You probably started this post thinking, “How the heck is my brand even remotely connected to my finances?” It’s a great question. To answer it, we first have to know, what a brand is.
What Is My Brand?
It used to be that a “brand” was specifically your mark that you “burned” into your cattle so no one else stole them on the open range. Now, a brand has become so much more than just your symbol, or your logo. David Ogilvy, renowned advertiser, described a “brand” as the “intangible sum of a product’s attributes.” Your brand is the entire thought process that your customer goes through when they hear your brand name. So, here’s the part that’s tough. Whatever your customer thinks may, or may not, be what you WANT THEM TO THINK. What they think is based on emotion and is based on the sum of their experience with your brand, factual or not.
Noted author and branding expert, Karen Post, speaks about a brand as an “Impression that sticks in your customer’s mind. A brain tattoo”. So, according to Ms. Post, if you’re going to leave an impression, it had better be a “positive one”. That experience is indelibly written on their cerebral cortex.
How Do My Customers Perceive My Brand? What Is Stuck in Their Mind?
So now you’re probably thinking about every customer interaction you’ve had lately and what impact it has had on that customer. Think beyond just the “sale”. The actual transaction where your customer decides to buy your product or service is only a small part of their perception. Now, this is the tie-in to how you handle your business’ finances.
When your customer thinks of your brand, do they automatically think: “Oh right, those guys I can only pay by cheque. I hate that. I’ll go somewhere else” or “That company takes forever to send me an invoice… IN THE MAIL! I hate that.” Whether you like it or not, those two things, the way you run your invoicing and how you take payments have affected your brand. Negatively. You’ve created a bad impression. But don’t give up, you can change that.
Provide Choices so Your Customer Can CHOOSE a Positive Brand Experience
Let’s talk specifics, and what you can do to create the BEST impression for your brand.
How do you currently send invoices? In the mail, on paper? For some clients that’s great, they love analog transactions. But does your financial system allow you to send a digital invoice directly to their inbox? What about a PDF invoice they can save and file?
Kashoo is one of the simplest, most intuitive invoicing systems around. Create and send professional invoices with custom templates wherever your business takes you. Your customers will receive their invoices faster, in the format they want. That means a real difference for your cash flow. Instantly know who owes you money and have the information to follow up in real-time. Less time on follow-ups means more time for your customers!
Wouldn’t it be great if your customer could choose how they’d like to pay your invoice, so you could get paid faster? What if they want to pay with a credit card, cheque, cash, or livestock? Is your financial system ready to work with all of those forms of payment? Often times, the system that has multiple integrations with multiple forms of payment are the best, then you can be flexible and your customer will think the same about your brand.Start here. Ask your next customer what would be a better way for them to pay you? Then find a system that supports that method, or integrates with another service that does.
Kashoo is working hard to make sure taking payments is a breeze. First, our integration with Square let’s you take credit card payments wherever you are and those transactions show up instantly in Kashoo, along with all the correct taxes and fees.
Second, with partners like BluePay, your customers can pay with credit cards DIRECTLY from your invoices. Stay tuned.
One of the often overlooked, but vital, pieces of the financial puzzle is payroll. Think of your staff as your most engaged, knowledgeable and enthusiastic brand “evangelists”. How you pay them has a huge bearing on their perception of your brand, and those feelings will work their way to the surface when they deal with your customers, vendors, and partners.
If your payroll system sucks, what do you think they’ll say about your brand? Here’s some adjectives you want to avoid: “antiquated”, “backwards”, “stagnant”, or “old-fashioned”. This is NOT how you want your brand to be represented.
Kashoo has partners that can make your payroll a snap! Whether you’re in Canada or the U.S., our partners can set you up with payroll processing in just minutes, and your staff can get paid simply, with no worry or hassle. That means happy staff with money in their bank accounts, right on time. Not only that, your payroll run shows up in Kashoo instantly so you can still keep track of everything.
So, how’s your brand doing? Is your brand on “life support” in your customer’s minds because of how you handle your finances?
Let’s change that. Give us a call anytime, or start a free trial of Kashoo and get a financial system that will give you the ability to offer your customers’ CHOICES. Then they won’t be able to help but LOVE YOUR BRAND.