Small businesses are digitizing nearly every aspect of their operations, from communication to payment collection, but they aren’t digitizing just to offer an extra option to their customers. They’re digitizing because it’s the only way to survive. Especially with how tumultuous the last year has been, it’s especially important for small service businesses to offer different avenues through which customers can access their services, and here’s why. 

1. Digital payments are less risky than physical payments. 

Cash and check are perhaps the most traditional forms of payment, but they are also the riskiest for small businesses to accept. Not only could they get lost, but you’d also have to take the time to deposit them into your bank account. On top of that, paper forms of money tend to have a way of getting lost or damaged, and because there’s only the one copy, if that should happen, you’d have no opportunity for recourse. With digital payments, you have a trail of who paid what and exactly how much they paid, which makes bookkeeping a lot easier. Setting up digital payments is one of the most impactful ways you can digitize your small business.

And guess what? If you set your customers up for ACH payments through Finli, it’s completely free! And if they choose to pay through credit or debit card, you’ll never have to chase down payments again – Finli will take care of that for you. (For more information about the different payment methods and how each can impact your small business, read this.) 

2. Digitizing payments creates fewer opportunities for human errors.

Human employees are prone to human errors, and are probably better at things other than managing payments, like customer service or sales or teaching. When you digitize and automate your payment system, you completely eliminate the need to train (and retrain) your employees in that aspect of running your business, saving you both time and money. When you digitize your payments by setting up direct payments (like ACH transfers, which Finli does not charge a fee for), you’ll dramatically streamline your payment collection process as well. You can do all of this through Finli, which allows you to collect direct payments and keep that payment history secure within the platform – say goodbye to costly money mistakes and forgetting who paid what or whether they paid at all. 

3. Recurring billing guarantees a steady stream of income.

Setting customers up on subscriptions (aka recurring payments) means having a predictable income stream at set periods of time, which means you won’t have to worry about having the money to get your bills and employees paid on time. It also gives you the ability to budget for business investments and projects, both of which could lead to more revenue in the long run.

Perhaps the biggest reason to consider implementing recurring billing is that most of your future income comes from your current repeat customers, and it makes sense to make your business transactions with them as seamless as possible to ensure their continued patronage. Once you set them up on recurring payments, that’s another thing off your plate! No more spending time on busywork that doesn’t directly aid in your business’s growth. Check out this article for a more in-depth look at how subscription payments can improve your small business’s bottom line. 

4. Separating your income streams could lead to a guaranteed and/or additional source of income. 

It’s risky to only offer in-person services or classes, because if there’s one lesson the last year taught us, it’s that life can turn on a dime. By offering virtual classes or services and selling related products online, you create another way for your customers to access what you sell. Diversification is one of the most effective ways to mitigate risk, and by offering both virtual and in-person classes or services, you’re creating multiple streams of income and not being totally reliant on just one.

Worst case scenario, you can run your business completely online, like many have done up until recently. Best case scenario, you now have revenue from both online and offline sources.

This also allows you to open up your business to the world. For example, if you teach martial arts and don’t start your first class until 4PM each day, you could teach online classes in the AM to further increase your revenue. Digitizing your classes or services could lead to more streams of revenue, and at the very least, guarantees at least one stream of income at all times. 

5. Digitizing makes it easier to scale up when it’s time for your business to grow.

When it’s time to expand your small business, digitizing could be the difference between success and failure. By automating routine tasks like invoicing and payment collection, you spend less time and money hiring and training employees. When you automate scheduling, you spend less time worrying about being double booked and having to completely move around your schedule to make something work if you are. By keeping track of everything you need to run your business on a customizable and comprehensive platform, you save time that you would’ve otherwise spent trying to stay organized by piecemealing a bunch of other platforms that weren’t built with you in mind.

Each one of these elements dramatically impacts your bottom line, and Finli has all of these features so you could focus on growing your business and not the tedious busywork that was once an inevitable part of running it. By implementing these best practices early, you’ll ensure a seamless transition when you expand your business because nothing about how you manage your administrative work will need to change. 

The first step towards reaching your business goals is digitizing your small business. Finli wants to help. From scheduling to invoicing, Finli has got your back. Schedule a demo today.