Small Business Branding – How to Strengthen It with Economic Strategies

Sneha Hull | September 17, 2021 | 328 views

Branding is critical for every business, large or small. It is a widespread misunderstanding that small business branding is unnecessary and that many business owners do not need it. However, branding is critical for small organizations just as much as it is for large ones. Choosing the proper brand for your business can make it or ruin it.

Your brand identity encompasses more than your logo, signs, and other tangible objects used to promote and sell your products or services. Your Brand is a commitment to your consumers explaining what they can anticipate from a small business and what sets you apart from the competition. Branding is about who your business is, its brand identity, voice, and mission, and is therefore separate from the word "marketing."

"One of the most common mistakes companies make is implementing a brand strategy that isn't aligned to the organization's overall business goal."

-Maliha Aqeel, Director of Global Communications at Fix Network World

The biggest challenge is to brand your business with a small budget, minimal resources, and limited staffing that small business owners face.
In addition to a small budget, small businesses also face various other branding challenges such as:
  • Inability to correctly describe your brand's mission and how it differentiates itself from competitors
  • Failure to maintain brand consistency
  • Failure to have a brand personality and voice
  • Creativity issues

Overcoming these challenges to the best of your brand’s ability will determine your customer’s interest in your brand and your business’s success. After all, without your customers, you can’t survive in the industry. However, one might wonder how branding connects with your customers? This blog highlights just that by focusing on few branding tips for small businesses to help you overcome these challenges and establish a long-lasting relationship with your customers.

Before figuring out the different ways to brand your small business you need to understand the significance of branding.

"A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well".

- Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.

Why and How Branding is Important?

Often, small businesses believe themselves to be businesses rather than brands, yet it is essential to brand your business. Small business branding enhances their worth, provides direction and incentive for staff, and simplifies the process of gaining new clients.

According to Reboot study, employing a distinctive color may boost a consumer's awareness of your brand by up to 80%.

Correct branding gives you some control over how people identify your business. Small business branding enables more people to recognize your firm, fosters confidence, enhances advertising and marketing efforts, cultivates loyal consumers, produces additional income, and, most importantly, inspires staff.As per the Fit Small Business survey, 59% of consumers prefer to purchase from familiar brands. Hence it is crucial for your business to invest in certain Brand Development activities.

Crucial Steps Involved in Brand Development

Below are few branding strategies for small businesses to stand out.

Outline the Purpose of Your Brand

Brand purpose is the first step and the most essential for small business branding. A brand's purpose establishes a stronger emotional connection with customers. Brand's purpose help to build a strong brand identity for your small business.
Here are few questions that you need to ask yourself before defining your brand's purpose and be clear about:
  • How is your brand unique?
  • What issues do your services or products address?
  • Why should customers care?
  • Does the purpose of my brand align with the specific brand promises I'm making?
  • Having a brand purpose results in higher sales and loyalty.

Figure out Your Target Customers

Determining your target audience helps you build a strong brand identity and is crucial for small business branding. Determine specific consumer habits and lifestyles to determine your target customers and further narrow your target audience emphasis. By focusing on a specific client segment, you will develop powerful and successful branding strategies and a crystal-clear brand message.

It plays a key role in branding a new company with limited resources. Small company owners may identify their niche by examining demographic data, comparable or competitors' brands' target audience, sales, marketing statistics, and existing consumer surveys.

Competitive Research

Researching your competitors' brands is very necessary and one of the best branding tips for small businesses. Researching your competitors' brands provides you with knowledge on how your competitors' brands are being positioned and the branding tactics they are employing. Additionally, it aids in identifying and establishing your brand's positioning.

Choose 2-4 competitors for the comparison and aim to Benchmark your brand against the competition. Differentiation from the competitors is a primary brand-building objective. Finally, convince a consumer to choose you over another vendor.

Decide Your Brand Voice

The "voice" of your business is the language and personality that you and your staff will use to communicate your branding message and connect with consumers. It is, however, frequently missed. The brand voice covers everything from the words and language you employ to the personality and image evoked by your marketing collateral.

You must select a brand voice that makes sense and connects with your target audience.
Here is the finest illustration from a prominent brand on how the decision-makers enabled their brand voice to increase brand awareness and sales. Pedigree, a well-known pet food brand, ran a campaign called "The Mutual Loyalty Program" that focused on the adoption of homeless dogs from shelters. Here is a page from their success story.

The brand used this social awareness campaign to target its music streaming users using an array of innovative and interactive audio advertising strategies. By drawing attention to a prominent social issue- the plight of the homeless dogs, the pet food brand was able to demonstrate its support to shelter dogs. Through their ad campaign, Pedigree assisted the owners willing to adopt stray dogs by providing a welcome home care kit as a gift. The advertisement concluded with a query about the listener’s interest in the campaign. If the listener expressed interest in learning more about the gift’s contents, they shared extensive information and routed those customers to the landing page. At the same time, others who picked a different response were briefed on learning more about assisting shelter dogs.

Thus, this campaign proved to be successful by increasing the product’s sales, helping in brand identification, and assisting in creating a social-inclusive brand image.

“The campaign tone and style reinforced the brand's long-running commitment to the importance of pet adoption using an approachable-but-energetic voice,” 

-Stas Tushinskiy, CEO, Instreamatic (the interactive audio advertising platform used by Pedigree).

Conclusion

Small business branding plays a vital role in today's digital market world. However, for the future success of the small business, it is a need of an hour to build a strong brand identity and stand out among others. This blog provides the details of branding tips for small businesses; read and effectively implement them to brand your business.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How important is branding for small businesses?

Branding for small businesses is important because it creates trust, differentiates you from the competition, supports your marketing efforts, generates new revenue, gives recognition, adds value to your company, and builds emotional ties.

How can a small business create a strong brand identity?

There are various techniques small business owners can utilize to create a strong brand identity.
  • Outline the purpose of your brand
  • Figure out your target customers
  • Competitive research
  • Decide your brand voice
  • Choose an impactful slogan

Spotlight

Banehplaza

We all know that global prices are much different than the price tag in Iran and after lunch, we always wonder whether it is possible to buy global commodities in every field of the country. In our country there are areas with free trade zones and special economic zones on the water .

