Category

Technology

Meet the Irish startup helping businesses thrive during lockdown

27/01/2021

Entrepreneurs are no stranger to adversity and change but it’s fair to say that 2020 threw curveballs that even the most discerning of business owners couldn’t have prepared for. 

The pandemic has not only changed how we do business but has also the kind of services we can offer. Dozens of restaurants have adapted to create cook-at-home boxes, live events providers have migrated online and service providers and SaaS companies have created bespoke packages. Bricks and mortar retailers have moved online (some for the first time) and course providers, lecturers and other skill sharing businesses have commenced online training.  

The move online has saved hundreds of businesses and one Irish start-up in particular has been at the forefront of helping businesses adapt to trading online. 

Pre-pandemic, businesses like Keane Auctioneers required face to face meetings.  

“With restrictions on movement and the necessity to reduce contacts, we knew we’d have to conduct most of our meetings and viewings remotely. This provided a set of challenges and one major one was coming up with a way to take payments for deposits quickly and easily. We needed a simple system that our clients could use without fuss,” says Edel Keane. 

Keane’s main concern was finding a payment system that all users (even the most technically adverse) could use easily. Due to the nature of payment being deposits, the value of each transfer could be large. Keane needed a system that would still allow clients to use their credit or debit card and one that would not incur unnecessary processing fees.  

“Splink was perfect and allowed our clients to make payments quickly with their credit or debit card. We’ve had great feedback about Splink and how easy it is to use.”

Finding the right payment provider needed to be quick and easy for Tall Tales Podcasts. When their schedule of live events was cancelled due to lockdown, the small team immediately turned to streaming. Whilst time was spent figuring out and investing in the right tech and equipment, founder Cassie Delaney knew Splink was the perfect payment journey for users. 

“We had to learn to adapt really quickly and figure out how to run live streams, how to manage different audiences and how to very easily distinguish revenue between shows. With Splink we were able to create a payment link for each show and began selling tickets within minutes. We were also able to personalise each one to match the shows branding and automate the payment message to include a link to the show. It was so simple and gave us one less thing to worry about during this crazy year,” said Delaney.  

Delaney has since utilised Splink to begin selling merchandise and digital subscriptions.  

“We’ve since used Splink to take payment for all aspects of our business. We have subscription payments, ticket sales and merch sales. It’s great to know that with Splink, we can go from concept to live as quickly as we want.”

ML security have too been utilising Splink to power their subscription services. 

“Splink has transformed the way we collect payment!  Splink’s ability to easily capture recurring payments for our subscription model has been essential to our business, particularly for predictable cash flow, especially during these Covid times. The ability to take contact-free payments has ensured our business is fully equiped and our customers and staff remain safe,” said ML Security owner Martin Lappin. 

Impact Gumshields are another company that have relied on Splink to power their online store.  

“Our online sales are powered by Splink. It’s quick, effective and uncomplicated. We’ve been able to add new products or quickly add a sale product to boost income. It’s really easy to set up payment links for specific clubs, teams and schools which saves us a lot of admin time,” said CEO & founder James Murphy.

A key benefit for Impact Gumshields is the simple checkout process. With Splink, payors don’t need to create an account.  

“It’s also great for selling products over Instagram or social media. When someone DM’s us, we can quickly throw them over the payment link and they can complete a purchase,” said Murphy.  

For others, Splink has provided consistency in a time of change. Nobó founders Brian and Rachel Nolan have always relied on Splink to send payment requests to stockists.

“We’ve used Splink to send payment requests to customers and stockists over the past year and it has proven to be an invaluable tool for the team. Not only is it the quickest method for collecting payments, the automated follow ups saves us time previously spent chasing payment as well avoiding awkward conversations. I would recommend it to any business owner,” said Brian Nolan.

Improve your business cash flow with these simple tips

25/01/2021

Splink payment processing tips

Maintaining a positive cash flow is a challenging part of any business but one that can be easily achieved with the appropriate structures and payment systems. Here are some easy and quick ways to improve your company cash flow this year.

INVOICING AND IMPROVED CASH FLOW

1. Send out invoices early

Companies need to invoice to receive payment. Unfortunately invoicing does not equal payment and cash flow issues often arise from delayed payments, absent payments and difficulties invoicing.

To avoid this as much as possible, be consistent in invoicing and set out clear terms of payment. Invoicing at the same time of the month each month helps for planning, financial forecasting and tracking overdue payments.

If your invoicing process is manual, switch to an automated system. Splink is a simple payment tool that allows you to send payment requests easily. Your splink dashboard will also present a quick view overview of the status of all payments, their due dates and whether the invoice has been viewed.

2. Provide customers with different payment options

Providing your customers with multiple payment methods will decrease complication when it comes to receiving payment. Ensure you offer card payment and online transfer so your clients can default to their preferred payment method easily.
With splink, you can accept any time of payment at any time. Our frictionless payment system doesn’t require account creation or login so your clients and customers can pay immediately without hassle. It’s so effective that 92% of splink users receive payment within 7 days of sending a payment request.

3. Track payments and send reminders

Chasing payments is uncomfortable and not an efficient use of your time as a business owner or financial controller. Put consistent prompts and gentle reminders are beneficial as it simply becomes less difficult to ignore outstanding debts ultimately improving cash flow.
Luckily this process can be easily automated, reducing the time you need to spend sending emails and finding the words to politely demand payment.

