Welcome to the Small Business Run Down. Every day, we bring you stories and trends that impact small business owners and their workforce.
Today we consider why small businesses should invest in cashless payment platforms, the rising costs of healthcare premiums for SMBs, and if CallJoy really is the low-cost customer service solution SBOs are dreaming of. May Day! Mayday! Either way, have a good one.
Cashless payment platforms are gaining ground worldwide, providing small businesses with an opportunity to meet customers’ desire to skip the ATM before making a purchase. The ability to use mobile devices for payment transactions is not only good for customers, it also provides small business owners with enhanced security protection and a streamlined bookkeeping process.
The Number: 6%. Non-cash payments are increasing by 6% each year for a total of $164 billion worth of cashless transactions in the final quarter of 2018.
The Quote: “The bottom line is that, with people increasingly moving away from cash, and also being ever more dependent on their mobile device, and especially with younger digital natives, it would behoove you as a small business to offer as many of these cashless options as possible.”
A recent survey by ehealthinsurance provides interesting information about the cost of health insurance for small businesses and their employees. Both the average plan premiums and the cost of individual’s deductibles have risen since 2015, by 5% and 24% respectively. Despite the rising costs of employer-sponsored healthcare, the survey also found that small business plans cost less on a per-person basis than options offered in the marketplace.
The Number: 5%. Since 2015, premiums for small businesses health insurance plans have risen by approximately 5%.
The Quote: “Moderate increases in premiums could cause most small businesses to drop coverage. Sixty-three percent say an increase of 15 percent or less in monthly premiums will make their current plan unaffordable.”
Today, Google launched CallJoy, a virtual customer service agent designed specifically for small businesses. Answering services are often cost-prohibitive for small businesses, but CallJoy offers a customer service system at a lower price point and combines technology for virtual phone numbers, audio transcriptions and automated reporting and analytics. The technology can be used to help block spam calls, provide consumers with information and help customers book appointments or place orders.
The Number: 39. The answering system is available for a flat fee of $39 per month.
The Quote: “Like other virtual customer service systems, CallJoy can greet the caller and offer basic information like the business hours or address, for example. It also frees up the business owner from having to deal with the ever-increasing number of spam calls which waste their time, and can move customers off of phone lines to complete tasks online, where appropropriate.”
If attracting and closing on top talent continues to create headaches for your HR department, consider these key strategies for setting your company apart during the recruiting process.