OTHER ARTICLES
FINANCE

Digital Transformation in SMBs: Overcoming E-commerce Challenges

Article | November 25, 2022

Identify key strategies for implementing digital transformation and stay competitive in the rapidly evolving e-commerce marketplace. Leverage technology to enhance customer experiences, and operational efficiency. Contents 1. Importance of Digital Transformation for SMBs 2. Why SMBs Need to Embrace Digital Transformation? 3. Key Technological Challenges in SMB E-commerce Landscape 3.1 Limited Technical Expertise and Knowledge 3.2 Cybersecurity and Data Privacy 3.3 Cloud Adoption and Infrastructure Modernization 4. Implementing Digital Transformation for SMB E-commerce Success 4.1 Creating a Digital Transformation Strategy 4.2 Investing in the Right Technology Infrastructure 4.3 Enhancing Cybersecurity Measures 4.4 Connecting SMBs with knowledge networks 4.5 Leveraging Data Analytics and Business Intelligence 4.6 Fostering a Culture of Innovation and Agility 5. Final Thoughts 1. Importance of Digital Transformation for SMBs In today's market, customers expect a seamless, personalized experience across all touchpoints, including B2B scenarios. As more businesses and customers adopt digital technologies, it makes sense for SMBs to do the same in order to improve operational efficiency, make better decisions based on real-time data, and provide customers with a convenient digital channel to search, explore, and make purchases. To remain competitive in the digital age, businesses must ensure that their online channels deliver a satisfactory customer experience. For small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), digital technologies offer an opportunity to: Compete with larger companies Expand their customer base Access valuable data Improve decision-making Optimize processes Enhance customer experiences 2. Why SMBs Need to Embrace Digital Transformation? SMBs can reap significant benefits from digital transformation, which involves leveraging technology to improve business operations and enhance customer experiences. One major advantage is increased operational efficiency, as automation helps reduce costs and boost productivity. Digital tools also enable small businesses to offer a broader range of choices, competitive pricing, and faster delivery, thereby enhancing the customer experience. Moreover, SMBs can use data-driven insights to quickly change their products or services, allowing for shorter time-to-market. By embracing digital transformation, businesses can stay ahead of the competition and better serve their customers. 3. Key Technological Challenges in SMB E-commerce Landscape Digital transformation can offer numerous benefits to small businesses, however there are numerous challenges they must overcome in order to succeed in the e-commerce landscape. One such significant challenge is the implementation of digital adoption projects, which can be a time-consuming process, and organizations may not see immediate results. In addition, there are various roadblocks that can hinder growth such as securing funding and transitioning from outdated systems. While technological capabilities have advanced, the path ahead is not always clear, and small businesses often face significant technical challenges when it comes to e-commerce, which are as follows: 3.1 Limited Technical Expertise and Knowledge Small businesses often struggle with digital transformation due to a lack of technical expertise and knowledge. This results in missed opportunities and increased costs, making it difficult for them to leverage digital technologies to achieve their desired business outcomes. In the e-commerce space, SMBs are vulnerable to cyberthreats and data breaches, which also require specialized expertise to manage effectively. Moreover, implementing and managing complex e-commerce platforms prove to be challenging for SMBs, leading to poor performance and customer experiences. Without access to dedicated IT professionals, SMBs find it difficult to address these issues and compete effectively in the digital marketplace. 3.2 Cybersecurity and Data Privacy SMBs operating in the e-commerce space face significant challenges related to cybersecurity and data privacy. As businesses increasingly rely on digital technologies and cloud-based systems, they become more vulnerable to cyberattacks, data breaches, and other security threats that may compromise their e-commerce platforms, leading to a loss of customer trust, legal liability, and financial losses. 3.3 Cloud Adoption and Infrastructure Modernization Legacy systems and outdated infrastructure often hinder businesses in their digital transformation efforts. To fully leverage the benefits of digital transformation, SMBs need to upgrade to modern, cloud-based systems and infrastructure. However, limited resources and budget constraints pose obstacles to cloud adoption and infrastructure modernization. As a result, businesses must carefully balance the advantages of the cloud with the need for data security and compliance. In addition, migrating to the cloud can be a complex and time-consuming process that requires technical expertise, which SMBs may not have in-house. Nonetheless, cloud adoption and infrastructure modernization are crucial for SMBs to stay competitive in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. 4. Implementing Digital Transformation for SMB E-commerce Success Digital transformation can significantly enhance e-commerce, providing SMBs the opportunity to leverage technology to improve their market reach, customer experiences, and operational efficiency. Although e-commerce issues and challenges may appear daunting, SMBs can overcome them by implementing the right digital technologies and strategies. 4.1 Creating a Digital Transformation Strategy Developing a well-defined digital transformation strategy is crucial for SMBs to succeed in e-commerce. This involves setting clear objectives, identifying areas requiring transformation, and creating a roadmap to achieve those objectives. SMBs must utilize appropriate technology solutions to enhance operational efficiency, improve customer experience, and increase profitability. Therefore, conducting a thorough analysis of customer needs and technology trends, defining the problem statement, and breaking down the transformation process into phases with measurable targets and actionable steps are vital. Identifying the relevant stakeholders and necessary skills for leading and execution are also critical. While periodic reviews and adjustments to the digital transformation strategy can help achieve long-term goals. 4.2 Investing in the Right Technology Infrastructure Digital transformation is a crucial investment for SMBs in e-commerce, requiring a substantial amount of technology infrastructure. Upgrading legacy systems may pose difficulties, but implementing cloud-based technologies can bring significant advantages, including scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. Small businesses can begin migrating to the cloud with a phased approach, moving one location or function at a time. This reduces on-premises costs and allows for the testing of new digital solutions. Pilot projects can be used to assess the success of new tools or workflow automation for one department before implementing a larger digital adoption plan. By embracing cloud-based technologies and investing in the right technology infrastructure, SMBs can improve their online presence, customer engagement and stay competitive in the rapidly evolving e-commerce landscape. 4.3 Enhancing Cybersecurity Measures With cyber threats on the rise, firms operating in the digital scenario are facing numerous challenges, especially in data security and privacy, resulting in massive financial losses. To mitigate these risks, e-commerce SMBs should focus on improving the following cybersecurity measures: Implementing strong passwords Two-factor authentication Firewalls Encryption They should also invest in regular employee training and awareness programs to protect their data and systems. Moreover, conducting periodic risk assessments, reviewing security incident response plans, and complying with security standards can help e-commerce small businesses safeguard themselves and their customers. Raising the digital security profile of small businesses can be achieved through awareness and receiving guidance on proper digital security measures, toolkits, auditing, assurance frameworks, protocols, certification schemes, and training opportunities. 4.4 Connecting SMBs with knowledge networks SMBs in the e-commerce industry can benefit greatly from connecting with knowledge networks. These networks offer access to expertise and resources that can help businesses better navigate the complex world of e-commerce. Companies can engage with industry associations, attend conferences and events, and participate in online communities to connect with these knowledge networks. This can help them stay current on the latest technology trends and best practices in the e-commerce industry. Moreover, e-commerce SMBs can benefit from partnering with larger firms, online platforms, and networking interfaces such as digital innovation hubs, centers of excellence, clusters, and co-working spaces. By doing so, they can leverage the resources and expertise of these organizations to grow their businesses and accelerate their digital transformation initiatives. Public procurement programs such as the Small Business Innovation Research program can also provide them with funding and opportunities to access knowledge networks and support their digital transformation efforts. 4.5 Leveraging Data Analytics and Business Intelligence E-commerce SMBs can benefit significantly from integrating data analytics and business intelligence tools. These tools help collect, analyze, and interpret data to gain insights into customer behavior, market trends, and other factors that affect their business success. Small businesses can improve their decision-making and gain a better understanding of their customers' needs and preferences by analyzing customer data and identifying trends. Firms can leverage customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence (BI) solutions to achieve this. These tools enable organizations to crunch data in real time and personalize customer interactions. Additionally, integrating information across different departments provides a holistic view of their customers. Businesses must also take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to analyze data, forecast trends, and make predictions. Finally, hiring individuals with strong data analytics skills can help them make the most of their data and gain a competitive advantage. 4.6 Fostering a Culture of Innovation and Agility Encouraging a culture of innovation and agility is critical for SMBs to remain competitive and relevant. To achieve this, these business should promote experimentation, embrace new technologies, and provide opportunities for professional development to employees. They must be open to change and adapt to evolving market trends and customer needs. Fostering a work environment that encourages creativity and experimentation can help employees feel free to propose new ideas and solutions. This can include setting up cross-functional teams, providing regular training and development opportunities, and establishing open communication channels. Furthermore, policymakers must play a role in encouraging innovation and the development of new digital solutions by implementing research and innovation policies in areas such as digital security, blockchain, and AI. Via funding and supporting research and development in these areas, policymakers can help their businesses access the latest technologies and stay ahead of the competition. 5. Final Thoughts The advent of the digital revolution has transformed the business landscape, creating new opportunities for small businesses to expand their market size, streamline operations, and meet customers' ever-evolving needs. However, the evolving landscape also presents a host of e-commerce business challenges that SMBs must overcome to achieve success in the digital age. By implementing a comprehensive digital transformation strategy that leverages the right technology solutions, SMBs can overcome these challenges and succeed in the e-commerce arena. For SMBs, digital transformation is no longer optional but a necessity.

