As with any sole trader or small business, cash flow is critical to a tradie's business health. Buying materials takes money out, and if they have to wait too long for payments to come in, they can be left in a challenging situation.

Traditionally, tradies have had to take payments in one of two ways. For smaller projects, they’d be paid in cash. The benefit of this is that they get paid immediately, but tracking and managing revenue is difficult with cash. It’s also not the easiest option for customers, especially today, where cash is on the way out and by 2025 only 10 per cent of all transactions will be cash1. People don’t necessarily have the money sitting around to pay a tradie on the spot.

The alternative to cash payments is very slow, however. The tradie completes a project, creates an invoice, and then hopes the client pays it on time (typically on Net 15 terms, meaning they would wait up to 15 days for the payment).

If they aren’t paid on time, not only is cash flow affected, but the tradie needs to spend time chasing unpaid dues. In extreme cases, they'll need to employ debt collection, and the legal/professional fees can be an expensive way to eat into revenue.

This is why the Smart Mini payment reader is being embraced by tradies across Australia. It's a solution to both of these less-than-ideal ways of managing a tradie's cash flow.

Taking payments on the go

All a tradie needs is a smartphone or tablet to get started with Smart Mini. They simply download an app, connect the phone2 to the slim, lightweight Smart Mini device via Bluetooth, and they’re able to take credit card and EFTPOS payments instantly and securely on-site.

This is great for customers, as it means they can pay using their preferred payment method. It’s great for the tradie because it means they can take payments on the spot. 

Smart Mini is a truly instant solution, too. Most portable payments solutions have processing delays, meaning it'll take a while before the money becomes available in the account. With Smart Mini, meanwhile, same-day processing3 means that the tradie will receive the funds into their linked Commbank Business Transaction Account4 on the same day, so they can get right on top of their cash flow.

Run a better business

Admin is a hidden cost that severely affects the businesses of many tradies. According to research, the typical tradie spends an incredible 19 hours per week on admin. With tradies working an average of 44 hours per week, nearly half of their working time is spent on tasks that are not generating revenue or building the business further.

Thanks to analytics built into the system, it’s possible to use Smart Mini to keep track of payments through a single, instantly accessible solution. There is no need to set up spreadsheets and make bank runs to deposit cash. There is also no risk of mistakes by entering the wrong numbers.

This alone can significantly reduce the paperwork and improve the record-keeping side of the business. That means the tradie gets hours back each week to take on more projects, invest time into business development, or simply give themselves a break and a better work-life balance.

Build a better business with CommBank

A Smart Mini unit has a very low upfront cost and the processing fees are some of the lowest portable payment platforms, at just 1.1% per transaction5. Additionally, with full and visible CommBank branding, customers will have peace of mind that you’re using a proven and secure platform, boosting a tradie’s business reputation in the process.

Smart Mini is the latest innovation in our vision to support Australia’s tradies with banking tools that just work.