How Vermouth Beauty accelerates funding and hiring—and saves $75k+ in a year
Vermouth Beauty is helping to address environmental issues and the use of harmful ingredients in the beauty industry with its plant-based lip crayons. Since implementing Dropbox Sign, they accelerated investment, legal work, and hiring—and are better equipped to scale.
Cumbersome technology stalling critical agreements
For start-ups to succeed—and get their brands on customers’ lips—certain components are essential. They need a stand-out product, carefully cooked strategy to go to market, talented team, and strong culture. Less obvious, but just as foundational, is having strong agreement workflows in place. Why? Because the faster you raise capital, hire talent, close deals, and protect your IP, the sooner your business can meet its growth goals.
As CEO of Vermouth Beauty, Meg Diaz has first-hand experience of the myriad of challenges facing start-ups and is overcoming them in inspiring ways. The company’s ethical product range is a thing of beauty. Its lipstick, made from plant-based ingredients and compostable packaging, captures the zeitgeist for products that are good for customers and the planet. Meanwhile, their talent management strategy leverages under-utilized female experts around the world.
While Vermouth Beauty had the product, the strategy, and the confidence to thrive, one element was holding them back. To stay competitive, they needed to move fast on everything from fundraising to hiring and selling. However, cumbersome technology was slowing the routing and tracking of business critical agreements to a virtual snail’s pace.
“We originally selected DocuSign to share agreements and get them securely signed, because we were planning on scaling and growing fast and felt it was software that’s geared to be big,” says Meg. “But we found it too unwieldy and time-consuming to use—it almost felt like pulling a weighted sled.”
There were a couple of compelling reasons to improve their agreement workflows. First, a major seed funding opportunity was on the horizon, which required intense levels of agreement management, with 100s of documents to be customized, routed, and accurately tracked before they could secure more capital. It was a huge source of anxiety that they might not be able to move fast enough with their current tool.
Second, issues with their legacy software created inefficiencies across their talent management workflows. Because the tech was so tough to learn and leverage, they couldn’t route or track contracts and other employment-related paperwork as fast as they’d have liked.
“We were having huge problems onboarding employees and contractors. Although we were only sending a relatively small number of work agreements and contracts at that early stage, we knew the problem would multiply as we increased our growth and momentum.”
Vermouth Beauty was at a crossroads. They urgently needed to streamline their agreement workflows particularly around managing fundraising deals and talent management. With the right solution in place, they could achieve better business organization, secure more financial success, and transform recruitment.
“We’re really happy with Dropbox Sign. It has allowed us to concentrate on our strategic priorities and our growth, instead of the logistical minutiae that are required to get there.”
Fundraising and hiring faster with streamlined workflows
In a crowded tech marketplace, there was no shortage of solutions for Vermouth Beauty to choose from. But one stood out as the tool to drive their business forward—Dropbox Sign.
Meg explains: “We selected Dropbox Sign for both its ease of use and pricing. It offered us a solution that worked well for where we were then and, as a startup with ambitions, was capable of growing with us.”
With Dropbox Sign, Vermouth Beauty uses one easy-to-use platform to prepare, send, sign, and track agreements. Because the learning curve is so shallow, employees were seamlessly sending agreements to investors, potential employees, contractors, and customers within days.
Dropbox Sign immediately moved the dial on fundraising. During a recent round of seed investment, it not only expedited the process of sending complex agreements to potential investors, but enabled Meg and her team to administer the routing themselves, instead of paying legal experts thousands of dollars to do it.
“Without Dropbox Sign, we’d have needed our legal team to do all the routing and administration at a cost of thousands of dollars,” she says. “By administering our own routing, we can look into the progress of agreements ourselves, validate what’s going on, and troubleshoot quickly, without checking in with legal all the time. This accelerated the process and saved us a ton of time and money.”
Vermouth Beauty also saw their recruitment workflow gain velocity. Every element of the talent management paperwork experience is now straightforward to manage. Colleagues simply upload the necessary documents into Dropbox Sign—such as non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or offer letters—add details of who needs to sign, and drag and drop all the required fields into place. It’s just as easy for the recipient to turn around.