Read More
FINANCE

Sustainable E-commerce for SMBs: Events to Attend in 2023

Article | November 25, 2021

Discover the must-attend events for SMBs in 2023 and gain valuable insights, strategies, and networking opportunities to propel your business forward. Stay updated with the latest trends in the e-commerce industry. Contents 1. Introduction 2. Top events e-commerce SMBs must attend in 2023 2.1 Ecom Sweety 2.2 Retail Innovation Conference & Expo 2.3 Grow NYC Summer 2.4 Online Retailer Conference & Expo 2023 2.5 The eCommerce & Omnichannel Conference 2.6 White Label World Expo 2.7 Paris Retail Week 2.8 Ecommerce Expo 2.9 E-commerce Expo Asia 2.10 White Label World Expo Europe 3. Key Takeaways 1. Introduction In the ever-evolving realm of e-commerce, sustainability has emerged as an indispensable concern for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs) spanning diverse industries. Moreover, SMBs increasingly recognize the importance of integrating contemporary practices into their online operations. Thus to stay informed and inspired, attending industry events is critical. This article will explore a meticulously curated list of top e-commerce conferences and events in 2023. These exceptional gatherings proffer invaluable insights, unparalleled networking prospects, and pragmatic strategies enabling SMBs to flourish while keeping them updated on the digital marketplace. 2. Top events e-commerce SMBs must attend in 2023 2.1 Ecom Sweety June 01-03, 2023 | Miami The Ecom Sweety event offers valuable growth strategies, networking opportunities, memorable experiences, inspiring stories, and impactful insights to fuel your success throughout the year. Attendees will learn to boost conversions for their Shopify stores, harness the potential of long-form video content to drive brand growth, leverage customer reviews for maximum impact, enhance customer retention, and build a strong social presence. This event brings together a community of accomplished women who have mastered the art of e-commerce, providing a unique opportunity to learn from their experiences and expertise. Join this powerful group and gain actionable strategies to propel your e-commerce journey to new heights. 2.2 Retail Innovation Conference & Expo June 13-15, 2023 | McCormick Place, Chicago The Retail Innovation Conference & Expo is a captivating event in the world of retail innovation to discover the brightest minds in the retail industry as they showcase their groundbreaking ideas in action. The event provides valuable insights from emerging brands that have successfully embraced new consumer behaviors and thrived amidst industry disruptions. Expert speakers will share their knowledge about traditional omnichannel brands, thriving marketplaces, trailblazing direct-to-consumer (DTC), and consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands to navigate this new era of connected commerce. This event goes beyond simply hearing about the latest trends and innovations; attendees will have the opportunity to experience them firsthand. 2.3 Grow NYC Summer July 11, 2023 | Center415, NY The Grow NYC event brings together hundreds of direct-to-consumer (DTC) founders and growth marketers to share their experiences and insights. Attendees will have the valuable opportunity to learn from successful growth marketers who will discuss what has been effective in their campaigns, companies, and careers. In addition, the event will cover emerging trends and strategies in the e-commerce industry, providing attendees with valuable knowledge to stay ahead in the ever-evolving digital landscape. In addition to learning from industry experts, Grow NYC offers ample networking opportunities, allowing participants to establish numerous new connections and generate potential business leads. 2.4 Online Retailer Conference & Expo 2023 July 19-20, 2023 | ICC Sydney The Online Retailer Conference & Expo is a premier event in the e-commerce industry, providing valuable strategic insights, solutions, technologies, and connections that drive positive outcomes for businesses at any stage of their online retail journey. With a diverse range of exhibitors, attendees, partners, and industry colleagues, the event offers a dynamic and enriching experience for all participants. Whether knowledge, networking opportunities, or industry expertise, the Online Retailer Conference & Expo is the perfect destination to explore the latest trends and establish meaningful connections in the ever-evolving world of online retail. 2.5 The eCommerce & Omnichannel Conference August 21-24, 2023 | The Sheraton, Boston This four-day event offers participants an opportunity to learn from some of the most successful retailers in America and gain insights into how they have achieved profitability through disruptive strategies and innovative ideas. Attendees can expect a wide range of topics to be covered, including finding the right balance between innovation and commercial success, implementing customer acquisition strategies in the new era of privacy and rising costs, embracing hybrid retail models, and aligning customer experience with the brand promise, among many others. By participating in this event, attendees can gather valuable knowledge, strategic takeaways and foster meaningful connections to fuel their growth and ensure success in their endeavors. 2.6 White Label World Expo August 29-30, 2023 | NY The White Label World is the ultimate gathering for leaders, entrepreneurs, online sellers, retailers, and distributors worldwide. This event brings together business owners, e-commerce professionals, and startup owners in a comprehensive expo. With thousands of online sellers, suppliers, and buyers in attendance, it provides a unique opportunity to connect, interact, and experience a wide range of products firsthand. Attendees can exchange ideas, seek business advice, explore sourcing opportunities, and stay updated on the latest product trends. In addition, the event features insightful discussions on industry trends, strategies for building your brand online, and practical advice for scaling your business. Expert speakers share their knowledge and expertise, providing attendees with valuable insights and resources to succeed in the competitive e-commerce and retail space. 2.7 Paris Retail Week September 19-21, 2023 | Paris, France Paris Retail Week is a leading event in the field of omnichannel commerce, bringing together renowned brands, retailers, and solution providers. It serves as a platform for attendees to discover industry trends, explore innovative practices, and address crucial questions. With insights from both French and international speakers, participants will gain inspiration and practical solutions to enhance their businesses. By understanding emerging trends and exploring sector innovations, companies can elevate their operations and stay ahead of the competition. The event also offers valuable networking opportunities, enabling professionals to connect with peers and engage with the wider retail ecosystem. 2.8 Ecommerce Expo September 27-28, 2023 | London, UK The E-commerce Expo is the largest event in the UK dedicated to retail, e-commerce, and marketing technology. With over 11,000 retailers & brands and 300 leading solution providers in attendance, it is a must-attend event for industry professionals. The expo offers a unique opportunity to hear from renowned retail and brand leaders who provide services and solutions crucial to business strategies and achieving 2023 goals. The event covers a wide range of emerging e-commerce themes and topics, bringing together retailers, brands, agencies, media owners, and technology providers. Over the course of two days, attendees can participate in one-to-one meetings, multi-track conferences, and networking sessions, enabling valuable connections and knowledge sharing. 2.9 E-commerce Expo Asia October 11-12, 2023 | Marina Bay Sands, Singapore The E-commerce Expo Asia is a premier event that brings together thousands of industry-leading providers, influential speakers, and senior decision-makers in a focused setting. It offers a unique platform for networking, attending informative e-commerce conferences, and accessing game-changing solutions to help businesses of all sizes achieve their goals. Attendees have the opportunity to connect with leading technology providers, innovative thinkers, and top marketing professionals to explore emerging trends and address critical issues in e-commerce, retail, and marketing technology. In addition, the expo showcases a wide range of innovative marketing technologies and solutions curated explicitly for marketing practitioners, specialists, and business decision-makers. 2.10 White Label World Expo Europe October 11-12, 2023 | Frankfurt, Germany The White Label World Expo presents an exceptional opportunity to become part of a thriving business community. This event provides networking opportunities with thousands of influential decision-makers and industry leaders. Attendees can gain valuable insights into the hottest products, the latest innovations, and the most effective online selling techniques to drive business growth. In addition, it offers a chance to listen to renowned international experts in e-commerce and retail as they share their secrets to success and fundamental knowledge. Stay up-to-date with the latest news and trends in the e-commerce world to ensure continuous business growth. This event is a must-attend for anyone looking to expand their network, gain valuable knowledge, and stay ahead in the competitive e-commerce landscape. 3. Key Takeaways The e-commerce industry is in a constant state of evolution, and SMBs that can adapt to the latest trends will be well-positioned for success. There are numerous e-commerce events that can help SMBs stay ahead of the curve. These events offer valuable information and resources that can contribute to the success of SMBs in the e-commerce industry. In 2023, there will be a variety of must-attend e-commerce events for SMBs, covering a wide range of topics such as digital marketing strategies, customer experience optimization, emerging technologies, and trends. Attending these events allows SMBs to learn about new marketing strategies, technological solutions, and ways to enhance their customer service. By staying informed about the latest trends and best practices, SMBs can remain competitive and adapt their business strategies accordingly. Networking with other businesses and seeking advice from industry experts can also immensely benefit businesses looking to grow and thrive in the e-commerce space.