Splink will send automatic gentle prompts when a payment is overdue, reminding your customers to access the payment link and make payment.

 

Splink payment processing tips

 

4. Consider incentivising early payments

If you’re a B2B service chances are your clients are just like you, looking to manage their cash flow and avail of ways to save money. If you’ve built a good reputation with your clients or customers consider offering a small discount on early payments. This will improve immediate cash flow and build positive loyalty with your customers.

Again, this is something that can be automated with splink. Simply create a payment link for the agreed amount and set a limit on when the payment terms expire.

5. Take deposits and establish a payment plan

If the work that is commissioned it due to occur over several weeks or months, or is divided into different stages, ensure you request deposits from your customers and receive payment when key milestones are met. This will improve your month to month cash flow and generally improve the consistency of your monthly operations. In terms of workflow, it can also be hugely beneficial as it helps you maintain a healthy flow of income as projects continue.

With splink, you can create payment plans to facilitate a better cash flow throughout the project timeline.

6. Introduce late payment fines

Late payments or absent payments can be devastating to a business and increase stress month on month. Avoid incurring late payments by introducing a late payment fine and ensuring that it is clearly laid out in the terms of service and payment conditions.

SYSTEM CHECKS AND IMPROVED CASH FLOW

1. Focus on high value, highly purchased goods and services

Take an honest stock take and inventory check to examine what products and services drive success for your business.
If you have a bulk of stock that does not sell well, consider selling it at bulk and reducing the amount offered in future.

For small services performed regularly, consider automating these processes and reduce the man-hours where possible.

Ensure your marketing, website and sales conversations move customers towards high-value items. Developing a strong upsell narrative will help here.

2. Review agreements with vendors

Periodically review terms with your vendors and suppliers to make sure agreements are still competitive in the current market. Similarly, regularly negotiate with suppliers and vendors to ensure your goods are the highest possible quality at a favourable rate. Like before, suggest favourable payment terms by asking for reductions if payments can be made earlier.

3. Renegotiate credit options

At points when interest rates are low and borrowing terms are favourable, consider accessing credit to ensure your operating costs are covered. This security will help in emergencies and also enable you as the business owner to think about the bigger picture rather than becoming too focused on the day to day running or worrying about monthly cash flow issues.

4. Examine running costs and everyday expenses

Establish all your day to day costs like rent, subscriptions, services, vendors as well as staff costs. Working through each, consider any alternative options and ask whether each system is completely necessary.

People cutting or reducing salaries consider the benefits offered to customers like coffees, lunches and travel expenses. Reduce these where possible, and reserve travel for necessary meetings and project work.

5. Lease don’t buy

If cash flow is an issue, consider leasing equipment rather than buying. The downside is that you do not possess the equipment as a company asset but the benefit is that a small monthly payment can improve overall cash flow temporarily and place the business in a better position for growth.

Splink payment processing tips

 

SALES AND MARKETING TIPS TO IMPROVE CASH FLOW

1. Develop recurring revenue or subscription models

Examine any patterns in customer behaviour and consider offering a subscription model for customers. This helps again with financial projections as well as building customer loyalty. A guaranteed or predictable source of revenue will make the business overall more attractive and more appealing to potential investors and credit applications.

The subscription model is something that can be easily developed and replicated throughout your business.

With splink you can set up recurring payments and monitor their status from your dashboard.

2. Re-consider your pricing

Reconsidering and re-evaluating your pricing seems daunting but it can be hugely beneficial to your business and monthly cash flow. There are many methods to successfully raising your prices without losing customers.

Check out our blog on pricing and strategy to see more.

3. Utilise your marketing and retargeting customers

There’s one adage that’s very true in business; you need to spend money to make money.
Spending on advertising when you’re low on cash may seem like a risky move but with the right considerations and planning your advertising will result in a huge return of investment.
One quick way to get started is to retarget the customers that have already bought from you. Simply put, this involves installing a small piece of code on your website that will enable you to reach the people who have visited your site previously on Facebook, Instagram and the associated Facebook advertising network.

You can upsell these customers with new goods and services or retarget them with similar products.

4. Lean on your previous customers

Happy customers are your best friend and will help you to reach and engage new ones. A strong referral programme that is mutually beneficial for existing customers and new customers will help with this.

To find out about our referral programme read more here.

5. Expand sales markets

Expanding into new markets can be easily achieved by understanding the routes to entry, likely customer behaviours and considering the additional costs.

Using data available to you and understanding customer behaviour could massively help in entering new markets. A simple test is to run some low-cost advertising in these new markets and create a duplicate sales page on your website in the relevant currency with additional charges to cover any added postage or service costs.

Operating in this manner will allow you to test the market before committing to hiring additional staff or locating suppliers in new countries. Use the information available to you to test your most successful and sought after products and services.

6. Be flexible with new services and products

Is there a high-frequency automated service you can offer customers? Consider developing a low-risk product that will entice new customers or appeal to existing ones.

7. Work with what you have

Are there elements of your business that you could be utilising better? If cash flow is an issue perhaps consider renting space in your office to a freelancer or liquidating old stock.