Whether you are looking to grow your business, make incremental improvements, or ensure that your company is able to provide a comfortable future for your family and your staff, it helps to have a solid plan of action.
Access this webinar replay to hear a panel of experts from Babson College, Fiserv, and Santander discuss the latest strategies and financial tools that small business leaders can use to seize opportunities now and plan for long-term financial success.
Graham Chapman (0:10)
My name is Graham Chapman. I'm the Director of Community Partnerships at Santander. On behalf of the bank, genuinely, I want to thank all of you, I want to welcome you to today's session really appreciate you taking the time out of your day. My role at Santander is to facilitate the bank's community development strategy with our nonprofit partners. Santander allocates nearly $20 million in charitable dollars annually, which affords us the opportunity to work with some extraordinary organizations overseeing some truly impactful initiatives. I have the pleasure of overseeing a really talented team which executes on one such initiative: Santander's Cultivate small business program. The program is an accelerator initiative focused on woman BIPOC and immigrant owned small businesses in low income neighborhoods within the food sector. Santander has reached nearly 400 entrepreneurs and provider over a million dollars in capital grants in collaboration with Babson College. The program has afforded us a deep appreciation for the commitment required to run a successful small business. And that's something that all of you really know a lot about. Today's session, we're gonna be talking a little bit about smart planning for your businesses, helping you to think a little bit about the future of your business, taking action to achieve your goals. We have three really talented, really distinguished speakers presenting and our hope is that you come away with a few insights you can use, or at least a few good questions to discuss with your trusted advisors. So I want to take a minute to welcome and thank our panel here today. First, Andrew Rosenberg is a senior relationship executive at Fiserv, an expert on merchant services. In his work with Santander he was responsible for over 30,000 merchants processing in excess of $22 billion annually. Andrew, thank you so much for joining us here today. Dr. Candida brush, Candy, is the Franklin W. Olin Distinguished Chair of entrepreneurship at Babson College. Dr. Brush is well known for her pioneering research and women's entrepreneurship. Her award winning work on resource acquisition strategy and financing of new ventures and entrepreneurship education has been in numerous scholarly public publications and popular media, and I need to give a shout out to Dr. Brush specifically for her support and execution on the bank's Cultivate small business program. She's one of our lead professors representing Babson and reaching those really talented entrepreneurs. And finally, Yajaira Lopez is the region president for Santander's tri-state area overseeing the bank's branch network in New York, northern New Jersey and Connecticut. She also serves on the advisory board of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, NFTE, an educational nonprofit focused on bringing the power of entrepreneurship to youth in low income communities. This happens to be an organization that is near and dear to my heart. So thank you, Yajaira, not only for your service to NFTE but also for joining us here for today's panel. With that, I'm gonna hand it over to our first presenter. Andy, thank you again, so much for joining us, the floor is yours.
Andrew Rosenberg (3:08)
Well, thank you very much. Appreciate the time. appreciate everybody joining us out this afternoon, we're going to talk a little bit about the changing payment landscape. And we all hear about payments. It's being very much part of our daily lives as we are all consumers. But I've been working in the payment and the payment processing industry for 25 years. Before that my parents owned a bicycle store. I'll call those the old days, it was easy enough just to be able to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, you accepted cash checks, and then these funny new things called debit cards came along. And that was enough. It was never really a question. People actually could say no, I don't take credit cards, cash only. Well, that was then. And now today it’s not only the four major car brands that people need to accept and that businesses need to accept. But it's all these different we call form factors out there. Everything from Pay Pal to Google Pay to Bitcoin to JCB and Union Pay which are out of Japan and China to contactless payments, Ali pay, buy now pay later, as well as checks and cash. So it's very important for businesses now, especially as we're starting to slowly come out of pandemic and getting back to a normal pace of business. That if you're fortunate enough to have someone come in your door or go to your website, or place an order with you, and you want to do you want to say to them "No, I don't accept that form of payment." You want to be able to accept every form of payment that people are willing to give you their money with. So it's very important when you do speak to your processor when you speak to who's ahead setting up your credit card acceptance, your payments acceptance, to be able to enable for every type of card under the sun, every type of card that your customers may present to you. Similarly, besides the type of cards, the way you receive cards is very important as well. In the old days, which you can see on the left side of the screen. We had what I referred to as dumb terminals they did one thing, the old knuckle buster where people would make an impression of the card or swipe it through and get an authorization code or even place an online or in person order form, writing down the credit card number. That was enough in the old days. Today, terminals and equipment is not dumb, but it's smart. Meaning they do many different things, they can have applications on there, not only to accept payments, not only to accept cash, and work as a cash register, but also have apps and software on there that enable you to run your business seamlessly from the same piece of equipment. Not only that, but run it where your customers need to accept transactions. I mean, you can do it on the road, you can do it at trade shows at street fairs, you can do it with a small device, Bluetooth connected device to your phone. So you can accept your payments not only where you want but where your customers want to make it easier to take their payments. Similarly, there's also ways now for contact free curbside pickup, that's something that really took off. It was existing, but really took off during the pandemic and it continues to grow and grow and become part of our lives not only as business owners, but as consumers as well. Similarly, paying online and contactless payments. I personally, because I'm in the industry, I use contactless payments all the time. It's easy, it's fast, and there's no contact there. So it's very important to not only be able to accept all the types of payment your customers want to give you, but also they've accepted where and how they want to as well.
