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How to generate funds to grow your business

Category: Growth

How to generate funds to grow your business

How to generate funds to grow your business

Are you an entrepreneur with a great business development model? If you are, you need to get started with generating adequate funds that will facilitate the growth of your business. Sufficient funds are essential for the expansion and growth of your company. Money is required to ensure smooth production, marketing, administration, etc. of your business. The revenue you generate will go a long way for all of these, but this revenue can be seasonal at times and money may fall short. This is why you need to have a backup plan for generating outside funds for your business. Some ways to generate funds are quite traditional while others are more creative. You have to figure out what you can work well with and find the best way to generate more funding.

The following are some of the best ways to generate funds for your business:

  1. Launch a crowdfunding campaign

Over the recent years, there have been a lot of crowdfunding success stories that might have caught your attention at some point or other. If you have the right product and can make the right pitch, you can definitely be one of them. First off, you have to create a good story for your business that people can connect to. You need to make your product look appealing to them. You should also use this opportunity to get feedback on how your product or business can improve. Your pitch should demonstrate the value of what your business offers and how it will serve people. Show them why your business requires more monetary support and how you will be using it. If you do it right, crowdfunding will provide a lot of external funds.

  1. Capital from friends and family

Statistics show that people are more willing to invest their money with someone they know or are familiar with. If you have friends or family with a lot of money, pitch your business to them. Give them shares in exchange or just borrow on interest, according to what works for them. Show them a good business plan that they can rely on. They will need to know where their money is going. You also need to be very clear about any risks involved. Document everything and move forward if this works out.

  1. Apply for loans

Loans are probably one of the most traditional ways to generate funding for businesses. Statistics show that the majority of small businesses raise capital through business loans or some form of credit. You need to find loan schemes that offer you the best rates and favourable terms. See if you meet their requirements and have all the documentation ready. If your bank credit score is bad, you might have trouble getting a loan. Be ready with your business statements like balance sheets and tax returns. If you meet all the requirements, you can get a lot of capital through loans.

There are other ways to get funding for your business. However, these are some of the most commonly used and successful ones.

How to provide a local flavor to your global ecommerce business

How to provide a local flavor to your global ecommerce business

Think global, act local is the new success mantra for e-commerce players operating internationally.

Localization of one’s global e-commerce business is the best strategy to transcend cultural boundaries and win customers’ trust (and wallet share!). Although e-commerce has wiped away the boundaries of time and place, cultural differences play an important role in customer perception. Often, small changes like localization of language and content can help connect better with the customer. We shall study the ways in which the localization strategy can be effectively implemented:

  1. Speak the same language: One must be aware of the cultural sensitivities of each region before going gung-ho and translating the entire website into the native language. For example, in some regions, an informal address might be acceptable to the customer. In others, a polite and formal tone sends across the message of being business-like and professional. Customers are likely to be impressed with product descriptions in their regional language or websites hosted on country-level domains. Often, there are websites that support multiple languages. One needs to select the country name from a drop down menu and the entire website is customized as per local tastes. However, it is important to note that the meaning should not be lost in translation!
  2. Win at social media: Unless one has been living under a rock, an active social media presence is a must. Effective communication and posts as per regional interests would help easily win potential customers. One should not stick to global platforms like Twitter and Facebook merely. There would be other mediums that would be able to catch the pulse of the local public better.
  3. Reviews by natives: It would be a good idea to include reviews by the natives in the regional website. The readily available peer reviews would convince other customers about the quality of the product. This would result in higher sales conversion.
  4. Utilize local festivals to one’s maximum advantage: This strategy works well in a country like India, where festivals are celebrated on many days in a year. Major e-commerce players like Amazon, Flipkart have successfully adopted this strategy. They offer special discounts for Diwali, Republic Day, Holi etc, which results in phenomenal volume growth in sales. Further, offering customized products with marketing material suited to the occasion can help boost revenues. Thus, one could capitalize on special shopping days by working with local marketing agents to achieve higher sales.
  5. Payment processing in local currency: Customers would prefer to pay in the local currency. Merchants should ensure that the payment gateway supports payment in home currency. Another idea would be to have a flexible shopping cart with a currency converter. The online payment platforms could also offer multilingual support. It would be prudent to have multiple payment options as the preferred and acceptable payment modes vary from region to region.
  6. Familiarity as a branding strategy: Localized content and hosting products that are popular in the target market would help the customer easily navigate the website. Thus, the purchase decision and transaction completion would be faster. A smooth checkout process would ensure repeat customers for further buys.
  7. All-in-one adaptation: One must remember not to restrict localization merely to linguistics or language translation. Localization strategy encompasses the entire gamut of content – text, pictures, currency, delivery channels, brand building, design and cultural alignment. The last would include aspects like avoiding selling products on the e-commerce website that hurt local sentiments. Researching the local market to create a native shopping experience is key to achieving success.
  8. Know the rules: Local regulations on consumer laws and data privacy should be considered before localization of the e-commerce platform. For example, some countries mandate the use of a privacy policy and a disclosure of cookies that store customer information. One must keep in mind the local taxes and other jurisdictional requirements that are to be complied with in the payment gateway process.

