SignNow Blog

6 ways to make your business green and profitable!

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Adopting a ‘greener’ strategy within your business is a great idea. Not only will it help you stand apart in your industry as eco-friendly, but it can actually help your bottom line.

Just some of the benefits to going green include:

  • Help save the planet
  • Reduce manufacturing costs
  • Reduce operating costs
  • Strengthen your reputation
  • Increase sales

In fact, an impressive 65 percent of consumers think it’s important to buy from environmentally responsible companies. So we’ve put together 6 ways in which you can make your business greener, to help give you some inspiration!

1. Become temperature smart

Keeping your office at a good working temperature is important, but there are ways that you can strive to be greener with the energy you consume. Did you know that air conditioning can increase a building’s energy consumption and associated carbon emissions by up to 100 percent?

Your first step should be to check that your A/C machine is as efficient as it can be. Dated models can use more energy than needed, so shop around for one that will be efficient for your business.

It’s also wise to consider whether the A/C needs to be installed in every room of your office. If you have rooms that you barely use then find a system that will let you take control over the temperature in each room. Keep your machine maintained regularly and only use it during working hours.

2. Reduce lighting usage

Lighting is another expense that you can cut down on within your business. Various countries across the world have started to ban incandescent light bulbs because they are not energy-efficient. Although it’s not mandatory in the U.S.A, an energy saving light bulb is a great idea to cut down on costs and save energy.

If you don’t want to use an energy-saving bulb then think about installing lighting that have built-in sensors, so they only come on when you walk into a room. That way, if you forget to turn your light switch off, you won’t be wasting any additional energy as it will automatically turn off.

Just like your A/C, only use lighting when necessary, and encourage your employees to switch off lights whenever they exit a room.

3. Don’t buy unnecessary products

Take a look at the life cycle of the products you use in your office and think about whether you really need them. For example the amount of paper that is used in an office is often not necessary. Did you know that an office of 100 people, typically saves as much as 40 hours per month by avoiding paper?

By not using paper, you will save yourself time, money and the environment. Whenever possible, you should choose to go digital. Say for example you need to grab a signature from a client or customer. Normally you would have to wait weeks for them to sign it and post it back to you, but if you use an eSignature platform, you’ll streamline the process and use less paper!

Other products that create unnecessary waste include batteries for your mouse or keyboard. Whenever possible, try not to use wireless products as they can cause excess drain on the environment.

4. Cut back on water consumption

Water consumption is a huge waste that can be avoided if you put in a little thought and effort. It’s estimated that we waste as much as 35-50 percent of the energy and water that flows into our buildings.

Shrewd business owners are now starting to collect rainwater, in order to conserve water and cut down on their bills. If you want to do this then consider installing a water retention system onto your building so you can collect rainwater and re-use it.

Just like an ageing A/C system, it’s wise to take a look at your toilets and see if you need to update them. Installing new faucets or low-flow toilets is another way to cut back on water and save money. The good news it that some state governments will help with the cost of rainwater retention systems or a faucet, by offering tax credits.

5. Go green on transportation

If you use vehicles within your business then you need to make sure that they are as green as can be. Although there may be an initial high expense in buying new cars for your business, you will save in the long run.

An eco-friendly vehicle can help you spend less on fuel costs, they can run for longer distances without having to fuel up, and they produce low CO2 emissions. You can now purchase cars that will automatically switch off if you are stopped at traffic lights, so that you are being as efficient as possible while on the road.

If you really wanted to save on the cost of gas then why not consider purchasing a hybrid car? These vehicles run on electric for shorter journeys and gasoline for longer drives and high speeds. Again, some state governments will also offer a tax deduction on eco-friendly cars.

6. Recycle whenever possible

By adopting a recycle program in your office you can actually reduce your trash costs by up to 60 — 70 percent. Try and encourage your employees to recycle when possible, by providing them with color-coded containers to dispose of various materials.

In addition to products that can be recycled such as paper or batteries, consider the amount of food that you throw away each day. There are composting programs available that let you recycle unused food, help the environment, and cut down on your disposal costs.

Some landfill sites even offer a reduction on your disposal waste if you have a composting program within your business.

Go digital with SignNow

We hope these top 6 tips offer you some inspiration on how you can become greener and more profitable.

