7 Ways to Modernize Your Small Business and Make It Thrive
Starting an SME or a small- to medium-sized enterprise in the Philippines is often an uphill battle, with the country exhibiting a higher business discontinuance rate of 12.6 percent, compared to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) average of 4.8%. It’s also touted as one of the most challenging locations to launch a startup in a recent study that focused on 50 countries.
Despite these adverse conditions, there are resilient SMEs and startups that thrive in the country. According to a 2021 Department of Trade and Industry survey, there are close to 100,000 SMEs operating and employing thousands of workers in the country.
There’s certainly untapped potential in the SME sector. However, for small- and medium-sized businesses to thrive and expand, they need to embrace modernization and innovative solutions. Here are some strategies your own business can implement.
1. Utilize Digital Banks
These days, traditional banking methods can be time-consuming and inefficient. With so many depositors lining up for the simplest transactions, queuing at the bank can eat up your time that could’ve been better spent on your business.
That’s where digital banks come into play. Digital banks offer an array of financial services online, allowing you to manage your business finances with ease. With just a few clicks, you can check balances, make fund transfers, and handle payments—all without visiting a physical bank branch.
For business banking, Maya Business Deposit is a great option for SMEs as a settlement account. It provides some of the highest interest rates at 2.5%, which is 4 times higher than the average commercial banks offer. What’s more, it has no minimum balance required, which means you can utilize all your available cash without worrying about penalties. For a small business, this online business banking feature matters.
2. Accommodate Digital Wallets for Transactions
In a country where digital payments are on the rise, accommodating digital wallets is a smart move. Services like Maya and G-cash have become household names in the Philippines, and as such, customers expect businesses to accept payments via these e-wallets by default..
By providing a variety of ways to pay, you cater to the preferences of a growing number of customers who prefer cashless transactions. In the end, it’s a win-win, as it simplifies transactions and opens doors to new customers.
If you want your business to be able to accept every available cashless transaction available in the country currently, you might want to consider getting a POS device like the Maya Terminal. Not only will this device accept digital wallet payments but also QR code payments, credit card payments, and debit card payments under secure protocols.
3. Migrate to the Cloud
Using the cloud simply means storing and accessing data through the Internet rather than your computer. This approach provides a lot of benefits for your business, such as better flexibility, the ability to collaborate remotely with your team, and improved security.
One simple example of a cloud-based business solution is the Maya Business Manager. This customizable all-in-one payment processing dashboard gives users total control over various banking, payment, loan, and cash flow solutions.
4. Implement Mobile-Friendly E-Commerce
Both e-commerce and use of mobile devices are on the rise in the Philippines, and as such, having a mobile-friendly e-commerce platform is essential. For this reason, ensure that your website or app is optimized for mobile users. After all, a responsive design ensures that potential customers can navigate and make purchases on their smartphones. This can significantly boost your sales and customer engagement.
5. Protect Your Business Against Cybercriminals
As businesses become more digital, the risk of cyber threats increases. Unfortunately, small businesses are among the most vulnerable to cyberattacks.
To safeguard your business from cyberattacks, implement strong encryption for customer data, secure your payment gateways, and regularly update all of the software and plugins that you use. Also make sure to conduct regular security audits, employ a web application firewall (WAF), and ensure that you’re complying with data protection regulations. Importantly, you should also educate your staff about phishing risks and monitor unusual activity, no matter if it’s by your own employees or people from outside your business.
6. Leverage Social Media to Expand the Reach of Your Marketing Efforts
The Philippines is one of the most active countries on social media platforms like Facebook and TikTok. As such, you can harness the power of social media to significantly expand your marketing reach. To achieve this, you can consider crafting engaging content and interacting with your audience more to build brand awareness and foster customer loyalty. Moreover, you should explore the benefits of running targeted ads to promote new products and services effectively.
7. Focus on Analytics to Drive Decisions
Data-driven decision-making is becoming increasingly vital in business. That’s why you should collect and analyze data about sales trends and customer purchasing behaviors to gain valuable insights.
Tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights, for instance, can help you track user behavior and ad campaign effectiveness. Using this information, you can steer your business in the right direction.
Modernizing your small business in the Philippines is not just a choice; it’s a necessity. For your business to grow, you need to streamline processes and reduce the cost of operation. Most importantly, you need to provide value to your customers, such as accommodating whatever payment methods they prefer. Through these strategies, your business can thrive and grow in this challenging economy.