From XU Magazine, 
Issue 27

Future Proofing Your Small Business

This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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The impacts of the global pandemic have been far-reaching, both from a cultural and business standpoint, and small businesses owners have been forced to adapt to survive. 

The snap transition to digital last year resulted in many businesses being forced online, yet many lacked the digital skills to capitalise on the new opportunities presented. 

With online transactions surging since the onset of the pandemic, small and medium businesses must ensure they keep up with the digital world in order to stay relevant. So, how can your business do this? Here are a few tips to help future proof your business. 

Offer online payments for your invoices 

In Australia, over 1.2 billion invoices are exchanged annually with almost 90 per cent of small and medium businesses still processing paper-based invoices. The Australian government has identified e-invoicing as a critical reform to deliver significant economic benefits for businesses and the wider Australian economy. When an e-invoice replaces a paper invoice, the businesses involved could share savings of up to $20 per invoice. 

Digital payments have become the leading method of accepting funds since the pandemic. They’re simple, easy and require no handling of physical cash or cards. Businesses can simply add an online payment option to an invoice and even set up recurring payments to ensure invoices are paid on time. For Small and medium business owners, e-invoicing helps not only to manage cash flow, but also increase productivity with reduced administration. Adding a digital option to your payments can also speed up payments as your customers have fewer barriers to pay. 

Ultimately, with most of the world now shopping and conducting business online, moving to digital payments will provide your customers with a smoother online and shopping experience and may remove any additional barriers presented in physical locations or via traditional payment methods. To future proof your business, ease and convenience are key, to ensure the best possible chance of survival and success. 

Find the right online payments solution

Ensuring you have the right systems to take and accept online payments is essential for your business’s success. Given the global shift to digital, moving your payments to an online system will ensure you can track data more easily and integrate that information into your business plans and strategies. 

You may even decide to pass on any fees to your customer, by looking for vendors who offer surchanging as a part of their services. Getting paid by your customers, merchants or clients as a small business owner is essential, so setting up the right online payments systems will give you greater transparency on your business transactions, inventory, cash-flow and financial insights. 

Automate your reconciliation process

As a business owner, you likely rely on several different services or tools, like accounting or HR software, to manage your operations, and going between these systems can be laborious and time-consuming. Luckily, Xero enables you to integrate your digital tools and apps. 

Once your payment solution is integrated with Xero, you should look at solutions that can help you automatically reconcile your accounts. Automating reconciliation will reduce time spent on manual data entry and remove the element of human error. Having a single view of your business will help you manage and grow your business more effectively in the long run. 

Look for trusted digital partners

If you haven’t yet found the right digital tools to help you manage your business, make sure you look for trusted suppliers who can offer you local support and understand your business needs. Finding the right price point for your requirements, and a provider that can scale with your business is important to ensure you get the right support. Ultimately, if your digital business practices are user-friendly and time-effective, your business has a greater chance of achieving a better output and growth. 

There are many tools now available to help manage your business, time and money. Getting digitally literate and savvy with your business operations and management is essential in future proofing your business in today’s world. It might be a process of trial and error before you find the right services and practices to make things as digitally smooth as possible. However, in doing so, you’ll ensure your business has the greatest possible chance of growth and the capability to weather any storm.

Why leave it there?

Add online payments to Xero by adding Pin Payments

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