One of the few things still keeping small businesses from going completely “paperless” is the need to sign official documents. While digital signatures have allowed some documents to be signed by merely checking a box, the demand is increasing for businesses to have the ability to sign and e-mail documents without ever having to touch a piece of paper.
For a small business, here’s how it usually works. An important document comes through that requires a signature. You print it out, sign it, and either fax it, scan it in and e-mail it, or mail it. Either way, you’re wasting time and paper. There has to be an easier way.
Small businesses have several options when it comes to electronic signatures. Signing your name on a piece of paper, scanning it in, and saving it as a file on your computer is an option, assuming you have a product that allows you to insert it into documents, like Adobe Acrobat Pro. But even that will only help you if the document you need to sign is an Adobe document.
What many small businesses need is a way to insert a signature into any document. Luckily, several Cloud-based solutions are now available to take the paper out of your paperwork.
- SurDoc. SurDoc is Cloud-based, meaning your employees can access documents from anywhere, sign them, and send them on. The company also offers users the ability to add text into documents, allowing them to provide feedback about the document to its intended recipient. SurDoc offers a free plan that grants 10GB of document storage, or you can go with a 100GB premium plan for only $9.99 a year.
- DocuSign. Upload a document into the app and add your signature. This app works with your iPad, iPhone, and any computer, but at $39.98 a month for the business plan, it may be a bit pricey for a small business.
- DocuSign Ink. For iPhone and iPad users, DocuSign also offers an app that allows you to sign documents. The best news is, this app is free. Sign as many documents as you want by uploading them to your iPhone or iPad and sign away.
- RightSignature. RightSignature boasts that it is the easiest and quickest way to get documents signed. You simply upload a document, add any details you need about the signers, notify the other party it’s ready, and they can sign the document using a mouse or finger if they have a touch screen. The document is then official. RightSignature’s plans start at $14 per month for individuals and $49 a month for small groups.
If you’re still struggling to print contracts and get them back to customers without looking unprofessional, give electronic document signing a try. Not only will this make your job easier, it will make you look more professional to your clients, who are increasingly beginning to adapt this technology into their own business model.