Customers are used to paying immediately when theyâ€™re in retail outlets. This is more of a problem with service-based businesses, many of which are still using an invoicing system to collect payment from their clients. The way around that is to encourage your small business customers to offer an online payment option.
The great thing about it is that everyoneâ€™s online these days, and most people are there via their smartphones. If youâ€™ve got a small business customer whoâ€™s a window cleaner, they could simply give their bank account number to their clients who can pay on the spot for a job well done.
And thatâ€™s just one of the online methods small businesses can use. Credit/debit card payments can be done online, as can the use of a third party system like PayPal.
For small business owners, getting paid promptly and with minimal hassle is a priority. Getting the money in their account boosts their cash flow so theyâ€™ve got the necessary funds on hand to pay their own bills and to invest in business growth.
But itâ€™s also a great option for their clients to be able to pay on the spot. Most people actually prefer to pay immediately, rather than wait for an invoice or writing a check thatâ€™ll take a week to clear, because then itâ€™s done and dusted and their own bank balance is up to date. And because online payments only require a smartphone, a happy client can stand in their newly landscaped garden and pay the business owner while both of them reflect on a job well done. A good feeling all round!
Other benefits include:
Adding an online payment option, especially one based around credit/debit cards or PayPal, means that a business owner can consider branching out into e-commerce. If theyâ€™re selling their goods through a bricks-and-mortar store, they can now offer them online, which means theyâ€™ll increase their customer base and improve their profitability. Itâ€™s a great way to enter the international marketplace, especially if theyâ€™ve got their eye on exporting goals in the future.
Most banks have online payment solutions they can offer their small business customers, and itâ€™s worth bringing it up with any of those who donâ€™t, because theyâ€™re missing out on a really effective way to improve their cash flow.
Here at TSBC, weâ€™ve got plenty of content around the different payment solutions small businesses can use to enhance their business. Get in touch with us so we can help boost your online content.
Glen is the founder and CEO of The Small Business Company, a New Zealand based agency that specialises in helping banks communicate with small businesses through content marketing. He has written a number of books on small business principles and is a sought after consultant and conference presenter.