Read More
FINANCE

The Future of E-commerce: Trends and Innovations for SMBs

Article | June 7, 2022

Discover how emerging technologies and changing consumer behavior are shaping the e-commerce landscape, and delve into the latest trends to help your SMB thrive in the competitive online marketplace. Contents 1. Examining Current E-commerce Landscape 2. The Future of E-commerce: Opportunities and Challenges for SMBs 3. SMB E-commerce in 2023 and Beyond: Trends and Innovations to Embrace 3.1 Mobile Commerce and Optimization 3.2 Social Commerce and Influencer Marketing 3.3 Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning 3.4 Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality 3.5 Voice Commerce 4. Final Thoughts 1. Examining Current E-commerce Landscape The e-commerce industry has undergone substantial growth and transformation in recent years, and as a small business owner, it is crucial to acknowledge the rapidly evolving e-commerce landscape. Despite recent economic challenges, global e-commerce trends persist and have the potential to shape the future. Therefore adapting to these changes has become more critical than ever, necessitating proper preparation to tackle challenges and implement suitable strategies to accommodate emerging trends and shifts. As small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) seek avenues for future growth, it becomes evident that staying ahead in digital innovation and emerging trends allows e-commerce businesses to maintain agility and resilience. 2. The Future of E-commerce: Opportunities and Challenges for SMBs E-commerce is widely recognized as the future, a viewpoint shared by industry experts and analysts. The rise of technology and the growing popularity of online shopping have created a multitude of opportunities and challenges for SMBs. However, they also face obstacles, including fierce competition from large corporations and the need to adapt to changing consumer preferences. For instance, e-commerce giants and SMBs will increasingly compete for consumer attention, resulting in higher advertising costs and potentially lower returns on ad spend. To navigate the future of e-commerce successfully, SMBs must understand the current landscape and identify emerging trends. This involves prioritizing convenience for both merchants and shoppers, delivering immersive and engaging shopping experiences, and facilitating seamless interactions across multiple channels in a consistent and user-friendly manner. Despite these challenges, SMBs have numerous opportunities to thrive in the ever-evolving e-commerce landscape. 3. SMB E-commerce in 2023 and Beyond: Trends and Innovations to Embrace Small business owners must prioritize creating engaging and efficient online shopping experiences as consumers increasingly use e-commerce platforms for their shopping needs. To maintain a competitive edge, businesses must be well-prepared and implement strategies that align with emerging trends and changes. Therefore, it is critical to identify which e-commerce advancements will persist and comprehend how digital technology innovations will shape the future of small businesses. By staying informed and adapting accordingly, businesses can flourish in the evolving e-commerce landscape. 3.1 Mobile Commerce and Optimization Given the increasing use of smartphones for online activities, small e-commerce businesses must prioritize mobile-first strategies to cater to the growing mobile traffic. Recent figures revealed by eMarketer Insider Intelligence estimated that mobile commerce sales are projected to exceed $510 billion in 2023 and $710 billion in 2025. Mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) payment systems have enhanced the convenience of conducting business transactions through smartphones, while SMS marketing has simplified customer engagement to drive repeat business. However, mobile users highly value convenience, digital payment capabilities and expect a seamless experience. Therefore, SMBs must optimize their websites and platforms to deliver smooth mobile experiences, which entails implementing responsive web design and incorporating mobile payment options. 3.2 Social Commerce and Influencer Marketing Social media platforms have emerged as influential tools for e-commerce, ranking as the second most popular method for global consumers to search for products to purchase. Establishing a presence on social media has become essential for any business's marketing strategy. Advertising capabilities on major social platforms continue to expand, allowing brands to connect effectively with new customers. SMBs must leverage social commerce by creating compelling content, collaborating with influencers, and utilizing social media platforms to showcase their products and engage with customers. Partnering with influencers boosts sales, while brands can gain followers and expand their reach. Social commerce also enables improved brand-to-consumer communication and enhances customer engagement. 3.3 Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies are revolutionizing e-commerce operations. The combination of ML, AI, and big data goes beyond automation, enabling the automatic optimization of processes that require significant time and effort or are otherwise not feasible. One significant area where AI and ML are expected to impact is enhancing e-commerce personalization, delivering customers a superior shopping experience. SMBs can leverage AI-powered chatbots to improve customer support and offer personalized recommendations based on customer behavior. By employing machine learning, SMBs can gather and analyze data to personalize the shopping experience, carry out targeted marketing campaigns, optimize pricing, plan merchandise supply, and gain valuable customer insights. The implementation of AI and ML solutions has the potential to streamline processes and enhance the overall customer experience. 3.4 Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technologies are revolutionizing the future of e-commerce by offering immersive experiences to customers. SMBs must leverage AR and VR to enable customers to visualize products in real-world settings, engage in virtual try-on experiences for fashion items, or explore physical spaces virtually. These technologies allow customers to interact with products and environments digitally, providing a better understanding and feel for the items without physical interaction. For example, customers can see how a T-shirt would look on them or visualize how a piece of furniture fits in their room before making a purchase. This empowers consumers to make more informed decisions, leading to reduced product returns. By integrating AR and VR into their e-commerce platforms, SMBs can enhance customer engagement, deliver a unique shopping experience, and ultimately drive sales growth. 3.5 Voice Commerce In 2023, a growing number of consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable using voice-assisted technologies for their daily tasks. It is no longer inconceivable to envision customers ordering products and making purchases by simply using their voice and asking for product recommendations instead of manually browsing various product collections and sizes. This trend not only saves time but also enhances the immersive shopping experience. As a result, voice commerce is gaining significant momentum, so small e-commerce businesses must embrace voice search as part of their strategy to enhance the customer experience, boost sales, and gain a competitive edge. In addition, SMBs must optimize their e-commerce platforms for voice search, allowing customers to make purchases effortlessly through voice commands. By incorporating voice technology, businesses can provide a seamless and convenient shopping experience that aligns with evolving consumer preferences. 4. Final Thoughts The future of e-commerce presents numerous opportunities for SMBs. As technology continues to advance and consumer behavior evolves, it is essential for small businesses to adapt and embrace emerging trends and innovations that shape the e-commerce landscape. By staying informed and proactive, SMBs can position themselves for success in the ever-changing digital world. Looking towards 2023 and beyond, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the e-commerce industry must adopt a flexible and innovative mindset to stay ahead of the competition and seize new opportunities. Therefore, it is critical to keep up with the latest industry developments, invest in appropriate technologies, and prioritize customer satisfaction for success in this rapidly-changing environment. By taking these steps, SMBs can establish their foothold in the highly-competitive e-commerce industry and thrive in the digital age.

