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The Best eSignature Software for Small & Medium Businesses

Published: February 20, 2023
The Best eSignature Software for Small & Medium Businesses

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have varying management styles, target clients, and growth capacity.

But they all face similar challenges, like managing piles of paperwork and collaborating with employees and clients to get work done.

One hurdle, in particular, is signing official documents without the constant back-and-forth via email, which increases the odds of lost work, misdirected feedback, or multiple versions of the same document. All these can create workflow inefficiency, negatively impacting customer satisfaction.

With an electronic signature solution, you can speed up and streamline your business processes dramatically while saving time and money.

Discover the best eSignature software at each phase of your small business’s growth for better customer service, faster time to revenue, and increased competitive advantage.

Benefits of eSignature Software to Small and Medium Businesses

eSignature adoption increased during the global COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted how SMBs and large companies conducted their operations — especially when it came to paperwork.

Today, the eSigning market is one of the fastest growing, thanks to the demand for getting electronic documents signed.

Reports predict the eSignature space will grow at a compound annual growth rate between 28% to 30% and be worth over $14 billion by 2026.

Why the sudden spike in growth? Because eSignature software helps SMBs:

  • Enable process duplication: eSignatures are part of a streamlined digital process, meaning processes start automatically and can be repeated. It also brings visibility into who has and has not signed a document for easier and faster document processing.
  • Save time: With electronic signature software, you can complete traditionally time-intensive processes, like creating standard operating procedures or initiating change controls, in a fraction of the time.
  • Reduce costs: An eSignature solution eliminates the costs of purchasing paper, printing, postage, and file storage. 
  • Eliminate human errors: With an eSignature tool, you can create digital templates and automate document management processes. This reduces human errors and inaccuracies often found in manual processes.
  • Improve productivity: An eSignature service automates your document workflows, making them more compliant and efficient. That way, you can focus your team’s creative energy on scale and momentum‌ with your newly increased productivity.
  • Enhance privacy and security: Unlike signing physical documents (especially where multiple signatures are required impacting security and privacy), eSignature tools store your paperwork safely in one digital location while tracking changes across the signing process. You can also manage authorization and access to the document and get audit trails of the transaction.
  • Increase customer satisfaction: You can implement digital signatures quickly, ensuring customers sign and return documents from anywhere using mobile devices. This enhances the customer experience and customer satisfaction.

Let’s review how eSignature tools assist SMBs at each stage of their growth. 

The Startup Small Business

young workers on laptops at a startup small business

A startup is a brand new company with different IT needs and often highly constrained resources.

At this point, you’re tweaking your business model to understand the market and how to turn a profit. You’re not necessarily looking to build a business with many employees or rival large competitors. Neither are you a disruptor, but you want to serve a more local market and remain profitable.

Businesses in the startup stage typically have:

  • Less than 30 employees
  • Fewer processes
  • Lower operation costs
  • High growth potential
  • No market positioning or track record
  • Use of new technologies for competitive advantage
  • Financing by bootstrapping, loans, or outside investors
  • Lack of readiness to be bought out or anticipation of growth
  • A goal to achieve high, rapid growth and exit (not necessarily sustainability or longevity)

While startup owners are usually interested in growth, they do it at their own pace, so there’s less pressure to scale.

eSignature software solutions like Docubee are handy at this stage to help you start off on the right foot with your vital documents and  sales contracts. And when you’re ready to grow, your solution can scale right alongside you.

The Growing Small Business

 growing small business owner using an ipad

Unlike a startup, a growing small business has experienced some growth in revenue, customers, employees, or market share, but is still relatively small compared to larger corporations. However, they also have the potential to become major players in their industries and contribute to economic growth and job creation.

A growing small business is expanding and flourishing in its industry, but often faces challenges like:

  • Finding new customers
  • Managing cash flow
  • Scaling operations
  • Competing against established companies

If you’re at this stage of SMB growth, eSignature solutions that go beyond document signing and provide workflow management and automation features can help you be more efficient, and continue to scale with your business as it grows.

