Digital Transformation B2B Marketing Brand Strategy

How Meta and Xero are helping SMBs improve financial wellness through technology

By Charlotte McEleny | digital editor

Meta

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March 7, 2022 | 6 min read

While no business owner can ever predict the future, recent years have been even more volatile, making it harder for small to medium businesses (SMBs) to manage the fundamentals, such as financial wellness.

As part of its commitment to helping SMBs thrive, Meta has created a series of events and content called ‘Community Conversations’, in which Meta is bringing like-minded partners together with its SMB community to address important topics.

The first event, attended by SMB partners in Asia Pacific, was in partnership with Xero, an online accounting platform specifically designed to help SMBs. The event explored the challenges of SMBs in keeping good financial wellness, revealing how technology is creating stability in unpredictable times.

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Make life better for people in small business, their advisors and communities around the world.

What is financial wellness?

Xero’s brand purpose is to ‘make life better for people in small business, their advisors and communities around the world’, of which a core part is to educate SMBs on financial wellness.

Financial wellness refers to the overall financial health of a business and the ability to effectively manage its financial life. It consists of many factors, from spending within your means to being financially ready for emergencies, having a financial plan, and having access to the tools you need to make informed financial decisions.

Daniel Hustler, education manager, Asia at Xero, shares, “Financial wellness is an oversight over your income and expenses. Where are you spending your money? Is it in real time? Is it accurate? Many businesses struggle to make informed decisions, with business decisions being based on the balance of a bank account.”

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One of the SMBs who participated joined the event was Sarah Kavanagh, who runs three businesses, Sense Data; a digital advertising agency, Rusty K & Co; an online luxury apparel store for dogs and Lili K & Co; an online kids’ fashion store.

Sharing her thoughts on the challenges facing businesses, Kavanagh says: “SMBs are facing huge challenges in the current global climate, with cost increases across the board including supply chain issues. The key to success will be using technology and data to give a highly accurate picture of each business so we can make decisions quickly.”

Can technology help?

During the session, Xero’s Hustler shared tips on how to automate many elements of the accounting and reporting needed to ensure good financial wellness. Many small business owners do not have the time to spend on manual processes and, according to Kavanagh, it can slow down the ability to make decisions.

He says: “Technology is the key to success or failure for SMBs in these market conditions. Even the best businesses find themselves in more challenging times now. We need to be using clever tools and technology that help us make business decisions fast, based on accurate data. Without tapping into these resources, businesses like ours would find it much harder to succeed.”

Other SMBs that attended the session include Session Groceries, Ing Madyokusuman, Fariska Interior, Eldpathy, Hank Max, Phonics Leap, and LoveToken. The diversity of these businesses shows the entrepreneurial community of SMBs across the APAC region.

As part of the session, the SMBs took part in an assignment, looking at a demo company report. Many of the attendees found this useful for their own businesses, noting that important channels of spending, such as advertising, had to be matched with a financial return in order to have good financial wellness.

How to improve financial wellness for SMBs

According to Xero, a good sign of financial wellbeing for a small business:

  • Returns a profit year on year

  • Meets financial commitments

  • Sufficient cash flow

  • Stable customer base

  • Good financial housekeeping

To improve financial wellness, Xero’s Hustler shared four top tips:

  • Understand the basics of accounting and improve your financial literacy

  • Set up a budget

  • Adopt digital solutions, especially when in business

  • Speak with a financial advisor.

To find out more about Meta’s Community Conversation series visit the Meta Supports Small Business Hub, or visit Xero to learn more about financial wellness.

Digital Transformation B2B Marketing Brand Strategy

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