Another Huge Shopping Day Is Coming: Here Are Tips To Solve The Top Small Business Pain Points by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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The holiday season is upon us — a festive time of year that catalyzes the annual consumer rush to purchase gifts for associates, friends and loved ones. As a small business owner, you’ll need to ensure you have the tools, resources and card benefits to efficiently manage the holiday rush. The benefits are great, as holiday shopping is predicted to reach more than a trillion dollars this year.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are only the tip of the iceberg. According to MasterCard’s SpendingPulseTM, December 23rd is predicted to be one of the largest shopping days of the year as consumers search for last-minute gifts. The good news: there’s still time to prepare for another high-traffic spending day. 

  1. Collaborate with partners offering solutions

Small businesses often don’t have chief marketing, finance or risk officers, leaving business owners to navigate what can feel like unchartered territory. Ginger Siegel, North America Small Business Lead at MasterCard, suggests that collaboration between your small business and banks, merchants, processors, digital players and fin techs can be crucial in helping you provide a seamless shopping experience during the holiday stampede.

“Our discussions with small business owners have helped us understand their top three ‘pain points’ — cash flow management, time management, and security concerns. We want to help them tackle these challenges by providing the tools, insight and information they need,” says Siegel. “We look at these partnerships in two ways — providing partners with solutions they can use to serve their small business customers, as well as providing capabilities directly to small business owners,” she adds.

If you’re struggling with any or all of these pain points, consider gifting yourself a partner who can help take some of the weight off of your shoulders, empowering you to meet your customers’ needs at a very busy time.

  1. Determine what credit card benefits work best for your company

Look into the benefits of your existing business credit card, or seek out a business credit card that provides you with ways to streamline operations and safeguard your data. You just might find that your credit card provider has some offers for you or your small business that you shouldn’t ignore.

Earlier this year, MasterCard introduced its first U.S. Small Business Bundle, which “packages business cardholder benefits to make businesses more productive and profitable.” It features ID theft reimbursement insurance, which reimburses up to $1,000 for incidents of identity fraud, and MasterCard’s Easy Savings, which allows cardholders to earn automatic savings on everyday business expenses. They even include cell phone protection insurance up to $600 for cardholders who pay their monthly cell phone bill with their enrolled MasterCard if their phone is stolen or damaged. So that’s most of your new iPhone right there.

If you want to do some deeper comparing, The Motley Fool recently released their top credit card picks of 2018, based on what type of perks matter most to you. The Points Guy also gives a detailed breakdown of his picks for the top business credit cards, along with his reasons you should have one for your company if you don’t already.

  1. Give consumers a seamless experience

The holidays often present a hectic shopping experience for consumers and small business owners alike, and preparation can be crucial for both parties. From walking through the door to making a purchase at the point of sale, make sure your small business is taking the proper steps to ensure the experience is a good one.

As consumer spending spikes this season, so does the potential for fraudulent charges. Protecting your customers’ data at the point of sale is another vital part of preparing for the holiday rush, especially given a recent emphasis on personal data security. So, with the holidays in full swing, be sure to leverage your resources to shift your customer’s journey from transactional to experiential.

  1. Don’t be afraid to tap into external resources

While the concept of working with a larger organization can be intimidating for small businesses, many big businesses are looking to connect with small business owners and help them grow. Siegel noted that MasterCard and Bank of America are working together to underscore how their resources, scale and reach can bring a customized set of tools and solutions expressly designed for small business owners. Just recently, the two companies held their second annual Grow Your Biz Contest to focus on small business owners. Participants learned about a variety of strategies, and received one-on-one consultations with successful entrepreneurs. Kevin Kelly, Small Business Division Executive at Bank of America, notes that America’s unique entrepreneurial spirit is the core driver of this initiative. “We provide our small business clients with a competitive advantage by focusing on their unique needs. Through our dedicated specialists and industry leading solutions, we collaborate with our clients to help them grow their businesses, smartly and safely,” says Kelly.

 


December 19, 2018 at 11:50AM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kateharrison/2018/12/19/another-huge-shopping-day-is-coming-here-are-tips-to-solve-the-top-small-business-pain-points/?ss=entrepreneurs
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
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