Here at SignNow, we have helped many businesses save time, money, and the environment with our intuitive platform that lets you sign documents electronically. Just some of the benefits include:

Cut document turnaround time by 90 percent
Speed up your sales process by receiving instant contract signatures
Save the environment by not having to print out unnecessary paperwork
Avoid spending thousands of dollars on paper
Improve work productivity

Not only has SignNow streamlined workflow for 60% of the Fortune 500, but we’ve helped over 100,000 small business owners significantly improve the productivity of their work.

Sign up for your FREE trial today, and start saving time, money and the environment!

How eSignatures help businesses

blog imageIn today’s society, where so much of our lives are digitized, it’s baffling that some companies are yet to implement eSignatures into their business. We read, work, and shop on electronic devices — so if we can trust them for this, surely we can trust them with our signed documents. In this blog article, we’re going discuss how eSignatures can help businesses by talking you through the three ‘S’s of eSigning: Speed, Security, and Save!

Speed

What’s going to reach a recipient quicker, an email or a posted letter? I think we all know the answer to that one! But, strangely, so many companies are yet to implement the use of electronic documents and eSigning. Technology is traveling at such an impressive speed, so don’t allow yourself to be stuck in the past! Spending countless hours manually filling in paperwork (and then even more hours waiting to get those documents back) causes unnecessary stress and wastes countless hours, maybe even days, of time. Not to mention the added time wasted if the paperwork has been filled out incorrectly by the recipient and has to be sent again, or if (and it happens more than we’d like to admit!) the document gets lost. Studies have proven that ‘Executives waste six weeks per year searching for lost documents’. That’s six weeks that could’ve been spent doing a number of more important things, like deepening relationships with customers!

Switching to eSignatures will increase your productivity significantly. With SignNow you can easily upload the documents that require signatures, and reduce confusion by using our integrated wizard to highlight the fields that need to be completed by the recipient. You can even use our already drafted documents and adjust them as you need to, for example, add in important fields like name and date. Once you’re finished, SignNow emails your client with a link to the document. They can then fill it out on almost any device, and when they’re finished, SignNow automatically sends the document back to you. The whole process of signing a document is cut from weeks to seconds! In fact, SignNow has been proven to cut document turnaround time by a massive 90%!

Security

As mentioned above, documents can get lost and this severely slows processes down, but the security implications of losing a document can prove to be even worse, particularly if you handle private information. Every time you rely on fax or snail-mail to send sensitive documents you take a risk, and SignNow was created to eliminate this risk. All documents uploaded to our system are securely archived, and if you prefer to keep your documents out of the cloud then SignNow is also available as an on premises appliance to further reduce your security worries. In addition, SignNow is the only eSignature provider that is backed by the industry leader in content and network security, Barracuda Networks.

eSignatures are 100% legalized by the U.S. Government (and have been since the year 2000!), meaning that they are just as valid as handwritten signatures. With SignNow you also have the ability to track and monitor your documents with a full audit-trail — so no more searching the office for lost documents, or tearing your hair out wondering why you haven’t received your paper agreement back yet!

Save

We’ve already established that eSignatures save time, and hassle about security worries. But they can also save the environment, and your money!

It seems that everyone wants to stick to paper because they are familiar with it. But in the highly digital world we live in, the facts have to be faced: we are actually wasting more paper than we are using! Studies have proven that ‘More than 40% of printouts are discarded within 24 hours’. This unnecessary waste can be stopped with the implementation of eSignatures. By signing and storing all of your documents electronically there will no longer be a need to print endless sheets of paper and store them in an ever-growing row of filing cabinets. And eSignatures are just the beginning! For more information on how to further move towards a greener workplace, read our previous blog article: Five Ways to Move Towards a Paperless Office.

The financial waste of manual signing is even more hard-hitting than the environmental one. Think about how much money you spend on paper (The average office worker in the U.S uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year!), fax machines, postage, and working hours spent filing. The total can amount to thousands depending on the size of your business. All of this can be avoided by making the easy switch to eSignatures – and not only do eSignatures save money, they also increase revenue. By speeding up the process of document turnaround time, eSignatures give you the power to do more work in the same time-frame as before!

