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Procurement Fred Heritage · 12 May 2016
Managing cash flow the mobile way ? a sole trader?s view
In the third of our four-part series of features combining enterprising young businesses with revealing infographics in partnership with Paym,?the easy way to get paid using just a mobile number, Business Advice focuses on cash flow ??an aspect of starting a business many owners find difficult to manage. Small businesses frequently suffer cash flow problems, and owners invariably have little time to chase late payments or stay on top of bills. Mobile payments are increasingly being seen as a tool for overcoming such issues, as owner of holistic therapy clinic Silver Ray Healing Therapies, Pippa Moye, told us. ?There seems to be a general trend towards moving payments online, and mobile is becoming key to that,? she said. ?The majority of my customers still pay me in cash, but it?s really helpful whenever people are able to pay digitally. It means your account is credited instantly, saving a lot of time and energy. It makes business, and life, simple.? Moye has many strings to her bow and offers a variety of services via her business, which she operates as a sole trader. She is a Reiki master-teacher, a holistic therapist, a meditation tutor, a life coach and a clairvoyant medium. Having been operating in the Leytonstone area of East London for several years, Moye has benefitted from considerable demand in her immediate local area, and is now eager to spread the wings of her business and offer services to customers further afield. ?I?m starting to receive requests for longer, more contractually-based jobs, for which I?ll eventually need to create a new invoicing system. I cannot see how I?d be able to take on this type of work without a more automated and secure system of payment,? said Moye. In its current guise, Silver Ray Therapies does provide a way for customers to pay online via the company website, where people pay for Moye?s services in advance and in a way that she finds easy to keep track of, yet she still finds herself spending hours going through cash and cheques to make sure her finances add up, and is still a regular visitor to her local bank. ?In order to extend my business beyond my immediate geographical area, more of my services will need to be paid for digitally,? she explained. ?It?s a very necessary part of growth. It means I can keep track of the flow of payments wherever I am and see exactly who?s paid what, when.? Receiving late payments and being underpaid has been an ongoing theme of Moye?s startup story, and for her, customers need easier and more efficient ways to pay. ?People don?t mean to short-change you,? she said. ?The problem I?ve found with people not paying on time or not paying the correct amount is that it just comes down to simple forgetfulness or lack of foresight. ?People often don?t have the correct cash on them or leave their chequebook at home, and by the time they pay they?ve forgotten what they owe you ??so you have to be rigorous about what you?re owed and maintain organised accounts. Allowing people to pay you via mobile without the need to hand over bank account details saves both them and me valuable time,? added Moye. Some convincing would still be needed of the majority of Moye?s customers who prefer to pay by cash, she said. Some of her older clientele are wary of the security of online banking. ?Some customers might be mistrustful of mobile payments at first, and it would take time for people to get used to it. But I think the trend towards it is inevitable ? people can do anything via their mobile these days.? Despite her concerns, Moye welcomes mobile payment technology, viewing the trend as a beneficial one for businesses of all sizes but particularly smaller firms and one-man bands like herself. ?The simplicity it offers is what makes it most attractive,? she said. ?It simplifies everything, and make business quicker and more cost effective.? In the fourth and final feature in our mobile payments series in partnership with Paym, we explore the mobile and online payment security concerns of Britain?s small business owners. The growth in popularity of online payment technology has coincided with innovation in online security, and Paym?s features can enable your small business to handle payments securely. Missed the first and second articles in our series? Check out: Credibility and convenience ? what mobile payments offer an exciting new brand?and What consumers want from mobile payments, and how you can give it to them.
ABOUT THE EXPERTFred Heritage
Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.