Main Street Finance: How Can the Financial System Better Serve Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses?

36 views

Entrepreneurs and small businesses are a key source of job creation and economic growth. Yet many small businesses and entrepreneurs face challenges accessing affordable financing, especially loans that are less than $250,000. This paper will explore these challenges, highlight recent trends in small-business financing, and present issues for further exploration.

Spotlight

Bluemercury

Bluemercury is the nation’s largest and fastest growing luxury beauty products and spa retail chain. An entrepreneurial company founded to revolutionize the purchase of cosmetics, our focus is on the needs of our clients. Bluemercury offers a thoughtfully curated selection of luxury brands in a neighborhood store environment where expertly trained staff provide personalized product advice and targeted spa services. Now in its 18th year, Bluemercury is aggressively expanding its store footprint, ecommerce operations and brand portfolio.

OTHER ARTICLES
POS SOLUTIONS

POS System Essential for Omnichannel Retail

Article | June 30, 2022

“Software-led payments is more than just ecommerce or online invoicing, as many software platforms are starting to offer solutions for card present transactions.” - Caleb Avery, CEO of Tilled The omnichannel retail marketplace has been witnessing a surge in recent years. A buyer has a natural tendency to check the details of the products or services on the internet. But a single purchase may involve different channels like apps, websites, store walk-ins, etc. For example, a customer may conduct online research and purchase an item before picking it up from a retail store; or, conversely, he may go to a nearby mall and inspect the product first before purchasing it online. Therefore, retailing has become increasingly about providing multi-channel or cross-channel experiences to customers. If the merchant misses out on his goods being offered on any channel, it will harm the customer experience (CX). In such a circumstance, deploying a POS system built for multi-site store networks that takes care of the maintenance of the website and all the locations in the chain simultaneously is a blessing for the retail sector. The point of sale is now an important part of an eCommerce plan for a business and a key part of its ongoing marketing strategy. Drive Loyalty and Sales Using Your Omnichannel POS A retailer's point of sale is the hub of every business action, wherein sales, marketing, inventory, customer management and customer service merge. But what many still don't realize is its powerful role in unlocking customer loyalty and higher revenue. With a modern and adaptable point-of-sale system, lengthy transaction times are minimized and may be boosted while simultaneously processing more consumers, enhancing the customer experience. Your omnichannel POS should permit the configuration of several payment methods. Customers can choose various payment methods, such as credit cards, digital wallets, PayPal, and cash. POS data should be utilized in all company decisions in today's society. Additionally, POS data is essential for merchandise planning. For example, if a product is not selling quickly enough, sell-through and sales-by-margin analytics can influence your pricing decisions and allow you to adjust accordingly. A common misconception about POS is that it is only a point of contact between your clients and your business. However, when its tremendous capabilities are utilized, it becomes a tool that helps you understand your clients, enhance their experience, and guarantee you are prepared to meet their demands. Importance of Using POS and Ecommerce Integration Combining CRM and POS software enables staff members to review and update client information instantly. You can develop new sales methods based on customers' interests and previous purchases. The omnichannel point of sale integrates with Tally, Quickbooks, etc. You may export order receipts from all channels directly. With omnichannel POS, your firm is accessible to customers 24 hours a day. Customers can purchase at one store and receive delivery from another, as well as other choices designed to improve the shopping experience. A retail eCommerce platform with seamless integration benefits both businesses and customers. Bottom Line Innovation in omnichannel retailing and investment in the POS system's digitization helps track and fulfill online, and offline customer needs. It goes without saying that the future of POS and retail are closely intertwined. In the coming years, POS will see a radical shift. Now is the optimal time for laggards to catch up or risk falling behind.

