Money. Capital. Funds. Profits.
No matter the term used, small business owners everywhere are performing the same payments-in-payments-out balancing act to keep the business going.
The battle for cash flow has been a long-fought one, and small business owners are continuing to find creative ways to make and receive payments on time. We surveyed 1,000 small business owners and 1,000 consumers to gauge their overall impression of different factors impacting the payments industry, like cash flow and late payments. If you own a small business and are looking for ways to speed up cash flow, here are some ideas your peers have implemented throughout the year.
Make technology upgrades
In their view, the main barriers to accelerating payments in and out of a business are internal procedures. Fifty-two percent of businesses agree that technology like management dashboards would help improve their view of payments in and out, speeding up the processes for paying suppliers, employees, and customer payments. Research software services that can integrate with your payments process to help with accounting. Some also feature invoice reminders to encourage customers to pay off their balances quickly.
Consider funding options
Traditional banks are still the most popular funding method among small businesses, but 34 percent of businesses who responded to our survey feel that traditional banks have not made much effort to make business loans available for small-business owners. This has spawned a trend toward alternative financing options, like peer-to-peer lending and crowd funding. Sixty-two percent of our survey respondents said crowdfunding is a much easier option for funding, and 68 percent said they would use it again. With thorough research, both traditional and alternative funding are viable options.
Offer customer convenience
The more convenience you add to your payments offerings, the more likely your customers are to pay you on time. If your customers can solicit or inquire about your services online, it’s best to allow them to pay for your services there as well. As a bonus benefit, this also elevates customer experience and increases the chances of returning and referred business.