Even better, Vermouth Beauty separates and automates workflows for different agreements. Sending documents in different batches, rather than all at once, prevents new talent feeling daunted by having a huge stack of papers to sign.
“Dropbox Sign made it easy to put in place a process where we route our NDAs before we get going on other parts of the agreement and SOWs. It’s simple to create hassle-free workflows and make sure we’re covering all of our bases. Before, trying to do that would have been soul-killing.”
With multiple documents to route and manage, Meg appreciates the total visibility she has into where people are in the agreement workflow, from sending to signing.
“With Dropbox Sign, it’s easy to see who's looked at a document, who's signed it, and where we are in the process. If a document has been looked at but not signed, we can be proactive in checking in and often we’re able to move the process along in a really effective way.”
$75k+ saved in a year and a more organized and agile business
Vermouth Beauty hasn’t looked back since implementing Dropbox Sign. Today, they’re a more organized and agile business, close fundraising deals faster, and make global hires efficiently.
Huge financial savings
By streamlining their agreement workflows with Dropbox Sign, Vermouth Beauty has unlocked massive cost savings. In fact, Dropbox Sign is so comprehensive, reliable, and easy to use, they haven’t yet needed to hire full-time marketing experts or an HR specialist, saving them around $60k a year. In just one month of their last investment round, they also saved $15k in legal fees and 40 hours of work by their Operations Manager.
As an ambitious start-up, where cashflow is queen, having so much money back on hand makes it easier to budget, forecast, and grow with greater confidence.
“The fact that Dropbox Sign is a source of savings for us is really important. Now, we're spending our money on staffing, product development, raw materials, and optimizing processes instead of legal fees and excess salaries. We’re making sure every dollar of the money we’re raising counts.”
Easily leveraging untapped female experts around the world
Because Dropbox Sign makes talent management so much easier, Vermouth Beauty is hiring and onboarding untapped female talent faster.
“Dropbox has made our talent management process very simple. We’ve accelerated our ability to get through the paperwork portion of onboarding faster, and move on to other critical aspects, such as introducing talent to our important mission, values, expectations, and culture.”
Meg’s proud that Vermouth Beauty caters for an underserved female market and appreciates the role Dropbox Sign plays. “Dropbox Sign gives us the flexibility to quickly and easily adjust our agreements, so we can offer the flexibility we want to the kind of talent we're trying to attract,” she says.
More time to focus on strategy and growth
Dropbox Sign creates time savings and efficiencies across every agreement it touches. So Meg’s team can focus on refining and future-proofing their processes and workflows, rather than wrestling with a clunky tool.
“The ease of use in Dropbox Sign has allowed us to focus more on long-term strategic goals, as well as process improvement,” says Meg. “It also frees up my Ops Manager to use her fantastic analytical mind on issues beyond just grinding through using a tool.”
Meg recommends Dropbox Sign to any business looking to streamline agreement workflows and create a solid launchpad for growth. She says: “Dropbox Sign has allowed us to concentrate on our strategic priorities and our growth, instead of the logistical minutiae that are required to get there. We're really happy with Dropbox: we've done investment work, we've done talent management, we've done IP protection. And in the workflows we've had for all of those, Dropbox Sign has been successful, smooth, and effective.”
What’s next for Vermouth Beauty?
With Dropbox Sign lifting stress from the leadership team and saving significant time and money, Vermouth Beauty can channel its full focus into funding, running, and growing the business. Meg says:
“We love Dropbox Sign. I think it can help us scale without being over-engineered and that's a really critical aspect of why we use it.”
As order volumes and revenue grow, the business plans to move away from sourcing raw materials from costly middlemen, to going direct to suppliers. Meg says: “When we're doing procurement, we're going to be going directly to the source and will need to create independent agreements. Dropbox Sign templates will become very useful for us.”
Interested in seeing results like Vermouth?
Dropbox Sign is the easiest way to send, receive, and manage legally binding eSignatures for business. Voted #1 for ease of use by G2, two years in a row, our eSignature solution can make your most important workflows faster, easier, and more secure. Sign up for a free trial today to start digitizing your business.
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