Localization of the e-commerce business, operating globally, would allow the message to go across clear to the customer, enabling higher sales conversion, beating competition and reaching out to a wider target audience.

How Offering Alternate Payment Methods Provides a Competitive Edge

How Offering Alternate Payment Methods Provides a Competitive Edge

With e-commerce gradually taking centre stage, online shopping is emerging to be a highly competitive space. Every merchant is keen to include differentiating factors based on customer convenience and choice to stand out from competition. One such feature is offering alternate payment methods to the customer. We shall look at how offering alternative payment methods can help one stay ahead of one’s business rivals.

  1. Let the customer choose: Just like with products, customers like to be presented with choice when it comes to payment methods. For a global e-commerce business, it is important to identify the locally preferred, accepted payment methods. This option varies among different geographies, regions, industries, age groups, and devices i.e. smartphone, tablet or laptop used to make the purchase. For example, it is not practical to enter card details in a mobile. In such a case, digital wallets might be popular. In another study, it has been found that millennials prefer text to talk in case of payment methods.
  2. Adapt to local tastes: There are several e-commerce payment options available like direct bank transfers, direct debit, digital wallets, cash on delivery, phone and mobile payments, prepaid cards, money order, online invoices, digital currencies and specific local payment modes. A payment solutions company with a global network would be able to provide valuable insight about the most commonly used payment option. The data analytics would enable higher sales conversion.
  3. Fraud risk evaluation: One can use digital solutions that provide real-time information on the most suitable payment method to be provided to a shopper, after an automated background verification of customer credentials. The shopper’s delivery address, device location and other specific data can be used to assess the risk profile by the time the customer reaches the payment page. This offers dual advantages of providing appropriate payment methods as well as reducing incidents of fraud.
  4. Customer recognition: It is best to provide customized payment options of at least 3 modes. This can be determined based on the past purchase trends like value, frequency and the use of a particular payment mode. This would help provide seamless payment processing based on intuitive data.
  5. Multi-currency support: It is best to opt for online payment platforms that support multiple currencies or provide an accurate currency conversion option. Often, a customer might be travelling internationally and would need to make a purchase from an e-commerce merchant. In such a case, a payment gateway that offers payment acceptance across payment modes in multiple currencies can be a huge advantage.
  6. Secure payment processing: To win the trust of the customer, it is vital to provide secure payment solutions that comply with the highest security standards. Only then would the customer be willing to save confidential details of payment modes like credit card or debit card on the e-commerce website. This saves time during the checkout process as the details will be pre-filled. Some modes like EMV chips can negate any scope for credit card fraud.
  7. Enhance value: One could offer frequent customers the option to pay with reward points or loyalty cards. Co-branded cards that offer rewards like discounts, etc would encourage higher spending with certain merchants. Certain digital wallets also enable the storage of ID cards issued by Government authorities.

