A Guide To Digital Signatures For Your Service Business

by Corey Philip
April 20, 2018

If you run a service business, odds are you’ve handled more contracts than you can count. There’s a good reason why businesses rely on contracts—they can spell the difference between a major payoff and a lot of lost money.

However, handling paper contracts can be a liability overtime for reasons I’ll be outlining in this article – and are just a straight up pain in the ass. Now, I personally don’t like leaving things to chance, and if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I like to take advantage of digital solutions. That’s why I use digital signature systems for my business; they’re quick, convenient, and my clients enjoy all the benefits I do from using them.

The Problem with Paper Contracts

Paper contracts are to business what snail mail are to communications: costly and outdated. I could fill an article with the problems I have with the medium, but here are four of the top reasons why I chose to do away with them:

  • Sloppy handwriting

    In my experience in dealing with manual signatures, I’ve come to two conclusions: people can have really crappy handwriting. This even further magnified in home services where the scope of work is written out, and signatures are collected not at a desk, but rather while standing in someone’s living room. At best, it can be really off-putting when you’re handling a professional document, and at worst it results in specifications that are illegible.

  • Lost or damaged contracts

    You know what I am talking about here. If you’ve been out selling on a hot day, and you or the client is hunched over the contract, dripping in sweat, what do those papers look like before you even leave the property? Ever had service guys lose the contracts before making it back to the office after stopping at multiple addresses?

  • Opportunity cost

    Sending people to ferry documents over to clients at all is a burden I was happy to do away with. Calculate how much you have to spend on gas and compensation, and see if you disagree.

  • Lost customers

    In my trade, and region, we deal with many folks second home. As such, we deal regularly with clients that aren’t home and we’ll never meet face to face. Some of the customers probably wouldn’t go with us at all if they had to print, sign and send documents. On the flip side, I’m sure it gives us a one up on the competitors when we make the process quick and painless for them.

    Put simply, paper contracts were a great idea in their time, but nowadays they’re more of a liability than a useful tool. Which brings me to the focus of this article: a great new innovation called digital signature software.

Digital Signatures: Business Done Right

I found my solution to the problems listed above in the form of digital signature software. My preferred software lets me upload, create, and edit documents from any device I own, insert interactive text boxes for the various details needed by a document, and send them to clients who can upload premade signatures or draw them using a touchscreen.

The system is impressive in and of itself, but the improvements it’s made to my business operations are what really make it shine:

  • The interface is absurdly simple

    Each box inserted to the document is fully interactive, and the people behind my digital signature software seem to have fully mastered the art of UX/UI design. I’ve never had a client complain that the software is difficult to use.

  • It eliminates any issue I could possibly have with handwriting

    All the important details that my clients used to write by hand are now fully digital, and I haven’t had any problems with banks or secretaries since making the switch.

  • My contracts are returned in an instant

    I do most of my business through email anyway, so the addition of a new and useful tool that works well with digital correspondence has me getting signed contracts back almost as soon as my clients receive them.

  • I save a lot of time and money

    I waved goodbye to logistics spending for my contracts after I started using digital signature software. For $10 a month, it’s a practically a steal.

  • Finally, I haven’t lost a client or a contract since going digital.

Finally, I haven’t lost a client or a contract since going digital.

It goes without saying that this’d be a useless feature if it couldn’t hold up in court. Thankfully, e-signatures have been legally recognized since 1999 thanks to the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act. Unless you’re handling divorces, toxic waste, or other limited exceptions, your business is probably in the clear.

Sign Me Up: Digital Signature Options for Your Business

The market is full of digital signature software providers, and choosing one is a simple matter of price and reliability.


I trust DocuSign for my businesses, since it’s one of the older firms in the industry and, like I’ve mentioned, they’re very reliable for their user-friendly software and document security. They have several options available from $10 a month, but offer expanded functionality for higher rates. At over 200 million users worldwide, I don’t mind trusting them with my contracts.  This isn’t a promotion for DocuSign though, so let’s look at some other options!


More affordable options exist, though I can’t personally speak for their quality or reliability. DigiSigner is one option that comes highly recommended, and offers a free subscription package (albeit with a maximum of three documents a month, so you might not want to bank on that offer). eSign Genie is also fairly well-reviewed, and offers pay-as-you-go options. At $2 per document, however, you might be better off signing up for their $8 monthly professional package.


When you decide to sign up for a digital signature software of your own, I recommend prioritizing reputation and security guarantees. There’s no point to saving money if your documents are unsecured, or your chosen software leaves your clients scratching their heads trying to figure out how to plug in their signatures.

Cost is naturally a concern, but the vast majority of providers offer their software for affordable prices (around the $10/month mark). You can try and cut costs, but you do so at your own discretion –you get what you pay for, after all.


Don’t get left behind by the times. Digital signature software is an available, affordable, and reliable solution for your needs; I guarantee that the learning curve is manageable, and that the final outcome won’t disappoint you.

The longer you wait, the more you risk losing cash or business to the inefficiency of hard copy contracts. Make the switch today, and tell me how it goes in the comments below!

About the author

Corey Philip

Corey Philip is a small business owner / investor with a focus on home service businesses.

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