- By Check-a-Salary
- Posted Thursday 23
rd June 2022
When you’re running an online business, you need to be able to handle online transactions. While, in most cases, things run smoothly with online shop platforms, there are several things you should be aware of to help reduce risks of negative outcomes and to provide better service for your customers. The following will explore a few tips you can employ to help you work with money online.
Get Serious About Security
If you’re collecting online payments or collecting anything else online like potential clients’ email addresses, you need to bump digital security up to the top of your priorities. Nearly $7 billion was lost to cybercrime in 2021. Internet-based crime is booming, and contrary to popular belief, it’s not just the bigger companies they’re going after. Smaller businesses tend to have lax security measures, which are no match for the highly sophisticated attacks that can now be accomplished by people all over the world.
Train all your employees on security principles and keep all your machines clean and up-to-date. This includes teaching staff what makes a good password. Updates are released for many reasons, but one common one is the realization that there’s a hole in the security of the software. This means you need to stop clicking “remind me later” and do the updates ASAP. You also want firewall security on your internet connection.
Beyond this, you need to do your due diligence when you select software, platforms, and applications. Most things you use are collecting data; be sure you know what information your platforms are collecting regarding your staff and customers and figure out what they’re doing with it. If something were to go wrong on your end and your customers’ identity is compromised (or their bank account stolen over the course of several months using small increments that they wouldn’t at first notice), what sort of review do you think you’re going to get on Yelp?
Understand Licensing And Permissions
Depending on where you are and what sort of business you’re operating, you might need additional licensing or permissions. There are strict rules related to the financial industry in most countries; you might need an EMI license in the UK if you’re building an electronic money institution. You might need a system by which you can pay independent international contractors if you’re hiring out of the country for content writing or other services.
Keep Good Records
While you’re working online, it might not seem like there’s a lot you need to track but come tax season, you’re either going to be breathing a sigh of relief and saying that wasn’t too bad, or you’re going to be pulling your hair out of your skull. Keeping good records of all of your expenses, all your income, all your shipping and packaging fees—you want absolutely everything recorded and kept organized. If it’s within your budget, it’s a good idea to work with an accountant early on in the process, as they’ll be able to guide you through best practices.
Focus On Differentiation
While this might not seem like a financial point, it is. It’s far too easy to get sucked into the whirlpool of lowering your prices to keep up with the competition, flatlining your business in the process. If you focus on what makes your product or service different, it becomes easier to see where you add value, and therefore, it’s less stressful to keep your prices higher than your competitors. On the internet, there is always going to be someone who will do what you do for next to nothing; there are content writers who charge $2.95 per article and content writers who charge $500 per article. Both of these people are consistently getting work online. Emphasize what you bring to the table to relieve the pressure to keep up with dangerous price competition.
Don’t Splurge On Trends
While trends can be a great thing to capitalize on as part of your marketing endeavors, be wary of any moment you feel like you need to throw a whole bunch of money into something as soon as possible because otherwise, you’re going to miss out on the moment. If something happening in the online space is going to diminish that rapidly, it’s not going to have a long-term impact on your business, and that means it’s not worth spending a ton of money on.
The above information should help you better work with money in the online space. If you ever find yourself wondering if something is illegal or not, be sure to do your research before you do it; laws regarding the internet are changing rapidly.
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