Read More
BUSINESS STRATEGY

Scaling SMBs: Best E-commerce Strategies to Grow Your Online Business

Article | May 4, 2023

Learn how SMB e-commerce can overcome unique challenges when scaling operations effectively. Explore a strategic approach towards sustained growth, profitability, and competitiveness in the long run. Contents 1. Scaling E-Commerce Operations for SMBs: Challenges 2. A Strategic Approach towards E-Commerce Growth Strategies 2.1 Assess Current E-Commerce Strategy 2.2 Expand Product Line 2.3 Optimize Customer Experience 2.4 Leverage Data and Analytics 2.5 Implement Tracking and Automation 2.6 Outsourcing: Delegate to Focus 2.7 Building Trust and Credibility 2.8 Implement Effective E-commerce Marketing Strategies 2.9 Attend Trade Shows and Industry Conferences 3. Takeaway: Strategies for Ecommerce Success 1. Scaling E-Commerce Operations for SMBs: Challenges E-commerce has been growing at an unprecedented rate in recent years, driven by the increasing adoption of online shopping and technological advancements. However, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face unique challenges when it comes to scaling their e-commerce operations. • Firstly, they often lack the resources of larger businesses, including the capital, technology, and human resources necessary to drive growth. • Secondly, SMBs must compete with larger, more established e-commerce players who have already established a robust online presence and brand reputation. • Finally, they must navigate an increasingly complex e-commerce landscape, with constantly evolving customer expectations, market trends, and technological advancements. Despite these challenges, SMBs have several advantages in the e-commerce space. They are often more nimble and can quickly adapt to changing market conditions than larger businesses. They also have the benefit of providing a more personalized and customized customer experience. However, SMBs must adopt a strategic approach to scaling their e-commerce operations to leverage these advantages fully. 2. A Strategic Approach Towards E-Commerce Growth Strategies To remain competitive in the current landscape, businesses must embrace the dominance of e-commerce and prioritize online sales. In addition, small business owners must understand that scaling their business is a significant undertaking and ask themselves critical questions about their readiness and the best approach. To excel in the world of e-commerce, businesses must take a comprehensive approach that encompasses various critical areas. This approach requires a thorough understanding of e-commerce strategies for growth, allowing enterprises to scale their e-commerce operations efficiently and attain sustainable profitability and long-term success. 2.1 Assess Current E-Commerce Strategy The first step in scaling e-commerce operations is to assess the current e-commerce strategies and set specific scaling goals. Next, SMBs must evaluate their online presence, including their website, social media accounts, and online marketplaces, to identify areas for improvement. This assessment should include evaluating the website's design and functionality, the ease of use for customers, and the checkout process. SMBs should also evaluate their current product offerings, pricing strategy, and target market. This will help them identify areas for improvement and opportunities for growth and determine where to focus their investments to achieve their scaling goals. 2.2 Expand Product Line To achieve scalability, businesses must expand their product offerings by adding new products. This can significantly enhance visibility, attract more customers, and ultimately lead to an increase in sales. First, however, it's crucial to identify which products generate the most profit. Then, businesses can effectively allocate resources and optimize their offerings by thoroughly analyzing each product in the catalog to determine top sellers. Adding complementary products and services to existing offerings is also a good strategy for SMBs. This can attract new customers and increase revenue from existing ones. Moreover, diversifying the product offerings can reduce dependence on a single product or category and mitigate risks associated with fluctuations in demand or supply chain disruptions. 2.3 Optimize Customer Experience SMBs must devote their attention to furnishinga personalized and seamless customer experience. Accomplishing this objective necessitates the provision of intricate product descriptions, high-resolution imagery, and straightforward navigation. In addition, to establish customer loyalty, exceptional customer service must be rendered, such as quick responses and effortless returns. Consumers have many options, so they choose brands that provide exceptional customer experiences. Therefore, SMBs need to prioritize customer satisfaction and make necessary changes to their business model and policies, even with limited resources. Investing in technologies like AI, blockchain, ML, and data analytics can also help enhance the customer experience and drive loyalty, satisfaction, acquisition, and retention. By improving customer service, SMBs can differentiate themselves from competitors and take their business to the next level. 2.4 Leverage Data and Analytics The strategic utilization of data and analytics represents a fundamental component of e-commerce enterprises' expansion plans. SMBs must methodically scrutinize website, sales and customer data to ascertain areas that require enhancement and growth opportunities. Furthermore, the proficient employment of data and analytics facilitates the optimization of pricing, marketing, and product offerings, culminating in augmented revenue, profitability, and decreased risks and expenses. • Use predictive analytics to anticipate customer needs and proactively offer relevant products and services. • Use data to identify high-value customers and target them with personalized offers. • Invest in advanced analytics to gain deeper insights into customer behavior. • Utilize machine learning to personalize customer experiences and increase engagement. 2.5 Implement Tracking and Automation To enhance operational efficiency and reduce costs in e-commerce, SMBs can implement robust tracking and automation mechanisms. These may include automated inventory management to mitigate stockouts and backorders, as well as automated shipping and fulfillment processes to achieve faster delivery times and lower expenses. • Automated services, such as abandoned cart retargeting, drip campaigns, and targeted content promotions based on user interests, can significantly streamline operations. • Chatbots can provide 24/7 customer service support, ensuring uninterrupted customer engagement. Incorporating data tracking is a crucial element in improving online stores and anticipating changes required to support business growth. By leveraging automation to handle repetitive tasks and employing data tracking to derive valuable insights, SMBs can prioritize critical tasks and optimize their e-commerce operations for sustained success. 2.6 Outsourcing: Delegate to Focus SMBs can significantly benefit from outsourcing specific e-commerce functions such as web design and development, marketing, customer service, and fulfillment. This strategy reduces costs, increases efficiency, and enables businesses to concentrate on their core competencies. However, choosing reliable outsourcing providers and maintaining clear communication are essential for effective collaboration. Third-party logistics and fulfillment platforms represent efficient and cost-optimized last-mile delivery and order fulfillment solutions that employ state-of-the-art technology and experienced delivery partners. Outsourcing order fulfillment to these platforms enables SMBs to concentrate on other critical aspects of their business and expand rapidly. Furthermore, leveraging fulfillment centers can lead to several advantages, such as time savings and increased focus on core areas of the business. Picking, packing, and shipping can prove challenging in e-commerce, but outsourcing to a fulfillment center can assist SMBs in scaling up their operations effectively. 2.7 Building Trust and Credibility Establishing trust and credibility is paramount for e-commerce businesses that aim to grow and expand. To achieve this, SMBs should develop a professional, user-friendly website, maintain active social media accounts, and participate in online communities and forums. Providing high-quality products and services and exceptional customer service is also essential. Soliciting and responding to customer feedback and reviews can foster trust and credibility with potential customers. Encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive reviews can neutralize negative feedback and attract new customers. • Having a presence on multiple platforms and upgrading the website can further enhance credibility. • Including a secure payment system, clear product descriptions, and detailed customer service information in the website design can also help to establish trust and credibility. • Moreover, utilizing customer reviews and ratings to showcase products is a powerful tool for building trust and credibility with potential customers. 2.8 Implement Effective E-commerce Marketing Strategies SMBs need to develop effective e-commerce marketing strategies that target their desired audience. This requires identifying the specific market segment they wish to reach and creating targeted campaigns that resonate with that audience. Inbound marketing is an effective marketing strategy for e-commerce businesses to attract customers to their online stores. By creating and distributing content relevant to their target audience, such as social posts, blog posts, videos, infographics, and influencer campaigns, SMBs can attract potential customers to their website and generate interest in their products. E-commerce SMBs must be aware of the importance of social media in their marketing efforts as they scale their online store. Maintaining and growing their presence on social media platforms is a valuable tool for reaching and engaging with potential customers. SMBs can increase brand awareness and drive traffic to their online store by actively increasing their social media marketing efforts 2.9 Attend Trade Shows and Industry Conferences Participating in trade shows and conferences is an effective way for SMBs to expand their network, keep abreast of the latest e-commerce trends, and explore new technologies. These events provide an ideal platform for networking, education, and business development. To leverage the benefits of these events, SMBs must conduct research to identify relevant trade shows and conferences in their industry and attend them regularly. By doing so, they can establish connections with potential customers, partners, and vendors and gain valuable insights into their competitors and the industry as a whole. This approach will enable them to optimize their time and resources and achieve a favorable return on investment. 3. Takeaway: Strategies for E-commerce Success In order to expand their e-commerce business, SMBs must take a strategic and deliberate approach encompassing various aspects of the business. This includes expanding their product lines, enhancing the customer experience, utilizing data and analytics, implementing effective marketing strategies, and streamlining operations such as picking, packing, and shipping. It is also crucial for SMBs to select an e-commerce platform that is flexible and adaptable to their evolving business needs. However, it is important to note that scaling a business has inherent risks and challenges. Therefore, SMBs must be well-prepared and have a plan to mitigate these challenges. By adopting the right tools and techniques, SMBs can overcome these obstacles and succeed in the highly competitive e-commerce market. To achieve sustainable growth, SMBs must take a thoughtful approach to planning and execution. This involves identifying growth opportunities, setting realistic goals, allocating resources effectively, and continually evaluating and adjusting their strategies to remain competitive. By doing so, SMBs can thrive in the e-commerce landscape and unlock their full potential.

