A recent study found that the number one barrier to micro-business growth is cashflow. The study also found that 48% of businesses lose sales or face delayed payments, and one in ten said that they lose sales because they don’t have the ability to take the right kind of payment. Don’t let your business falter because you can’t take credit cards! Using a mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) system like SimplyPayMe will help you generate more business—and make more money from that business.
You work hard to generate job leads and get new customers. Why would you throw that away by not accepting credit cards? We were surprised to find out that only 2% of micro-businesses in the survey were currently using a mobile solution to take payments.
It’s easy to see that cash is on the way out. Fewer people are using cash, opting for credit cards, debit cards, contactless payments, and even mobile wallet apps. Almost no one writes cheques anymore. Which means if you can only do business with people who pay cash or write a check, you’re losing customers. And lost customers means even more difficulties with cashflow, one of the most common problems for small businesses.
Accepting credit cards can be an expensive proposition: with traditional providers, like PayPal Here, Intuit, and iZettle, you have to use extra hardware that gets in the way or can get broken. You pay fees for all sorts of things, sometimes including monthly or contract fees. You often need a merchant account, too, which is a huge pain to deal with—it’s expensive, difficult to obtain, and isn’t worth the expense in time or money.
SimplyPayMe, on the other hand, lets you easily and quickly take credit and debit card payments with no extra hardware, no contract, and no merchant account. And the app is free! Just download it to your iPhone, fill out a bit of information, and you can start taking payments in just a few minutes. (We’ll be releasing an Android version in the near future, too!)
When you’re running a small business, getting paid on time is crucial to your success—if your customers pay late, it can cause problems for your cashflow, which in turn causes all sorts of other problems. Unfortunately, this is a very common issue for small businesses, especially those who don’t accept credit cards.
There are quite a few things you can do, however, to make sure you do get paid on time. Here are five strategies you can use to keep cash moving.
Accept Credit Cards
This is the easiest, and possibly most important, way to encourage your customers to pay on time. If they can pay with a credit card right away, without having to wait for an invoice, they’re much more likely to just get it out of the way.
You might think it’s expensive to accept credit cards, but SmartTrade makes it easy, fast, and really affordable to take payments from the jobsite, over the phone, or online. CHECK OUT THE DETAILS HERE.
This is an important one. If a customer doesn’t know how much they owe you, they aren’t going to pay. Automating your invoicing is a great way to encourage customers to pay quickly and prevent cashflow issues.
SmartTrade lets you quickly invoice via email so your customers get their bill immediately. Even if you’d rather use paper, though, you need to make sure to get that invoice out the door as quickly as possible.
Have Clear Payment Expectations
Your invoice should make the payment terms very clear: if you expect your customers to pay within 14 days, make sure that’s spelled out very clearly on their bill. Choose a timeframe that you think is reasonable (you may want to allow a longer window for larger invoices), and make sure it’s clear.
This is also something you might want to bring up when you agree on the product or service that you’re selling. If a customer goes into the transaction knowing that they need to pay promptly, that’ll be on their mind when the invoice comes.
Offer a Pre-Payment Discount
This won’t work for everyone, but giving your customers the option to pre-pay for your product or service and thanking them with a small discount (even 5%) can be a big incentive for them to pay early.
Even if you can’t offer a pre-payment discount, you might be able to figure out something similar that will work for your business.
Follow Up When Needed
Repeatedly emailing or calling clients to remind them to pay isn’t a fun job—but it might be the thing that gets them to pay. Especially if you have a client that tends to be late for all of their payments, it could be worth your time to get on the phone or fire off a quick email.
Unfortunately, getting on your customers’ case might not be great for customer relations, but if it’s the only option that’s going to work, you’ll just have to suck it up and do it.
Do What You Need to Do
Getting paid late is more than just a hassle; it can also hamper your cashflow and make it harder to run your business. Because of this, it’s important to do whatever you need to do to get paid on time, whether it’s encouraging customers with a pre-payment discount or hounding them until they pay. And, of course, you should always make it as easy as possible for customers to pay with the payment method that they prefer.
Why put up with cashflow problems, late payments, and lost work due to not being able to take credit card payments? Download SmartTrade today !
Want to find out how to improve cashflow in your small business? We put together 9 great tips in this handy PDF guide.
Image credit: Ken Teegardin via Flickr.