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File management is more than keeping labelled documents in a cabinet. Every business generates several documents that require filing for future purposes.

Without an effective file management system, the risk of losing essential business information will be high. Moreover, you risk losing money that would have been useful to your business.

Statistics indicate that businesses in the UK waste £20 billion annually on file management systems. Below are some useful tips to help you prevent this challenge in business.

Organise digital files for easy retrieval

In this technological era, effective file management would have to include digitisation. This makes it easy to store them and, most importantly, simplifies the retrieval process.

If you run a small business, you may have faced the inconveniences of keeping physical files. They either get lost among other printed documents or are destroyed when poorly stored. The searching process is even worse when the cabinet is disorganised. 

On the other hand, a digitised file management system removes the manual option’s inconveniences. However, the fact that a file management system has a digital option doesn’t mean it cannot be disorganised.

Failing to name files appropriately and storing them in the right digital folders can be a headache for you. Fortunately, newer document management software apps have features that perform automatic indexing for you. That way, you don’t need to do much apart from uploading the files to be archived.

Implement a system of regularly backing up files

Many businesses make photocopies of original documents to have a backup for future purposes. Having an online backup of your business files runs on the same concept. This protects you from losing data should the worse happen.

According to cybersecurity data, many small businesses in the UK lose confidential data every few minutes. Furthermore, over 51% of SMEs have fallen victim to server hacks. To make matters even worse, from April 2021 to April 2022, small businesses in the UK lost £3.1 billion from cybercrime. 

These numbers indicate the high risk of losing your business data. Regular backing up of files provides adequate cushioning in a breach. Cloud storage has ranked high in file backup activities for the past few years.

It allows small businesses to store essential documents on a secure platform without burdening the computer’s internal memory. However, if your computer memory is short on storage, backing up may be difficult to initiate.

Fortunately, there is a way to go about it. For instance, if you work with a Mac, you must use the system data storage tab to clean up your storage after backing up. That way, your computer would have more space to store files until the next backup.

Create standardisation in file naming and formatting

If these files are to be used by staff, it would be best to create standardisation in how these documents are named. This makes it easy for everyone to locate and retrieve the file.

According to filing experts, typing the file name in full is sometimes useful, and using acronyms and abbreviations can make identification challenging. This will come of great use when you have new hires in your small business.

Standardisation involves proper naming, categorisation, and correct placement. The latter is often used when staff members need specific business files. Correct placement also means putting those files on a shared platform.

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