Fighting Friendly Fraud

With 2018 ending, it’s time for business owners to not only reflect on the past year, but also to plan for their next chapter of 2019. Reflecting on lessons learned, and emerging trends in business and commerce, entrepreneurs must now begin to focus on growth in the coming year. If anyone knows about SMBs, it’s Philip McHugh, SEVP and President of TSYS Merchant Solutions. Leading the segment with over 800K small to medium-sized merchants, McHugh is committed to helping our customers understand what should be on their radar in 2019. From new software to making smarter business decisions, he reveals in our Q&A interview, insightful tips, predictions and advice to increase merchants’ confidence prior to stepping into the new year:  

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2019 Small Business Predictions, Trends & Challenges: Philip McHugh’s Advice to SMBs

Dec 19, 2018

Fighting Friendly Fraud

With 2018 ending, it’s time for business owners to not only reflect on the past year, but also to plan for their next chapter of 2019. Reflecting on lessons learned, and emerging trends in business and commerce, entrepreneurs must now begin to focus on growth in the coming year. If anyone knows about SMBs, it’s Philip McHugh, SEVP and President of TSYS Merchant Solutions. Leading the segment with over 800K small to medium-sized merchants, McHugh is committed to helping our customers understand what should be on their radar in 2019. From new software to making smarter business decisions, he reveals in our Q&A interview, insightful tips, predictions and advice to increase merchants’ confidence prior to stepping into the new year:

Question: What is the top challenge facing small businesses in the coming year?

Philip McHugh: When I think about small businesses, the one challenge that has always been there and will never go away is they’ve got to do everything to run a business. Having to manage marketing, finance, operations, sales and more while continuing to try and grow a business is very complex.

Going into 2019, the top challenge facing a small business is the realization that times have been incredibly good over the past few years. Globally, we’ve seen one of the strongest economies in decades in terms of employment and consumer spend. Retail Armageddon has not happened. Merchants have figured out how to grow and come up with creative new businesses.

Q: What is one technology trend small businesses should be embracing going forward into 2019?

PM: There continues to be an explosion of choice and new products being introduced to the market that revolutionize small businesses. The big macro trend small businesses should embrace is software, software, software. We’re seeing incredible advances in the software industry, which are providing solutions to help simplify the life of a small business. We’re seeing more and more merchants incorporate software into their businesses and as a result, are drastically driving a lot of positive changes, whether it be growing their business or making backend operations more seamless.

Q: Small business owners are often tied up with so many different responsibilities that take time away from their core competencies. What aspects of their business do you recommend them outsourcing, and what aspects do you think they should keep in-house?

PM: Running a small business means running every aspect of that business, but the core competency that all businesses should focus on is sales. You have to grow your business to be successful and remain relevant in a competitive marketplace. The goal is sell to your customers, find new customers and capture those sales with a payment. The more operations you automate and offload to focus solely on sales, the better off you’ll be. Business owners should choose the best solutions that eliminate administration elements so they can spend time and energy on marketing, sales and growing their business, which is where 90% of their time should be spent.

Q: What’s a recent trend you believe will continue to impact small businesses in the new year?

PM: The emergence of data and analytics solutions for merchants continues to be a dominant trend. Companies have to understand how to use data to make them smarter and better understand their customers. There are companies who provide great solutions to merchants so they can use data and analytics in useful ways to help them make more informed, smarter decisions about their business. This continues to be a growth opportunity and is an important aspect of how you sell and market your business. Data and analytics can also be wildly beneficial when it comes to effectively managing and balancing your social media footprint.

Q: What is TSYS Merchant Solutions doing to support small businesses?

PM: We know our merchants, we service them, and what they require from a payment perspective to help make them successful. We provide simple, competitive and effective ways to take payments from their customers. We provide them with best in class customer service so if there’s ever an issue, there is someone they can speak to directly to help them solve the problem–we think this is massively important. We’re providing them with very strong technology to make their lives simple, so they can manage their business. They can focus on growing their business, while we can help take care of their back-office processing.

When it comes to 2019 predictions, what trends do you think will have the most impact on small businesses? Let us know what you think on Twitter @TSYSMerchant.

The statements and opinions do not necessarily reflect those of TSYS.

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