Read More

Spotlight

Banehplaza

We all know that global prices are much different than the price tag in Iran and after lunch, we always wonder whether it is possible to buy global commodities in every field of the country. In our country there are areas with free trade zones and special economic zones on the water .

Related News

TECHNOLOGY

VizyPay Adds Dual Pricing Program, Enhances Cash Savings for Small Business Owners

Globenewswire | June 07, 2023

VizyPay, a leading payment processing fintech that serves small businesses in rural America, today announces the launch of its proprietary Dual Pricing Program. By expanding its robust lineup of payment solutions for small business owners, VizyPay’s technology significantly lowers or eliminates a majority of credit card processing costs. Dual pricing improves transparency by offering two prices for customers to choose from: a cash price and a regular price. Historically, the cash price is cheaper because there is not a credit card processing fee incorporated into it. The same structure is used through VizyPay’s technology – a business will present the customer with both a cash price and regular price and the customer can then select their preferred payment method, allowing the option to pay cash and save off the regular price. Businesses also benefit by maintaining 100% of the cash price for every item sold. VizyPay rolled out a similar option with Cash Discount 2.0 and saved business owners over $9 million in unnecessary processing fees in the beginning of 2023 alone. “We’re all familiar with dual pricing. We’ve seen it perform extremely well at gas stations for decades, and now we’re offering the same solution to small businesses to help them grow,” said VizyPay CEO and Founder Austin Mac Nab. “Now auto shops, restaurants, salons and more across rural America can utilize dual pricing to positively impact their bottom line as they’re able to save on each item sold at the cash price.” To implement the Dual Pricing Program, businesses need software or equipment capable of offering dual pricing, like VizyPOS. Business owners then need to update and display cash and regular prices for each inventory, menu or invoice item and replace all prior pricing signage and disclosures with new signage that is program compliant and provided by VizyPay. “We strive to be a one-stop-shop with easy to implement technology and multiple options that fit the unique needs of each business owner,” said VizyPay Software Developer Brett Dewerff. “The Dual Pricing Program is another way we have fulfilled that commitment with another transparent pricing solution that offers unlimited transactions and avoids annual fees.” VizyPay’s lineup of technology and payment solutions has won many awards for its excellence. Most recently, VizyPay was recognized by Tearsheet as the Payment Technology Provider of the Year. The fintech’s accolades also include awards like Most Innovative Product of the Year, Fintech Solution, Fastest Growing Tech Company and many more. About VizyPay Headquartered in Waukee, Iowa, VizyPay was founded in 2017 by entrepreneurs who each had either significant credit card processing experience or were previously small business owners. Their combined understanding of these different industries created the perfect cocktail for a credit card processing company that could truly look out for the business owner. Making a huge splash nationwide by being honest and simple, VizyPay ranked #918 on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America with a three-year revenue growth of 695%.