Read More
POS SOLUTIONS

A pivot to customer and supporting the shopping journeys

Article | March 23, 2022

ABC Fine Wine & SpiritsOracle Retail Cross Talk is our favorite event of the year. Across the 2.5 days, we create authentic connections across our retail community so you can learn from each other. We recruit 25-30 global retailers to share their experiences in case studies, panel discussions, or fireside chats. We are thrilled to host a panel discussion with ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Estee Lauder. Delivering a great omnichannel retail experience takes the right people, process, and technology to earn shopper loyalty by offering engaging and seamless experiences across more than 70 unique customer journeys. Widespread curbside pick-up, flexible store environments, buy online, pick-up in-store (BOPIS) protocols–these new norms have dramatically accelerated in-store adaptation and innovation. As brands dive deeper for new ways to maximize the customer experience—and adapt to the rapidly changing world—they must lean into agile technology. Join this discussion to hear how ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Estee Lauder are tackling today’s challenges and planning for the future. Estee Lauder Platform Discussion: Stores and Omnichannel As customers continue to evolve the omnichannel retail journey, you can provide them with engaging, seamless experiences while refining operations across point-of-service, ecommerce, and order management systems. Join us at Cross Talk to learn how Oracle Retail’s omnichannel modern retail solutions bridge the productivity gaps between the online and traditional point-of-sale functionality, improve store associate effectiveness, increase sales, and ultimately personalize the customer experience.

Read More
POS RETAIL

Digital Payments – Preferred Way To Exchange Money

Article | March 16, 2022

In the past several years, the evolution of the payments industry has been remarkable. The digital payment business is expanding fast and is an open area for competitors. Globally, the emergence and implementation of digital payment solutions results from diverse requirements. The digital payments ecosystem is being propelled by three significant factors: technology, customer demand, and regulations. Insights Into Digital Payments Evolution The Internet of Things, APIs, point of sale (POS), mobile wallets, and tokenization create a seamless payments ecosystem by digitally connecting every industry with the payments environment. Consumer demand drivers can be broken down into subcategories, such as real-time payments, a better user experience, and personalization. In 2021, the market for digital payments was estimated at USD 7.36 trillion. It is expected to reach USD 15.27 trillion by 2027, with a CAGR of 12.38% between 2022 and 2027. The technical improvements of smartphones, digital payment cards, and point-of-sale terminals in retail stores are driving the expansion of the industry. According to American Express, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted cardholder spending. Companies are offering contactless payment options to attract customers. This has made the contactless function a global competitive advantage for companies. In light of the preceding progress and development, let's explore what 2022 has in store for you. Look closely at any changes to digital payment methods that could be important in 2022. The Most Prevalent Digital Payment Trends – 2022 Biometric Authentication In 2022, biometric authentication will increase as a trend in the digital payment industry. Biometric authentication utilizes a person's biological and anatomical traits. In addition to fingerprint scanners, face recognition, iris recognition, heartbeat analysis, and vein mapping, the verification process also incorporates fingerprint scanners. It is a very secure payment system based on the unique qualities of each individual. Additionally, it helps establish consumer loyalty and trust. Contactless Payments Customers may make contactless payments by just waving their smartphone in front of the reader. Thus, the payment method becomes faster and more convenient than card insertion. Contactless payments are more secure due to the rapid transfer of encrypted data to the point-of-sale gadget. Mobile Point of Sale Mobile-point-of-sale (mPOS) is a breakthrough technology since it liberates retailers from storefronts and in-store payments. Instead, it is a portable register that operates on a tablet, smartphone, or mobile device. Mobile POS has significantly altered a store's payment procedure by making it more efficient and adaptable. According to Global Market Insights, mPOS will grow at a 19% CAGR between 2020 and 2026. Mobile Wallet Transaction According to Juniper Research, digital and mobile wallet usage will surpass 4.4 billion by 2025. Mobile wallets do not require a real bank account and keep all payment information securely and compactly. This is enabled through Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, which allows devices in close proximity to communicate and share data quickly. With the rise in demand for contactless payments, NFC has become a prominent term in digital payments. Final Word There are many proven ways to send money around the world. It is essential to consider how money moves across borders. The answer depends on the payment's context. Today's businesses want diverse and straightforward methods for international money transfers. The choices available to enterprises range from SWIFT and ACH transfers to digital wallets and cheques to credit cards and even crypto money. Digital payments enable organizations to conduct money transfers efficiently, transparently, and cost-effectively. This will encourage the global economy to continue expanding and strengthening further.

