Spotlight on small business: How automation changes the game for growing businesses

With NSW Small Business Month now coming to a close, it’s a great time to pause and think about new and innovative ways that small businesses can thrive and grow in today’s tough economic climate. 

Here, we look at one thing that’s changing the game for service-oriented small businesses that grapple with a lot of paperwork: automation.  

Automation takes the pressure off

Whether you run an accounting firm, a construction business, a real estate agency, or perhaps a small IT consultancy, you’ll no doubt know all about the pressures of paperwork. From start-ups to mid-sized businesses, the common catch-cry is that “paperwork sucks”. It sucks time and energy from your day, getting in the way of innovation and growth. 

Even if the proverbial paperwork has been digitised (kudos to you if it has), there’s still a fair bit of wrangling involved in terms of getting agreements and contracts sent to the right people and then stored in the right place. Particularly if, in your small business, you wear multiple hats and are juggling a range of different tasks.

That’s where automation comes in. It’s possible to set up a range of workflows that slash the time it takes to generate agreements; and others that automatically route your agreements and contracts to the right people, at the right time. Depending on how many contracts you send, it all adds up to help you save potentially hundreds of hours a year in contract management.

Simple strategies for automating paperwork

With a solution like Docusign in your toolkit, there are many options for automating agreement processes. Here are just some of them, along with examples of when you might use them:

  • Bulk document distribution Say you’ve got updated terms that all your suppliers need to sign off on. Or a new HR policy that employees need to eyeball. Sending out contracts like these in bulk is as simple as a click of one button with bulk document distribution. You set the document up once and hit send to multiple recipients. Concerned about security? You can still authenticate each user via SMS, email, or phone.  
  • Templates

Use a library of document templates to quickly and easily get documents out the door. Commonly used templates in small businesses include Statements of Work and Non Disclosure Agreements.

  • Conditional routing With Docusign, you can ​​automate your eSignature process even further with conditional routing, which lets you route an envelope to different people based on envelope data. This eliminates the need to manually configure the envelope routing or to use separate templates, each with their own routing. For example, in procurement, you could set up a rule so that, if a purchase order is under $10,000 it doesn’t need approval and gets routed straight to an administrator; whereas, for orders over $10,000, it gets routed to a manager first. 

Want more ideas on how to thrive in uncertain times? 

We hosted a webinar on 23 November that took a deep dive into how small and medium-sized businesses are thriving in a time of change. Mallissa Vourakis, Partnerships & Business Development Manager at Odin Business Lending, shared hands-on experience in adapting, thriving, and building resilience during challenging times. 

You can catch up on the recording on-demand here

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