If you have landed on this page and are reading this post, then you must be thinking about using digital signature software. Well, at least toying with, the idea of, looking at, maybe, starting to, think about, and using digital signature software.
This is good because it means that you are open to the idea of making your business processes more seamless and efficient – which is what a signature maker, like Approve Me, is all about.
In this article, I want to go over some of the key questions you should be asking when looking for digital signature software. These questions are the baseline requirements of any digital signature maker, be that Approve Me or otherwise, so feel free to compare and contrast with other products you might find.
#1 What is your budget
This is probably the foremost question you have in mind as we all have to consider our bottom line in business. Approve Me has been specifically designed, not just in terms of features, but also in terms of budget, for the freelancer and small company. We are up front about our pricing structure which you can see here: https://www.approveme.com/e-signature/#pricingPlans
There are no monthly fees. Monthly fees are a bind, paying a one-off fee means you know where you are, and don’t have that monthly commitment – you can build the cost into cash flow / overhead, and you know that from now on it’s all about ROI. And importantly, we have a 3-week ‘check it out’ option so you can essentially try before you buy.
When considering budget you should think about how much it costs to create, sign, and deliver offline contracts. Costs that include, time (all the back and forth emailing and scanning, etc), printing costs, and possibly postage costs too. Compare those with the cost of a license for Approve Me, offering features such as re-use of contracts, automated alerts to sign, document management, and so on, that you’ll hear more about later in this article.Now we’ve got the money question over with, let’s move onto the other essentials.
#2 Do you lose contracts?
Contracts are your ‘get out of jail free card’. They are your visible agreement with your client and are highly valuable commodities. Yet we have a terrible tendency to lose contracts and other important documents. Analysts, McKinsey found that, on average, employees spent 1.8 hours per day searching for information and the right documents to carry out their job. A good digital signature maker will also be a good document management system. It should allow you to create contracts and other documents for signature, go through the signing process and store them in a central repository for easy retrieval. There should also be an audit trail associated with the document for you to refer back to if you ever need to.
As an additional, extra, re-usability of contracts is also a benefit of having a contract management system in place. You will probably have found that contracts are re-usable. I have certainly used contracts, especially NDA’s and the like, over and over in my company. They contain the same basic clauses, so why not adjust to a specific client, and re-use the basic contract content. Approve Me also lets you create contract templates which can be adjusted and re-used with new clients.
#3 Have you got slow contract processing times?
Getting a contract signed and sealed is one of those tooth pulling exercises. It can take ages. In the meantime, you’re raring to go, having re-scheduled other work to fit this new project in. Or, as like many of us, you need to start work on this new contract quickly to ensure cash flow. So anything that can quicken the pace of a signature of a contract is a welcome addition to our working lives. This is one of the main features of a good signature maker – it makes those signatures happen quickly. Approve Me, for example, can have a contract ready for signature in minutes. You simply click to add a signature field and then click to send the signatory an alert to sign it. There is even an automated signature collection option, which fully automates the process, letting your clients know the contract is ready to sign- they just go to your website, read the contract and click to sign – take that processing time!
#4 Is most of your work based online?
Many of us, myself included, have almost forgotten what it’s like to work offline. I do use paper, now and then, but pretty much all of my working life is sat in front of a faintly blue screen. So, why then, would I suddenly want to start printing stuff out, and using one of those, what are they called, things with ink, oh yes, a pen, to sign a piece of mushed up wood. Enter stage left, the signature maker.
Freelancers, in particular, are so used to the online life, that any offline process in their business seems somewhat alien. Building a modern digital signature software platform into our day-to-day business is a natural extension of that business. Approve Me has been specifically designed to be really easy to use. Developed as a WordPress plugin it can be incorporated into your own website, taking on your own brand and building a virtual connection to your customer base through online signatures.
#5 Does your website run on WP?
WordPress is by far the most well-used content management system (CMS) out there; with around 26% of the entire market for website CMS, according to W3Techs statistics. Chances are you are using WordPress as the basis for your website now, or will do in the future. One of the nice things about WordPress is the ease of use of plugins which can add lots of bells and whistles to your website. The Approve Me digital signature maker is a WordPress plugin which you install to add the digital signature whistle to your own branded website. This type of deep integration with a digital signature maker means that your clients can come directly to your website to access and sign contracts and other documents. Having an integrated digital signature platform with your website helps build a highly professional client relationship. It isn’t just about yourself saving time and money, but your client too – this helps to establish your brand as being efficient and forward thinking.
So, if you find yourself looking to make your business processes efficient, trying to save money, and looking like a forward thinking and innovative online business, then check out a modern signature maker like Approve Me. Integrated into your existing WordPress website, it will turn your contract and document signing processes around, making you wonder why you ever used that printer and scanner in the first place.