Cloud-based Contract Management: Good for a Start-up?

Contract management systems come in all shapes and sizes and, with so many choices, picking the right one for an early-stage company can be a daunting task. So when our CEO, John Fox, stumbled upon a Quora post asking “What cloud-based contract management software would be good for a start-up?”, we knew he had to chime in.

John’s had experience on both ends of the deal-making equation, having held leadership roles at both startups and mature tech companies. This perspective allowed him to offer some unique insight as to the importance of having a contract management platform when scaling a business is the top priority.

In the early stages of a company’s growth, building out dedicated accounting and legal teams may still be on the long-term to-do list. Corporate filings and NDAs might be stored on a few massive shared drives, swimming in seas of filenames that all look eerily similar. This can make for some terrible headaches when a startup is looking to mature.

4 distinct junctures in a company’s growth when a CLM is essential

  1. Investment Diligence: Raising venture capital funding is a celebrated milestone in the growth of any startup. Your hard work is finally starting to pay off and you’re ready to take your business to the next level. But what happens when a potential investor asks for contractual agreements and legal documents and nobody on your team has any idea where they are? Do you really want to delay closing a funding round while you dig up these documents?
  2. Closing the books: You want to make sure the people doing your invoicing are actually getting all the value out of your contracts that they can.” Without a contract management platform in place, you’ll be left with the task of manually identifying and organizing all contracts and contract amendments and linking them to the associated partner companies.
  3. Managing partners day-to-day: Your customer base is expanding. Awesome! You know what else is expanding? Your pile of contracts. With more and more renewal dates, payments terms, and deliverables to keep tabs on, you could end up diverting your focus from your running your business to reading through 50-page documents way more than necessary.
  4. Acquisition: I’ve seen deals fall apart because it took too long for a company to produce their contracts, or that company found some of their largest partners were just month-to-month partners and not actually locked in for multiple years.” Just like investment diligence, your company will be required to present any and all key documents during an acquisition. Digging these up could take months without a contract management system in place to do the heavy lifting for you.

“Contract management systems are extremely valuable, and can help save you a ton of time and money throughout the life of your company.” They make you easy to do business with and they make you look great in the eyes of your customers, partners, and vendors.

But without the right fit, you’ll be left to handle all the intricacies of identifying and organizing contracts and contract amendments, uploading them to the system, setting alerts, running reports, you might not even have time to do the job you were hired to do. That’s why we recommend the only full-service contract management platform on the market, which just so happens to be DealSafe. Register for a demo today.

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