Read More
POS RETAIL

Top Reasons Businesses Choose Cloud-based POS Systems

Article | May 20, 2022

Digital innovations make a significant impact on the payment business. Point-of-sale is one such innovation that eases the payment mode. Traditional POS systems face several obstacles, such as data storage on local servers, higher upfront payments, limited access to the data, and higher costs. On the contrary, a cloud-based POS system is easier and offers more agility and access, making the payment process seamless and less time taking. Customer expectations are constantly changing regarding seamless online and offline payment processes. Cloud-based POS systems ensure the best possible customer experience while staying relevant to the rapidly evolving technology. Making the lives of the customers easier is the primary goal of the payment service provider. Deciding Between Getting a Traditional or A Cloud-Based POS System? POS software has improved over the past decade, and many firms have hopped on the POS system bandwagon. There are different types of POS systems available, and you may get confused, especially if you are new to POS. Purchasing a POS system is a long-term investment and should not be made without extensive research and knowledge. It would be best to compare the pros and cons of traditional and cloud-based POS options. Identify your business's needs and select the right POS system. On-site or existing POS is an old method. The data is stored on local servers and in closed networks. It is commonly known that standard POS systems can be complex and time-consuming. Also, installing large hardware adds to the cost of getting started. If you use older methods, you might be able to access data on-site, but you could lose it. A cloud-based POS is easy to use and easy to get to. The cloud-based POS system is adaptable and can easily add new modules or apps from other corporates. The software is rented by the month or year. Methods that use the cloud allow mobile access which means you can leverage the functionality of mobile POS without fully implementing a mobile POS system. POS software that runs in the cloud is also automatically backed up. Cloud-based POS software offers incredible benefits for your business. Reasons for Opting for a Cloud-based POS System Cloud POS Systems Are More Secure A cloud-based POS system lowers all types of risks due to stringent security standards. Cloud technology allows the POS software to automatically backup the data and sync via remote servers. The regular updating of the system increases the security level of the software. Remote System Access Switching to a cloud-based POS system allows you to access your back-office functionality from anywhere. This capability gives you the ability to receive important updates regarding inventory or vendor issues on your mobile or home computer. You will also benefit from the security of cloud backup for your data. Cost-effective Cloud-based POS may appear to be more expensive than conventional POS systems. Nevertheless, cloud-based technologies are preferable for SMBs. In contrast to traditional POS systems, cloud-based SaaS has no upfront costs and has low monthly rates. Automatic software updates are delivered, and the system can update itself. Better Customer Service Cloud POS is compatible with various payment options and can send invoices through email or SMS. This enhances the purchase experience for your brand's customers. Customers interested in simple technology like simple processes are thus satisfied with the commercial services a POS system delivers. By choosing a cloud-based POS system, you'll always be able to meet customer needs quickly. Also, remember that you can get updates, which are meant to change some features to fit how people use them. Conclusion We’ve seen a few reasons that why you should consider transitioning to a cloud-based point-of-sale system, but the list is unlimited. If you have not considered implementing a point-of-sale system, now is the time to do so. The most prominent upside is that a sound POS system facilitates sales and increases the capacity to attract more clients.

Read More

Spotlight

Bluemercury

Bluemercury is the nation’s largest and fastest growing luxury beauty products and spa retail chain. An entrepreneurial company founded to revolutionize the purchase of cosmetics, our focus is on the needs of our clients. Bluemercury offers a thoughtfully curated selection of luxury brands in a neighborhood store environment where expertly trained staff provide personalized product advice and targeted spa services. Now in its 18th year, Bluemercury is aggressively expanding its store footprint, ecommerce operations and brand portfolio.

