It appears that small and medium-sized enterprises will be experiencing more volatility in 2019.
There are always many factors that affect an SME’s bottom line. The economic situation, of course, has a major impact. However, if consumer debt goes up, SMEs have margins that are tighter than ever. This makes it difficult for them to weather the storm of past due accounts. Not only that, SMEs have a unique vulnerability to any digital disruption that favors their larger competitors. As 2019 begins, how can small and medium-sized enterprises stay ahead of their competition? What new challenges will the new year hold? Could their choice of B2B payment providers help them to have an edge over their rivals?
SMEs During 2018
The year 2018 was a positive year for small and medium-sized enterprises. It was a year of job growth. The economy was also strong. This is always good news for any business, but especially so in the SME sector. Even better, there were some increased tax incentives, as well as some softened regulations. This had an easing effect on some major tariff burdens facing SMEs. However, several trends have now been predicted for 2019. And, not all of them are good news for SMEs.
Online Commerce Is Up, Physical Stores Are Down
The first predicted trend for 2019 does not look good for many SMEs. During 2018, more than 8,500 physical stores closed their doors for the final time. Brick-and-mortar retail has been going through a tough time. This does not look like it is going to end any time soon. Having an e-commerce site should, therefore, be a priority for any SME in 2019. Experts have predicted that e-commerce sales will increase by a fifth over the course of this year. To take advantage of this trend, SMEs must focus on this side of their organization.
Rising Healthcare Costs
The cost of healthcare is increasing worldwide, but especially so in the United States. With insurance premiums soaring, SMEs are likely to struggle to afford the cost of this benefit for employees. Business owners will need to look at how they can make changes to accommodate the rising costs. This may involve asking employees to cover a higher portion of their costs themselves.
The Impact of Technology
Technology is continuing to make an impact on every sector. Increasing levels of automation could have an impact on business workflow and competition. However, technology can also have a positive impact. SMEs can harness the power of the latest developments to their advantage. Technology can streamline the way in which SMEs operate. Utilizing advanced B2B payment systems, for example, can speed payments and keep cash flow going. Putting in place the facility to accept mobile payments is just one way to help an SME to thrive.
Volatility in The Economy
Volatility in the global economy is starting to become the status quo. Terrorist activity, natural disasters, high debt loans, and political uncertainty worldwide are potential flashpoints. These fluctuations put SMEs especially at risk. With lower cash flow, they are vulnerable to such economic changes. Therefore, it is paramount to find ways to maximize revenue and minimize losses. Businesses that make the right choice of B2B payment providers can achieve this goal. This gives companies the best chance of survival in a difficult climate.
When it comes to choosing the best B2B payment providers, BillingTree should be the first choice. Offering cutting-edge solutions, our systems can help SMEs to maximize their cash flow. By offering a convenient and accessible method of receiving payments, BillingTree helps SMEs to thrive.