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eSignatures: A Complete Guide for SMBs

It’s no secret that eSignatures are quickly becoming the worldwide standard for signing documentation. With an annual growth rate of 30%, they’re a part of our expansive digital world.

As technology becomes more integrated with our lives, it can be easy to fall behind the times.  But, we believe that eSignatures are crucial for any SMBs wanting to keep up in our ever-progressing world.

That’s why in this article, we’re going to take a look at what eSignatures are, the benefits of implementing an eSignature solution, and how you can get started with them today!

What are eSignatures?

Electronic signatures — or eSignatures colloquially — are exactly that. Signatures that are signed electronically rather than with ink on paper.

The concept of an eSignature has been around for decades, but the legitimacy of the eSignature was solidified after the 2000s introduction of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) law in the United States. This law essentially means that any electronic signature usage can be legitimately held up in a court of law.

Adobe — an early supporter of eSignature, with PDFs having the ability to insert electronic signatures as early as 1998 — turned the PDF into an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Open Standard in 2008, meaning that the universal standard of documents had eSignature capabilities right away.

Ever since, eSignatures have been on the rise. The aforementioned annual growth rate of 30% is proof that companies are quickly latching onto the many benefits of eSignatures. As a result, using them poses no legal risk for companies.

So, what are the benefits of an eSignature solution?

Benefits of an eSignature Solution

Strengthen Security Posture

It may seem that allowing technology to safeguard your signature is much less safe than utilising your handwritten signature. However, eSignatures are much more secure and tamperproof than wet signatures.

Most eSignature solutions have many security features to ensure that you’re the one actually signing documents with your electronic signature. This includes —

  • Passwords

  • Multifactor Authentication (MFA)

  • Biometrics Authentication

  • IP Tracing

  • Push notifications

All of these security features ensure that your eSignature is safe and tamperproof. And, 81% of businesses say that eSignatures are the most essential part of their security systems. So, it’s clear that eSignatures are safe and secure for your business.

Track the Progress of Forms

By using an eSignature solution, you can easily track the progress of your documents without having to wait for physical mail or for your signee to scan and email them over. This saves time and alleviates the stress of having to chase up documents and signatures — you can just take a look if your signee has signed it. And, it’s much easier for them too! Rather than having to print and sign documents — then scan them — they can easily insert a signature with a click of a button.

Remain Compliant

With more and more companies using electronic signatures to benefit them, the wet signature looks to be on its way out.

There is a chance that one day, you’ll need an eSignature solution to be able to sign documents with other companies and signees that use eSignatures solely — or, that eSignatures become the new sole standard.

Rather than falling behind and having to play catch-up, it’s much easier to stay with the times and implement an eSignature solution today.

Simplify Forms

Time is money. And, making the process of signing a document long and tedious for both you and your signee is a waste of both. Instead of having to print, sign, and scan documents, you can use eSignatures with a click of a button.

This simplifies the whole process and can just save so much time and hassle for everyone involved. Rather than having to take chunks out of your day to sign documents, you can do it from your browser or PDF program — or even on mobile!

Reduce Environmental Impact

Printing documents is a huge waste of energy and paper, as well as having other environmental downsides.

The obvious example is active use. Using a printer takes electricity, and having another appliance plugged in and turned on can use a lot more energy than simply using an eSignature on your existing devices. 

Printing onto paper is also a waste of physical paper, which actively contributes to deforestation worldwide. Using electronic documents counteracts this, as they require no physical paper — and no deforestation.

Just as importantly, printer ink and cartridges are incredibly harmful to the environment. Printer ink and toner are toxic to our environment and can cause harm to natural ecosystems and habitats. And, cartridges are made out of non-recyclable materials — causing millions of them to end up in landfills and pollute soil and water each year.

SMB Use Cases

What are some uses of eSignatures specifically for SMBs? How can you implement them into your business? Let’s take a look!

Sales Contracts

Obviously, sales contracts are the first place to begin. Within the commerce industry, contracts are signed by customers and merchants daily. 

Electronic signatures are perfect for this, as it makes your customers’ lives much easier and can save you heaps of time too.

Rather than having to print out each sales contract, you can instead just use a tablet or computer and bring it along with you wherever you need to go. And, you can email over copies of your contracts to your customers once signed, so you can easily keep records.

This is especially great for businesses that need to be mobile, such as places that offer delivery or home services.

Supplier Agreements

Using electronic signatures to sign supplier agreements can be incredibly useful, especially if you have lots of supplier agreements to keep track of.

By being able to use a digital solution, you can search your documents for specific agreements with a digital indexing tool rather than having to physically file away and look through paper documentation.

Customer Approvals

An electronic signature solution can help with customer approval-based transactions. Rather than having to wait for communication — and for contracts to be sent one way and the other — your customer can just sign the invoice once inspecting their goods, saving everyone time. 

You can also ensure a digital contract has a field for notes if not approved, so your customer can fill it in to fix and revise without you having to arrange to talk or communicate over the phone/email.

Employee Onboarding

Employee onboarding can be a long and tedious process, especially for newer businesses or businesses with lots of employees. 

Electronic signatures and digital contracts make it much easier to keep track of who you’ve signed on to work for you and when. So, you can ensure each employee’s contract is stored safely and signed. 

Also, getting your new employees to sign a digital contract in the remote world of 2022 is much easier than requesting a wet signature.

Ready to Implement an eSignature Solution?

With so many companies moving over to electronic signatures, there’s no question that eSignatures are the backbone of the digital era. There are so many important benefits to using a digital signature, with none of the tampering risks of a physical ‘wet’ signature.

By investing in an eSignature solution, you can truly ensure that your business is ready for the needs of the ever-changing business landscape.

So, are you ready to get started with an eSignature today? Do you want to save your business time and money whilst also reducing your environmental impact?

As a DocuSign technology partner, we can provide the complete e-signature solution together with our market leading DMS integration solutions. Blue Car Technologies’ product portfolio is based on enhancing the function of iManage Work, OpenText eDocs, NetDocuments and Worldox Document Management System. 

Integrating DocuSign APIs to allow seamless electronic signatures within a document management environment.

Contact us to find out more.

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