On the list of thing things we wish we didn’t have to do for our business, chasing clients to sign off on the contracts you have agreed is surely only second to chasing unpaid invoices. Pen and ink signatures present barriers. A walk to the post box, the lack of a stamp, an envelope languishing in an out tray or faffing with the seldom used scanner function on a printer; all these things are standing in the way of getting your contract signed and delivered and you starting your project on time.
It is one of the last areas of work to be digitised effectively, but finally, finally electronic signatures are smashing those barriers!
I use electronic signing software almost every day in my own business and in my client’s businesses. My favourite service by far is Signable. Believe me, I’ve tried several. This is the one I recommend to anyone I’m working with. It’s incredibly easy to use – I think I had my first contract uploaded and out for signing in about 5 minutes. You enter the names and email addresses of the signers, upload a document, drag and drop the signing fields onto the document and hit send. The signers receive an email with a link to the document and step by step prompts to sign. They will receive automatic reminders if they are dragging their feet. When it’s all done, everyone receives a link to the completed document to download. It’s so simple and saves so much time and effort.
Unlike other similar services, Signable offer a handy pay as you go option which is good value for businesses that don’t do high volumes of contracts. If you are doing more than 20 per month there is also a monthly subscription option.
Now I will admit that trying to replicate your signature with a mouse or your finger on a touch screen is still a little on the clumsy side. My signature has certainly lost some of its panache in electronic form. It’s not bad though and this is bound to get better as the technology develops further. Even so, electronic signatures are totally legit. The Law Society have produced chapter and verse on the subject if you really want to reassure yourself. There are very few contexts where they wouldn’t be considered appropriate.
A service like Signable will undoubtedly save you time but it also may help you close more deals and plan your work load and cash flow too. Removing barriers which potentially hold up your contracts means your clients will sign sooner. That’s less chasing for you and more certainty for your business.