Taking Your Customer’s Money

A lot of modern transactions don’t involve physical money at all. Instead, they rely on bank transfers. These transfers are usually started with a bank card and a clever system that contacts the bank. It’s not quite as easy as it sounds, though. And, a lot of companies go wrong here. The results of which can be devastating for a business. So, it’s important to make sure that you’re doing these things correctly. And, with customers in mind. To help you out, this post will be going through some of the options you have available.

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Even in stores, most transactions are handled using bank cards, nowadays. This means that shops have to have the capacity to complete hundreds of transactions each day. Usually, a subscription service is used. The shop will pay a set amount on each transaction. And, they will get to use the card machines and software that they need for free. Sometimes, it’s best to go a little bit bigger, though. Nowadays, you can find similar services that provide you with a whole till system. These systems are usually much more than most small businesses could afford by themselves. And, it could dramatically change your business. A TallySoft point of sale system is great to make sure that your payments are handled securely. And, that they’re made quickly and effortlessly. You customers will notice the new tech you have around.

All of the transactions that your business handles online will be bank transfers of sorts. This means that you have to have a system in place to deal with this. When it comes to ecommerce, you have loads more available. Services like PayPal will allow you to sell your products through their service. You just have to make a product button with them, and add it to your website. Some sites need greater control, though. And, will want to have things like baskets for their customers to use. A full CMS system would be required for this. There are loads of options out there for services like this. You just have to look at some reviews to find the best one that suits your needs.

When you take money from people on a website, you have to think about security. Most of the payment systems out there will make sure that your website is secured with SSL. An SSL certificate encrypts the data being sent, received, and moved around your site. This makes it much harder for criminals to access the data. Along with this, you also need to secure the forms that send data. Doing this will require some programming, though. So, you might need the help of a developer to get this done. Always make sure that your website is using the latest security standards. And, that you perform regular virus checks on your server system.

Hopefully, this will give you a good idea of what needs to be done to take money from your customers. It’s hard to make sure that you’re using the right services for these tasks. So, make sure that you do plenty of research and fact checking before you choose your methods.

You Can’t Be All Things To Your Business

Realising that your business needs to you be one step removed from the changing fortunes of its success never happens in the early days. In those frantic days, you live and breathe everything that is connected to your fledgling company. And that’s how it should be: without your energy, the company would be nowhere. However, there comes a point where you can’t be dying a thousand deaths a day just because some small details have not turned out as you had planned. You need to step above the humdrum of the daily concerns and think much bigger about your company and its future. It’s the only way you’ll achieve the levels of success you want to achieve. Here’s how you do it.

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Trusting Others

When you began your company, you were probably in charge of everything that happened. You assumed many roles in an amateur fashion in order to get things done. This was your baby, and it was to be born in your creation. Now the company is off the ground, though, it is no longer your baby. It’s able to walk on its own two feet, and it needs to have the best around it to make sure it stays on course. If you hire people to do a job for you, then actually trust them to do the job for you. It’ll be hard not being in control of absolutely everything, but your company will be better for it in the end.

Switching Off

You can’t be on call 24 hours a day for your business. You’ll burn out far too quickly if you try to do that. Instead, you need to have systems in place that enables you to switch off without worrying what’s happening with your business. If it’s online, then integrating SIEM (security information and event management) will give you the peace of mind that your website is well taken care of, even if you’re not in a position to see it for yourself. Similarly, if you have a whole team who are tasked with making sure that your social media profiles are updated in line with the company philosophy, there’ll be no need to be on your phone every few minutes making sure the right content is being posted. Switch off. It’s the right thing for you.

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Controlling What You Can Control

You control what you can control, and adapt to the other things that happen that you can’t. Realising that there will always be some things that just happen to you is a good lesson to learn as a business leader (also good to learn this as a human being, too!). Instead, you should be pouring your energy into winning what you can win. If you’re fretting over insignificant details that might yield small results, then who’s taking care of the tasks that will yield the big results? If it’s not you, then it’s nobody. Use your skills wisely and you’ll get a much higher return on your efforts. You can’t be all things to your business, so just be things that you can be well!

