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6 Money Saving Tips for Your Small Business

Category: Startup

6 Money Saving Tips for Your Small Business

6 Money Saving Tips for Your Small Business

If you are the owner of a small business, chances are that you are always searching for creative ways to save money and keep your business afloat. Even if your business is doing well, it always makes sense to spend frugally. Whether you are looking to cut costs or improve profitability of your business, here are some creative ways that make the entire idea of saving money painless and easy!

  1. Avoid having a full-time office space

Thanks to the advancement in technology, businesses today can be run from any location. Barring a few sectors, try to rent as minimal office space as you can.

Offer people work from home options and get only the core team to sit at office. This way you can cut down on not only office rent but also small overheads like paper, electricity, food and gadget expenses etc.

  1. Try inbound marketing rather than keeping a big fat sales team

Try attracting your customer online by implementing a good content marketing strategy. Focus on your SEO strategy, build on social media and invest in search engine marketing. Also don’t ignore your company blog, since that has a lot of potential in getting you traffic. This might work better than outbound sales, especially if you are trying to sell a product or service online.

  1. Consider used furniture

If having an office is the only option you have, consider buying equipment and furniture that is pre-used. You can find office chairs and screen at nearly half the price from most second hand or refurbished goods store. Delay gratification. What you offer to your customers is much more important than a fancy looking office.

  1. Outsource as much as possible

Full time employees do not come cheap these days. Add to it the additional benefits like leaves, medical expenses and provident funds, you might just blow up all your budget. So, if possible, hire independent and reliable freelancers to reduce cost. Needless to say, by hiring a freelancer you will also be able to save a lot since they are already an expert in their field while a full time employee would need to be trained.

  1. Do not shy away from negotiating

As a small business owner, you should definitely avoid paying retail prices as often as possible. So, try to negotiate with vendors, consider bulk buying to save on shipping charges or tie up with wholesalers. Figure out ways to save money on your buying charges. You can also barter with some companies and save further. For example, you can purchase raw material for your bakery at a lesser price and in exchange offer to provide free cake on the dealer’s celebration occasions.

  1. Hire a good tax accountant

No one likes paying taxes. So it makes sense to hire a good accountant who can help in claiming certain tax rebates and allowances that you might not be aware of.

To be honest, when it comes to saving money, there are numerous things you can try. Every business comes with its own needs and priorities, so you are the best judge of what works best for you. Having said that, always remember, if it saves money, it is worth it!

If you are looking for a reliable way to accept online payments and have a competitive advantage, you can visit www.paytabs.com.

8 Tips to Drastically Improve Shipping for Small E-Commerce Business Stores

8 Tips to Drastically Improve Shipping for Small E-Commerce Business StoresYou shouldn’t be surprised as factors like customer loyalty and buying decision are directly related to your shipping policy. Earlier people were happy with free delivery, whereas delivery time was considered secondary. These days everything is important. Customers not only look for free delivery, they also want quick delivery.

The E-Commerce vendors should also wake up to this new market demand and plan their shipping strategy accordingly.

  1. Understand your business objectives

In order to offer a better delivery experience, first of all, you need to understand your business objectives. For example, if you are selling a product which is uncommon customers may not want one-day or two-day delivery.  They must rather be looking for safety and certainty.

  1. Offer value

Offering value to your customer is extremely important and it shouldn’t be compromised at any stage of the buying process. Always put customer expectations on top.

  1. Don’t minimize cost at the cost of customer loyalty

Some of the E-Commerce companies make a grave mistake of finding cheaper delivery options, but at the same time they forget that it might affect customer loyalty in the long term. They may lose the customer base as result. Customers do not want poor services especially in this competitive marketplace, even if you offer free delivery.

  1. Offer the combo of both low price and high speed delivery

The concept of low price and high speed delivery is not new. With the competition heating up across the E-commerce market, more and more customers are now looking for cheaper delivery and at the same time they also want same day, one-day or two day delivery. With plethora of options available in the market, if you are not providing the combo of both these benefits, the customer might switch to some other product or E-Commerce store.