Andrew Rosenberg (6:35)
Now, we've really seen that a significant shift in what consumers are expecting. So I did want to share some statistics to help you guide your decisions in strategically running your businesses. 75% of shoppers who have used curbside said they would use it again. So it's not going to be just a pandemic event. The same thing. 74% of shoppers want to contact us post pandemic, it's not become something that we've done, it's become part of our business and personal lives. Incredibly, online, buy online, pick up in store transactions have grown 205% It's become very, very common. Right now my son is getting ready for a senior prom, we tried to go to stores and buy things in person, but we had to order them online and pick up the store to get the selection for the right shoes that he wanted. Similarly, 78% of Americans use one form of digital payment that may be using Apple Pay on your phone, they may be doing an online, they may be using PayPal as a point of sale. But 78% of Americans are one form 58 to 58% of Americans use in two types of digital payments. So once again, this is becoming part of our regular lives as consumers and 35% of shoppers expect their online purchase to increase again part of our lives. Now it's very important that when you have these transactions, you need to protect your data 87% of customers will not buy from a company if they have concerns about security practices. For those who can remember back in 2017, target had a major data hack. They had a significant 20 to 30% drop in business following their hackers people are afraid to use credit cards there. But 43% of all cyber attacks target small businesses, not just the big guys, not just the targets on Nordstrom, to the Walmarts of the world. Now there are two ways to think about your credit card data. There's data in transit, and there's data at rest. 20% of merchants fail to protect the data in transit, meaning when it's leaving your business and going out for authorization and settlement 35% of merchants failed protecting the stored cardholder data, meaning in your system in your point of sale system in your credit card machine. So not only is it important to protect your business, but protect the two types of data in transit and in rest. Now how can you do that there are two things we need to do tokenization and encryption tokenization is when it is in. At rest. It replaces the cardholder data with randomly generated numbers that can be safely stored in the back office or in your equipment. So even if someone was to run in the door, grab your credit card credit card machine and run out the door print out a report the numbers they get back are useless because the credit card terminals don't store the actual credit card information because it's been tokenized. Similarly, encryption is the process of scrambling the data. So when is transmitted, it is not able to be intercepted in any way. So it's very, very important to have both transaction is going to be tokenization and encryption. If you have any questions about it, talk to your processor who's handling your credit card transactions and make sure that this is being done. So what can you do to protect your business? Well first, absolutely update everything you have that's touching your systems. If you have a VPN a firewall or similar, make sure those are installed and make sure they are updated. it, my wife, I will say sometimes update her phone and I get crazy about it because the business that I'm in, I make sure she's always updating your phone always updating your PC to make sure it has the newest security devices in there and security encryption. Similarly, make sure your process has installed end to end encryption, and that your transactions are encrypted and tokenized. And maintain your PCI compliance, PCI compliance, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, every business in the country, from the smallest store on the corner, all the way up to Walmart has to verify that they're taking the proper steps to secure their data. Make sure when you talk to your processor that they are PCI compliant. And thirdly, you need to monitor what's going on in your business, check your policies and procedures, make sure that only limited people, maybe even you as the owner, or a manager can issue credits can issue void can issue refunds on the credit card system limit the access of the cardholder data in the backend in the back office to make sure that the cardholder data is not being compromised.
Andrew Rosenberg (11:07)
So let's just talk and really sum things up here. Before I turn it over to Dr. Brush, there's really three things you need to think about: you need to accept all types of credit of all types of transactions. It's not just enough to accept Visa and MasterCard, and the change of consumer expectation that we've talked about. So that we need to meet merchants and to the meet customers, when where and how they want to pay you. Make sure you modernize today's point of set point of sale systems, who more than accept payments, you want to be able to have the systems where you can run different applications, connect with your different systems, your payroll, your tax payment, all integrated with your point of sale system, and be able to accept your payments anywhere, anytime, no matter how they want to do that. And thirdly, protect your business, make sure your transactions are encrypted and tokenized defend your card data and maintain PCI compliance on an annual basis. We're gonna have some time at the end here to field some questions. But with that, I'm going to turn it over to Dr. Candida Brush from Babson College.