One of the best eSignature software for this level of growth include Docubee. Since paperwork is a team effort, you may need different employees to collaborate and check documents before sending them off to clients and collecting payments. Docubee simplifies this process by allowing multiple people to sign and review documents — plus, it tracks who’s viewed and signed to keep everything on track.

The Matured Small Business

employees at mature small business collaborating

Your small business has grown and has been on the market for more than a few years. So you’re no longer a startup—you’re a mature business. 

Characteristics of a matured small business include:

  • The need to level up production owing to increasing customer base
  • Changes in expenses—less acquisition and more maintenance of workers, customers, and property
  • Ability to hit business benchmark and growth goals
  • Firmed up sales funnel
  • Using data for proactive planning
  • Brand recognition
  • Slower growth rate (steady customers and more saturation)

At this phase, you’re not as aggressive as a startup or thirsty to grow your operations. Instead, you have proof your business plan can succeed (sales) and can confidently implement consistent strategies to implement a long-term strategic plan.

Your small but matured business has complete products, meaning you’re out of the prototype and product testing phases. Plus, the business has tenured workers to whom you can delegate work so the company can run without micromanagement.

In addition, you have a wide range of processes and consistent business, meaning your online signature needs differ from that of a startup.

Electronic signature tools like DocuSign are great for bulk sending and signature needs, but they don’t offer effective contract automation, cost-effective eSignatures, and custom branding like Docubee. Plus, DocuSign has a greater learning curve, limited lower-tier plan features, and only offers customer support with its higher-priced plans. Not to mention, the dreaded woes of having to count envelopes and deal with surprise costs.

The Growing Medium Business

employees at conference table high fiving at growing medium business

At this point, your company has outgrown its small business status and is expanding in size, market share, and revenue. 

Growing medium businesses are often characterized by:

  • A larger workforce
  • More complex organizational structure
  • More diverse product offerings
  • Multiple locations 
  • Higher sales volumes
  • Greater brand recognition

With growth comes unique challenges, such as managing growth, expanding into new markets, and attracting and retaining talent. You may also need more resources and capabilities to invest in technology, marketing, and research and development to continue to grow and compete in your industry.

To help you meet your business goals, you’ll need effective eSignature solutions that offer scalability and better management of complex workflow processes. Docubee, DocuSign, Dropbox Sign (formerly HelloSign), and Adobe Acrobat Sign may be a good fit at this stage.   

The Maturing Medium Business

office of employees having meeting at maturing medium business

Your small business has grown and matured into a stable medium-sized business. Your processes have also increased and naturally become more complex, and you’ve reached a level of maturity in business operations and market position. 

Some common traits of a maturing medium business include:

  • A strong (established) brand, customer base, and organizational structure
  • Revenue, profits, and market share have stabilized
  • Your business is growing at a slower pace

However, you may face challenges in maintaining your company’s competitiveness and staying ahead of industry trends. You may also face succession planning and leadership transitions as the company’s founder or senior management considers retirement or other exits.

Your focus will shift to improving operational efficiency, increasing profitability, and diversifying your product and market offerings to ensure long-term growth and stability. 

eSignature solutions offer unlimited templates, the ability to send legal documents to lots of clients and team members, and track document status. They also transform tedious email tasks and paper-based forms into efficient digital processes.

Some of the best eSignature software for this level of growth include Docubee, DocuSign, PandaDoc, and Adobe Sign.

Docubee: Your Small Business eSignature Solution

As your business grows, it’s difficult to scale without the right team and tools. Mistakes inevitably happen, especially as your sales team spends time on repetitive, tedious, and cumbersome processes, like document management.

That’s where Docubee comes in. Our eSignature solution provides robust features and affordability for all sizes of SMBs with frequent sales, negotiations, and transactions so you can review, sign, and approve all paperwork simply and quickly.

Docubee digitizes cumbersome paper-based and email workflows, so you can focus less on manual paperwork and more on growing or sustaining your business.  

Ready to turn your document processes into efficient and secure digital workflows? Get Docubee’s 14-day free trial today!