  1. Go for multi-step and multi-vendor shipping arrangement

In order to optimize delivery, go for multi-step and multi-vendor arrangement, where in you will be able to reduce costs as well as delivery time. Finding a strategic mix of both will lead you to success. With plenty of opportunities available in the market, finding the right mix is not difficult.

You can find many local delivery partners, who can help you avail the best local delivery solutions as well as large shipping companies like FedEx and UPS, which will help you in rapid delivery across major cities.

Choosing a single shipping partner is not an ideal solution in today’s business conditions. For example, if your customer is in a remote location, you can break the shipping into two or three parts. You can send the product to the city nearest to them utilizing the services of your major shipping partner, whereas you can find a local shipping partner, who would leverage his local shipping capabilities to transfer the shipment from the nearest city to the door step of the customer.

  1. Optimize and plan delivery options

With increasing competition, you can find many delivery partners, who would help you in achieving one day or two day delivery targets. Their delivery vehicles run day and night in some areas and you can leverage their strength for local deliveries.

  1. Minimize cost using technology

In order to minimize cost, you can go for different options such as shrink-wrap pallets. You can also adjust prices with your shipping partner according to weight and volume factors. Proper tracking of consignment will also help you reduce cost.

Sometimes customers make false claims of receiving broken items or not receiving a product at all. Modern technology helps you track your shipment in real time using video surveillance that reduces the chances of any goof up by the delivery guys and also customers making false claims.

It will also help in improving customer service as the customer would be able to track the shipment online. It will also help them to make sure that they are available at the mentioned address at the time of delivery. Tracking can be enabled across the entire supply chain. The technology also helps the customer in receiving automatic updates about shipment.

  1. Review your policy every six months

You should review your shipping policy every 6 months in order to minimize costs and make your delivery even more efficient. This way you will not only be able to reduce cost but would also be able to improve customer loyalty.

Make sure to consider and implement these steps so that your delivery improves drastically.   It will improve your customer base and sales.

The 4 Step Procedure for an Easy Payment Gateway Integration

The 4 Step Procedure for an Easy Payment Gateway Integration

Payment integration is a technical process, but it can be made easier if you remember a few points. Nowadays a payment gateway can be integrated both into a desktop website and a mobile app.

So, first decide where you wish to integrate it because the processes for both are different. Here we will discuss how to integrate your payment gateway into a desktop version of an e-commerce website.

1.Determine your priorities

It is extremely important to determine your priorities and what you want from your payment gateway. It will help you decide how development should be done so that you are able to achieve your desired objectives in less development time and hassles. Before you decide to choose an integration solution, define your objectives clearly.

2. Select the right integration solution

As far as integration and its coding and development are concerned, we can select from the three major types that are as follows:

A.Hosted payment forms

This is the simplest way to integrate your payment solution as you require no coding in it. It is simply a plug and play option where you can pick a specific payment form for your website. You can also paste it into your mobile app. It will help you securely collect payment from different credit cards and debit cards. But it doesn’t happen on your servers as the hosting company that offers this solution processes the information on its own servers. However, you can choose from a host of templates. Customization of your brand is also possible when you choose a hosted payment form.

B.Payment module 

If you already have a predefined platform on which your website is based such as Drupal, UberCart, Shopify or iOS, then you will get the specifically designed payment modules for those platforms.

Obviously these payment modules have far more features than the basic hosted forms that we discussed above. However, the coding requirements are still minimal.

C.Use your own code for advanced e-commerce sites

This method allows you to use your own code and even modify templates. The API language support is available for various coding languages such as Java, C++, Python, C#, Visual Basic, PHP, Ruby and Pearl, etc.

