Monday, April 2, 2012
It's not uncommon for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to continue relying on dated, inefficient paper processes. In doing so, however, a recent Business Insider report noted that these companies may be shortchanging themselves and missing out on immense opportunities.
Instead of printing, mailing and scanning paper documents, small business expert Ramon Ray said SMBs should embrace the use of digital signatures.
"An important document comes through that requires a signature. You print it out, sign it, and either fax it, scan it in and email it, or mail it," Ray wrote for Business Insider. "Either way, you’re wasting time and paper. There has to be an easier way."
With the technology of digital signatures, companies can send documents and records electronically and receive digitally signed files faster than before.
By using electronic signatures and sending documents through a cloud-based file sharing program, the time it takes for a company to secure approval for a contract, purchase order or any other type of document is reduced dramatically. Instead of waiting days or even weeks for a file to be signed and returned, a company can send and receive information in a matter of minutes.
These benefits can be especially important for SMBs that want to spend their time and resources on other more pressing matters that will allow them to compete in volatile markets.
"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," Ray wrote.
ZDNet recently highlighted the case of George Street Photo & Video, a Chicago-based photography company that has rolled out e-signatures during the past several years. The company said a majority of its employees were on-board with the program from the start, and eventually more were added over time.
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