Time is one of our most precious commodities. Both in our personal and business lives.
A study into the “time famine of modern life” has shown that people around the world are suffering from a new kind of poverty: time-scarcity. And this feeling of never having enough time is impacting our wellbeing – contributing to higher stress levels, reduced happiness and increased anxiety.
It’s not just at home where our time is in short supply. Research has shown that 38% of business owners rate time as their most valuable asset, more important than even computers and mobile phones. And despite SME entrepreneurs working an average of 40 hours per week, more than a third neglect business growth activity because of a lack of time.
There are numerous unimportant or repetitive administrative tasks that eat into our working day. Findings from a recent report show that employees of UK SMEs spend an average of four hours per week on financial admin.
How can you stop this perpetual fight against the clock, reclaim the time spent on financial admin and redirect it into value-adding business development?
Here we showcase two companies in the IT services industry that have partnered with FastPay to streamline and automate their payment processes.
The Time Drain of Payment Admin
You’ve done the work and you’re expecting payment. But the cheque doesn’t arrive in the post, the value of a standing order needs to be updated and your customer forgot and you’ve missed a call from another client who wants to pay over the phone.
Managing customers’ irregular, unreliable payments and inconsistent payment methods while juggling the cashflow issues that arise from late or missing funds isn’t efficient use of your or your team’s time.
Standing orders offer a viable option, however as Jamie Claret, Director at Amazing Support found, there’s still a lot of admin and client liaison involved. Especially when the amounts regularly change and customers are in charge of notifying their banks.
He said: “We run an IT support business and historically had relied on standing orders. These were a pain, as when the amount changed (or the VAT rate changed) we had to get our customers to submit new Standing Order forms to their own banks, which of course never happened.”
You might think that offering customers a choice of payment methods is more convenient for them and therefore prompts better payment. However, this often causes a bigger administrative headache at your end.
Before switching to Direct Debit, Rachel Piper, Personal Assistant to the Managing Director at SME IT Solutions, recalls a similar set up: “Before we introduced a Direct Debit scheme to our recurring service customers, customers were paying by Standing Order, BACS, cheque or online bank transfer. Very often we would have to chase payment for small invoices which was both costly and time consuming.”
Consolidating regular payments with Direct Debit ensures you always know when money will hit your account. It cuts downs the time-consuming, and potentially uncomfortable, emails and phone calls to clients to follow up on late or incorrect payments.
Automate for Ease
Direct Debit uses the latest in technology to automate and collect payments. Many businesses, such as SME IT Solutions, outsource the task of managing and processing Direct Debit collections to a specialist bureau such as FastPay.
As Rachel Piper said: “We wanted to automate our recurring income, choose our payment dates and generally make the procedure easier for both our customers and our business. FastPay has helped us to move towards this.”
The costs of partnering with a Direct Debit provider will be quickly recouped by the reduction in time spent chasing customers or coordinating various payment methods.
Straightforward Set Up
The last thing a busy organisation in the IT services industry needs is a convoluted process to set up a Direct Debit service.
FastPay is here to help your productivity efforts. We provide hassle-free onboarding and implementation which means you can be up and running in 24 hours.
Rachel Piper of SME IT Solutions attests to this: “We found FastPay easy to set up, and we had plenty of guidance from their staff. Once put in place, it was straightforward to follow when submissions needed to be processed or when new customers needed to be added.”
Long Term Partnerships
FastPay is with you for the long term. We offer free, lifetime customer support to ensure that not only are you operational within a day, but any glitches are rapidly rectified.
Jamie Claret of Amazing Support agrees: “FastPay is extremely helpful and helped us set up the service a number of years ago. Their staff and documentation has been very helpful every step of the way. We were up and running very quickly and the system is now really smooth.”
We have enabled numerous businesses in the IT services industry to reduce financial admin from their work week and free up time to focus on core business priorities, such as growth, people development and product innovation.
But don’t just take our word for it.
Amazing Support’s Jamie Claret said: “Since using FastPay our cashflow has improved immensely and we have to spend far less time on credit control. I would strongly recommend them and their service.”
And Rachel Piper at SME IT Solutions adds: “FastPay has proved to be the solution we hoped for and we would definitely recommend it to other businesses such as ours.”
It’s Time to Take the Next Step
Is your firm in the IT services industry losing up to 26 work days per year on financial admin? Then now is the time to take the next step in your business evolution and embrace the power of Direct Debit.
Time-scarcity is a stressful part of modern life. There are only so many hours in the day to get everything done, so use them wisely and partner with FastPay to provide your Direct Debit service.