Of all the things that are considered when setting up a new office, postage and faxing are probably near the bottom of the list of things to think about. So why am I mentioning it? Well, there are more efficient and technology-based ways to handle all both of these common tasks.
In the old days, there would be a machine dedicated to faxing, usually at the receptionists desk or in some other central location. It was connected to a plain old telephone line and you could hear it beeping all over the office every time someone used it. Now, all you need is a scanner to copy any documents that aren't already in an electronic format and an account with a fax company like eFax.
If you have our VOIP phone system, it comes with an electronic fax solution, too. If you already have scanners because you are going paperless, you don't need extra equipment, just the account. And the biggest benefit is that you are notified whether your fax goes through or not. Many items I would fax something and have it be busy or just not work. With an electronic fax account, you will know!
Postage is another area that is seldom thought of unless there is a LOT of mailing going from your office. Back in the day, I remember having a manual Pitney Bowes postage machine for letters and invoice day involved spending a ton of time standing there feeding envelopes one at a time. And if they were extra fat, good luck.
Those machines are still available, but if you, like most companies, are moving away from mailing, Stamps.com might be a better option. You can purchase postage and print right from your regular printer. Additionally, if you ship packages, you can buy postage and print labels directly from the USPS, UPS or FedEx, depending on your needs. Special supplies are not even necessary -- I use packing tape to affix my labels though you can get plastic envelopes or stickers as well.
How do you handle your mailing & faxing needs?
For more tips for opening a new office, see all the articles in this series:
- Three Things to Think About Before Opening A New Law Office
- Opening a New Office – What Do You REALLY Want?
- Computer Peripherals for Your New Office
- Opening Your New Office – Phone, Internet & Security Systems
- Opening Your New Office - Your Minimum Online Presence - Web & Email Hosting
Jen Steed writes about technology, travel and more. You can find her writing for various online and print publications. To talk to Jen or see all of her articles as they are published, you can follow Jen on Google+.