Starting and running a small business has long been an incredibly complex and demanding process. However, that sentiment may be truer than ever today given the trend toward entrepreneurial pursuits in the last few years. Small business owners are now living in an environment in which there’s more competition than ever. Fortunately, there are also a number of tools that can simplify certain aspects of running a business and allow owners to focus on the real work.
Taking advantage of such tools is now absolutely vital for small business owners who want to stay up to speed and keep their companies running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. There’s a lot to consider in these conversations, but taking the following three steps in particular is very important whether your business involves baking cookies, designing mobile apps, or anything in between.
Build A Website & App
Any business without a website is essentially archaic in the eyes of most consumers. Even the smallest companies need to have simple pages set up with some basic information (what you do, how to contact you, where to find you, etc.). Depending on the nature of your services, you may also benefit from additional web content (relevant editorials, employment information, and perhaps an e-commerce platform offering online purchases of your goods).
You’ll probably also want to either build an app or make sure your website is easily compatible with mobile viewing. Being accessible to consumers using mobile devices is crucial in that they can view your information at the touch of a screen. And in some cases, you can even reach out more effectively with marketing campaigns by sending out notifications about sales, special deals, and the like. The good news is none of this is particularly complicated anymore. When you’re first starting out, Wix’s web design platform may be the most appealing, as it’s very straightforward for people without web design or coding experience. It also has a mode that allows you to change how your site is viewed on mobile devices. As your business, grows you may want to invest in a more advanced web/mobile setup, but it’s best to have something online from the start.
Facilitate Card (Or Digital) Pay
Not many people are starting businesses today and accepting only cash or check payments. However, there’s a difference in being able to accept a customer’s credit or debit card and making it easy for the customer to pay on his or her own with that card. We’re transitioning pretty rapidly toward a time when payments can be made without even getting a card out or swiping anything, and consumers appreciate that level of hands-free, efficient convenience.
It’s also easier on your end to allow customers to make payments as simply as possible. They’re able to move at their own pace and sometimes even likelier to make a purchase when they can more or less do it themselves. To help you create this sort of atmosphere in any brick-and-mortar locations you may have, Worldpay’s selection of card machines can serve as a helpful starting point with various options to suit your business’ needs. The company has information about countertop card machines, portable or mobile card machines (perfect for a trade show or something of the like), and contactless payment options to allow for the use of Apple Pay and things of the like. Having some of this in place makes your business more appealing to customers, and it saves you from dealing with too much in the way of cash flow or register issues.
Make Use Of Automated Accounting
Accounting and bookkeeping can be real problems for small business owners who may have great instincts with the functionality of the company, but not with the financial specifics. Keeping track of budgets, expenses, and revenues is a lot harder than most people assume, and the most successful businesses are doing far more than just keeping track. Ideally, you’ll be able to analyse your financial data to make changes in how you do business and more effectively maximise profit potential.
In the past, a small business owner looking to improve the accounting side of the company may have hired someone for the job, and at a certain point that’s still necessary in the growth of a business. But when things are still small and you’re looking to cut costs, there are now tons of automated apps and programs out there that can drastically simplify the process. Business2Community has outlined some of the apps that can be most helpful, and with a majority of them all you need to do is input basic numbers to see them logged and, in some cases, analysed.
There are other things to consider in operating a successful business on your own, but these three steps are already far more important today than they were just a few years ago. With a strong web presence, simple payment methods, and automated accounting, you’ll make several aspects of your company run much more smoothly.