Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to work online and make business deals without every being face to face with a client. However, while everything is text-based and technically in writing, there are times where placing your signature on a dotted line is still needed to protect yourself and those you’re working with. As a small business owner, this can be one of the most common and difficult issues to overcome. Here are three different methods for accomplishing this task:
1. Printing and scanning.
There’s always the old fashioned way; print off the document and sign it. Once you’ve done that, you can scan it back into your computer, make a copy for yourself and send the picture or PDF off to your client. It can be a little bit of hassle, but it’s one of the most effective ways for ensuring your signature is legally binding, especially if you don’t own a touch-screen. Just keep a little voice in the back of your head to shout, “Print that now!” whenever you encounter an online contact, because it may make a difference in the end.
When the Internet causes a problem it usually offers a soluation. PandaDoc is a website that allows you to sign contracts electronically with your mouse or with your finger. By signing in with an account, you’re attaching your email to the credibility of your signature; honestly, the same is accomplished by sending a PDF via email. Only, this way, you can save yourself the extra hassle of printing out your contract, so long as you’re a master with a mouse or have access to a touch-screen.
HelloSign follows the same pattern as PandaDoc; however, it has bank-level security and is compatible with Gmail, which allows you to instantly sign documents that are sent via email at any time. This makes it easy for businesses and freelancers alike to respond quickly and efficiently in deals.
EchoSign utilizes the same techniques found in both PandaDoc and HelloSign; however, it works as an add-on of Adobe. This makes it an easy addition to a program you and your clients may already have, which you know and trust. It also has a feature which tracks the signatures, providing you with information on when certain signatures are made and which clients are still required to put their name on the dotted line.
There are many other programs and sites which offer signature services, however, most of them cost a fee. When managing your own business, saving money where it can be saved is crucial. These are the three most effective means of signing contracts through the internet, all without any additional costs.
Professionalism is key with a small business, and calling for a binding contract on a job will cause clients to respect you, all while keeping yourself and your business safe in the process. Don’t let a remote job ever discourage you from keeping your paperwork straight and your business safeguarded.