Top eSignature Use Cases for Small Businesses

As a small or medium-sized business owner or manager, you often wear multiple hats across functions and departments, including sales, marketing, HR, finance, legal, and procurement. Have you considered how many documents need to be signed to keep the business moving? Sales contracts and customer forms, vendor and supplier agreements, non-disclosure forms and more. It adds up, takes time and can slow the business down. Electronic signature technology offers a way to reduce risks, save resources and a better customer experience when capturing signatures on business agreements.

Whether you’re looking for a good place to start or for additional use cases to increase your business efficiency, check out some interesting ways in which small businesses use DocuSign eSignature:

Sales contracts

Sales contracts are often a company’s most important documents - and sometimes require multiple signatures, which can delay closing. DocuSign users can execute sales agreements online, closing deals faster—in hours and minutes instead of weeks and days. Companies that use DocuSign eSignature achieve higher close rates, reduced time to revenue and improved sales rep efficiency. You maintain complete visibility into where sales agreements are in the signing process, enabling many sales processes to be automated and integrated with leading CRM systems, like Salesforce.

One type of sales contract where electronic signatures have gained tremendous acceptance is residential real estate transactions. In fact, DocuSign eSignature has been a part of tens of millions of real estate transactions!

Vendor/supplier agreements

Growing businesses rely on relationships with suppliers and vendors, and often spend considerable time and effort managing these relationships and coordinating procurement activities. To improve procurement, small business owners are moving from paper-driven to fully digital workflows. This helps accelerate the procure-to-pay process, reduce risks and costs by eliminating errors and paper, and increase compliance with company purchasing policies.

New customer forms

If your customers need to fill out forms or other paperwork to do business with you, electronic signatures have a place in your business. Paper-based consent forms, liability waivers, or policy updates can be costly, requiring repetitive document generation, as well as a method of tracking completed waivers. This costs small businesses considerable time and resources, and provides a less-than-ideal customer experience.

Electronic forms enabled with eSignature will solve these manual paper-based challenges and create a better experience for your customers. You can create and bulk send an easy-to-share online link for customers to review and agree in advance - or customers can sign on-site through their own devices.

For businesses that deliver anything custom-made, like print shops and custom furniture providers, that last approval prior to manufacture is critical. Electronic signatures let you capture and store approvals with ease, so you can quickly move on to completing the order.

Change orders

For project-focused businesses, like architecture, construction and web design, change is constant. There may be a surprise situation in the middle of a lengthy project, or clients may simply change their minds. By adding electronic signatures to change orders, you can avoid project holdups and easily maintain a complete, documented “paper” trail for review in the cloud, anytime.

Employee onboarding

There’s plenty of paperwork associated with hiring a new employee - the contact forms, benefits enrollment, automatic deposit for paychecks, and more. All those documents can be handled securely and with ease using electronic signatures. Using DocuSign eSignature for onboarding accelerates the process by enabling documents to be completed electronically, streamlines dissemination of employee information and provides complete visibility into the status of every HR document.

Intellectual property licensing & other legal agreements

Because electronic signatures are legally binding with a court-admissible audit trail, they are ideal for common legal documents, such as intellectual property licensing. In the U.S. and other countries, electronic signatures and records can carry the same weight and legal effect as traditional handwritten signatures and paper documents.

Non-disclosure agreements

In a competitive world, non-disclosure agreements provide security, enabling you to do business more freely. Using traditional pen and paper, they are highly inconvenient, so often go overlooked. With electronic signatures, it’s so easy and fast—they can be signed via a mobile device, or even in-person, enabling you to hold your discussions with confidence.

Sign up for a free trial to start digitizing your business processes today. Or, if you’re already a customer, check out this DocuSign University learning path to help you expand the ways you use DocuSign.