eSignatures: A Complete Guide for SMBs

It’s no secret that eSignatures are becoming the global standard for document signing. Their growth rate is 30 percent per year, so they’re a big part of our digital age.

With technology becoming more integrated into our lives, it can be easy to fall behind. Nevertheless, we believe eSignatures are crucial for any SMB looking to stay competitive.

In this article, we will discuss what eSignatures are, what the benefits of implementing eSignature solutions are, and how you can start using them right away!

What Are eSignatures?

A digital signature, also known as an eSignature, is exactly what it sounds like. Signatures that are signed electronically rather than with ink on paper.

eSignatures Introduction

eSignatures have existed for decades, but their legitimacy was confirmed with the introduction in the United States of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) law in the 2000s. By this law, any electronic signature usage in a court of law can be legitimately upheld.

ISO Open Standard

With PDFs having the ability to insert electronic signatures since 1998, Adobe - an early supporter of eSignature — made the PDF an ISO Open Standard in 2008, ensuring that the universal standard for documents had eSignature capabilities right from the start.

eSignatures Today

Since then, eSignatures have been on the rise. A 30% annual growth rate proves that businesses are quickly embracing eSignatures' many benefits. Therefore, companies are not at risk of legal liability when using them.

Benefits of an eSignature Solution

Strengthen Security Posture

You may think that using technology to secure your signature is much less safe than signing it by hand. Compared to wet signatures, eSignatures are much more secure and tamperproof.

Electronic signature solutions have many security features to ensure that you’re the one signing documents. Such features as:

Using these security features ensures the safety and integrity of your eSignature. Moreover, 81% of businesses say eSignatures are the most important part of their security systems. In summary, eSignatures provide your organization with the assurance of safety and security.

Track the Progress of Forms

You can easily track documents using an eSignature solution, rather than waiting for your signee to scan and email them over or to send them in the mail.

By doing this, you save time and alleviate the stress of having to chase up documents and signatures – you can just check if the signee has signed, which is easier for them too! The signature can be easily inserted with a click rather than having to be printed and signed, then scanned.

Remain Compliant

Wet signatures are on the way out as more and more businesses use electronic signatures.

One day, you may need an eSignature solution to be able to sign documents with businesses and individuals who only use eSignatures – or, eSignatures may become the sole standard.

Today you can implement an eSignature solution much more easily than you ever have before, rather than falling behind and catching up.

Simplify Forms

Time is money. Making the signing process tedious for both you and your signee wastes both of your time. By using eSignatures, you can avoid printing, signing, and scanning documents.

Everyone involved will be able to save so much time and hassle by doing this. It’s easier than ever to sign documents from your browser, PDF program, or even on the go!

Reduce Environmental Impact

Document printing wastes a lot of energy and paper, as well as having other negative impacts on the environment.

It takes electricity to run a printer, and plugging in and turning on another appliance can use more energy than using an eSignature on your existing devices.

Additionally, printing on paper contributes to global deforestation by wasting physical paper.

Furthermore, printer ink and cartridges are extremely harmful to the environment. Natural ecosystems and habitats can be damaged by printer ink and toner. Each year, millions of cartridges end up in landfills and pollute soil and water due to non-recyclable materials.

SMB Use Cases

What are some uses of eSignatures specifically for SMBs? How can you implement them into your business? Here’s what we found!

Sales Contracts

Clearly, sales contracts are the first place to begin. Contracts are signed every day by merchants and customers within the commerce industry.

You can make your customers’ lives easier and save a great deal of time with electronic signatures.

Instead of printing each sales contract, you can simply use a tablet or computer and carry it with you wherever you go. Once your contracts are signed, you can email them over to your customers for easy recordkeeping.

In particular, this is great for businesses that offer home delivery or service.

Supplier Agreements

It can be very helpful to use electronic signatures when signing supplier agreements, especially if you have many agreements to manage.

Using a digital solution, you can search through your documents for specific agreements instead of physically filing away and looking through paper documents.

Customer Approvals

Transactions requiring customer approval can be simplified with an electronic signature solution. When the customer inspects their goods, they can simply sign the invoice, rather than waiting for communication and contracts.

If a contract is not approved, you can include a field for notes, so your customer can fix and revise the document without you having to communicate over the phone/email.

Employee Onboarding

The onboarding process for new employees can be lengthy and tedious, especially for businesses with lots of employees.

The use of electronic signatures and digital contracts allows you to keep track of who has been hired and when.

It is also much easier to get new employees to sign a digital contract in the remote world of 2022 than a wet signature.

Ready to Implement an eSignature Solution?

As more and more companies start using electronic signatures, there can be no doubt that eSignatures are at the foundation of the digital age. As opposed to a physical ‘wet’ signature, a digital signature provides so many benefits with no tampering risks.

Your business can truly stay on top of the ever-changing business landscape by investing in an eSignature solution.

So, are you ready to get started with an eSignature today? Want to reduce your company’s environmental impact while saving time and money? The time for SMBs to start using eSignatures has never been better!

Get in touch with us today, and see how we can help!

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