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8 Reasons Small Businesses Benefit from Document Scanning

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Document Scanning

Stacks of files and full filing cabinets may seem like a staple of any office but it’s an operating method that’s becoming more and more outdated by the day. The modern choice is to keep digital copies of all documents in a central document management system.

The process can seem a little intimidating at first. Many business owners worry about the time it will take to switch to the new system and how they will navigate it. However, there are several benefits that a company can reap when it switches to document scanning and using a new document management system.

1. Saves Time

Filing through physical papers takes a lot of time. No matter if they’re being filed and organized or if an employee is rifling through them to find what they need, it takes time. On average, most offices spend a total of two hours a day managing their files.

It makes sense that digitizing these files will save time. It’s an innate part of most technological advancements to bring convenience and speed to the user. The time an office saves isn’t minimal either. The introduction of a document management system can cut those two hours a day down to a mere ten or twenty minutes.

This extra time no longer bogged down by paperwork can be dedicated to more profitable activities. This will allow the company to increase their bottom line by using the time they may not have previously realized they were wasting.

2. Adapts to Scanners

To scan documents into a document management system, an office needs to have a scanner on hand. Luckily, there are three types of scanners that can be used which cover most offices’ resources.

Network scanners are probably one of the most common choices. Learn what is network scanning here. These are basically large, standalone printers that aren’t directly hooked up to any computer.

Then there are TWAIN scanners. These are desktop scanners that plug directly into a computer via a USB cord. TWAIN simply means that there is a TWAIN driver present, meaning that any program on the computer can link to the scanner.

Finally, there are standalone scanners. These are a lot like TWAIN scanners, but they don’t plug directly into a computer. Because of this, their functionality is slightly limited.

3. Increases Organization

This is probably one of the biggest benefits of scanning documents into a document management system. These systems make it easy to organize files in a way that makes sure everything gets where it needs to go without getting lost.

Every software choice has its own specifics as to how to keep files in order. For instance, use the style that users are used to with a traditional filing cabinet. They can use sub dividers to organize content in drawers, folders, and down to files.

A simple filing system will also make it easier for everyone in the company to keep up with the organization system. This will ensure that the system that’s set up initially doesn’t fall into disarray due to confusion about the process later on.

4. Find Documents Quickly

Once an electronic system is in place, sifting through files to find what’s needed isn’t going to be a problem. Instead, digital files can be easily searched. This can be done with keywords or full titles. With only a few keystrokes, anyone on the system can find exactly what they’re looking for.

This is another way that a document management system cuts down on wasted time. This is a benefit that comes from the instantaneous nature of modern technology. It’s much less time consuming than manually digging through a filing cabinet. Once again, this gives the user more time to work rather than waste time trying to find what they need to work on.

5. Optical Character Recognition

If someone scans an existing file into a management system, these don’t turn into word processor documents. Instead, they are created as PDFs because scanners just take pictures of what’s being scanned in.

At first glance, this comes with some downsides. Since a PDF is essentially a picture, it can seem difficult if not impossible to search by anything but its file name.

However, there is a way to make PDFs searchable. It has to do with something called optical character recognition or OCR. This translates the images of words in a PDF into actual words. This means that if you scan the pages to PDF, you’d be able to search them like standard documents.

This sounds pretty high-tech but that’s why it shouldn’t be the user’s problem. Some software makes this process nearly automatic. All a user has to do is click a command and the program will take care of the process for them.

6. Easy to Share

In a company, no matter how big or small, collaboration is a big part of success. This means that working on a project together needs to be simple and straightforward. Find out how to be more straightforward here.

Trying to pass physical files back and forth wastes a lot of time. Not only because of the time that it takes to pass the files from one team member to another but because working together simultaneously on a file incredibly difficult.

Then, there’s the argument for a digital file that isn’t in a management system. Sure, emailing it back and forth is an option but not an effective one. Plus, if people are sending multiple copies of a document back and forth, the more duplicate files there will be. This hinders organization.

With a document management system, it’s possible to share files and even have multiple editors working on them at once.

7. Better Backup

There are many safety solutions that come with a document management system. First, there is the physical comparison. Paper is fragile and paper files can be easily damaged. Even a spilled cup of coffee can damage files and cause a problem. But there are some DIY hacks which you will find useful. In the worst-case scenario, a fire or flood can ruin an office’s entire collection of files.

Storing them digitally prevents physical causes from destroying the files in any scenario. Since the files aren’t constrained to just one computer either, they’re also safe from a lot of technical problems.

