Online food delivery: Pros & Cons for restaurants

Online food delivery platforms have made our lives easy by allowing us to order from a wide array of restaurants with just a few clicks. It has revolutionised the entire perspective towards the food industry by offering consumers the privilege to order varied cuisines, anywhere, anytime. Apart from that, customers get advantages such as no minimum order value and several payment options – net banking, wallets and COD, etc. This makes ordering more convenient and hassle free, thereby accelerating the growth of online food delivery.

Online food delivery benefits not just consumers, but also helps restaurants achieve greater reach and grow their business. Moreover, online food delivery platforms make the entire process of ordering easier, enable efficient customer and order management, provide valuable customer data and help restaurants stay ahead of competition.

Additionally, online food aggregators have come up with the concept of Cloud Kitchens. This is a model that can help restaurants and food start-ups scale at relatively low costs. Cloud kitchens  prepare and deliver food usually via tie-ups with online food platforms – they do not have any dine-in or takeaway facilities. Cloud kitchens offer several benefits, they help restaurants:

  • scale and grow without investing in expensive real estate, paying high rent, marketing their offering via mainstream media, investing in interiors etc.
  • improve operational efficiency by allowing them to focus on deliveries without being disrupted by dine-in guests
  • reduce labour costs by cutting down on servers, cashiers and hosts
  • offer reasonable prices as a cloud kitchen doesn’t need to generate revenue to cover real estate, promotional and maintenance expenses

Undoubtedly, being on an online food delivery platform can help a restaurant in many ways. However, it also comes with challenges.

  • When customers are offered discounts, restaurants and online delivery platforms gain instant loyalty from their users. However, this leads to customers expecting discounts on every order which then cuts into the restaurant’s margins.
  • The online food delivery system is an arena with huge competition, which makes it unavoidable for restaurants to run on lower margins. Further reducing price and/or offering discounts increases the risk of going out of business.
  • A small restaurant has a lot of pressure to compete with the big ones, who are joining online delivery platforms. Since the bigger restaurants are already equipped with financial resources, they can meet market demand for more offerings and discounts.
  • The pressure to maintain quality of food and packaging along with sticking to delivery timelines set and meeting soaring demand is borne by the restaurants. 

Tips to repay your business loan on time

Starting up a business is a daunting task, especially when it comes to finding seed money. But It is equally challenging to keep the business up and running. A small business needs consistent working capital to fuel growth of the businesses, fulfil large orders, and to purchase, replace, repair, or upgrade various kinds of equipment. This is where taking a business loan comes into the picture.

However, repaying a business loan is a thought that can add to the tensions of running a business. Such times tend to put you in a dilemma – to retain funds for your business or to repay the loan. To maintain your credit score, you should avoid defaulting on the loan. Here are a few ways that you can follow to pay your business loan on time.

  1. Keep an adequate bank balance: Maintaining sufficient amount of funds in your bank comes handy in desperate times. This reserve can be tapped into, to pay your loan EMI without disturbing these reserve funds for business needs.
  2. Keep a check on your repayment schedule:  Stay on top of your repayment schedule by setting reminders. A schedule will help you check on fund availability in advance, thereby helping you plan your expenses accordingly. Making regular and timely payments will help you build a good credit score, allowing you to explore other repayment options, when required.
  3. Debt restructuring: If your business is small or medium-sized, the amount payable may be significant for you. You could get the terms of the loan restructured or rescheduled before the condition of default arises. This means, you can get interest rates, monthly instalments, etc. revised. However, it must be noted that it can adversely affect your credit score.
  4. Refinancing: There are many lenders who offer refinancing options by providing smaller EMIs for long periods. Since short-term loans have higher EMIs and need you to have more funds, it prevents you from utilising the money for your business. A smaller EMI amount allows you to repay your loan and invest in your business at the same time.
  5. Allocate funds for loan repayment: It cannot be denied that each month’s expenses are likely to be different. Several unforeseen expenses may crop up, but some can be avoided. Your primary focus should be on the proper management of funds. Allocate funds for loan repayment as a priority.

To sum up, you must take steps to manage your funds wisely especially when you are a small business. If your business is likely to suffer losses,  you should plan your finances beforehand and take timely steps to avoid defaulting on your loan.

What is SIDBI? How can it help you grow?

The SIDBI (Small Industries Development Bank of India) is a subsidiary of IDBI (Industrial Development Bank of India), that was established under the special Act of the Parliament 1988. It became operative on April 2, 1990.

SIDBI is responsible for managing the Small Industries Development Fund and National Equity Fund, that were previously managed by IDBI Bank. Its primary functions are to promote, develop and finance the MSMEs, and help them grow and market their products. It also helps MSMEs ensure energy efficiency and cleaner production of goods.