You’ve heard the benefits so what are you waiting for? Ditch the printer, scanner, and the fax! Let SignNow help your business SPEED up workflow, increase SECURITY, and SAVE money!

Contact us today to find out more about how eSignatures can help just about any business!

Or if you want to test us out first, click here to play around with our Live Samples.

The Real Cost of Productivity [Infographic]

We all know that productivity is a big deal in business. Higher levels of productivity can lead to increased revenues, lower costs, reduced waste and – ultimately – happier customers!

But how much does productivity really cost? The numbers may shock you. That’s why we put together our latest infographic (which you can see below.)

In it, you’ll find a wealth of interesting data.

  • how much are American businesses paying their employees?
  • How productively do workers spend their time?
  • What are the habits that kill their productivity?
  • How much company time is wasted each day?
  • What can you do to reverse these trends and get your productivity levels up?

Real-cost-productivity-infographic

 

The Numbers
The Average American works 34.5 hours per week.
The Average American hourly wage in 2014 is $24.45.

Time Wasters

Meetings
9 out of 10 people daydream in meetings.
Executives average 23 hours per week in meetings – 7.8 hours of which are unnecessary and poorly run. This means a wasted 2.3 months each year!
On average, American employees waste 5 hours per week in meetings – costing $6,357 per employee, per year.

Surfing the Web
64% of employees visit non-work related websites every day at work.
Of these people, 39% spent one hour or less, 29% spend 2 hours, 21% spend 5 hours, and 3% spend 10 hours+.
On average, employees waste 2.32 hours each week on personal/unrelated web surfing, costing $2,949.65 per employee per year.

Disorganization
Time spent searching for misplaced items (and lost computer files) costs businesses more than $177bn annually.
Searching for lost and misplaced materials accounts for nearly 38 hours annually, per employee.
A disorganized, or cluttered workspace, is considered ‘unprofessional’ by 86% of respondents. 
On average, disorganization and clutter waste 0.73 hours of employee time each week – costing $929.10 per employee, per year.

Emails
192 billion emails will be sent per day by 2016.
62% of people say that wasting time on non-essential emails is the most challenging aspect of email use
Only 14% of daily emails received are seen as crucial to work activities.
Respondents said that 8% of all emails they received were spam.
10% of employee emails are personal or unrelated.
We spend an average of 4 hours a day using email – meaning that it impacts approximately 50% of our working day.
On average, poor use of e-mail wastes 5 hours of employee time per week, costing $6,357 per employee, per year.

Interruptions
The average employee spends 28% of their time dealing with unnecessary interruptions followed by ‘recovery time’ to get back on track.
The time spent per day being interrupted and trying to refocus is 2.1 hours.
The average manager is interrupted every 8 minutes!
The cost of managing interruptions at work costs the US economy $588bn each year.
On average, interruptions waste 10.5 hours of time per week, costing $13,349.70 per employee, per year.

Time Savers
eSignatures
Using eSignatures cuts document turnaround by as much as 90%.
On average, using eSignatures can save employees 2 hours of time each month, saving $586.80.

Sales/Marketing Automation
A quarter of all B2B Fortune 500 companies are already using marketing automation, along with 76% of the world’s largest SaaS companies.
Marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead.
On average, sales and marketing automation can result in a 5 hours per week increase in productivity – saving $6,357 per employee per year.

Using a CRM
Sales reps saw productivity increase by 15% when they had mobile access to CRM aplications.
91% of companies with more than 11 employees use a CRM system, compared with 50% of companies employing fewer than 10 people.
Overall CRM usage has increased in recent years – from 56% in 2012 to 74% in 2013.
CRM offers an average return of $5.60 for every $1 spent.
On average, using CRM can increase productivity by 15%, saving $6,585.86 per employee, per year.

The Cost of Personal Time at Work
39% of people say they spend a mere 1 hour per week (or less) on non-work related items.
29% of people say they spend up to 2 hours per week wasting time on the computer at work.
21% of people say they waste up to 5 hours a week on no-work related tasks.
3% of people admit to spending 10 hours or more on personal tasks while at work in a given week.