For example, if a business owner sets up their management system on a laptop and that laptop gets broken later, it isn’t the end of the world. Those files can be accessed from a different computer with no problem.

8. Increased Security

Electronic files also allow businesses to set up security measures like passwords to keep sensitive documents restricted only to those who should have access to them. This is especially helpful if a company deals with sensitive information such as medical records. It’s also handy to keep operating information in management levels.

All in all, it will certainly benefit any business to take the time to scan its documents into a management system. It saves time, increases organization, and improves the security surrounding those files.

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What Makes Startup Studios Successful? By Startup Studio Insider

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What Makes Startup Studios Successful? By Startup Studio Insider

So you’ve heard the buzzword “startup studio,” but what exactly does it mean to be a startup studio? Here are the answers you need about why startup studios are becoming a popular model for entrepreneurial success and how this trend is changing corporate innovation.

What is a Startup Studio? 

Startup Studio Insider defines a startup studio as an organization that provides investment, resources, and guidance to startups in order to build and launch successful startups in various industries. Some people call it a venture studio, others call it a startup factory or startup studio. No matter what you call it, this startup model is quickly gaining traction in helping launch startups everywhere. 

Startup studios allow founders to focus all their time and energy on developing every aspect behind their business idea, while studios are dedicated to minimizing any challenges that come along the way. By offering a wide range of resources, industry knowledge, and the funding required to build, launch, and support a startup (even after post-launch), startup studios are becoming a game-changing solution for rising startups.

From Atomic to Wilbur Labs and eFounders, numerous startups are being built around the world and gaining major traction along the way. Deciding the best path to found and build a company can be a daunting task. To help you understand the unique offerings of startup studios, here are some of the most important benefits startup studios offer:

What Makes Startup Studios Successful? By Startup Studio Insider

How Startup Studios Protect Startups – Graphic by Startup Studio Insider

  • Strategic Counsel

Startup entrepreneurs oftentimes lack the necessary experience to anticipate the roadblocks that come along with building a business. In addition, the expertise level of a founder doesn’t always cover all grounds including marketing knowledge, product development, testing, and research. That is not a problem for startup studios, as they provide a wide spectrum of tools and resources to build a perfect strategic plan. In addition, studios have access to a wealth of knowledge in technology tools and trends, business operations, human resources, and more, which become part of their core team to help startups succeed. 

  • Core and Shared Resources

Out of all the investment platforms, studios take the most hands-on approach and provide the most resources. With this, startup studios are able to provide access to the largest amount of top-notch resources to help enhance the vision and goals of the startup and cut down the launch time that could usually take a couple of years to about three months. 

  • Human Capital 

Usually, the vast majority of startup companies are made up of small teams. This is why getting the perfect fit to support the launch and operations needs of your business is crucial. Startup studios help tackle this problem by recruiting the right team with diverse backgrounds and broad skills to handle the immense workload that comes with the challenge of launching a startup. 

  • Funding 

Building a startup from the ground off can be exhausting and cash-consuming. What frequently goes wrong is that startup management fails to achieve the next milestone before cash is exhausted. Startup studios are able to solve this problem by refining the needs and expenses required to prepare for the launch and avoid the risk of becoming insolvent by providing funds even after post-launch. This is one of the major differentiating factors of startup studios compared to their competitor founding models out there. 

  • In-Depth Market Research

According to Startup Studio Insider, startup studios are highly selective, and as a result, will not launch a startup without substantial research and data to prove that there is a market and potential for success. This in-depth market research ultimately leads to better decisions when preparing for the launch and can help mitigate any risks in the long run.  

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An Interview with Nathaniel Mell, Founder and CEO of Felt+Fat

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Nathaniel Mell

Nathaniel Mell is the founder and CEO of Felt+Fat, a ceramic design, and manufacturing studio serving both professional and at-home chefs. Nate Mell started the Philadelphia-based company in 2014 after graduating from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University and working at the world-renown Philadelphia Clay Studio.

Before his foray into ceramic design, Nate gained experience that included working in a variety of media, including glass, metal, wood, and mold-making. The opportunity to design a beautiful line of plates for Eli Kulp’s award-winning restaurant ‘High Street on Market’ oriented Mell towards exploring ceramic design in-depth. In doing so, he came up with the concept for a ceramic design studio catering to the Hospitality industry. The company name, Felt+Fat, came as a nod to the material explorations and theories of midcentury artist Joseph Beuys, one of Mell’s favorite artists.

