Small business owners are great at what they do but sometimes they are not great at the other essentials involved with running a business. These may include financial decisions and budgeting, technology and managing customer data, marketing and more. After working with thousands of SMBs here is our take on the 5 most critical financial priorities to get a handle on to make your business run easily and grow quickly.
- Payment processing
Picking a payment processor is kind of like going on a first date. You’re nervous because you don’t really know what to expect until you open that first statement, but you have high hopes you got it right with this one. (fingers crossed) Payment processing may not be one of the most exciting services to research and set up but it’s probably one of the most critical to your businesses’ success. After all, if you can’t accept credit or debit card payments, and do so seamlessly, your customers are going to start complaining or worse looking at other alternatives to doing business with you. And, relying on checks may work for some lines of business but most dental offices, optometrists, veterinary clinics, etc. are dealing with slightly higher ticket charges where customers may need the flexibility to charge it and pay it off later or over time.
Access an in-depth guide to get started on your personal education in payment processing right now! Request our free whitepaper ‘A Simple Guide to Doing Your Merchant Services Homework’ to learn how to do your merchant services due diligence to secure the best credit card processing service for your business. This is a key financial decision so make it an informed one.
- Big Data
Data-driven insights are rooted firmly in the past, present and forecasted data that businesses generate. This means going beyond top-level digital statistics that come from tools like Google Analytics. Today’s SMB leaders need to combine internal and external data from a variety of resources to make better choices about the growth, direction and focus of the business.
Whether you’re building a new pipeline for your business, or trying to understand why particular customers are spending less with you, using data helps business owners rely less on gut feelings, and more on real customer data to create a complete picture of your businesses’ health.
Credit card data-based solutions like Insightics and Womply are designed to help you correlate your customers’ spending habits with how you are doing business to optimize your performance and help you discover new business opportunities that lead to growth. With either of these insight-based unique geo-targeting capabilities you get:
- 360 degree business monitoring
- Business analytics from both credit card and check/cash data
- Customer insights
- Social media management and automated posting
- Online reputation protection through monitoring and the ability to respond quickly to online reviews
- Competitor intelligence
- Customer acquisition
- Customer retention
Uncover the story behind sales in your area that will help you better market and drive new business. Insights software will give you trends and benchmarks that help you track your business performance. It’s essentially the magnifying glass into your market.
Staying focused and prioritizing efforts are key strategies for SMBs that want to run profitable e-commerce programs. And even if you’re a brick and mortal local business – having a strong, easily found online presence is still critical to driving local traffic in your door. Tackling ecommerce means you need to maintain a consistent brand message across every platform – desktop, tablet, mobile, social – to be competitive today.
Keeping the digital experience clean and uncluttered insures the brand message – and ecommerce offers – are shining through. Overloading customers with superfluous content makes the experience noisy and distracts from the ultimate goal – landing the sale or booking the appointment. Keep that in mind along with how the user will navigate through your website as you review and design it or make on-going modifications.
- Social Media
Building patient rapport is critical when trying to create positive case management outcomes. When you give your patient the opportunity to talk, whether in-person, via an online survey or on your social media pages, you will often learn much more about their health. Patients and their families must be included as part of your team in order for you and your staff to give the best care and get the best outcomes. It is vital to remember that the patient is a whole person and not just the sum of their conditions, symptoms or concerns.
This initiative only requires a few hours per week to manage once your social media pages are setup and you can spend as little as $10 to boost a post to get in front of new potential business through the Facebook or Twitter ad platforms.
Getting up to speed with the technology your business needs to perform optimally is a critical and worthy financial investment. Full circle electronic billing can have many facets and depending on who your provider is, will dictate all of the capabilities at your fingertips. For a quick “EBPP-101” rundown when you ‘Connect-to-Collect’ as we call it here at Singular BillPAY you should get:
- Online Bill Pay: On any connected device
- eStatements: Easy-to-read statements
- Scheduled Payments: To pay over time
- Mobile App: Pay from anywhere
- Pay Here: Link to pay from your website
- Point of Service: Connecting EMV terminals
- IVR: Call in and pay or set IVR feature for outbound notifications
- QuickBooks Integration: Seamless accounts receivable tracking (of some sort)
More and more, businesses and consumers are learning to embrace the timesaving benefits and of course the environmental benefits of electronic records and billing; less paper waste and lower greenhouse cost emissions are always a good thing. According to, The Pay It Green Alliance here are the facts about electronic billing and electronic health records:
- For medical professionals 79% of providers who integrate their electronic health records (EHRs) with EBPP said in a national survey that with an EHR their practice functions more efficiently.
- In a recent report ACI Worldwide stated that EBPP raises consumer engagement by 30% and reduces document delivery costs by 50%.
- In a nutshell, you do overall streamline your operations by powering your entire electronic bill payment service with a single integrated platform.
- You are improving customer service because seeing is believing and you will be able to see a single view of all customer records, bills and payments.
- Minimizing risk is also achievable with industry-leading security, full PCI compliance and privacy.
- While customer service is enhanced you can also add consumer convenience to that bullet point when you provide convenient notifications, bill presentment and payment options to meet each consumer preference.
- Medical Billing Software has an estimated 91% adoption rate according to industry experts.
If you’re a dental professional today you may have heard rumblings about ‘EHR’ payments but may not really understand what it is, how it came about and most importantly how you qualify to get paid!
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the Recovery Act) was signed into law by Congress on February 17, 2009. The law includes the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or the "HITECH Act," which established programs under Medicare and Medicaid to provide incentive payments to eligible providers (EP's) for the "meaningful use" of certified electronic health records (EHR) technology. Many busy dental practices are already part of the Medicaid provider program and are working toward going totally paperless so cashing in on your EHR incentive should be a slam dunk.
Watch a quick webinar about the EHR Incentive Program now to learn how to access $21, 250 in government cash for dental professionals and learn how to get a free consultation with an EHR payment expert.
Tackle these top 5 financial priorities by the end of 2016 and plan ahead for a stellar 2017!