Working with business owners day in and day out has given PayPal employees some excellent insight into the challenges merchants face and the solutions that help them move forward. In fact, many of our employees serve as mentors to the wider small business community, helping them grow their business in a rapidly-evolving digital economy.
In honor of Small Business Month, we’ve compiled some of the best advice from three of our PayPal employee mentors and some of the business trends that have caught their attention.
1. Prepare for supply chain issues
While supply chain disruptions were a major issue during the pandemic, business owners need to continue to prepare for ongoing delays as well as a lack of resources.
“Resource management is one of the biggest challenges an SMB has to prepare for in 2022,” said Matt Miller, senior director, Global Inside Sales at PayPal. “In addition, due to the uncertainty of inflation and the impacts of a longer supply chain, cash flow and margin management are going to become priorities for a business owner.”
2. Jump on cross-border opportunities
Max Tang, who works in financial crimes compliance and customer protection at PayPal in Shanghai, has served as a small business mentor for the past year. He says COVID-19 has renewed the importance of a global marketplace.
At a time when governments around the world imposed rolling restrictions on workplaces, keeping people at home, commercing online became a lifeline and will continue to be critical for success even once all restrictions are lifted for good.
“The secondary impact of COVID-19 and relevant government policies vary from countries and regions, and they are unpredictable and complex,” he said. “The cross-border eCommerce environment will be boosted rapidly for small businesses in China and beyond.”
3. Explore New Ways to Generate Revenue
Lisha Bell, an economic opportunity fund manager at PayPal who has been mentoring entrepreneurs for the past eight years, says raising capital has been the biggest challenge for business owners as of late. She urges them to think outside the box in order to keep their companies afloat.
“Find creative ways to generate additional capital to keep the company going until major contracts come through,” she advises. She also says that keeping investors in the loop on a regular basis can prove to be rewarding.“It’s never too early to start with quarterly business updates. It keeps stakeholders engaged and attracts a new group of potential investors. The updates must share wins, fails, and always have an ASK.”
4. Build a dream team
Being surrounded with the right support can be fundamentally important to a business’s growth, says Miller.
“Build your tribe,” he says. “There are many organizations and resources to help entrepreneurs, as well as peers and friends who are happy to help. Share your dream and recruit your tribe and they will help you make that dream into a reality.
5. Focus on the customer experience
Lastly but most importantly, Miller – who has been advising entrepreneurs for the last seven years -- recommends that small business owners go the extra mile because in a post-pandemic world, consumers are looking for that little bit extra.
“A delightful experience is an emerging trend that smaller businesses are well positioned to capitalize on,” he says. “After several years of masks and restrictions, many customers are hungry for experiences and engagement. A positive and delightful experience will not only draw customers but will allow the small business to charge a premium, improving their margin.”
For more ways on how PayPal can help grow your small business, visit our website for information on our suite of business solutions, including in-person payments, PayPal Business Loans and Working Capital, as well as our point-of-sale solution.
This article is provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent business, tax, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.