Dr. Candida Brush (12:07)
Thank you so much, Andy. I'm very pleased to be here. As Graham mentioned in the introduction, I've had the opportunity to work with the 400 entrepreneurs that that he mentioned, from different parts of Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and soon to be Pennsylvania, Dallas and Miami. That program has just been a blessing for me to be involved in. And also, as Graham mentioned, my research has been involved with some new ventures and how they acquire resources, especially money. And as we think about what happened during the pandemic, it kind of put the brakes on how businesses grew. And so I've done a couple of studies which have looked at how businesses have survived the pandemic. And so I'm going to share with you a little bit about what we learned from a couple of those studies. But first, I'd like to tell a short story. This is one of our cultivate small business founders. His name's Tam, and if any of you from the Boston area, you may have actually been to one of his restaurants. And Tam has four different properties. And so during the pandemic, he realized that he could not keep all four properties open. This may be resonating with some of you it was a challenge. It was a shock to your business, where you had to make some really critical decisions in a very short period of time. And so Tam asked himself some questions, you know, which property could he keep open, and could perhaps survive the lock down? Which concept had the best following which concept had the most resources or resources that can be used, which employees to stay, to stay on board and of course, who can help. And so he really had to assess sort of the means at hand, the passion he had for his restaurant, which resources were going to work. And so he decided to focus his resources around one particular restaurant in Quincy. And immediately he had to pivot how he was thinking about that business because as we all know, restaurants were hit really hard. Some of you may have restaurants or hospitality businesses out there. But he didn't pivot how he reached his customers. They couldn't come into his facility anymore. He had to either have something that a parking lot or he had to be delivering, so he had to sign up for online delivery mechanisms like DoorDash and Uber Eats some of these other systems. He had to be able to take phone reservations for people to pick up food. They had to reassess the skills and capabilities of his employees to see whether or not they were they were able to take on this new technology part of the business. Um, he also had to take a look at his menu items because many of the menu items, the food restricted his supply chain was sort of broken in terms of what he could get. So it was really a wholesale revisiting of everything that he was doing. So he had to reassess what he was doing sort of the assessment piece, he had to cut cost. And at the same time he had to invest, which seems kind of counterintuitive. You're cutting costs, and you're investing at the same time it reallocates resources, and he had to innovate, which was experiment with new menu items. And so the story may sound a little bit familiar to you. Because his story is not unusual. And part of this is because when we think about what happens during uncertainty, and before COVID, we had a lot of uncertainty around business. So problems would pop up, you could take a look at that problem and say, Well, okay, what are the options? Let's evaluate the options, what are the risks and consequences. And so there was uncertainty. But when COVID hit, we had this unknowable environment. We had no idea what was going to happen next. And there's a big difference between uncertainty and unknowability. And so I'm going to share a few statistics with you. But first is to think about this, you have to start with the means at hand, you have to think about what you care about who can help and where the opportunity is.
Dr. Candida Brush (16:20)
And so the next step was, of course, to revitalize or to pivot the business model in some way to invest in simultaneously and then to experiment. So some of the statistics that we have in terms of cutting costs is it more than 40% of US businesses cut office expenses, and marketing spend, and they defer an executive pay, well, actually around 25%, shut down completely. And then more than a third, delayed payments, with vendor contracts, and so forth. And then, of course, we have those that invested, they had to invest in online strategies or digitization, those businesses that use more digital tools tend to succeed, better, they tend tended to do better in the long run. In fact, we also found that those businesses that adopted digital tools, check those digital tools. More than 70% of those businesses maintain those and buy digital tools. I mean, things like CRMs, and apps and electronic communications and those kinds of things. So they were systematically cutting costs, and they were experimenting, and there are reallocating resources and investing all at the same time. And so when we think about what businesses need to do, again, you start with that means at hand, you do that assessment, and then you revitalize you pivot your business model, you may have new customers new ways of delivering value, you're investing in cutting simultaneously, and then you're experimenting. And so if we think about what happened during the pandemic, under unknowable conditions, in order to be resilient, you have to restart and revitalize and that will lead you to resilience. And so I'm going to pass it on to a Yajaira Lopez, who's the next speaker here.