Allow Your Physical Store To Flourish

Physical stores can be the flagship of any company – they prove a vital face to face aspect where customers can engage with employees about what products or services your business can offer them, which will benefit them, and a physical store also provides a really important visual commodity which can influence the reputation of your business. A lot of people still prefer to shop in physical stores, as they can immediately see the product or the benefits of a service that they require, rather than reading about it online and reading about what fellow customers think about the product or service a business has offered them. When shopping online, customers can sometimes feel that they may not be getting the full potential of what they are looking for within a business, but when they head to a physical store, they can speak to the employees of the business, and develop a good understanding of what it is they are after.

However, to be able to maintain a good physical presence of a store, a business owner will need to take the time to develop various aspects which will benefit the business, and will need to maintain aspects which are necessary. These can include: the exterior presence of the store (a shabby, old looking store front is not likely to attract as many customers as a contemporary, stylish store front), the branding (branding is essential when attracting customers – without branding there is no business), the interior of the store (when customers enter, they want to feel like they are welcome, and the majority of customers will want to see the best, most exciting products or services that you offer as soon as they enter the store). Don’t neglect these aspects of your business.

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So, with this in mind, a business owner will need to dedicate time to allow their physical store to flourish to its full potential. With the exterior, it is surprising what a brand new lick of paint can do to the appearance of a store. Neutral or bright colors are almost always the best choice, rather than dull, bland and dark colours. Pick a color which also could represent the personality of your business. With branding, ensure that the name of your business can be clearly seen by members of the public as they pass by – avoid intricate fonts which could be hard to read. With the interior, make sure that it is modern and accessible to everyone. You should avoid saving money on old cash register machines as they are more likely to develop faults than newer systems. A point of sale payment processing systems could be more beneficial to the business – and customers will also be able to see how much effort and time you have taken to make their time at the store as easy and smooth as possible!

With a physical store, ensure you – as a business owner – dedicate the right amount of time to allowing your store to reach its full potential. Put the work in and you will reap the benefits.

The External Factors Affecting Your Business

Try as you might, you will never really “own” your business. It is too much part of a bigger network that is too far beyond your control for that. While there might be plenty of directions you want to take your company in, you’ll also be subject to the whims and plans of your fellow humans, who all too often (it can feel like) have plans that are out of sync with your own. Here are just a few of the ways your business can be affected by external factors, to which you only have a passing, observing role.

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Political
A thriving economy relies on there being not too many things rocking the boat. You can see the way the stock market reacts whenever an announcement or decision is made; sometimes it gets a boost, which is its way of saying ‘we approve!’, and sometimes it takes a nosedive, at which point everything gets a bit nervous. With Donald Trump, for instance, no one – including quite possibly Donald Trump – is quite sure which way the economy will go. That one is just for time to figure out, but down the line it could have a knock on effect to your business. A good economy means you’re in the best possible position to succeed. Also, you’ll notice how things can get a bit twitchy whenever there’s political unrest, more commonly when it’s overseas. A destabilised China, for instance, can have effects that spread across the world, such is the way all our economies are interlinked.

Your Business Partners

It’s all good and well keeping your own house in order. It’s all good and well operating at full capacity, with the books in order and things slowly progressing just fine and dandy. But how many other businesses do you rely on for your success? You’re probably more wrapped up in the well-being of other companies than you think. For instance, how does the software you rely on influence your success? You might want to look at a service such as software escrow, which would give you access to the software you depend on should the software company fold. Elsewhere, you could face major difficulties if your suppliers unexpectedly fold. You can’t stop that from happening, but you can make sure you have the contingency plans in place so that you’re able to handle any temporary setbacks relating to stock and so forth. Essentially, it’s important not to be too reliant on any other single company.

Trends

You’re at the top of your game at the moment, right on the cutting edge of what’s new and fresh. You’re part of a movement that is going places! Only, it’ll only be going places up until the time when it’s not. Take a look through history and everything that was once ‘hot’ ended up being pretty ‘not’ in the end. You only need to look at what passed as fashion twenty (or any number) years ago to see that things really do change. Did the people wearing the clothes back then think they’d one day look so lame? Of course not! Did Blockbuster think there would always be a demand for home videos? Probably! Trends come and go. The important thing is to realise that ‘trendy’ doesn’t really mean anything, and that you shouldn’t be relying on it for your success. Always make sure you’re looking to the future, especially if the industry you’re in is prone to change.