Related News

Freelance Site Fiverr Launches Ecommerce Services For Small Businesses

smallbiztrends | September 09, 2019

Fiverr is looking to serve SMBs selling online with 35 new services designed to cover all of their ecommerce and omnichannel needs. The industry store opened on Sept 4.The new move is further evidence of the shift to selling goods and services online. There’s a growing number of services like this one that level the playing field between the bigger players and SMBs.That and the fact the start-up costs for ecommerce are cheap compared to brick and mortar. It all equals a growing momentum for small business and ecommerce.

Read More

June Delivers the Lowest Monthly Decrease for Retail Sales in Over Five Years

smallbiztrends | July 24, 2019

People buy things online, but they go to brick and mortar retail stores for the shopping experience. The new data from the RetailNext Performance Pulse June 2019 report proves this very point. According to the report, June delivered the lowest monthly decrease in retail sales in more than five years. Coming in at -0.3%, this has been a great month for retailers. When you compare it to the -7.4%, -5.0%, -7.5%, -2.7%, and -5.0% of the previous five months, things are indeed looking up. For small retailers who are competing with online retail giants, the news couldn’t be more welcomed. But in order to keep customers walking through their doors, they have to create and improve experiences customers want. This also comes at a time when online retailers are moving to the brick and mortar space.

Read More

Back to School Retail Sales Expected to Rise in 2019

smallbiztrends | July 19, 2019

There’s a lot of good news this week for small business owners that’s looking in the rear view.But let’s look a little bit ahead and some big news this week for some retail small businesses.New data from the National Retail Federation suggests that Back to School shoppers plan to spend $40 more this year than they did last year on school supplies and clothing. Now, that’s on top of some pretty boisterous spending last year, so if you’re in the Back to School business in any way, there’s a good chance you’ll see an uptick in business.That is, of course, if you’re planning ahead. And that’s why the NRF released these numbers now.

Read More

Freelance Site Fiverr Launches Ecommerce Services For Small Businesses

smallbiztrends | September 09, 2019

Fiverr is looking to serve SMBs selling online with 35 new services designed to cover all of their ecommerce and omnichannel needs. The industry store opened on Sept 4.The new move is further evidence of the shift to selling goods and services online. There’s a growing number of services like this one that level the playing field between the bigger players and SMBs.That and the fact the start-up costs for ecommerce are cheap compared to brick and mortar. It all equals a growing momentum for small business and ecommerce.

Read More

June Delivers the Lowest Monthly Decrease for Retail Sales in Over Five Years

smallbiztrends | July 24, 2019

People buy things online, but they go to brick and mortar retail stores for the shopping experience. The new data from the RetailNext Performance Pulse June 2019 report proves this very point. According to the report, June delivered the lowest monthly decrease in retail sales in more than five years. Coming in at -0.3%, this has been a great month for retailers. When you compare it to the -7.4%, -5.0%, -7.5%, -2.7%, and -5.0% of the previous five months, things are indeed looking up. For small retailers who are competing with online retail giants, the news couldn’t be more welcomed. But in order to keep customers walking through their doors, they have to create and improve experiences customers want. This also comes at a time when online retailers are moving to the brick and mortar space.

Read More

Back to School Retail Sales Expected to Rise in 2019

smallbiztrends | July 19, 2019

There’s a lot of good news this week for small business owners that’s looking in the rear view.But let’s look a little bit ahead and some big news this week for some retail small businesses.New data from the National Retail Federation suggests that Back to School shoppers plan to spend $40 more this year than they did last year on school supplies and clothing. Now, that’s on top of some pretty boisterous spending last year, so if you’re in the Back to School business in any way, there’s a good chance you’ll see an uptick in business.That is, of course, if you’re planning ahead. And that’s why the NRF released these numbers now.

Read More

Events