Yajaira Lopez (18:03)
Thank you so much, Dr. Brush. And as Graham shared earlier, at the start of our conversation here, I'm Yajaira Lopez and I'm the region president for Santander Bank in the tri state area, again, consists of New York, northern New Jersey, Connecticut. So I'm going to spend a few minutes talking about long term planning for business owners. And when we think about long term planning for a business owner, there can be a lot of crossover between business and your personal life. The most important thing that you can do is to establish goals for yourself. Now, what is it that you want your business to become? What kind of life do you envision for yourself, for your family, and the people you care about? And how are these things related? Now, if you're going to make a plan, you need to be clear on what that plan is going to deliver for you. That's why setting goals is such an important first step, you may want to discuss your ideas with your family, with your business partners, financial consultants, and anyone else that has an interest in helping you succeed and helping this plan succeed. So the other thing I'll say is that plans can change over time, nothing is set in stone, as we all know, again, life will throw some curveballs at us, and we have to adjust and pivot. But it's okay to adapt and revise your plan. But maintaining a vision of where you want to go will be critical and key to the overall success of your plan. So now we'll go ahead and talk about for your business for a minute. Specifically, what will happen when you aren't running the company anymore? If you plan to sell the business or close it down? Well, that is what we call an exit strategy. Now if the plan is to transition, the running of the business to someone else, and some people may have this in mind as a plan, for example, transition to a family member apart partner or someone that works with you. And then that is called secession, planning, exit strategies and succession planning. These are more complex topics than we can cover in a short presentation. But having an idea of which way you are going to want to go will inform your plan. Again, having a vision will be extremely important. Now, your attorney or financial consultant can help you to think through the pros and cons of each and determine what will be best for you and your business. For now, ask yourself these questions. So how much longer do I want to run my business? This is something that folks may think about, but it sure that you reflect on it. How much longer do I want to run my business? Second question would be what will happen to my business when that time is up? Now we'll move on to talk about your personal goals. And sometimes we find that our business owners don't necessarily spend as much time thinking about their personal goals. But well, many people dream about retirement at a particular age, and that many may or may not want to do so as a business owner, your personal plans, they deciding that you want to retire by age 68 definitely will impact your business. So as we talked about the previous slide, you may want to talk about and think about an exit strategy or a succession plan in place for your business. So maybe you'll ease into a reduced workload. These choices have, again a personal dimension, because you will still need to support yourself, potentially others still be able to pay bills. So again, a lot to consider and to think about as you decide which way you would want to go for your business. And additionally, your personal goals include things like paying for college, and that's something that I'm currently doing, traveling or spending, you know the winter, it's a warm climate, you will need to include those type of things that you like to enjoy as part of your plan. And finally, if you saw your six yourself a successful business, or have accumulated as to pass down to loved ones, again, this could be children and relatives, you may need an estate plan. So again, a bit more complex for us to discuss during the presentation. But it's something to think about, yeah, selling a successful business, where you have accumulated assets to be passed down to loved ones, that would be something to consider is estate planning. But again, you want to want one further research and at least have a conversation with your consultants as part of what will be your next step as a business owner.
Yajaira Lopez (22:43)
And then last thing, here's what I'll say is there's a lot that we can do deep dives on, and it will we've really just scratched the surface on long term planning as a business owner. But there are a few points to take away from this presentation that I hope that you have. So the first is the importance of identifying your personal and professional goals. Again, these will be the foundation of your plans. The second thing would be the need to consult with your consultants on building plans that makes sense for you, again, customized to you, your family and to your business. And the third thing is it's never too late to start thinking about long term plans. And with that, I'll hand it over back to Graham. Thank you, Graham.
Graham Chapman (23:28)
Awesome. No, thank you, Yajaira, thank you very much to all of the presenters. Terrific remarks. And I hope that everyone on the call, and the webinar today glean some valuable perspective from the conversation. But now let's get to the fun part, which is more interactive. And we have some terrific questions that have been submitted both before the session and during so I'm going to go through we'll get to as many of these as we possibly can. Andy, I think this first one is probably a good fit for you. You've talked a little bit about ease of access, reaching customers through convenience of payment, et cetera, et cetera. You even mentioned in your remarks Buy now pay later. So I want to talk a little bit about that generally, what's your take? Can businesses learn more about this? How does a business basically determine if this is the right fit for them?
