Presented by DocuSign
Small business success depends on cash flow. Learn about the tech that can accelerate your agreement and collection processes, remove boundaries and friction in the payment process, and get you paid instantly when you join this VB Live event.
Cashflow has to be a small business priority, says Chris Davey, Senior Director, SMB Marketing and Strategy, at DocuSign.
“Most small businesses are really cash-flow strapped,” Davey says. “It’s essentially the number-one killer of SMBs.”
One of the biggest ways small businesses are vulnerable is that they often have unpredictable peaks and valleys related to the “money in and money out” of their business, including managing operating expenses, scarcity of credit, and challenges making debt payments.
Davey also points to a WePay study which found that 59% of small businesses have to follow up with late-paying customers at least twice in order to actually get paid, and two-thirds of SMBs said at least 10% of customers don’t pay in accordance with payment terms.
“To get the throughput and predictable growth, small businesses just need to pay their bills, which means they really need to streamline the payment process from start to finish,” Davey explains. “They’re always playing both the salesperson and the service provider, and it’s challenging to balance when they’re getting paid versus when they can do the work.”
Ultimately, then, you’re not seeing the growth or profitability that you had counted on because you’re not actually growing your business. You’re just sending a lot of estimates and chasing a lot of deposits and payments.
On the invoice side, Davey says, quite often it’s about the cost of money. In other words, customers or clients are paying you 60 or 90 days later than you expected, but you are paying fixed regular costs for your small business, like rent, or loans that have interest on them. You thought revenue and income was coming in, but your clients or customers are stretching it a little bit, so you can’t pay your loan payment at all, or you incur a penalty because you didn’t make a payment fast enough, or you pay more interest than you expected.
“If you’re cash-flow strapped, it’s always challenging to be managing with those unforeseen costs,” Davey says. “The solution is removing the friction and getting speed to commitment in the agreement phase, and collect against the work you’ve already delivered on so you can get that into your business faster.”
Eliminating friction directly impacts your cash flow, but it is also a long-term driver of success, Davey says, because it impacts your customer service quality immediately.
“If you keep to the best practice of delighting your customers, you don’t want to make it difficult for them to work with you, pay you, and transact with you,” Davey says. “That’s your guiding principle as you get into the technologies you can use to expedite payments for everyone.”
Payment technology platforms can embed digital payments into your agreement phase behind the scenes when the invoice is created. It enables small businesses to scale their payments capability, and again, in essence, delight their customers.
“I think of my own experience when I work with a small business or a contractor,” Davey says. “If they send me an invoice electronically and all I have to do is press a button, I can pay that invoice within minutes — typically upon receipt of their email.”
Compare that to a mailed invoice, which can take weeks for a customer to get around to paying. Unless they simply forget and then require prodding.
“It’s really antiquated when you think about it,” says Davey. “It’s crazy when you look at the experience where you could be delighting your customers and getting paid faster — it’s an obvious opportunity for a small business.”
To learn about more transformative digital technologies that can help businesses jump-start their cash flow from pre-populated accounts to digital signing, ways to incentivize customers so they never go back to the bad old days, and how to secure contract agreement before your competitors cut you out, don’t miss this VB Live event.
Don’t miss out!
You’ll learn how to:
- Accelerate sales from quote to cash and eliminate the risk of nonpayment
- Provide the kind of customer service that helps you stand out from the crowd
- Connect payments and agreements into a single workflow
- Eliminate payment delays or failure to collect and the 10+ hours it takes to chase payments
- Chris Davey, Senior Director, SMB Marketing and Strategy, DocuSign
- Meghan Grady, Business Development, Product Partnerships, Stripe