It’s getting easier for small businesses to manage their finances, secure capital, and save both time and money. Tap these four trends to grow your business in 2020 and beyond.

By FINSYNC

The dawning of a new year is the perfect time to take stock of everything your business has accomplished throughout the year, and set goals for where you’d like to be by this time next year.

Could your business use a little help reaching your goals for 2020? Let’s be honest, who couldn’t use a little extra push? Rather than swimming upstream or wasting time with trial and error this year, capitalize on these small business trends and learn how they can help propel your business forward in 2020.

Growth of the Gig Economy

According to a survey by Wasp Barcode Technologies, a whopping 50% of small business owners said that hiring new employees was their biggest challenge. 

It’s not difficult to see why. Beyond the time-consuming process of recruiting and hiring a solid candidate, there are significant costs associated with hiring a full-time employee, from salary and taxes to benefits. The growth of the gig economy is good news. Especially for small businesses that don’t have the time, budget or bandwidth to hire full-time employees.

In 2017, Intuit estimated contractors to represent about 34% of the workforce. They anticipated the number would grow to 43% by 2020. Companies of all sizes are increasingly opting to hire independent professionals to help fill employment gaps. According to a report by MBO Partners, 65% of execs say their external workforce is essential for operating at full capacity and meeting demand. 

Fortunately, skilled, independent workers are easier to find than ever. All thanks to the growth of online freelancer networks. Small businesses are increasingly relying on these cost-effective, on-demand resources to help with back-office tasks like bookkeeping and accounting. 

FINSYNC’s network matches small businesses with the independent financial professional that’s best suited to help you grow. Leave the interviewing and vetting up to us, and find affordable help when you need it for bookkeeping, accounting, human capital management, financial analysis and corporate strategy.

The Rise of Fintech

Chances are, Fintech advancements like online banking and mobile billpay have made your personal life easier. By now, you may even take these tech advancements for granted. Is your small business benefiting as much as it could from similar innovations?

According to a recent EY survey, the adoption of Fintech is on the rise. SMBs are increasingly turning to Fintech solutions for banking, payments, financial management, financing, insurance and more. So what can Fintech do for your small business? How about save time, save money, increase efficiency, and improve security? 

Fintech tools like FINSYNC allow you to automate time-consuming back-office tasks including payroll, time tracking, bookkeeping and accounting. That means less time spent tracking down invoices and pouring over spreadsheets — along with fewer avoidable mistakes.

Having the right back office platform also means expanded access to capital (see below) and more flexible payments. These days, making or receiving a business payment is as easy as splitting a dinner bill on Venmo. Platforms like FINSYNC Pay even allow you to use your credit card to pay for traditionally cash-only expenses like rent — without ever revealing sensitive account information.

If you’re still cutting checks by hand, tracking employee work hours with a punch card, or mailing out paper invoices, it’s time to ride the wave of innovation and see how Fintech tools can make running your business a little bit easier.

Easier Access to Capital

Securing a loan from a traditional lender has historically been difficult for small businesses. Especially those with a limited time in business. In addition to high rejection rates, challenges often include an arduous application process and lengthy wait time for both a decision and funding. 

Enter alternative lenders. Small businesses are increasingly looking to these online lenders for financing for a host of reasons. Including a fast and easy application process, quick funding and a higher chance of being approved for a loan.

The number of small businesses that seek funding from alternative lenders has increased steadily over the past few years and shows no sign of slowing down. In 2018, 32% of small businesses applied for a loan with an alternative lender, up from 19% in 2016 according to the Federal Reserve’s Small Business Credit Survey.

In the same year, alternative lenders approved 82% of small business loans, while small banks approved 71% and large banks approved only 58% of small business loans. Increasingly, traditional lenders are teaming up with their online counterparts to expand funding options for their clients and offer a more streamlined loan application process.

FINSYNC’s lending network is made up of a wide variety of banks, credit unions and specialty lenders. Small businesses can apply once in a matter of minutes to view the best offers from a variety of lenders. And as your cash flow improves, your access to additional capital increases. 

Go Green

Businesses of all sizes are increasingly committed to doing their part to protect the environment. Beyond helping the earth, going green can save your business significant money — and is increasingly popular with customers as well. But where should you start?

Day-to-day operations are as good a place as any to focus. Simple steps can make a significant impact over time. Including recycling (paper, ink cartridges, cans and bottles), using compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, switching to a smart thermostat to save energy, and making sure to power down computers and equipment at the end of the day.

Going paperless is another great way to help the environment, and boost your efficiency in the process. Banish those space-hoarding file cabinets by storing bank statements, invoices and other important financial paperwork online in the cloud. Better yet, send invoices and paychecks electronically. 

Not only will this reduce your use of paper. It’s much easier to track payments and remittance details when they’re all consolidated online within a platform like FINSYNC. 

These four trends will continue to pick up steam in 2020. The sooner your business gets on board, the faster you can start reaping the benefits, from saving money to running your back-office more efficiently and freeing up time to focus on growing your business.