Top 10 eSignature Use Cases for Small Businesses

Are you wondering what to use electronic signature for in your small business or which use case to start with? There are many business use cases if you consider using electronic signatures 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. It takes many documents to keep a small business moving—and many required signatures on those documents. You likely deal with sales contracts and customer forms, vendor and supplier agreements, non-disclosure forms and more. All of these documents take time to complete and can slow the business down. Electronic signature technology offers a way to obtain signature authorisations remotely. In this article, we take a look at small business email signature examples.

Electronic signatures reduce risks, save resources, and create a better customer experience when capturing e-signatures on business agreements. Whether you’re looking for a good area to start using electronic signature or for additional use cases to increase your business efficiency, check out some powerful ways small businesses use Docusign eSignature.  

What is a Business Use Case?

Electronic Signatures play an essential part in digitising a business. A business use case identifies a process within a business where an action is performed and the outcome of that action. It can define a series of actions that create a complete process. For example, completing a sales contract with a vendor. 

Top 10 eSignature Use Cases for Small Businesses

So, what are the top 10 cases for eSignature for a small business? Here are some of the most popular Docusign use cases and small business signature examples. There are also examples of secure digital cases where an increased level of security or witnessed document may be required. 

Sales contracts

Sales contracts are often a company’s most important documents. Docusign eSignature users can execute sales agreements online, closing deals faster—in hours and minutes instead of weeks and days—even when the contracts require multiple signatures. 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.

Purchase orders

A purchase order can be a simple, brief agreement form or a much longer form that lists pricing terms, scope, shipping, intellectual property and other binding aspects of an agreement. As a practical matter, both seller and purchaser want to execute the contract quickly and efficiently – which they can do with Docusign eSignature. As with all eSignature documents, the process is protected by multiple levels of encryption security.

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 workflows to digital. This change accelerates the procure-to-pay process while reducing the risks created by errors and the costs associated with paper document processing. And compliance with company purchasing policies is a breeze.

Change orders

For project-based businesses like architecture, construction and web design, change is a constant. A client can make minor changes or take a sudden U-turn on what was previously agreed. Since compensation for hours beyond the original bid is subject to review, obtaining a signed change order is critical. Docusign eSignature makes the process easy and allows a firm to send out the change order soon after the change is requested. With an electronic signature, the firm can avoid a project holdup and easily maintain a complete “paper” trail for review in the cloud, anytime, from any device.

New customer forms

If a customer needs to fill out forms or other paperwork to do business with you, electronic signatures can save time and money. Paper-based consent forms, liability waivers, or policy updates often require you to generate multiple iterations of documents. The material cost of paper documents and the time it takes to read, process, track, and file customer forms can be considerable – and will likely result in a less-than-ideal customer experience. Electronic forms enabled with Docusign eSignature will solve these challenges and create a better experience for your customers. 

Your small business can create and bulk-send an easy-to-share online link for customers to review and agree to in advance, or customers can sign on-site using their own devices. Electronic signatures have special importance for businesses that deliver custom-made goods, such as print shops or custom furniture makers. For these firms, final approval documents are critical. eSignature lets you capture and file approvals with ease and quickly move on to completing your customer’s order.

Real estate contracts 

In today’s world, people expect the real estate process to be quick and easy. Individuals can now buy a house using Docusign since HMLR has begun accepting electronic signatures. Docusign has developed several small business contract templates, including a library of templates for real estate transactions. Find out more about eSignature for real estate and the Docusign Agreement Cloud for Real Estate. 

Intellectual property licensing & other legal agreements

Because electronic signatures are legally binding and have an audit trail, they are ideal for many legal documents, such as intellectual property licensing, partnerships and other agreements. 

Non-disclosure agreements

In a competitive world, non-disclosure agreements provide security, enabling you to do business more freely with third parties. However, traditional pen and paper signature agreements are not only inconvenient, but they also aren’t user-friendly. Your partners can sign Docusign eSignature non-disclosure agreements on a laptop or via a mobile device, making them an easy and secure way to protect your proprietary information. And enabling you to work with third parties with confidence.

Employee onboarding

There’s plenty of paperwork associated with hiring a new employee, and it’s one of the first touchpoints they have with your company. An electronic signature can be used for contact forms, benefits enrolment, and more. In the UK, you must also check an employee’s right to work and identity. Those documents can be handled securely and easily with Docusign eSignature and the Docusign Agreement Cloud -  documents can be filled out and signed electronically.  This is followed by fast, automated dissemination of contracts and HR policy information back to employees. It also saves time for HR by having an online dashboard to monitor the status of every HR document.

Parental consent & age verification

Gaming companies, photographers and entertainment firms often target an under-18 audience, which then requires a signature authorisation by a parent or legal guardian. Docusign eSignature provides for parental sign-off from a wide range of electronic devices and is designed to integrate with a number of ID verification software solutions. You can create your own templates within Docusign, then re-use the legacy data within that agreement from authorisation to authorisation. You can even brand your Docusign templates and their resultant emails to match your company’s visual identity.

Why do small businesses use eSignatures?

Using electronic signatures in a small business can help increase efficiency and help your organisations serve customers faster. It also enables employees and customers to operate remotely online with ease. They can sign from almost any device, anywhere, at any time. 

How do electronic signatures help small businesses?

Many use cases exist for a small business considering implementing electronic signature software. These include the completion of sales contracts, onboarding customers or new employees, supplier agreements, and more.

How can I get started with Docusign eSignature?

You can get started with eSignature by picking a simple use case and signing up for a free trial. 

Docusign eSignature: Easy to use, fast, secure

Docusign eSignature is proven, field-tested software that has revolutionised the signature authorisation process:

  • Easy to use – no long ramp-up times for staff to learn; staff and customers can sign from  nearly any device, anytime, from anywhere
  • Fast – the software includes built-in features that speed document processing
  • Secure – multiple levels of security protect your company and your customer or vendor.

Sign up for a free trial to start your small business’s digital transformation today.

Or, if you’re already a customer, check out how our other customers benefit from the introduction of Electronic Signature.