Today, Nate Mell’s Felt and Fat has a track record of working with over 100 restaurants worldwide, producing more than 30,000 pieces annually, and being featured in the NY Times, the Forbes 30 under 30 list, and many other publications. Timeless design, ethical manufacturing, and intentionality toward relationships are the core values of the ever-growing team at Felt+Fat.

We recently got a chance to interview Nate.

Nate, Thank you for talking with us. What are the projects that you most enjoy working on?

I most enjoy working on custom projects, specifically for restaurants. Great chefs are artists and our mutual respect for craft and the collaborative energy involved in making a new shape or finish is really exciting. When my part is done I then get to see how they interact with the design, plating their food and presenting it in the context of the restaurant elevates it all to another level.

What was your biggest ‘a-ha’ moment?

This was early on. When I started this business I had been working in restaurants for nearly 8 years, supporting myself as an artist, and a chef asked if I could make him plates for a new restaurant. I said yes and initially took it on as a little gig to make a few dollars. Somewhere during the course of that project, I realized that the top restaurant in the world at the time (Noma) was using custom, hand-made tableware and that meant every aspiring chef in the world would be wanting to do the same now, we were on the crest of what could be a seachange in hospitality tableware. It was an exciting realization and what really prompted me to take this much more seriously.

What has been the most important part of your professional journey?

Understanding the importance of planning. I have never been much of a planner, very good at thinking on my feet and getting done what’s right in front of me, but over the years I’ve learned that sustainable growth happens when you pair that ability with solid, diligent planning and execution.

What are some of the risks that your company is currently facing?

We are currently looking at a lot of avenues for growth. Manufacturing means you are always walking that line of demand vs. supply. If you’re over-supplied that means you’re wasting money, if you’re undersupplied you disappoint customers. We have been growing quite a bit but are looking at rolling the dice on some big purchases that will help us up the supply side significantly, but the risk that the demand doesn’t pan out to justify the expense is always a scary thing.

What would you do with unlimited resources?

Create a top-of-the-line production facility with a best-in-class R&D studio bringing in young, world-class talent to create inventive and exciting new products.

When was the last time you totally lost yourself in doing something?

I routinely lose track of time while working on new designs, it’s easily one of the best parts of the job.

What do you do when you’re not at work?

My off time is spent with my wife and dog primarily. We go for hikes, cook great meals, mix cocktails and read aloud together or spend afternoons working on remodeling our small home (currently painting a new ceiling we put up last month).

You and your team at Felt+Fat are already making a positive impact with the “BadThings Happen in Philadelphia” product line. What more do you feel you can do to make a difference in your local community?

The BadThings line of products was a really fun experiment that allowed us to send money to causes we thought were worthwhile, we’ve often found things like that to do over the years but what I am most excited about moving forward is to be working with Baker Industries here in Philly. Baker finds work for hard-to-employ individuals; primarily the recently incarcerated. We’ve just recently hired our second employee through this program and are so happy to be providing jobs for individuals in our community who would have a hard time finding work otherwise. Not only do we get to help the community, but they have also been some of our best staff! It’s a win-win.

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Inspiration and Wellness At Your Fingertips

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There’s a great saying. ‘Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you.’ For many people pushing themselves ahead comes naturally and they deal with the challenges of this life with equanimity. However, for many, it takes a little bit of fine tuning before they are able to take various challenges head on. Wellness and Inspiration coaches play a great role in these cases and can help you achieve that level of composure through their expertise.

However, getting such kind of expertise is not possible for many mainly because of accessibility and affordability. Solving this problem is Katherine Appello, Manhattan-based Inspiration and Wellness Coach. Born in New Jersey, Katherine has been helping individuals realize their true potential through meditation and other tools including pre-recorded seminars.

In an Interview with Times of Startups, Katherine said that some of the challenges in her personal life made her more resilient in her efforts. She believes in seeing the glass half full and that we need to take ownership of the choices we make so that we can make different choices going forward. 

The ongoing pandemic has made things tougher for businesses and individuals worldwide. Due to the restriction in movement, it has become even more important to focus on mental wellness. People get inspired by motivational speakers to follow their dreams and achieve their goals. Among other things, motivational speakers also help people to succeed in business, improve their relationships, develop a positive attitude, become healthy, achieve financial prosperity, and have more fun in life.

Realizing that in this day of technology, everything possible should be at your fingertips, she provides wellness coaching through video conferencing too. Although, she regularly engages herself in public speaking and Interviews in Manhattan.

The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it. And in that process, it is always better if you can take help from professionals.

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