This post originally appeared on American Express OpenForum.Nearly a decade ago, Eric Remer had a big idea for a new business.
He noticed that small businesses were suffering because they simply couldn’t efficiently get their customers to pay them on time. Most of the existing payment processing options were geared toward larger businesses and the small, family-owned ones couldn’t keep track of everyone who owed them money.
“Small business owners don’t typically have the time or the resources to follow up with unpaid invoices,” Remer told us. “Maybe a while ago that would be OK, but in today’s economy, it’s definitely not.”
So Remer decided to launch PaySimple. It would be a platform that included features, such as recurring billing, electronic invoicing and telephone payments. And customers would be able to choose what payment option works best for them, whether that be auto-recurring billing, electronic check processing or direct debit. If the business didn’t have a web site—and they often did not— PaySimple would create one for them.
It sounds like a simple problem, but many small businesses are actually suffering from it. In fact, two-thirds of the small business owners surveyed by PaySimple said that they are still using manual invoice methods and 40 per cent of them reported that they deal with late payments every month—which affects their businesses in a costly way.
Furthermore, 20 per cent of small business owners say that they forget about outstanding invoices because they just don’t have a sufficient system.
Remer said that PaySimple allows these owners to “get paid faster while spending less time chasing, sorting and monitoring payments.”
This year, 33 per cent of small business owners reported that they are pursuing more late payments than they did the previous year, and only 22 per cent of them actually adopt late payment penalties. When they have to contact late payers, the majority of them use email to remind their customers that their bill hasn’t been paid.
Remer started his career working in investment banking at Kidder, Peabody & Company before launching I-behaviour, an organisation aimed at researching behaviour target marketing. He then went on to start the marketing service company Conclave Group.
Once he discovered that there was a trend in late payments affecting small businesses, he decided to turn his attention to PaySimple. And business for Remer has been doing well.
“PaySimple has been growing at a rapid rate since its inception and we have really seen the concept of accounts receivable automation going mainstream,” Remer said. “These late payments shouldn’t be keeping small business owners up late at night. There’s an option.”
Remer said that PaySimple is prepared to “handle any scale brought on by new enterprise partners” and that the company is looking forward to future growth.
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