Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional. She often covers developments in HR, business communication, recruiting, real estate, finance and law, but also enjoys writing about travel, interiors and events.
Running a Small Business is Hard
It’s tricky running a small business, and payment issues should be the last thing you need to worry about. Your time should be worrying about better services, having a quality product, and making sure your customers are always satisfied and will come back for more. Of course, making sure your customers are comfortable with your payment options is crucial, too. Having peace of mind and knowing what payment issues your small business could encounter are just as important as financial literacy when it comes to growing your business.
Launching a website is more than just stocking products and finding customers who love your product. Making sure you keep your customers requires focus, hard work, and knowledge about technology and how you will receive payment. We will talk about terms such as SSL, low-code platforms, application integration, and payment processors; all will help you become a better business owner.
Keeping Your Business Secure
There is nothing more deterring to the sales and satisfaction of your ecommerce business than the risk of a hacker stealing your and your customers’ information. Obviously, along with your cash. 64% of companies worldwide have experienced one form of cyber attack. Therefore, having some kind of digital protection is the first step in making sure you have no payment issues.
You have to make sure your payment processing services are up to the standards as enforced by the payment card industry (PCI) data security standard (DSS). As a small business owner, following these standards will protect your customers’ data and will protect you from any liability.
Having an SSL Certificate is another component in creating an online business that is safe and secure. A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a high-standard security technology for establishing a safe, trusted link between a server and a client. In other words, sensitive information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login information can all be transmitted securely. In turn making sure hackers can’t access your customers’ information when making purchases on your site.
Low-code platforms, development environments used to create apps, have become the next big thing in building retail apps. Recent reports showing that 74% of the top 50 retail apps use some sort of low-code. Why? Well, they are easier to use and indisputably quicker to set up. That is a crucial factor for a small business where time literally is money. Because the quicker you can set up your retail app, the quicker you will have sales. There are a few downsides, most notably that since low-code platforms come with a learning curve. Secondly, once you choose a platform you are almost permanently locked in, with it taking up to a year to re-design the code. But, of course when or when not to use low-code platforms is up to you.
Lack of Application Integration
Just over one-third of all businesses have their primary business applications properly integrated. For many small businesses, lack of proper integration is getting in the way of making money. As a business owner, you want everything under your control. The best way to do this is by centralizing your information. Productivity and collaboration apps, such as Asana or even Google Docs, can help you make sure communication on your team is completely open. It will create an environment where everybody is on the exact same page.
When running a small business, you can’t give all your money away just to run your website. Make sure to compare credit card processing companies. Make sure to find the perfect balance between reliability and affordability, or else you’ll just be spending most of your daily sales paying for the provider.
Getting Your Profits Frozen by Processors
A big challenge to ecommerce and small businesses in particular is the strength that a payment processor can have over you and your business. As the transactor for financial calculations, they are the middle man needed for your business to grow and prosper. But, if your business grows too fast, there is a risk that the payment processor will come in and freeze your accounts in order to try to audit your business. In some scenarios, your accounts could be frozen for half a year or more. For many small businesses this could spell bankruptcy.
This is why, when choosing a payment processor, you have to make sure they support your business and the products that you sell. And more importantly, if you anticipate growth in the upcoming season, you should work with a full-service credit card processor. So you can communicate with them on a regular basis. When you process changes, you need to stay in contact with your processor to reassure them that there is no reason for your accounts to be frozen and investigated.
Getting on top of Your Business
Education is key when running a business. It’s a competitive market. While the highs are highs, your business is always at a risk of failing at the most unexpected moment. Learning about the risks before you meet them in real life is important. Because you never know when disaster will strike, but if you are prepared, you can weather the storm.