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OCR for a Smart Business

A prime focus of a growing business today is to keep all its information highly updated and accessible. This does not mean to maintain stacks of files and folders and make the office a scholastic library. Rather, smart businesses are shifting from manual storage to highly efficient OCR, digital software which makes sense of stored documents and allows the data on these documents to be useful.

What is OCR?
OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. Beyond this abbreviation is a promising simplicity which makes documentation for any business a speedy retrieval and storage process. Unlike the error prone manual data entry from documents, OCR is accurate software and can do much more than just digitizing documents.

The two main purposes of OCR are:

Storing documents
Business related papers like receipts, invoices, contracts, legal or employee human resource forms as well as hundreds of other documents are scanned and displayed on the computer screen. The OCR software then creates text for each image which is stored with the image and is fully searchable for retrieval by other applications.

Re-using documents and their contents
With the OCR software it is possible to view documents in suitable and editable files such as a spread sheet, MS word document or PDF. One can skip the tedious process of re-scanning the original copy to replace changes. Even better, the text produced by the OCR can be used for database lookups, interactions with other systems, or to start process workflows.

Three easy steps to use OCR
OCR is introduced to make things easy. One need not worry about complex procedures or rules. Using OCR involves only three simple steps:

Scan the document
Save it in a desired format from options provided by the scanning software
Export it directly to other applications (word documents, spreadsheets, line of business applications like ERP or CRM systems.

The added advantage of OCR is that it gives an option to run it automatically or manually. With the automatic process, results are just a click away until your output files are visible on the computer screen. The manual function can be used to enhance image quality with additional tools to straighten, sharpen, block or generally improve the readability of the original document.

OCR for business operations
Many companies are shifting to digital media to expand resourcefulness of data for their organizational or customer use. OCR is specifically designed to help business organizations achieve high data standards over the manual storage process.

Some striking benefits of OCR for business include:

Quick
The manual system of locating an important document at a crucial moment is not only time-consuming but is likely to result in business loss. The OCR technology is the simplest way to store documents in your system and locate it easily by typing the file name or search terms in few seconds. The OCR software is highly accurate and slashes labor costs to a large extent.

Quality
Mishaps like spills, natural calamities or any unpredictable event can ruin all your efforts of manual storage of documents. The OCR technology is a safer option to store data without compromising on quality. One can use manual settings such as deskewing, sharpening, line removal, etc. to improve the quality and accuracy of data. Processed content can be saved in the system or external devices for future use.

Cost-Effective
Organizations can take advantage of OCR technology to minimize cost and broaden business visibility. Companies can use OCR technology that is already incorporated into products like Ephesoft to expand business operations beyond office premises. Once the data on a form is retrieved, the document becomes actionable and the organization can process it correctly.

Convertible Files
Organizations often receive various documents from clients and customers. Storing the images instead of the paper files using a scanning process is a commodity service today but retrieving the data within the document still requires high accuracy. For example, when processing mortgage loan files, accuracy in identifying the document type and its associated metadata is critical. Likewise, when processing invoices for payment, a wrong OCR value could be costly and unprofessional.

5) Mass scanning
Organizations must deal with immense amounts of important documents. The efficient processing of these documents is needed to avoid backlogs and meet the customer’s internal requirements. An automated advanced system like Ephesoft can support high volume levels with great accuracy.

The growing surge of businesses using OCR technology is a fact. Its multiple advantages have helped many businesses scale output in the most efficient and promising way. OCR has become a requirement for modern business and integrated solutions like Ephesoft allow businesses affordably make the most of this technology.

Entrepreneurs and Business Failure

Many persons think of starting their own business as a good way for wealth. And many have the ability and potential to begin a profitable business on their own. This is called entrepreneurship. The idea of starting your own business looks very nice: You are the boss, you manage the business as you like and if you have a brilliant new idea, you control it and see it grows until you become one of those top billionaires. This is what happened with Bill Gates in Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg in Facebook, Jeff Bezos in Amazon… etc. Entrepreneurs drive the economy in many countries. Yet not most entrepreneurs succeed in their business. In the USA, statistics show that 55% of start-ups will be gone by the fifth year. And according to the Small Business Administration (SBA), about 30% of new businesses will fail during their first two years. In Europe, the situation is not different. Statistics show that 50% of European start-ups fail during the first 5 years, and bankruptcy is only 15% of business closures.