External Innovation: Good

Not every external factor is bad, of course. In fact, all the ones listed above can be good if the cards fall nicely enough. This positive change also extends to innovation, which as we all know is essentially what’s making the economy thrive in recent years. And it looks like it’s here to stay. Innovation is creating new markets, new products, new services, new just about everything, and it’s happening all the time. Every year, there are new services that help to streamline businesses and make them less dependent on other factors. You should be keeping your ear out for the developments that will aid your business. Everybody else will, and to not do so you run the risk of falling behind. Make sure you’re reading up on all the best business online blogs and reading your industry magazines; it’ll keep you fresh.

External Innovation: Bad

With that being said, not all innovation will be there to give you a boost. In fact, sometimes it’ll come along and put you right out of business. This has been happening for centuries, with new products popping up that resulted in massive shifts in the economy. We see it today, with Uber versus traditional taxi companies. No matter who you are and how successful your business is, you should always be ready to face oblivion. It’s the way innovation works. If you’re worried about an emerging company or trend, then look at diversifying your business – but do it well in advance. The number of jobs that may be lost – and industries taken of – by robots in the coming decades should be an eyeopener for many business leaders.

Environmental Factors

Sometimes, the factors that affect your business has nothing at all to do with other humans. It’s all about that grand old mother earth, our home. We think we know a lot about the environment, but we don’t – and unfortunately, we’re about to know a whole lot less once climate change really gets underway. A changing climate will affect a lot, from how things are produced (if they’re able to be at all) and how they get around the world. It’ll also bring more extreme weather, so making sure you have business insurance and cloud storage will be essential.

Predicting The Changes
You don’t know what will happen in the world, because no one does. But you can be prepared by keeping on top of global events – not just what’s happening in your industry, but in all the industries that branch out from your own too. We’re all connected in the end!

What Your Team Needs Besides Money

The monetary compensation plays a big role in retaining your best employees and giving them good reason to give their job their all. But if you believe that’s all they need, you’re going to find more people leaving the team than you would like. There are deeper needs that you and even they might not recognize at first. Neglect them for too long, however, and those will serve as the reasons you can’t retain your staff.

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Goals

Employees have responsibilities for day-to-day work in their role, and they should know that. When it seems like the day-to-day involves nothing other than just running through a workload to no aim, however, that’s when people can get frustrated. Goal setting for employees, whether it’s collaboration toward a certain goal or simply improving productivity and efficiency can give them something important. It can give them something to aim at, so they don’t just feel like they’re standing still in their job. It’s also a good way to align their goals at work with the goals of the organization.

Progress

Beyond their work goals, you should consider your employee’s personal goals a little more. If they’re looking to progress in the company, see if you can bring out that leadership material. If their job requires expertise, help them build on it with training. If they have personal projects they want to tackle, then offer them time in the office environment to work on it. Make your leadership instrumental in their personal progress.

Value

Let’s not pretend this relationship is all about what you can do for your team. Your team does plenty for you and showing that you acknowledge and value that is important. From simple thanks and an employee-of-the-month scheme to an awards dinner complete with award plaques. Showing real, verbal appreciation and offering a physical token of that appreciation shows that you truly value the team. It also gives you the opportunity to incentivize the behaviors that you consider most important in the workplace.

Cohesion

The work environment is most likely one of multiple people. Getting them cohesive and collaborative is important. Even for those like remote workers who aren’t in the physical environment. Improving the ways they communicate and organize, such as using project management tools, removes the barriers from that cohesion. You should also consider those corporate get-togethers as the opportunity to have people build rapport and relationships without the pressures of work exerting on them.

Flexibility

Speaking of those pressures, every workplace has them. But allowing a little more flexibility to your team can help them deal with said pressures a lot better. Everyone has ways that they work better. Flexibility helps them discover those ways. Whether it’s flexibility in time, location, dress code, method or otherwise. You have to think of what you can reasonably allow. Whatever you can allow, you should.

A better understanding of the human needs in your team is going to make you a better employer in every way. You’re going to retain them, keep them motivated, engaged, and even happy to work for you.