Your Small Business Can’t Function Without These ToolsEditorial Team
When starting a new business, the to-do list is long and humbling. From creating a business plan to doing market research to lining up vendors and so much more. But when it comes to doing the actual work, there are two elements your small business can’t function without:
- Payment processing
Bottom line: You cannot conduct business if you don’t have a way to talk to your customers and if you can’t get paid. Pretty straight-forward, yes? But let’s dive into what those mean for today’s consumers who want to work with modern businesses.
Your Business Can’t Function Without Communication
Connecting with your customers is more critical than ever. The catch, in our post-pandemic world, is that your customers are in charge of how this occurs.
In the past, customers could only reach your business on your terms: during your open hours, and either in person or on the phone. Over the past decade those paths to connection have increased dramatically … with the bonus of 24-7 access.
Let’s consider: Multiple email accounts, text messaging, voicemails, Facebook Messenger, Instagram DMs, WhatsApp and the multitude of other options that are launching every day.
So, how is a busy small business owner supposed to stay on top of the technology and the influx of customer messages?
When you connect your business accounts to a centralized dashboard, you can track customer communication in one place, so you’re not jumping from app to app. And if your dashboard also manages your social media, you’ll also be able to catch notifications when your customers go rogue and tag you on their social media, with hopes that you … and the rest of the world … will see their post.
Don’t miss these important messages, which could be anything from a “great job” post on social media to a request for proposal on a new job. Modernize with communication tools that will help you manage the workload and show your customers – and everyone watching – that you care.
Your Business Can’t Function Without Payments
This is a no-brainer: No money. No business.
But there’s more post-COVID fallout to deal with: Your customers now expect more options for payments – especially contactless payments.
Yes, you want to get paid, but again, this one is increasingly on your customers’ terms. Telling your customers: “I only accept cash and checks” just will not fly today.
They want to be able to have their credit card on file with you, with which they can approve transactions through a private client portal. Or perhaps they prefer using PayPal or bank draft through their bank account. All of these online and digital payment options can be handled with the right payment processor.
The benefits of accepting online payments are tenfold for businesses. No more insufficient funds from bounced checks. You can preschedule services and set up automatic recurring payments. Plus, when you offer multiple payment options, you have the option of offsetting your transaction fees by charging your clients a convenience fee when they opt to use their credit card to pay you.
With online payments, you’ll drastically reduce late payments. And when you pair it with your CRM and communication dashboard, you can send invoices and reminders via SMS text message, create service packages and stay on top of everything like the pro you are.
So, while communication and payments may seem like straight-forward processes, your business can’t move forward without them. And learning how to cater to the way customers want to handle both will give you a competitive edge in today’s market.
Written in partnership with Thryv.