Business failure can be hard on entrepreneurs, particularly on those who have borrowed money from friends or relatives. Some persons have brilliant ideas, and they begin to think of the promising side of these ideas, rather than on the caveats and risks of the potential business. They may get too enthusiastic about their project to the extent that they neglect possible challenges. Even some entrepreneurs think that the best way for success is by experiencing failure. In Europe, 48% of entrepreneurs believe that you should not start a business if it might fail while in the USA only 19% believe in this. This can be true but also can drive them away from the market. It is a 50/50 chance of success. It is a fact that successful entrepreneurs learn from their failures, and they use their mistakes for better future decisions. But why not study the behavior of others who failed and learn from them, rather than going through the try-and-see-attitude. Why adopt the random-walk theory, instead of planning ahead? There is a quote that says” if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.

Yes, you can avoid the pitfalls of others, but ahead of time, not while you starting your business. You can hit the road any time you want, especially if you love the journey, but you may get lost or waste unnecessary time if you don’t have a map. You may know your destination, but there are shortcuts that allow you to reach that goal quicker and easier, but only if have that map.

Research shows that entrepreneurial success is not about strong markets or weak markets or a good or bad idea. In this information age, ideas are created by millions. The markets fluctuate, and at times collapse yet some people make money during these bad times. Business success is about your own thinking and behavior, more than anything else. There are many success stories but success is a bad teacher. You learn from mistakes and negative experiences much more than a success story. It is about learning. Learning is a continuous process, but you may want to start it before you begin your dream business, before it is too late. This is why it is important to know about the major causes of entrepreneurs’ failure.

Many research and studies explore the major causes of business failure among start-ups. These causes are common. These failure factors have a trend. My observation is that these failure causes are mainly related to internal factors: internal thinking, assumptions and personality chracteristics. Of course, external factors such as: lack of cash, market competitiveness, market weakness, marketing mistakes, lack of market research, lack of business plan, lack of management skills… etc, are all vital for business success, but their priority is not the first. Major causes for failure are related to your enabling beliefs and limiting beliefs, your assumptions about yourself and your abilities, your flexibility in the face of future challenges, your goal and its clarity, your level of energy, and your emotional attitudes towards disappointments and set-backs.

Naming Your Business Venture

When you hear people discussing the merits of their boss, how bad they are at their job and how easy it would be for them to do their bosses job with their eyes shut do you ever think you could actually run your own business? It’s not as difficult as you would first think. In fact it’s as easy as saying “I am starting my own business and this is what I am going to do”. The difficulty comes when you have to decide what you want your business to do and how you want your business to look.

The first simple and exciting step is to choose the name of your business.

There are many ways in which you can choose the name of your business. You can name the business after yourself. You could name the business after an important event or anniversary in your life or the town you come from. Whatever method you choose you will need to ensure that the name represents what your business does or have a tag line that describes your enterprise. For example Suite Galore would not be a suitable business name if you are selling Bearings, Taps and Dies.

The spelling of your company name is also important. You want to make it easy for your customers to find you. Suites Galore is a wonderful name but what does it mean?

• Suites could be a musical composition of several movements loosely connected
• Suite could be an apartment consisting of a series of connected rooms
• Suite could be a matching set of furniture
• Change the spelling slightly and Sweet could mean you sell chocolate bars and crisps

In addition to the spelling of your business name you need to ensure that the name is available for you to use. A simple check at Companies House (in the United Kingdom) will let you know if the business name you have chosen is available. If you are set on using a particular name and the name is unavailable you could buy a dummy company name for example Farmers Limited and then tell the world you are Farmers Limited trading as Suites Galore. You will need to confirm with a solicitor that you are able to do this. You wouldn’t want to be sued for Intellectual Property theft of a name and reputation.

Then next aspect of choosing a company name is to ensure you are able to obtain the domain name of your business. After all, you may wish to create a website with your company name and then set up email addresses.

Finally you will need a company name that you are comfortable with and take pride in. Suite Galore is a wonderful name for wholesale matching furniture at the lower end of the price scale. Suites Galore for high end furniture wouldn’t work as well.