5 hints to making your SMME better

Every small business owner and freelancer wants the edge; that thing that’s going to set them apart from the pack. That unquantifiable thing that is going to make their business the shining example instead of the cautionary tale. But doing it is never as easy as it sounds. In our competitive, fast paced marketplace small business owners and freelancers are faced with many challenges on the way to success.

Many small business owner or freelancers don’t think about that a big part of reaching success lies in the way you manage your businesses billing and payment collection. It seems almost obvious to have efficient systems in place to deal with billing, payment collection and management of bad debit. But all too often one comes across businesses that neglect this aspect of their success completely.

Making your business more successful though efficient accounts policy:

Keep costs low: Shop around

Chief among the challenges the small business owner or freelancers face is getting the cost of operation low. This is very true when it comes to keeping the costs of billing and payment collection low.

Use insightful online systems and systems automation to keep the number of staff you need to employ in your accounts division low. There are lots of tools in the marketplace today that allow you to automate recurring billing giving you complete control over your daily operations with an almost skeleton staff.

You must search for payment gateways with the lowest transaction costs. Some payment gateways do not give you the ability to easily export your client’s payment data. This stops you from switching gateways easily. Shop around for a payment facilitator that stores customer payment details on your and the gateways behalf. This makes it simple to switch between payment gateways or have multiple gateways, so you always have the best rates and your clients the most choice.

Create trust: Be professional

How many times have you received a badly made invoice rife with spelling errors, missing fields or wrong information? What does that make you think of the enterprise sending the invoice? Badly formatted, unprofessional invoices reflect negatively on the products and services you deliver. This method of making a bad impression of your degree of service is just as easy to avoid as it is to do.

Find software or start using an online service made to make professional looking invoices. You must check grammar and formatting on invoices. Ensure the customer’s details are right and that if it is a tax invoice needs to be generated it has all the legally required information.

Get paid: Help them help you

Now that you have sent your professional looking invoice you need to collect payment for it. Allowing your clients many ways to pay your invoices is always recommended. The quicker it is to pay you the more payments you will get. We advise having the following payment methods available to increase your ability to get payment:

– A credit card payment gateway where clients can instantly and safely pay for your products online

– A payment gateway that automates recurring debits via debit order from bank account or credit card

– The option to accept immediate secure payments with a credit card

Healthy cash flow: Manage bad debits

With most business comes the need to manage and direct bad debt. To keep your cash flow looking healthy the greatest offence is always a good defense. By this I mean, keep your clients informed every step of the way. Put them in the best possible position to pay you and give them the largest degree of access to their billing and account balance information.

This requires communication on a managed, automated scale. Issuing text message (SMS) and email warnings to clients throughout your businesses repayment, due and past due periods will increase your chances of getting payment. We suggest sticking to a simple warning schedule for at least 30 days after sending of an invoice. If payment on not recovered on COD invoices within ninety days of sending we suggest making use of a professional debt collection service to handle collection of funds.

Stand out from the pack: Offer a good quality service

SMME’s need to work hard to set themselves apart from the pack. Standing out from the competition means better business. The single way to really stand out from the pack and keep customers coming back is to provide a high quality service or product reliably.

Limited success can be achieved through gimmicks and aggressive promotions, but this more than often does more harm in the long run than good. Providing a consistent, excellent service and quality products are the only way to make outspoken positive advocates for your business. reach to ensure your level of service meets your customers expectations and then, if possible, provide that little bit extra not only meet their desires, but exceed their expectations.

So there you go. Now you know the secret to making your small business successful. What are you waiting for? Go forth and achieve it!

An online invoicing and invoicing system is critical to allow any business to uphold a professional image. SnapBill has been helping businesses for years and are providing a free account to get started.

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