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Small Business Owners Increasingly Turn to Digital Documents to Ease Persistent Workplace Disruptions

Nearly half of small business owners now take on five or more roles at their companies, PandaDoc research reveals

As small business owners across the U.S. struggle to find the workers they need, new research commissioned by PandaDoc, the leading all-in-one document workflow automation platform, reveals that nearly half of small business owners are taking on five or more roles at their SMBs, from operations and administrative support to HR, customer service, accounting and sales/marketing. A whopping 83% of SMB owners generate all of their company’s important documents whether it be a sales proposal, new hire form or NDA.

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PandaDoc’s latest survey highlights the imperative for SMBs to shift to digital solutions. When asked to list the top hurdles their businesses faced through the pandemic, 48% of business owners and managers mentioned generating revenue, and another 44% mentioned maintaining access to clients/vendors.

As SMBs navigate the massive changes that took place over the past two years, from pandemic protocols to labor shortages to distributed workforces, business owners and managers alike are looking for all-in-one solutions to drive flexibility, efficiency, innovation and responsiveness. PDFs and word documents are no longer viable options, with collaboration and turnaround times subject to workplace disruption. More and more businesses are transitioning to a paperless workflow to take advantage of the simple, sophisticated all-in-one solutions that easily manage the creation, editing and signing of documents.

According to PandaDoc’s research, 68% of SMBs are leveraging digital documents. However, the survey also discloses close to 6 in 10 (57%) of owners believe creating digital documents require a special skill, with 53% acknowledging they’re only somewhat comfortable with the process and 44% reporting they are intimidated by a digital document workflow–despite the trending global shift to digital solutions.

“Small business owners wear many hats, and changing the way a business operates to alleviate stress and free up time doesn’t have to be daunting,” says Mikita Mikado, CEO of PandaDoc. “All-in-one digital document workflow solutions, like PandaDoc, help to make this transition seamless, foster innovation and improve productivity and efficiency for SMB owners.”

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The survey highlights:

  • A third (33%) of SMB owners would prefer to be spending time on new business development rather than document creation/management.
  • Cost savings are also key for small business owners: 64% feel they could save up to $5,000 per year if their document creation process was automated.
  • Saving time and boosting efficiency are also critical factors; 31% feel these are a digital document workflow’s greatest benefits

“With the relentless spread of COVID, piggybacked with labor shortages across most industries, small business owners are struggling,” says Mikado. “Moving from a legacy, static-based document process to a digital document workflow can help SMB owners meet the challenges of today’s workplace environment, simplify operations and help make better use of their time, such as for new business development.”

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