Technology is redefining the way we think about payment modes. Gone are the days when one had limited options of cash, cards and net banking. A whole plethora of alternative payment methods are available to cater to the preferences of every wallet, demography, market and business type. A one-size-fits-all approach would prove counterproductive and might result in losing out valuable business to the competition. One needs to find the right payment mix that works best for the unique needs of each business segment and customer profile.

PayTabs embraces a data-driven strategy with KPI dashboards

PayTabs is a Saudi-based company that facilitates processing of online payments securely and efficiently, founded by Saudi entrepreneur Abdulaziz Al Jouf.

PayTabs caters to small, medium, and large enterprises via different business models. PayTabs offers their clients services allowing them to seamlessly ‘plug and play’ various features onto their websites. They pride themselves on offering simple and efficient invoicing services for merchants and professionals.

PayTabs was awarded the title of ‘Fintech Company of the Year 2018’ at the prestigious Arabian Business Achievement Awards. With dedicated offices in Saudi Arabia, UAE, and presence in Bahrain, India, and the Philippines, PayTabs is fast emerging as the preferred payment solution company.

Meet Monita…

Monita Pesumal is the PR, Events, and Communications Manager at PayTabs. It’s her job to handle public relations, media, corporate communications, branding, events, and manage the marketing team at PayTabs.

Tracking and observing company health

PayTabs embraces a data-driven strategy with KPI dashboards

*Image is for illustrative purpose only – not actual company data

PayTabs offers a smart dashboard to help their customers manage monitor their online business metrics as a part of their service suite. Before trying Klipfolio, PayTabs were using their own dashboard software to monitor the health of their company. However, they weren’t getting enough out of this approach and needed a more flexible and powerful dashboard solution.

“We had an analytics tool baked into our offering which was limited and we didn’t have the resources to build a full-blown analytics tool needed for the job. Building an all-in-one, in-house dashboard system would have been too time consuming for our existing team.”

The PayTabs team decided to work with Klifpolio mainly because of its robust variety of data source quick connectors and sophistocated API capabilities that support connection to their HRM and CRM services.

“Being able to customize our Klipfolio dashboards according to our requirements was a major plus!”

The team was able to get up and running with Klipfolio quickly and easily once they commited.

The ‘KPI Trifecta’: sales metrics, support metrics, and financial metrics

*Image is for illustrative purpose only – not actual company data

PayTabs uses Klipfolio for tracking their company-wide KPIs. This is possible because Klipfolio allows you to connect to multiple data-source, mash them up, and have the information displayed all in one visualization.

“We’ve built Klipfolio dashboards for every department to help identify and analyze data relevant to them in addition to generating regular reports.”

*Image is for illustrative purpose only – not actual company data

The team has done a great job at defining their goals and targets, and they lean on their dashboards to observe and track how well their KPIs are doing against target on a daily basis.

The effectiveness and selection of each KPI should always depend on the business and marketing/sales/finance/HR models in place. Defining organizational KPIs. has been a real game changer for PayTabs.

Their KPIs are all likely to change as they gather new insights into the market and/or their offering, which means assessments are done both at the company and departmental levels.

*Image is for illustrative purpose only – not actual company data

Overall, PayTabs is quite pleased with their Klipfolio dashboards.

“We love that Klipfolio is highly customizable, easy to integrate, and user friendly. What’s great is you don’t need to be a developer to use Klipfolio, almost anyone can build Klips.”

A big corporate culture done right

PayTabs is an equal opportunity employer. The company has over 20 nationalities represented in their office including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Philippines, Germany, UK, India, and Sri Lanka.

Like diversity, gender equality is also valued within the firm as they have an equal ratio of male to female employees. Some of the employees have been with the firm since its inception.

