It's a well known fact that small businesses are hit the hardest when it comes to collecting late payments.
But, it doesn't have to be that way anymore.
I'm a firm believer that newer technologies can help smaller businesses do what larger businesses have been doing for donkey's years - take payments automatically, on subscription.
It's common for your utility company provider, water supplier and mobile phone operator to have efficient and automated systems to collect agreed payments from their customer - so why not you?
Until recently it has actually been quite hard, and rather expensive too. Hard - because some banks just wouldn't let smaller businesses do it (regarding Direct Debit). Expensive - because it required bespoke technology. Both of these things have changed, or are at least in flux.
Your business is just as, if not more so, in need of having efficient systems in place to collect agreed payments from customers. With good contracts and agreed payments set-up why not use subscription billing to improve your cash flow?
Subscription billing was complex for SMEs, but not anymore
Three years ago, I wrote about the history of Direct Debit, and identified that the big barrier to direct debit for smaller businesses is the high minimum turnover for smaller businesses (you must have a turnover of > 1 million for most banks). This is now less of a barrier with third parties taking on some of the risk in the middle. Being able to establish a direct debit with your customers comes with great responsibility, but it also creates a more frictionless experience which both large and small business should benefit from.
Since that time, our service is improving the situation:
- We've made accepting subscription payments less of a barrier to small businesses
- As a business owner, your customers can now sign-up online to your subscriptions, and you don't need to know a thing about coding or 'integrating'
- Automated payment collection
- Automated invoice generation
- Automated VAT on invoice (if VAT registered and you want it)
Small business owners want appliances, not code
In technology, it's easy to get lost in a bubble assuming all other businesses have "got this" and are on-top of their IT. In reality, what is an obsession for us, is often poorly understood, and certainly not a priority for most businesses. A huge portion business owners do not, or do not want to, understand technology, and more specifically do not understand the impact that technology has on their business.
By creating services that "just work" like a reliable appliance (think of that trusty old kettle in the kitchen) business owners have more time to focus on their core trade, be it a jewellers, beautician, timber merchant or pet shop owner. These business owners don't care for technology, they require appliances which do their job and nothing else. For us, that job is creating an appliance which collects subscription payments from customers, invoicing them, and alerting you only when there are issues that require your attention. Otherwise, that appliance should just be quiet until it's next needed - like the trusty kettle.
If you're a business owner and want to inprove cash flow, use Subscribie to collect subscription payments.