Andrew Rosenberg (24:12)
Well, the biggest question and it's a great question about the BNPL Buy Now Pay Later it's been a lot in the news, especially during pandemic we saw it really grow have tremendous explosive two and a three and a four hundred percent growth year over year. But now it does seem that the kind of the shine is coming off the apple a little bit and it's really settling down. You're seeing that default rates have gone up, while that should not be the concern of the business owner, I don't think business owners should be pushing it as aggressively as probably as the as it was when BNPL first came out when Buy Now Pay Later first came out. It's important to have it be part of the overall payment strategy again was spoke about earlier, being able to accept the kind of payments that people want to give. It is very appealing for business owner because you do see though what they call the basket lift, you see people spend more As we all are people, we like getting a lot more for our money, people tend to spend more, they don't want to pay for it upfront, it's the lower of I want to say fairly easy credit out there. But people should be aware of that the overall rates on there can be as high as 30%. Once factored in for a buy, now pay later transaction if they don't make all four of the payments exactly on time. So for a business owner, it's definitely something that should be considered. And really talk to your customers, talk to your customer base and see if something that would be appealing there. Or just go at it judiciously, judiciously. Because you don't want to have an upset customer coming back to you a few months later and be like, Why am I paying so much for this transaction?
Graham Chapman (25:41)
Great, thank you so much, Andy. That's really helpful. Another one that just came in that I think is a great fit for Dr. Brush. First of all, Dr. Brush, I want to give you a shout out and acknowledge the story that you told about Tam Le, the entrepreneur who completed the Cultivate small business program, and I have to take a quick minute to really acknowledge him and his success. He was one of the entrepreneurs who went through Santander's cultivate small business program and won $15,000 in unrestricted capital grant funding from the bank. And he then use that capital reinvested it back into the business and continues to scale. So a quick shout out to Tam into the Cultivate program. But embedded in Tam's story, Dr. Brush, is the extension of which you've supported him and the other entrepreneurs in terms of being open to pivoting on their business model. Never more important than the cohort that we had during 2020 When the pandemic really kind of threw a wrench in really all small business owners plans, but especially in that food service industry. But talk a little bit about what you mean, what folks? Why should folks essentially consider pivoting on their business model? And what is entailed?
Dr. Candida Brush (26:49)
Yeah, thanks, Graham. Um, so essentially, when you think about your business model, it really starts with your customers, and what your customers needs are. And so especially during COVID, and even since COVID, your customers needs probably changed. And so if your customers needs change, then the value that you're delivering to them, whether it's a product or service, that value proposition also needs to change to meet their needs. And so those are the first two components of thinking about pivoting. Because if your customers needs change, you can't be delivering the same thing to them, because it may not meet their needs. So you probably need to modify your service or your product in some way to solve their problem or meet their needs better. But that probably also has an impact on how you reach your customers, and especially with the whole digital transformation. And that's a lot of what Andy was talking about, when terms of how customers find out about you. They find out about you now online, how do they pay for your services. And so all of these different digital, technological issues also become part of your pivot for your business model. So again, what customers when customers needs change, the value you deliver to them has to also change how you reach them is going to change. And then of course, all the operations that you have to meet those needs and deliver that value probably is going to change as well. So you may need to reallocate resources. In Tim's case, for example, he said that he had, you had hostesses and hosts who were taking orders on paper and pencil. And he had to help them learn how to use digital technology to take menu orders. So he had to retrain them. And so that was a that was sort of a pivot in terms of how the operations of his business worked as much as the many items that he was delivering on to the customers as well. So, again, it's a complex process, but it all starts with what your customers need and what you're delivering to them.
Graham Chapman (28:48)
Yeah, that's such a great point. And I'm gonna brag on behalf of Dr. Brush for a minute here. So I mentioned that 2020 cohort of entrepreneurs that went through our program we had 32, that year in 2020, when the pandemic initially shut the economy down a really important metric regarding that specific cohort of the 32, 31 maintained operation as a going concern, which is a testament of course to the entrepreneurs themselves and how resilient they individually were but also to Dr. Brush and the team at Babson for assisting them in that pivot because what a difficult time obviously, especially in that food sector during the pandemic, so a huge shout out and a thank you to you Dr. Brush. Okay, next question. We got a bank one Yajaira. This one's right in your wheelhouse. So, and we've gotten gotten this question actually, from a few different folks, as a business owner, is it okay to have my business and personal accounts at the same bank?
Yajaira Lopez (29:43)
Thanks, Graham. Absolutely. It is. And I think that most business owners actually do have their personal banking relationship and their business bank relationship in the same financial institution. We there is a researcher that states that our millennial business owners are even more likely to have both counts with one provider can confirm me that convenience is important. And while I'll say is that this also allows the opportunity as a financial institution to build a relationship with our business owners, small business owners, to not only get to know their business, understand their business, but also their personal aspect and see, as I talked about planning, it would be a plan with a relationship manager to get to know both your business and consumer size. So my recommendation is yes, it works. I think that the better the institution gets to know you, the more beneficial it is to have the banking relationship all in one institution.