Cloud software plays an essential role for small businesses and startups as it cost effectively streamlines tasks which would otherwise require specialist expertise or expensive resources. Cloud software effectively allows small businesses to augment their existing resources and do more with less. Whilst small business cloud software is better known for customer relationship management or recruitment operations, there remains a gap for contract management solutions. Contract management software has until now only been available at law firms or large organisations but is now helping small businesses augment their contracting capabilities on no legal budget. This article goes into what contract management looks like without software and shares 5 reasons every small business should use contract management software to create and manage contracts.
What would happen if you didn't use contract management software?
Without contract management software, you might have access to some pre-approved contract templates which will need to be completed and sent via email for review and signature. Without cloud based contract management software, you might rely heavily on client templates and your inbox for tracking agreements. Whilst this workflow seems simple, editing a word document, keeping track of changes and differences between versions is time consuming and risky. Filing cabinets are not the most secure way of storing documents and take up space. Moreover, the only way of checking an executed document is in the filing cabinet is to open it and check for yourself. The contract creation process and entire contract lifecycle is difficult to optimise without contract management software and this article explains why.
Contract management systems provide a complete overview of the contracts your business holds
Running a small business isn’t easy, and keeping track of contracts and employee information can seem like an overwhelming task. Whilst storing contracts in a filing cabinet or digital folder might seem like an acceptable solution, it often requires sifting through every single contract to retrieve simple yet key information such as renewal dates. A spreadsheet can help with the management of the contract's lifecycle but this ultimately doubles your work. A contract management platform like Legislate makes it easy to understand and keep track of all your important contracts by providing a real-time dashboard with key contract and negotiation statistics. The patented technology behind the dashboard will update values as soon as contract conditions are met such as expiries, opt-outs or renewals.
Contract management systems keep everyone on the same page
Using contract management software helps small businesses streamline communication with contract parties and make contract administration fast and easy. Contract and document management platforms help improve internal communication by making contracts available to every team that is connected with the contract’s lifecycle such as account management and finance. Moreover, contract management platforms can provide notifications to alert stakeholders of key contract events to ensure everyone knows where the contract is in its lifecycle. This frees up time to focus on core business activities, which would otherwise be spent asking the contract manager for updates on the contracts which concern them.
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Contract management software centralises all contract details and allows you to make better decisions
Contract management software can help a small business make better business decisions by making key business information readily available. Contract data is conditional which means that monetary values can be less than they seem if the contract has a trial period or an early termination clause. Without a contract management platform it is difficult to keep track of these decisions and know what your actual revenue and outgoings are. Contract management systems act as a contract repository which means that contract data can easily be extracted and queried.
Contract management systems save time and energy by streamlining tasks
Contract management software removes bottlenecks by creating a paperless processes which automates communication between parties and creates a better user experience for everyone. Using contract management software reduces these workloads and helps you remain compliant with reporting requirements. Legislate members save on average 3 hours of admin per contract. Contract management systems often include e-signature functionality which offers a more inclusive contracting experience to parties who don’t have access to a printer or scanner.
Contract management solutions automate compliance for you
Small business owners have a lot on their plates. Without the right contract management software, it can be difficult to prove that you met legal requirements such as providing statutory documents to employees. Contract management software allows you to effortlessly demonstrate compliance with reporting requirements thanks to a digital audit trail from the creation to signature of your contracts. Contract management systems offer approval workflows to ensure that contract terms meet the legal team's requirements. This means that new contracts can be created without getting the legal department's approval each time you need to create an agreement.
How to choose a contract lifecycle management platform?
Each organisation will have their own analog contract management process so it is important to choose a contract management solution which is compatible with your existing products such as a CRM and workflows. The type of contract management solution you choose will depend on whether you have a legal department and if they will use it or not. Legal teams will often request more complex functionality whereas business users will require a contract management system which is easy-to-use and safe. The pricing of a contract management system also needs to be proportionate to the value of the contracts you are creating and the administrative cost of managing contracts. Finally, contract management solutions need to offer key functionality such as lawyer-approved contract creation, contract review, risk management, contract insights and electronic signatures in order to create real value for small businesses. The best contract management software platforms offer these advanced contract management features cost-effectively and enable legal and business teams to work on contracts in sync.
Why would companies use contract management software?
In this article we have explained how contract management software can help small businesses and startups understand what contracts they have and what they contain at any time, whilst unlocking cost-saving benefits such as cutting the time it takes to create contracts and remain compliant. Legislate is an easy-to-use contract management platform for small businesses, sales teams, landlords and letting agents which has all of these benefits as well as secure contract storage and patented insights into the state of your contracts and business. To start creating lawyer-approved legal documents, simply sign up, select the contract you’d like to create, read a tutorial and book a demo.
Legislate is an early stage legal technology startup which allows large landlords, letting agents and small businesses to easily create, sign and manage agreements that are prudent and fair. Legislate’s platform is built on its patented knowledge graph which streamlines the contracting process and aggregates contract statistics to quickly unlock valuable insights. Legislate’s team marries technical and legal expertise to create a painless, smart contracting experience for its users. Legislate is backed by Parkwalk Advisors, Perivoli Innovations and angel investors.