Employees at PayTabs say that the atmosphere has a ‘chilled and funky vibe’ with open floor plan offices, bean bags, a café, and a host of fun and engaging monthly activities that contribute to the positive work vibe.

Monita has some closing advice for anyone on the fence about taking a more data-driven approach to business:

“Take the plunge. Data is the new black.”

Source

Increase your revenue from existing customers

Increase your revenue from existing customers

Strategies to boost sales from existing customers

Merchants are often faced with the problem of stagnant or worse, diminishing revenues from existing customers. Constantly reinventing and innovating one’s service offerings, cross selling and reducing the customers’ pain points are key strategies to enhance revenue realisation from existing clients. We shall look into some of the winning strategies that can help merchants improve sales conversion from their existing customer base:

  1. Customer engagement: Interactions with the e-commerce merchant influence client perceptions. Superior post purchase support and FAQs on the website about the products are some examples. It is also a good idea to have a payment gateway process that includes easy grievance redressal for chargebacks. The feature should ideally ensure that the customer can provide the necessary documentation and the complete transaction details available with the merchant are also accessible. This would facilitate transparency and improve the credibility of the merchant.
  2. Winning customers’ loyalty: Merchants often face declined payments in case the customer fails to update his/her card data, resulting in card expiration issues. The payment solutions company can ensure smooth transaction processing with automatic data updating facility.This would also go a long way in improving customer experience and reduce order cancellation.
  3. Omnichannel payment option: Merchants can allow multiple payment options including digital payments via mobile applications, thus enabling 24*7 transactions. Thus, time and space will no more be limiting factors in online purchases.
  4. Quick authentication: A BCG survey estimates that the average e-commerce website requires shoppers to click 23 times before a purchase is completed. Merchants need to revamp the shopping experience and enable a one-click checkout with secure online payment systems. This would drastically reduce cart abandonment and revenue losses.
  5. Local payment solutions: Some customers would prefer to pay with familiar, local payment modes. Thus, the merchant should integrate a payment platform that supports alternative payment methods in local currency as well. This would help retain local customers, who might not be aware of global digital payment trends.
  6. Product differentiation: Merchants and payment providers can offer personalised recommendations to customers based on the data repository of past transactions. For example, in case of multiple saved cards, the website could suggest one of them as the primary card option based on the historical usage. Further merchants could also enable better site selection options, so that the customer undergoes minimum navigation through the website before purchase completion.
  7. Cross selling: One can also offer innovative payment features like instant financing, and flexible payback terms to encourage big ticket and frequent purchases
  8. Rewarding customers’ loyalty: A loyalty program with item discounts or freebies would positively impact website visits and sales size. The merchants can promote the benefits program by sending targeted -mail campaigns to existing customers with details of customized rewards and points status.
  9. Low cost payment option: A charge for using the payment gateway is often a big put-off for customers. Thus, merchants should integrate a convenient ‘plug and use’ payment portal, which is free of charge for the customer.
  10. Secure payment option: This is a critical aspect to ensure return customers. Merchants must ensure that the payment gateway and the e-commerce portal can securely store card tokens and confidential customer information. This would speed up the transaction time as the customer would not have to re-enter all the details each time before a purchase transaction.
  11. Expert advice: To further enhance customer appeal, one may also consider the inclusion of a knowledge section or blog with practical information on the transaction steps and the payment process. An educated customer would be more willing to return again for additional purchases.
  12. Keeping one’s ear to the ground: It might be a good idea to include an optional pop-up survey or a quick questionnaire to extract customer opinions or reviews on the ease of online operations and the product experience. This way one could address any shortfalls and win customers’ confidence.

With growing competition in the digital space, it is imperative that along with new customer acquisition, merchants devise innovative and strong strategies to grow business from existing customers. Providing excellent quality of payment experience, fostering customer trust through improved ease of online purchases, and winning a higher share of the customers’ wallet with quality products and service offerings are crucial for higher sales conversion from repeat customers.