7 organizations who use eSignatures to increase productivity

7 Organizations ImageeSignatures are becoming more and more prominent with each passing day. Why? Because they increase company productivity by saving time, costs, and offering a legal audit trail of every signature collected.
Although there are hundreds more, we’ve listed seven organizations who are proven examples of the positive effects that moving to paperless documents can have on your company.

1 NBA

At any given time, the NBA can have hundreds of documents that need signing, and that’s a lot of paper to keep track of. Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets broke records and started trends by signing one of the largest deals to date with an eSignature. He signed his $100M deal with the Nets using just his index finger and the SignNow iPad app – not a pen in sight.

2 Pepsi & Mekanism

When Pepsi’s marketing team got together with Mekanism to create an amazing experience for the SuperBowl Halftime show they faced the obstacle of collecting five hundred signatures from people all over the country. Pepsi wanted to incorporate their biggest fans into the show, but collecting notarized signatures looked like it was going to be too difficult a task.
Luckily, SignNow came to the rescue and a process that could have taken weeks was completed in under seventy-two hours with the reliable sources of eSignatures. Elizabeth Morse, Director of Integrated Production for Mekanism, had this to say: ‘SignNow’s eSignature solution was an easy and powerful way to manage our signing process and collect signatures’.
You can watch the powerful montage video they created, here:

3 Colliers International

Colliers were not originally keen on eSigning as their customers had previously found it complicated. However, as one of the biggest real estate firms in the US, Colliers collects signatures relating to hundreds of different properties and needed a solution to increase their productivity.
They now use SignNow as they found it simpler and more affordable than what competitors had previously offered them. By switching from paper documents to electronic they have saved countless hours and thousands of dollars.

4 State Farm

Insurance companies, such as State Farm, are becoming more competitive by incorporating eSignatures to better serve their customers.
Within the legal sector the paper chase is not only lengthy, but it is stressful too, for the client and the company. By moving towards a paperless workplace, State Farm has eliminated these worries and reduced the risk of losing important documents.

5 GlaxoSmithKline

SignNow has proven to be an invaluable tool for pharmaceutical companies like GSK. All of their representatives now use iPads, meaning the necessary documents they use on a daily basis, such as consent forms, waivers, and physician paperwork, are right at their fingertips. Reps can easily take orders on the go, and doctors can sign within seconds, making sales and finalizing agreements easier than it’s ever been. By incorporating the use of eSignatures, GSK has also reduced compliance risks for the company by ensuring that every signature on every document is authentic.

6 Hammond Police Department

Not many people give thought to the amount of paperwork Police Departments deal with, but SignNow did.
Before they switched to eSignatures, The Hammond Police Department had to take laptops and mobile printers with them on the road in order to collect vital signatures. If that wasn’t enough hard work, they then spent a significant amount of time organizing and filing the documents, costing them hours of productivity.
Now, with the use of the SignNow iPad app they have gone completely paperless. They can open a number of different templates whilst out in the field, and get fast and secure signatures within seconds.

7 New England Patriots

The New England Patriots were one of the first NFL teams to simplify their business operations through the implementation of eSignatures. The Patriots use SignNow for a variety of operations across multiple departments, from player contracts to on-the-field programs. Jim Nolan, SVP Operations, New England Patriots said, ‘We have hundreds of contracts and official documents at any given time, and being able to use innovative technologies like SignNow to improve efficiencies saves us valuable time and resources’. Now, the New England Patriots employees and partners can create, sign and share documents via any computer, tablet or mobile device.

Takeaway

What we’d really like you to take away from this blog is a larger understanding of how eSignatures can really increase the productivity of anyones business, big or small. Using eSignatures not only benefits individual companies by saving time, costs and security worries, it also benefits everyone by moving us towards a paperless, greener, planet.
We offer a range of different packages, curious to see if there’s one to suit you? Get in touch!

How to move your business into the 21st Century

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The 14 years since the turn of the century have seen unprecedented change to the way organizations — and their customers — do their business. And the old saying ‘evolve or die’ has never been so apt.

Companies of all shapes and sizes now face the mission-critical — and constant — task of adapting new technology to improve their efficiency and productivity.

We’ve put together some of the more important trends we think you need to embrace in order to future-proof your business, and stay ahead of the field as this chaotic century continues apace!