3.Test the integration

Now that you have already integrated your credit card processing, test your configuration to make sure that everything is in perfect shape and your website is ready to go live. Conduct live transactions using a dummy account so that you can detect potential issues in the trial phase itself. At every step of the way, you can get in touch with the technical support team of the payment gateway solution provider you have chosen.

4.Activate your account 

Once your payment gateway is integrated and tested, you are ready to accept payments. Contact your payment solution provider to activate your account and you are ready to go live.

The payment gateway integration seems to be a challenging process but if you know your objectives, the entire process will become a cakewalk. If you need assistance, just connect with technical support and they will guide you in the best way possible.

Five Payment Processing Challenges For Small Businesses

Five Payment Processing Challenges For Small Businesses

The payment industry today seems to be thriving with each passing day. While there is nothing more enjoyable than making money from your business, collecting money seems to be a totally different game. Unlike in the past, people now have no qualms about making payments online. More and more people, especially the current generation prefer using online modes of payments and like to go cashless. With an easier than ever acceptance of credit and debit cards, online payment has become much more sorted and simple, but it does come with its own set of challenges. If you run a small business, payment processing can get a little bit confusing and demanding. To prepare you for the worst, here are five biggest payment processing challenges that you are likely to face:

  1. Frauds

Well, who has not heard of credit card frauds?  Those still remain the biggest reason for most customers to opt for cash on delivery. They have been in existence since a long time and pose a threat to not just customers but to business entities as well. While advancement in technology has made online payment easier, it has also given birth to new types of frauds. Hence businesses need to be proactive about keeping the information of their clients secure. It is also important that as a business owner, you complete the audit of your processor. This can be done by hiring an audit expert who can evaluate your current security measures and warn you against possible vulnerabilities.

  1. Chargebacks

Chargebacks are one of the biggest challenges faced by business owners. Also known as processing fee, its amount depends on various factors like type of business, types of card used, and modes of payment and size of transactions. It is important that you remain in constant liaison with your provider and discuss how each fee works. There are ways to negotiate or avoid a few charges. So it is advised that business owners stay informed.

  1. Payment support

The world is always up, round the clock, so transaction issues are also expected to pop up anytime – even in the middle of night. It is important to have a payment processor support in after-hours too. If your provider refuses to offer that, you may want to rethink about sticking to your current provider. The processor should not leave you or your customers hanging and should always be ready to troubleshoot any problems that arise.  Having access to tutorials and video how to-s is a bonus.

  1. Payment integration

Payment processing is one of the most crucial components of any business. This seems like a common knowledge, yet, many businesses do not pay enough attention to the importance of an effective payment system. The technology available to collect payments is quite complex and needs to be given careful consideration. That is not all, even when your payment processing is successfully integrated, the cost can go up very significantly, especially for small businesses wanting to accept payments online. It is suggested by experts that business owners look for payment integration providers that have built an API suitable for your business.

  1. Compliance

There are a myriad of compliance issues that can appear for businesses in the online payment landscape. Technology certifications and challenges like PCI are just a couple of them. Needless to mention, the regulatory requirements can sometimes get extremely overwhelming for a small business entity as a non-compliance with any of legal regulations can lead to hefty fines and penalties. This makes it all the more important for business owners to work with a processor who can help you stay up to date with legal norms and regulations for your business type.

It is not only imperative, but mandatory that as a business owner you look for a processor that offers a broad set of solutions and products along with best in class support system that fits well with payment processing needs of your business.

Crack the Marketing Code To Attract New Customers To Your Small Business

To sell your products and services as a small business, you need the right information. I have distilled the vast information available online to make it easy for you to promote your business and attract customers on a shoestring budget.

This information comprises of some old school methods of promotion combined with some modern and innovative methods. All of these activities together will yield wonderful results. I have tried to make sure that the tips suggested here are proven yet low cost methods to promote your business and attract your customers.

All of the methods listed here may not be suitable for your business type, so focus on the ways that would work best for your business.

