How Intuit, Google and DocuSign Help Small Businesses Embrace Digital Transformation
Over the past year, small businesses everywhere have faced incomparable challenges. But most haven't let those challenges stop them. In fact, at DocuSign we’ve seen some remarkable reinventions among our small business customers.
And we’ve even seen small-business digital transformation accelerate and pivot their business models during this time.
Some examples: a bath-products retailer shifts from selling in-store to selling subscription boxes online, and a commercial food supplier going from supplying restaurants with gourmet ingredients to holding video cooking classes—after shipping ingredients to participants’ homes.
Like the proprietors of these firms, small business owners everywhere are finding that digitally transforming existing processes has become key to thriving in a new selling landscape.
I wanted to learn more about this trend. Recently, I talked with executives at Intuit, Google, and our own company to find out how small businesses can best embrace digital transformation.
Why should small businesses care about digital transformation?
Any minute saved using technology on your back-end is another minute you can spend with your customers, observed Rajneesh Gupta, VP of Global Strategic Partnerships at Intuit. “We’re working hard to make our small business applications as easy to use as consumer apps, so a customer’s financial and digital transformation can be as seamless as possible,” he said.
Javier Soltero, VP & GM for Google Workspace, commented that a small business’s success depends on the people behind the business, and how they work. “Digital transformation...helps your people work more fluidly,” Javier said. “People can work more closely, more securely, and more successfully, and have everything they need to be productive all in one place.” Chris Rimer, VP Global ISV Ecosystem at DocuSign, pointed out that digital transformation can help small businesses increase overall productivity. “Employees and customers can collaborate more efficiently. One example is a dentist’s staff helping first-time patients pre-fill forms online prior to appointments,” he said. “This saves the small business time, yet increases the business’s intimacy with patients.”
Streamlining how businesses work online
Small businesses represent about 90% of all businesses worldwide. “And yet the pandemic has put extreme financial pressure on many of them,” said Soltero. To take some pressure off, Google has found a way to consolidate its app offerings—in a way that should significantly speed small-businesses’ interactions online.
“A big focus for us lately is the introduction of Google Workspace. It’s a complete integration of Mail, Chat, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Meet into one streamlined dashboard,” Soltero explained. Available now, Google Workspace gives small businesses the capability to create, collaborate, and communicate all from one place. The integration with DocuSign further streamlines how businesses work online, he said.
Automating repetitive tasks
“[Intuit] is using AI and automation within our applications to take a lot of the guesswork out of running a small business,” said Gupta. “Our apps can automate much of your repetitive back-office tasks” by re-populating data from interaction to interaction, for example. Automation capabilities can also help small businesses get paid on time, and improve cash flow forecasting.
“Our recent integration of QuickBooks and DocuSign delivers unrivaled fluidity to your workflows,” he said.
Transforming agreement processes
“DocuSign eSignature by itself is super easy to set up and use,” said Rimer. With our core electronic signature platform, you can be up and running in a few hours. Adding Agreement Cloud functionality—like collecting automatic payments during signature—can happen in the same timeframe,” he said.
DocuSign Identify, also part of the Agreement Cloud, is a tool that helps small businesses verify signers using a government-issued ID. “You quickly take a picture, that picture goes to a secure database, and that database then sends an answer to DocuSign that says, ‘let this person access the document,’” he explained.
What strategies for differentiation can help small businesses pull ahead of the pack?
“I think small businesses today have to align with at least one trend that was created or intensified in the past year,” said Javier. He cited examples such as self-service models, online teaching opportunities, and virtual events. “To differentiate, businesses have to extend their capabilities in ways that enhance the business’s original strategic intent.”
Javier wrapped up by saying: “If you can add an education component to your offering, however subtle, that can go a long way towards establishing a brand preference, especially for new customers.”
For some digital transformation tips and how it can help your small business pivot in these kinetic times, we’ve put together a highlight reel of our Partner Virtual Event, Keep Your Small Business Moving Forward with Intuit, Google, and DocuSign, so you can gather inspiration to take back to your team.
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