The US Postal System, FedEx, and other major carriers do a great job delivering for small businesses. These services can get quite expensive, particularly if you use them regularly or ship bulk materials. More and more, small businesses now have computer systems and rely heavily on web pages, email, and online banking to handle their daily transactions. So, cutting out paperwork altogether can make filing easier, save on staff resources, and reduce postage costs, not to mention the environmental advantages. Megan Prusynski of the Ecopreneurist wrote an article that dives into the economics of a paperless operation. This is a great read if you’re looking for some tips on how to become paperless.
If you do plan on converting your business records and transactions to “virtual transactions”, be sure to keep duplicate records. Sites like Yahoo and Google will store business emails online for free, and online data storage is relatively inexpensive. Jeremiah Owyang brings up an interesting point that – in the future – data storage companies might start paying their customers to upload their records. In addition to uploading, creating a ghost copy, tape backup, or RAID backup of the computer's hard drive locally would be imperative for saving critical data.