Functions

  • SIDBI provides small businesses with additional services such as leasing, factoring, etc
  • The timely flow of credit is ensured by SIDBI so that SMEs always have adequate working capital
  • If a small scale industry needs to modernise its technology to attain better efficiency and products, SIDBI assists
  • SIDBI assists organisations like Mahila Udyam Nidhi, National Equity fund, etc. with starting capital and working capital, loans, advances, etc

Benefits

  • When a private bank or lending institution provides loans to small businesses, SIDBI will refinance such loans
  • SIDBI offers custom loans, that is, credit and loans are modified on the basis of requirements of the businesses
  • Attractive interest rates can be availed via SIDBI, as it has associations with several banks and lending institutions, including the World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency
  • MSMEs can avail a collateral-free loan of up to ₹100 lakh
  • SIDBI is into equity and venture funding through its wholly-owned subsidiary – SIDBI Venture Capital Limited. It offers growth capital through venture capital funds that focus on MSMEs

SIDBI also offers indirect financial assistance via line of credit, refinancing facilities, discounting of bills etc.

Finance Facilities Offered by SIDBI

1. Direct Finance: Assistance with working capital, term loan, equity, support against receivables, etc

2. Indirect Finance: Provides refinance to lending institutions which have branches across the country – banks, state financial institutions, etc

3. Micro Finance: Offers microfinance to small businesses for establishing their business

SOLV Dictionary #2: 5 Health insurance terms you need to know

Health is an intricate matter, and it is important to pick an insurance plan that is right for you. For this to happen, understanding healthcare terms is necessary. So, we have defined 5 common health insurance terms which will help you choose the best plan.      

  1. Health Insurance: Contracts sold by insurance companies under which they agree to cover the financial risks associated with an illness or accident. These can be indemnity contracts or fixed benefit contracts.
  2. Sum Assured: The maximum amount of money an insurance company agrees to pay in case of a claim by the customer.
  3. Indemnity Contracts: This is the most popular form of health insurance in India. Herein, an insurer agrees to cover the expenses associated with an illness or accident up to the sum assured to the customer. However, it is limited to the actual expenses incurred in the treatment.
  4. Fixed Benefit Contracts: Health Insurance policies where the insurer commits to pay a pre-defined sum in the event of specified illnesses or accidents, irrespective of the actual expenses incurred by the customer.
  5. Exclusions: Conditions under which health insurance will not cover the risks.

6 Holi marketing tips for small businesses

Festivals offer excellent opportunities to reach new customers. Make the most of this time by developing a festival marketing strategy to attract more customers and increase sales. With the festival of colours around the corner, we share a few marketing strategies that you can use to maximise reach this Holi.

But first things first, draft the budget. Take into account the time you will need to organise and set up for the event, calculate the money involved in hiring additional staff or any other costs that you might incur for promotional material, stock, etc.

  1. Discounts and Offers: Give people a reason to buy by offering a limited-period incentive. It will motivate them to use your service or make a purchase. Since Holi is all about playing with colours, people will need salons and laundry facilities. It is a good time for local spas, salons and launderers to offer specialized Holi packages and discounts to attract more customers.
  2. Sale Days: During Holi and other festivals, most e-commerce sites declare sale-days. As per a report from Economic Times1, 86% Indian consumers look forward to shopping during the festive season, out of which 57% prefer to shop online. The remaining who prefer to shop offline are in all likelihood, thinking that the material in a store is fresher and/or like to see, touch/feel before buying. 61% respondents say they make their buying decision based on available information on Social Media, whereas 57% decide based on different discount announcements made by companies. If you are a small business, you can run promotional offers on certain products both online and offline, as well as use social media to communicate such offers.
  3. Customised Gifts: According to Technopak, one of India’s leading Management Consulting firm, the total size of the Indian gifting market is over ₹250, 000 crore and is expected to grow at over 200% per annum by the year end. Our wish to gift our friends and family something special, personalised and unique is what’s giving rise to the customised gifts market. Putting together customised gifts, however, is time consuming and cumbersome. As a small business, you can offer special Holi hampers across different price ranges to your customers.
  4. Become a Sponsor: In India, a lot of events happen during festivals, Holi parties, for example. These events are a good platform to advertise your business. Sponsoring festival based events can get you the right kind of visibility at the right time and help you reach consumers most likely to buy.
  5. Collect Contact Information: Festivals are the best times to collect contact information of your customers and prospects, and follow-up with them later. Have them give their information by holding contests or offering giveaways. Organise a fun Holi themed contest with attractive prizes – this will motivate people to share their details.
  6. Social Media Posts: Take plenty of photos and videos of people signing up for the contest and post them on your social media channels. This helps amplify your event and also create buzz around your brand.

This Holi, make use of these simple yet effective marketing strategies and make a lasting impression on your customers.

Source: 1 https://retail.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/e-commerce/e-tailing/86-indian-consumers-look-forward-to-shop-during-festive-season-survey/60827719