1. Social Media

The rise of social media — and its impact on how businesses interact with their customers — has been one of the most seismic shifts in recent years. The numbers say it all; while a billboard on Times Square will be passed by an average of 350,000 people on a daily basis, or a commercial during the Oscars viewed by 48 million people, Facebook alone has an average of 128 million users every day and more than a billion in total!

Increasingly, people expect to be able to interact with your business publicly, in real-time. Social media represents an amazing opportunity to reach more people, promote your business, deliver outstanding customer service, and resolve consumer grievances to minimize churn.

Our top tips for dealing with the social craze are:
Ensure you have a well-branded presence on Facebook and Twitter.
Create a social media calendar so you can plan your content output and campaigns in advance
Monitor the channels regularly and make sure you respond to all comments and messages — good and bad!

2. Responsive Design

Another earth-shattering development over recent years has been the staggering growth of mobile devices. Whereas back in Y2K you’d be most likely to use your phone purely for calling and texting (with the occasional game of Snake thrown in…) we now use mobile devices everywhere, and for pretty much everything. 75% of Americans even admit to bringing their phone to the bathroom! Invariably, customers now expect a truly consistent experience, whichever device they use to reach your business.

That’s why it’s absolutely vital to ensure that you’re using responsive design on your website. ‘Responsive design’ just means that your website recognizes which device a viewer is using and displays an optimized version for that device.

3. Go Paperless

Going paperless is not only an amazing thing to do for the environment, it can make a difference to your bottom line. The average employee prints an astonishing 10,000 sheets of paper every year2 which is an unnecessary expense you could surely do without!

Going paperless is also a great way to streamline your processes and manage projects more efficiently. Cutting down on the amount of paper in your business ensures important decisions and processes are no longer informed by flimsy scraps of paper and manual spreadsheets — while providing the peace-of-mind that your important documents are securely backed up and protected.

Check out our related article: 5 ways to move towards a paperless office

4. File Storage

The days of huge filing cabinets jamming up your office space are surely a thing of the past! There are too many advantages to mention when it comes to cloud storage. It’s inexpensive, saving you the expense of costly backups, and, since your data is encrypted, it’s infinitely more secure. It’s also easy for the relevant people to gain access, great for collaboration and — of course — saves your physical space.

With such a wide range of affordable options available, it seems crazy that businesses continue to run the risk of losing precious documents as a result of fire or flood. If you’re looking for manageability, security and as much cloud storage as your company needs, you should definitely check out our amazing sister company, Copy.

5. Security

A lot of things have changed over the years, but — unfortunately — cyber threats have been one, unwelcome constant. Security techniques have certainly evolved, but then, so have the risks. It’s absolutely vital that you take precautions to keep your business safe.

According to IBM, there’s a 12% year to year increase in security events, causing catastrophic financial damage. On average, companies are attacked 16,856 times a year, with many of these leading to quantified data breaches.3

There are a number of things to consider to ensure you’re protected, from firewalls, to anti-virus scans, and encryption of your sensitive data. Success often boils down to planning; how are you meeting the threats that are ‘out there’ and do you have a contingency plan to put into action if the worst happens — an early response can hugely mitigate the impact of an attack!

6. eSignatures

As technology has soared over recent years, many processes have been simplified and streamlined. But, bizarrely, the act of getting a document signed up is as sluggish and inefficient as ever, with businesses still relying on archaic methods to get the job done.

Using eSignatures, you can forget about the printing, signing, scanning, mailing and — above all — WAITING, associated with the old-fashioned techniques. eSignatures are legally binding, just like real signatures, and they allow your staff, clients and partners to sign documents digitally (across multiple devices) and have them back to you in a matter of minutes.

Check out our related article, The one thing 60% of the Fortune 500 do to boost productivity, to find out more about eSignatures and SignNow!

Get with the times!

The world has never turned so fast, certainly with regard to technological innovation. And, while that makes it (in our humble opinion) probably the most exciting time in living memory to do business, it also presents unique challenges. You need to move with the times, keep your finger on the pulse and ensure that you’re utilising every technical advantage you possibly can.

We hope the ideas we’ve outlined above give you some ideas to harness technology and new media to make your business more efficient, productive and profitable than ever before!