Read More

FINANCE

Fyle and Intuit QuickBooks team up to bring real-time expense management and simplified bookkeeping to Small and Medium Businesses

PRnewswire | May 09, 2023

Fyle Inc, the expense management platform, has joined the Intuit Quickbooks Solution Provider Program to offer real-time expense management and the best of business accounting to customers. This powerful combination is built on Fyle's bidirectional integration with QuickBooks that helps hundreds of SMBs automate expense reporting, credit card reconciliation and close books faster. Fyle directly integrates with all Visa and Mastercard business and corporate credit cards, so you can get around manual reconciliation. As soon as employees spend on their cards, they get notified via SMS and Slack. Employees can reply to the text with a picture of the receipt, and Fyle will match it to the right expense instantly. Intuit QuickBooks, the world's leading small business technology platform allows businesses to keep track of financial functions like income and expenses, employee expenses and inventory in real-time and fulfill tax obligations hassle-free. "We have been working to build a world where not a single second is spent on managing expenses. The work involved in administering staff expenses isn't core to anyone's role, but it's time-consuming and frustrating", said Yashwanth Madhusudan, CEO, Fyle. "We look forward to working closely with the Intuit team to bring the combined best-in-class solution of Fyle plus QuickBooks to SMBs and accounting firms in the US." "By joining services with Fyle, we can help clients and prospective customers simplify bookkeeping, automate expense reporting and reconciliation, thereby making more productive use of time," said Kevin Zavaglia, VP of US Sales for Intuit's Small Business and Self-Employed Group. About Fyle Fyle has the singular aim of reducing the time spent on business expense management. Nestled within everyday tools like Gmail, Outlook, Slack, MS Teams & text messages, Fyle provides employees with an easy way of submitting expense receipts on the go.Fyle is the only solution that directly integrates with any Visa or Mastercard business credit card to give real-time data feeds. Fyle's AI-enabled engine instantly codes and categorizes spend information, and pushes the data to accounting software like QuickBooks Online.

Read More

SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

U.S. Small Business Administration Recognizes Awardees for Achievements in Facilitating Surety Bonds for Small Business Contracting

Globenewswire | June 05, 2023

Today, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice in President Biden’s Cabinet for America’s 33.2 million small businesses, recognizes four award winners for their exceptional work helping small businesses acquire surety bonds, which allow them to obtain federal, state, and private contracts. These awards recognize surety bond guarantee companies for their commitment and significant contributions to fostering business growth and success. The total awarded contract value to small businesses in fiscal year 2022 was over $2 billion. “Congratulations to this year’s Surety Guarantee award winners and to all the surety companies who helped us facilitate over $2 billion in contracting awards to American small businesses. SBA’s exceptional Surety Bond Program partners are instrumental in helping firms that have struggled to get bonded in the commercial marketplace,” said Isabella Casillas Guzman, SBA Administrator. “And our awardees’ commitment to leveling the playing field for small businesses trying to grow through federal, state, local, and private contracts is what fuels our economic growth and creates jobs in communities across the nation.” This year’s winners are as follows: • Surety of the Year: Merchants National Bonding, Inc. • Surety Agency of the Year: Allstar Surety Company, Inc. • Surety Agent of the Year: Amanda Quigley of CCI Surety, Inc. • Small Business of the Year: Jones Masonry Restoration Corporation “The Surety Bond Guarantee Program is a unique public-private partnership that helps small businesses secure federal, state, private, and local contracts,” said Jermaine B. Perry, Director of SBA’s Office of Surety Guarantees. “For over 50 years, the program has relied on the strong support of the surety companies and agencies. I would like to commend Merchants Bonding Company, Allstar Surety Company, Inc., and Amanda Quigley for their excellent performance and assistance to our small business contractors. I also want to congratulate Jones Masonry Restoration Corporation, a successful participant of the program, for their impressive growth and resilience.” Surety of the Year award recipient, Merchants Bonding Company, joined the SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee (SBG) Preferred Surety Bond program in 2022. Merchants Bonding Company’s activity exceeded 500 bond guarantees in its first year of partnership with SBA, assisting more than 125 small and emerging businesses in partnership with SBA. “We are honored to have Merchants Bonding Company recognized for supporting the SBA and creating bonding opportunities for traditionally underserved, often disadvantaged businesses,” said Larry Taylor, Chairman of the Board and President. “We are grateful for all our agent partners who have taken advantage of Merchants and our partnership with Peter Gibbs to pursue SBA surety business. It gives Merchants Bonding a unique opportunity to provide diversity and inclusion in ways with real impact, and we are proud of our growing leadership in this effort.” Jeff Booth, Chief Underwriting Officer for Allstar Surety Company, Inc., winner of the Surety Agency of the Year, said, “Allstar Surety would like to thank the SBG Program and staff for their support and outstanding service through the years. Allstar values this relationship as it has allowed our team to provide surety bond programs to various smaller contractors, helping them grow and become successful. Allstar is also very thankful to our surety partners for their support in providing surety solutions to small and emerging contractors through the SBG Program. The entire Allstar Surety team is honored to receive this award, and we look forward to many more years of success with the SBG Program.” Surety Agent of the Year, Amanda Quigley, joined CCI Surety, Inc. in 2016 and has worked with the SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program since day one. The SBG Program has helped Amanda provide bonding for small and emerging contractors while grooming them for a standard bonding program in the future. The SBG Program’s advancements and efforts to streamline the bond guarantee application process through acceptance of electronic signatures and paperwork reduction have made it less cumbersome and thus more attractive to both agents and contractors. The SBG Program has been a staple at CCI Surety, Inc. for decades and has helped to provide bonding solutions for innumerable contractors over the years. Small Business of the Year, Jones Masonry Restoration Corporation, grew their bonding capacity from $595,000 to $4.3 million over 10 years in the Surety Bond Guarantee Program, supported six jobs in the Harrisburg, PA local economy in fiscal year 2022, and actively works with the City of Philadelphia rehabilitating City buildings and public schools. Jones Masonry Corporation graduated from the Surety Bond Guarantee Program in June 2022 and is now able to obtain bonding without SBA support. The SBA Surety Bond Guarantee program has 40 surety partners, 150 authorized agents nationwide, and guaranteed more than 8,000 bonds with a contract value of over $6 billion in fiscal year 2022. More information about the SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program is available at www.sba.gov. Questions from surety companies may be directed to Jermaine B. Perry, Director of the Office of Surety Guarantees, at jermaine.perry@sba.gov. About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations.

Read More

TECHNOLOGY

VizyPay Adds Dual Pricing Program, Enhances Cash Savings for Small Business Owners

Globenewswire | June 07, 2023

VizyPay, a leading payment processing fintech that serves small businesses in rural America, today announces the launch of its proprietary Dual Pricing Program. By expanding its robust lineup of payment solutions for small business owners, VizyPay’s technology significantly lowers or eliminates a majority of credit card processing costs. Dual pricing improves transparency by offering two prices for customers to choose from: a cash price and a regular price. Historically, the cash price is cheaper because there is not a credit card processing fee incorporated into it. The same structure is used through VizyPay’s technology – a business will present the customer with both a cash price and regular price and the customer can then select their preferred payment method, allowing the option to pay cash and save off the regular price. Businesses also benefit by maintaining 100% of the cash price for every item sold. VizyPay rolled out a similar option with Cash Discount 2.0 and saved business owners over $9 million in unnecessary processing fees in the beginning of 2023 alone. “We’re all familiar with dual pricing. We’ve seen it perform extremely well at gas stations for decades, and now we’re offering the same solution to small businesses to help them grow,” said VizyPay CEO and Founder Austin Mac Nab. “Now auto shops, restaurants, salons and more across rural America can utilize dual pricing to positively impact their bottom line as they’re able to save on each item sold at the cash price.” To implement the Dual Pricing Program, businesses need software or equipment capable of offering dual pricing, like VizyPOS. Business owners then need to update and display cash and regular prices for each inventory, menu or invoice item and replace all prior pricing signage and disclosures with new signage that is program compliant and provided by VizyPay. “We strive to be a one-stop-shop with easy to implement technology and multiple options that fit the unique needs of each business owner,” said VizyPay Software Developer Brett Dewerff. “The Dual Pricing Program is another way we have fulfilled that commitment with another transparent pricing solution that offers unlimited transactions and avoids annual fees.” VizyPay’s lineup of technology and payment solutions has won many awards for its excellence. Most recently, VizyPay was recognized by Tearsheet as the Payment Technology Provider of the Year. The fintech’s accolades also include awards like Most Innovative Product of the Year, Fintech Solution, Fastest Growing Tech Company and many more. About VizyPay Headquartered in Waukee, Iowa, VizyPay was founded in 2017 by entrepreneurs who each had either significant credit card processing experience or were previously small business owners. Their combined understanding of these different industries created the perfect cocktail for a credit card processing company that could truly look out for the business owner. Making a huge splash nationwide by being honest and simple, VizyPay ranked #918 on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America with a three-year revenue growth of 695%.

