it, searching for it—it all costs money… and the Continental Congress hates spending unnecessary money. Think of it like Valley Forge, but without snow or George Washington.
How to declare independence from paper reliance:
If your business is trying to get away from paper and its associated costs, you’re on the right track. But how can you break free from paper?
Here’s our step-by-step guide to ending the tyranny of paper, inspired by Independence Day:
- Come up with a theme song for your revolution. A theme song brings everyone together in the spirit of the cause. If you can incorporate bagpipes, that’s a bonus.
- Write out a formal declaration against wasting money on paper. Type it and distribute it digitally. For maximum effect, e-sign it using John Hancock font in 72-point type. DO NOT PRINT.
- Remember the Boston Tea Party? Create a public display of your digital revolution to show people you mean business. Warning: burning, blowing up or otherwise mutilating paper indoors is not recommended.
- Draft your battle plan. Figure out how you’re going to reduce your paper problem and type up a formal plan. Make it your personal mission to live to see the day when paper becomes a relic of the past in your company.
- Breathe in deeply. Smell that? That’s the sweet smell of freedom.
Okay, so maybe reducing paper in your office won’t exactly be a revolution. We tried. On the bright side, reducing your reliance on paper can be a lot simpler than you think. In fact, here’s a serious idea. Just give us a call, and we’ll help you manage your paper problem for you. Call our sales team at (949) 916-7700 or contact them here.