These methods can broadly be divided into three major categories.

  1. Offline Promotion
  2. SEO and digital marketing
  3. Other innovative methods

A. Offline Promotion

As far as offline methods of promotion are concerned, we can again divide it into the following points:

1.  Volunteer work
Start volunteering for community services in your neighborhood. Arrange free health checkup camps or simply sponsor an event.  Just try it, your community, church or mosque is waiting for your services. Its worldly incentives include free publicity.

2. Host community meetings

In spite of the fact that it’s prevalent mostly in the Western countries you can try it in the East as well. Invite groups such as book clubs, football fans, local groups, and political and religious groups for a meet up or get-together. Offer freebies, discounts, donuts and coffee. They will likely come back to buy from you.

3. Distribute leaflets and flyers

One of the most powerful weapons of the old school marketing arsenal, leaflets and flyers are still relevant and effective.

4. Do some charity and conduct charity shows

Arrange charity shows and invite children and other artists to organize the show. Distribute the proceeds to the poor and the weak and get free publicity.

5. Hold in person events

Get outside your premises and offer your services outside, or simply organize an event and invite people to your place. Collect their contact information, offer freebies and discount coupons, or send coupons to their mailing address.

6. Partner with other related businesses

If you are a wedding planner, partner with music bands, flower shops, decorators, caterers and other event organizers. Partner with these businesses and distribute discount coupons and membership cards to their customers. Offer a free appetizer on their first visit.

7. Offer great customer service

Customer service is the key to success in any business – big or small. Offer exceptional customer service, so that you get a lot of referrals and word of mouth promotion.

8. Nurture existing customers and expand your customer base

Use your existing customers to expand your customer base. Give personalized gifts to your customers on their marriage anniversaries and birthdays. Offer incentives to your customers to bring more customers for you. It may be a jumbo discount or a free offer.

B. Digital marketing

Digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to attract customers to your startup or small business. Try the following action tips and experience a flood of customers pouring in:

  1. Create a website
    It’s the first step of digital marketing and a platform for all your future campaigns. Later on, you can create a blog and a video log on YouTube.
  2. Go for directory listing
    List your business on all local and popular online directories to improve your visibility. Hire an SEO professional, if it’s too much for you.
  3. Create your presence on “Google My Business”
    It’s Google’s own way of local listing and SEO for your business. It will not only create your online presence, but also increase your visibility in organic searches.
  4. Create your presence on social channels
    Choose a social media channel that is popular among your customers and audiences and use it fully to promote your brand. It can be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or WhatsApp.
  5. Do some online advertising
    Try Facebook and Google advertising. It instantly brings results, leads and traffic. This is the fastest way to convert your prospects well before you appear on organic searches.

C. Other innovative methods
Apart from these, there are some other innovative methods as well that you can try to attract customers.

      1. Leverage influencer marketing through word of mouth
        Use your existing customers to act as your brand ambassadors. Offer “real” and “valuable” incentives for every sale you close through those customers. You can also use them to distribute your flyers etc. Reward the people, who mention your brand in their public meetings and social gatherings. Run campaigns like, bring 5 customers and take your free gift, etc.
      2. Offer free gifts, discounts and deals
        This is a great way to promote your business. “Free” is a magic word in the world of business, use it to your advantage. Look for opportunities to offer freebies.
      3. Arrange contests

    Contests are a great way to attract customers. Arrange both offline and online contest. Use your creativity.

    4. Share your knowledge

    Sharing knowledge is a great way to promote yourself and your business. You can use a blog, a Vlog(video blog)            or an event to share your knowledge. Make sure it offers value to your customers.

    Final thoughts
    There is a long list of tips you can try to promote your business and attract customers. We have tried to present  all the valuable information at one place. Most of these tips can be tried by startups and cash strapped small businesses. You can learn digital marketing through Google itself. Pour some passion into it and see the magic.