How much time do you spend each day doing paperwork? If you're in an industry that relies on paper-based processes, then you know how time-sucking it can be.
For instance, information workers (such as lawyers) spend 11.2 hours weekly dealing with the hassles of document creation and management. More than half of this is considered wasted time.
In the UK, many offices deal with disorganization, and it costs them £20 million annually in lost productivity.
Throughout Europe, workers are wasting nearly 7 hours weekly on paperwork.
Thankfully, there's a way to cut back on how much time you spend doing paperwork -- templates.
If you're not using document templates in your workplace, then it's time to consider doing so. Let's take a look at why and how you can make the switch.
Improve the Efficiency of Your Workplace
What's excellent about document templates is that it works no matter the industry you're in. Chances are you're creating and using the same type of documents on the regular.
By using templates, you can cut back on the creation process. It doesn't make sense to continue remaking the same document when you can develop a rough outline.
Then all you have to do is fill in the blanks. It removes the majority of the work from the process so you can focus on doing more productive things.
Reduce the Risk of Human Error
Human error is a significant problem, and if you're not careful, it could end up costing your business dearly. With a template, you can ensure all the essential data is there.
The less your workers have to do, the lower the chance of them making a big mistake. With templates, they only have to fill in critical details that change from project to project and client to client.
Then if you still end up making a mistake, you won't have to go back and rewrite the entire document -- just the areas you messed up on.
You can think of templates as a guide on how to write the document. It includes all the essentials, so your team doesn't mistakenly leave out relevant information or mess up the formatting.
Maintain the Consistency of Your Brand
Having different people write up your company's documents means there's a high probability of dealing with inconsistencies. This includes the tone, voice, and message you work hard to deliver in uniformity.
It's hard to do this when you have different hands working on core documents of your business. You can eliminate this issue with templates.
You can create a structure and layout for key documents, so it follows your style guide. For example, you can include a header, footer, and logo to your documents.
When customers see your documents, they'll recognize (and may even remember) your brand.
Automate Your Document Processes
There are various tools you can use to help build and edit your templates. You can quickly switch up subheadings, words, and font style without too much effort.
Then if you're using a platform like eversign, you can automate the signature process. You can upload your templates to the dashboard, fill it out, and email it to those who must sign it.
It allows everyone to insert their electronic signature quickly. It's an excellent way to automate your document processes.
If you have any existing documents that you frequently use (contracts, employee paperwork, etc.) you can upload them to eversign, prepare them once and save them as a template so you can re-use them again any time.
That's a huge time-saver over having to manually recreate the same document over and and over again.
Showcase Your Professionalism
Major companies succeed because they excel in putting "organize" into their organization. Smaller businesses struggle in this because they lack the departments to maintain everything.
However, this doesn't mean it's impossible to achieve.
With templates, you can bring order to your documentation processes. This will bring structure and professionalism to your company.
Differentiate Your Documents
Now, it's important to note that templates don't have to be bland or monotone. Consider making more than one template for each type of document.
For instance, if you have multiple customer personas to target, you can make a unique template for each invoice or direct mail letter you send to them. The template you create for one group may look hip and fun while another looks business and professional.
This can add appeal to your brand and help to make it stand apart from your competition.
Add Visual Appeal
The best templates are easily customizable to meet the needs of your brand. You don't want to have to stick with the same look all-year-round, especially for documents that are seasonal.
Instead, you can change the visuals on your documents based on the time of year. Or whenever you think it's time to switch up the look.
As long as the functionality of your documents remains the same, there's no reason not to add decorative appeal.
If you're looking for professional looking templates, you can use our Docracy integration to find free templates for all sorts of legal documents and sync it right to eversign to fill out and re-use any time.
Save Time and Money
We started off discussing the adverse effect that document management has on business productivity and finances. So it's only fair to list how templates can help companies save both time and money.
In many cases, when you're working with templates, you're dealing with digital platforms. This means less paper to print and mail off.
The amount of money you spend on office supplies will decrease substantially with this simple switch. Then you can use a digital signature tool to keep your processes flowing as usual.
Templates cut the amount of time you spend creating documents. And if you keep them digital, it'll be easier to track and manage them.
No more wasting time searching for missing documents.
How to Switch to Document Templates
We've talked about the why -- now it's time to talk about the how. Hopefully, you can see the benefits of switching over to templated documents.
If so, then you're likely wondering how you can begin using them. There are numerous software you can use to help with template creation.
Let's take a look at some of the types of documents you can (and should) create templates for.
If you're in finance, human resources, marketing, or another department that uses spreadsheets regularly, then why not create templates?
You can set it up so the formatting is already in place, along with all the sections and formulas. Then all you have to do is insert data.
This works if you create new spreadsheets weekly or monthly.
Non-Disclosure Agreement Templates
NDAs are necessary when you're continually working with contractors or partnering with other businesses. These documents are critical and in-depth, but simple to create into a template.
Since you may need these on the whim, it's a good idea to have a template on hand you can quickly fill out and send off.
Before you hire an employee or contractor, an agreement must be signed. If you've ever been on the receiving end of a contract, then you know how long it can take for a company to write one up.
In many cases, positions require filling immediately, which calls for a faster means of getting contracts written up and signed.
Again, templates come to the rescue. You can craft multiple agreements based on the department, position, and other factors that can change the terms of the contract.
Business and Financial Reports
Most businesses create financial reports on a monthly, quarterly, and/or annual basis. These reports are critical to have and must be thorough and accurate.
Templates can help to ensure this. You can use them to develop templates for sales reports, budget reports, and even marketing reports.
This includes digital marketing reports, project status reports, growth strategy reports, and market research reports. These all can use templates to boost productivity.
Business Proposal Templates
Sending out business proposals promptly can be the difference between you landing a project and missing out. If you have to spend hours or days drafting up your proposals, then it becomes impossible to send them out quickly.
Templates eliminate this issue, allowing you to draft up proposals quickly, so they're in the hands of prospects as soon as possible.
And when they're ready to sign off on it, they can do so using eversign.
Building Templates for Your Business Processes
With all the great tools you have at your disposal, it makes no sense to continue with paper-based processes. By turning to templates and automation, you can improve the performance and output of your teams.
Now that you know the benefits and various ways to use templates, it's time to implement them into your company.
Take a hard look at your current documents and systems to see how you can begin using document templates today!