In our earlier blog article, we spoke of how small and medium-size business have been making the transition from surviving during COVID to thriving in the post-pandemic landscape. Indeed, many SMBs are starting to experience increased demand and new opportunities to grow their business. Some of those opportunities are just a matter of getting back to “business as usual”, while others require new investment, careful thought, and reinvention by business leaders. While any growth opportunity is likely to be welcomed, some SMB owners may be apprehensive about increasing their investment or changing their business model after two years of uncertainty. But, for those who are prepared to seize the moment, the payoff could be significant. As we speak with our SMB merchants across various industries about how they’re thriving in a post-pandemic world, a number of common themes consistently emerge.
As we speak with our SMB merchants across various industries about how they’re thriving in a post-pandemic world, a number of common themes consistently emerge.
- SET OR UPDATE GOALS
This one may seem obvious, but with many businesses leaders still trying to solve for things like staffing challenges, supply chain issues, and remote worker woes, it can be tough to look ahead. Having 3, 6, and 12+ month goals that have been realigned to the post-pandemic landscape is crucial to staying on the right track.
If this is new territory for your growing business, even simple goals based on weekly sales averages or total payments collected can be a great starting point to set clear direction for your business. If your current systems don’t readily provide those insights for you, consider exploring an alternative that will help you track your progress and better align your future business goals.
- BOOST CASHFLOW
Having the cashflow and liquidity to jump on opportunities is a must in the current environment. With supply chains undergoing massive changes, businesses trying new and creative ways to get their products and services to the market, and consumer spending at all-time highs, when your business is presented with an opportunity, you need to be able to move quickly—and that includes having access to required funding.
One of the easiest ways to boost your cash flow is to collect what’s already yours! Start collecting sooner on your existing customer balances by making the process for submitting payments easier and expanding the payment methods that you accept. Accepting a wider variety of payment methods that include all card types, ACH, and automated bank drafts not only gets you paid faster, but drives new sales and attracts new customers as well.
- BE SELECTIVE
Specifically, be selective with the partners and providers that you do business with. All businesses count on third parties in some capacity to deliver their products and services. Whether it’s suppliers, property managers, or a long list of service providers enabling your business to operate day-in and day-out, one broken link affecting any one of those parties can quickly put you behind on delivery and leave you scrambling to avoid lost opportunities.
Know who you’re partnering with. Be comfortable not only with what they provide for your business, but also how they operate. Do they understand your business and your industry? Do they pick up the phone or answer emails when you reach out? What do others in your industry have to say about them? These things are sometimes out-of-sight and out-of-mind until there is a problem. Knowing that they value your business relationship in the same way that you do goes a long way in ensuring that you get the support and information you need for your business to succeed.
With so much technology readily available for today’s businesses, this one could mean a lot of different things to different businesses. No matter what exactly it means to your business, the answer to whether or not you should be implementing technology is almost always yes. It may be a matter of starting small or working with your partners and providers to understand your options, but businesses that don’t look to leverage automation are destined to fall behind sooner or later.
One of the best resources for information should be your existing partners and service providers. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask what technology might be available to help make your processes more efficient. Many suppliers now have advanced notification systems and inventory insights, payment providers can do all sorts of things to create better commerce experiences for your customers, and even cellular providers have some great business-oriented programs these days that promote efficiency and better communication with employees. Even if your business isn’t quite ready, knowing your options puts you in a position to move quickly if and when you need to do so.
- BE BOLD
This one may seem like the simplest on the list, but it can easily be the most daunting for businesses that barely made it through the pandemic. While the first four focal points are all about preparation, this one is about action. At its core, this is simply about doing what you know best, and doing it with confidence. Your business made it through the worst for a reason. Recognize your strengths, fuel your ideas, and don’t hold back. Most importantly, don’t miss an opportunity out of fear or uncertainty. These are uncertain times, but with that uncertainty comes a world of opportunities for those who are bold.
As a leader in integrated payments for over three decades, Paya has established a reputation for innovative commerce technology and payments solutions that, at their very core, are designed to help businesses increase their financial health by improving process and ensuring exceptional commerce experiences. Be sure to check out our case studies, or learn more about how Paya can help your business thrive.