PayPal Launches New SMB Toolset, ‘Business in a Box’
PayPal has announced the release of a new set of payment tools aimed at the small business sector.
Dubbed ‘Business in a Box’, the initiative was launched during Small Business Week, and it was made possible after PayPal teamed up with accounts software company Xero and web host WooCommerce.
The tools are directed at small businesses that don’t have an internet presence and include the major essentials that are needed to launch an online enterprise.
How Business in a Box Helps Small Businesses
PayPal describe the tools as a ‘one stop shop for smaller businesses’. As the company explains, many small businesses find the prospect of starting an online enterprise ‘daunting’, to say the least, with various tasks to handle such as inventory management, cashflow and launching a website.
Then there’s finding a secure way to collect payments, and perhaps getting together enough working capital to invest in new stock or premises.
PayPal’s solution is an attempt to make launching an online business as straight forward as possible, while also providing a means to collect payments.
What Does Business in a Box Contain?
The package includes:
- An accounts package from Xero for tracking payments, invoices and expenses; this comes with a month’s free trial and a free hour long consultation with a Xero accountant. The accounting tools will enable business owners to better track cashflow, which is one of the top problems for small businesses.
- A customized storefront courtesy of WooCommerce with a Pressable subscription
- The ability to collect credit and debit payments, both from a website and through PayPal’s Here mobile payment service. Users can also send invoices and view their financial transactions via PayPal.
- Access to funding through PayPal capital. This funding is made available as a loan and it’s subject to certain conditions.
There is also speculation that new tools will be added as part of the package in the future, but there is no confirmation of this at the moment.
How Can Merchants Get Started?
New merchants are asked to sign up for a business account first; PayPal says this is necessary so that it can be linked with WooCommerce.
New users will find a short form online to fill out, which will enable merchants to start the process. Once this has been completed, sellers will receive a welcome pack that will get them started and allow them to access the tools.
However, new customers should note they aren’t obliged to sign up for all the offers. For example, you might already have an accounting system and don’t want to switch over to another one; the ability to opt out of certain features, gives the package a good level of flexibility.
What Can Merchants Gain From Signing Up?
As many point out, there isn’t too much new about such packages, however, as highlighted below, there are still obvious benefits to the business owner who has yet to launch online:
- Aside from the ability to better track cashflow and the free sign up bonuses, as explained on TechCrunch, the biggest benefit is integration. Signing up for a PayPal business account will give merchants access to a set of integrated tools and provide a central hub to manage everything from.
- It offers discounts from PayPal partners, however, as an article on Small Business Trends explains, the aim of the launch isn’t strictly about cost savings, and more about simplifying the launch of an online business.
- Choosing from the numerous accounting and website packages available can be time consuming and confusing, however, the PayPal launch hopes to eliminate this problem by bringing the main essentials together for the first-time ecommerce business owner.
- Users can be reassured that they will have ongoing support from a company of PayPal’s stature, should they need it.
However, there are obvious benefits for PayPal too, as the launch of Business in a Box will inevitability bring them new customers.
Addressing the Biggest Concerns of Small Businesses
As detailed on PYMNTS.com, Amit Mathradas, PayPal GM and Head of Small Business, explained that PayPal was already working with several partners to aid small businesses. However, it was felt that there needed to be ‘a single thread that connects the entrepreneur to all these partners’, and this was the idea behind the Business in a Box launch.
The launch does address one of the main obstacles businesses are faced with when launching online: with a seemingly endless list of accounts management software and website hosting companies to select from, finding the package that is right for a new business certainly isn’t straight forward.
Providing the correct tools all together as one package removes the confusion, and means the small business owner with no experience of ecommerce doesn’t need to rely on reviews for guidance to get started.
In addition, the package also addresses the problem of finding a reliable payments processor out of the numerous ones to choose from.
Strong Year for PayPal
PayPal released the new tools shortly after announcing a strong first quarter result, with a significant increase in its mobile volume.
The PayPal owned app Venmo processed a record breaking amount in the first quarter, when the transactions processed exceeded $6 billion; the figures showed a consistently strong performance for Venmo year on year.
PayPal also state that they have given considerable support to small businesses through its working capital program, which the payment’s processor says has assisted more than 100,000 small enterprises in gaining access to business loans and cash advances
There’s a lot to think about when launching an online site, but PayPal has chosen Small Business Week to address this issue by launching a new set of tools. Together, the tools make getting online and setting up an ecommerce business that much easier.
Users who sign up will benefit from a means to collect payments, manage their accounts and establish a website, while PayPal is set to benefit from the new businesses it attracts.
PayPal has previously introduced several measures aimed at supporting small businesses, and the Business in a Box launch is the latest in its efforts to support smaller enterprises.