Read More

FINANCE

Fyle and Intuit QuickBooks team up to bring real-time expense management and simplified bookkeeping to Small and Medium Businesses

PRnewswire | May 09, 2023

Fyle Inc, the expense management platform, has joined the Intuit Quickbooks Solution Provider Program to offer real-time expense management and the best of business accounting to customers. This powerful combination is built on Fyle's bidirectional integration with QuickBooks that helps hundreds of SMBs automate expense reporting, credit card reconciliation and close books faster. Fyle directly integrates with all Visa and Mastercard business and corporate credit cards, so you can get around manual reconciliation. As soon as employees spend on their cards, they get notified via SMS and Slack. Employees can reply to the text with a picture of the receipt, and Fyle will match it to the right expense instantly. Intuit QuickBooks, the world's leading small business technology platform allows businesses to keep track of financial functions like income and expenses, employee expenses and inventory in real-time and fulfill tax obligations hassle-free. "We have been working to build a world where not a single second is spent on managing expenses. The work involved in administering staff expenses isn't core to anyone's role, but it's time-consuming and frustrating", said Yashwanth Madhusudan, CEO, Fyle. "We look forward to working closely with the Intuit team to bring the combined best-in-class solution of Fyle plus QuickBooks to SMBs and accounting firms in the US." "By joining services with Fyle, we can help clients and prospective customers simplify bookkeeping, automate expense reporting and reconciliation, thereby making more productive use of time," said Kevin Zavaglia, VP of US Sales for Intuit's Small Business and Self-Employed Group. About Fyle Fyle has the singular aim of reducing the time spent on business expense management. Nestled within everyday tools like Gmail, Outlook, Slack, MS Teams & text messages, Fyle provides employees with an easy way of submitting expense receipts on the go.Fyle is the only solution that directly integrates with any Visa or Mastercard business credit card to give real-time data feeds. Fyle's AI-enabled engine instantly codes and categorizes spend information, and pushes the data to accounting software like QuickBooks Online.

Read More

SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE

U.S. Small Business Administration Recognizes Awardees for Achievements in Facilitating Surety Bonds for Small Business Contracting

Globenewswire | June 05, 2023

Today, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice in President Biden’s Cabinet for America’s 33.2 million small businesses, recognizes four award winners for their exceptional work helping small businesses acquire surety bonds, which allow them to obtain federal, state, and private contracts. These awards recognize surety bond guarantee companies for their commitment and significant contributions to fostering business growth and success. The total awarded contract value to small businesses in fiscal year 2022 was over $2 billion. “Congratulations to this year’s Surety Guarantee award winners and to all the surety companies who helped us facilitate over $2 billion in contracting awards to American small businesses. SBA’s exceptional Surety Bond Program partners are instrumental in helping firms that have struggled to get bonded in the commercial marketplace,” said Isabella Casillas Guzman, SBA Administrator. “And our awardees’ commitment to leveling the playing field for small businesses trying to grow through federal, state, local, and private contracts is what fuels our economic growth and creates jobs in communities across the nation.” This year’s winners are as follows: • Surety of the Year: Merchants National Bonding, Inc. • Surety Agency of the Year: Allstar Surety Company, Inc. • Surety Agent of the Year: Amanda Quigley of CCI Surety, Inc. • Small Business of the Year: Jones Masonry Restoration Corporation “The Surety Bond Guarantee Program is a unique public-private partnership that helps small businesses secure federal, state, private, and local contracts,” said Jermaine B. Perry, Director of SBA’s Office of Surety Guarantees. “For over 50 years, the program has relied on the strong support of the surety companies and agencies. I would like to commend Merchants Bonding Company, Allstar Surety Company, Inc., and Amanda Quigley for their excellent performance and assistance to our small business contractors. I also want to congratulate Jones Masonry Restoration Corporation, a successful participant of the program, for their impressive growth and resilience.” Surety of the Year award recipient, Merchants Bonding Company, joined the SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee (SBG) Preferred Surety Bond program in 2022. Merchants Bonding Company’s activity exceeded 500 bond guarantees in its first year of partnership with SBA, assisting more than 125 small and emerging businesses in partnership with SBA. “We are honored to have Merchants Bonding Company recognized for supporting the SBA and creating bonding opportunities for traditionally underserved, often disadvantaged businesses,” said Larry Taylor, Chairman of the Board and President. “We are grateful for all our agent partners who have taken advantage of Merchants and our partnership with Peter Gibbs to pursue SBA surety business. It gives Merchants Bonding a unique opportunity to provide diversity and inclusion in ways with real impact, and we are proud of our growing leadership in this effort.” Jeff Booth, Chief Underwriting Officer for Allstar Surety Company, Inc., winner of the Surety Agency of the Year, said, “Allstar Surety would like to thank the SBG Program and staff for their support and outstanding service through the years. Allstar values this relationship as it has allowed our team to provide surety bond programs to various smaller contractors, helping them grow and become successful. Allstar is also very thankful to our surety partners for their support in providing surety solutions to small and emerging contractors through the SBG Program. The entire Allstar Surety team is honored to receive this award, and we look forward to many more years of success with the SBG Program.” Surety Agent of the Year, Amanda Quigley, joined CCI Surety, Inc. in 2016 and has worked with the SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program since day one. The SBG Program has helped Amanda provide bonding for small and emerging contractors while grooming them for a standard bonding program in the future. The SBG Program’s advancements and efforts to streamline the bond guarantee application process through acceptance of electronic signatures and paperwork reduction have made it less cumbersome and thus more attractive to both agents and contractors. The SBG Program has been a staple at CCI Surety, Inc. for decades and has helped to provide bonding solutions for innumerable contractors over the years. Small Business of the Year, Jones Masonry Restoration Corporation, grew their bonding capacity from $595,000 to $4.3 million over 10 years in the Surety Bond Guarantee Program, supported six jobs in the Harrisburg, PA local economy in fiscal year 2022, and actively works with the City of Philadelphia rehabilitating City buildings and public schools. Jones Masonry Corporation graduated from the Surety Bond Guarantee Program in June 2022 and is now able to obtain bonding without SBA support. The SBA Surety Bond Guarantee program has 40 surety partners, 150 authorized agents nationwide, and guaranteed more than 8,000 bonds with a contract value of over $6 billion in fiscal year 2022. More information about the SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program is available at www.sba.gov. Questions from surety companies may be directed to Jermaine B. Perry, Director of the Office of Surety Guarantees, at jermaine.perry@sba.gov. About the U.S. Small Business Administration The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations.

Read More

Events