A lot can happen in a year. Since March the way we live and work has changed dramatically. Working from home is the new normal with many companies taking the decision to continue having employees work from home post-COVID. In fact, according to some reports, a quarter of British employees could end up with no commute required going forward. That’s huge. Remember when it was “working” from home, with a wink and air quotes?
Online is now vital
If you own a small business and especially if that business aims to be an integral part of the local community, the outlook is potentially very positive. People who work from home are more inclined to shop either online or more locally (or both, of course). Since the beginning of the pandemic there has been a much-welcomed refocusing on supporting others within our communities and a genuine desire from the public to put money in the hands of smaller enterprises fighting to survive. This is good news for businesses beyond the high street. And good news is long overdue. As a small business owner your first challenge will most likely have been to get your business fully online as quickly as possible. This was the first and most vital step for even the smallest enterprises at a local level as a way of maximising reach when footfall past the physical establishment was reduced so abruptly and customers in-store reduced to under a handful overnight.
Don’t settle for old payment methods
Once your business is online the next most important thing is having a way for customers to pay that is painless for them and affordable for you. The pandemic put a lot of pressure on banks and fintech to solve this problem fast. Historically, taking and making payments is expensive for the vendor and that expense is either shouldered by them or handed on to the customer – the minimum-spend charge on debit card purchases in stores is an example of this. PoS devices incur costs and online payments can be clunky at best and inhibitive to sales at worst – not an ideal environment for businesses under pressure to survive when every customer and every penny counts more than ever. Fintech has risen to the challenge and there are now great solutions that maximise ease of use and minimise cost. wamo’s SEPA and direct to account payments using just the wamo app on your smart phone mean that business can happen wherever you and your phone are.
Get a business banking account – the new way
For us, the next important thing for small business owners is to have a separate business account that provides meaningful tools, is effortless to use and adds to the business rather than taking away from it in time consumption and expense. At a time when speed is of the essence, the fact that opening a business account in a traditional bank can take from days to months is the first and biggest stumbling block for small business owners. There is usually also a deposit amount attached to opening a traditional business account – and when you’re counting every single expense this is off-putting. Under these circumstances it's no wonder so many small business owners stick with their personal accounts for as long as possible. Opening a wamo business account is a completely different experience. From the comfort of your own home (actually, from the necessity of your own home at the moment) you can open a business account and be up and running in minutes. It really is easier than you might think given how inordinately difficult it has been until now.
A new landscape to grow your business in
We’re into the heart of winter and in most places a second wave, with spring and vaccines on the horizon – the world will never be quite the same as it was and business especially will be changed forever: less use of cash, more innovative payment methods, smaller high street crowds, more online and local spending. Business owners who have leveraged their online presence and their payment processes put themselves in the best position to thrive in this emerging new world. We look forward to helping make sure that you are one of them.
To open your wamo business account (in minutes!), visit wamo.io or get in touch on social.