We are living in a digital era. The internet and technology are a part of our everyday lives from the laptop we do our work on to the smart phones that contain our entire lives, we live in a technology-based economy.
With this rise in technology, it can be tempting to move all your most important documents over to digital but for many businesses, this isn’t feasible. And there are, in fact, some documents that are still required to be hard copies. Legal, medical and human resources are all areas that continue to be reliant on hard copies as they are often required during audits.
No matter what industry you work in, you will need to hold on to your financial record. If you are a sole trader, you need to keep all your financial records for a minimum of 5 years. If you are a limited company, you have to keep your financial records for 6 years.
It is important that all your business documents are kept safe and having improper document storage could lead to some being accidentally misplaced or stolen.
The Rising Demand for Secure Business Document Storage
Evolving Business Storage Dynamics
The digital transformation has, however, altered the way in which we manage document storage. Many businesses have had to adopt a hybrid document management system which allows digital and physical storage to coexist.
Although having everything in a digital form can feel convenient and, on some levels, safer, as we have already noted, there is still a need for some documents to be kept in paper form. Having documents in both forms can make life easier for employees and help alleviate the threat of a cybersecurity data breach.
Growing Threats to Business Documents & Information
There are risks to storing documents digitally but there are also risks to storing physical documents. With digital documents, there is always a risk of a data breach but there are also smaller ways in which documents can be lost such as mismanagement.
Physical documents also are at risk of being mismanaged and important documents could easily be misplaced, stolen or damaged by an environmental factor such as fire or water damage.
As there are many documents that businesses need to keep a hold of for auditing reasons, the implications to losing important documents can be huge. For example, if you lose your financial records it is up to you to recreate them in time for your next tax return. If you do not do this, you could face hefty fines from HMRC.
Benefits of Prioritising Document Security for Businesses
Advanced Security Protocols
32% of businesses experienced some form of data breach over a 12-month period in 2019. Storing your physical documents within a secure document storage facility will dramatically reduce the risk of your important documents being breached.
Secure document storage is equipped with 24/7 CCTV monitoring, pin-code access and alarm systems that have police response and smoke and fire detectors.
Secure document storage will also be able to protect your documents from environmental factors and threats via their climate-controlled environments.
Having a storage facility which is climate-controlled protects your documents from humidity and changes in temperature.
Easy Retrieval and Access Systems
Having your documents stored within a secure unit does not mean that your access should be limited. Many secure storage facilities have systems in place to allow access to your documents if and when you need them, whilst keeping everyone else’s units safe and secure.
Within some of our storage facilities, we have pin-code access and extended opening hours which allows our customers access to their units outside of office hours.
Compliance with Regulations
If your business has documents that have the personal data of your customers or employees, you are required to store these in a safe and secure way in order to be GDPR compliant.
You should not keep these documents for any longer than you need to and they must be stored in a way that protects them from environmental factors and security threats. Using document storage at a secure storage facility allows you to be compliant with these regulations.
Enhanced Business Reputation
Using secure document storage will lead to trust from your clients and customers as they will be able to see that you prioritise security. This will lead to your business growing and thriving.
Prevention of Financial Setbacks
Misplacing documents that are needed for audits and tax returns can lead to fines and recovery costs. If you have to get a replacement statement from your bank, for example, there will likely be a fee. Missing your filing deadline for your tax return by a single day will lead to a £100 fine, followed by a series of other penalties depending on the length of time your tax return is overdue.
If the documents that have been misplaced or stolen have the personal information of one of your employees or clients on them, you could also be facing lawsuits.
Using secure document storage can help you to prevent these types of financial setbacks.
Selecting the Right Document Storage Solution for Your Business
Assessing Your Business’s Unique Needs
Before you begin looking at document storage, you must first assess your business’s needs.
How many documents do you need to store? How often do you need access to them? What is your budget?
Answering these questions will allow you to estimate how big a storage space you need and what your ideal location and price are.
Questions to Ask Potential Document Storage Providers
When you have decided on a potential storage facility, before you sign any rental agreements, it is important that you ask them questions about their security measures, access protocols and scalability.
Ask questions such as:
- What security measures do you have in place?
- When will I be able to access my document storage?
- Will I be able to move to a different unit if my needs change?
These questions will not only give you much-needed information but allow you to see the level of customer support that is available within the storage facility.
Is Secure Document Storage Right For My Business?
If you run a business, document storage will be right for your business. It will allow you a secure space in which to store all the documents that you need to keep a hold of for an extended period of time. It gives you the peace of mind that these documents are highly unlikely to be lost, stolen or damaged by environmental threats such as fire or water damage.
Having good security measures in place will boost your client’s trust and will prevent any financial setbacks. It is extremely important for all professional businesses to have a high level of document security.
Our document storage that we have available at Cinch Self Storage will give you this much-needed security. Take a look at our website today and get in touch with your local store if you would like to know more.