Food For Thought – Convenience Or Old School Methods?

Sep 13, 2021

Convenience on the go at fingertips – Learn about how Khatabook paved the way for Manisha and her small business in thriving.

The story of most catering, tiffin, and mess services in Maharashtra begins at home. There are many small vendors that provide finger-licking good home food to people of all demographics. Manisha, the owner of Arohi Annapurna Mess in Ratnagiri, started off in a similar fashion.

 

Manisha began her journey into the world of tiffin services from her home, and as her homemade food grew popular exponentially and grew in demand, she opened a small shop in Ratnagiri. The small nuances of running a business weren’t lost on her, and she knew she had to be prepared for the onslaught of managing finances properly. What did she do? Let’s find out.

 

Trying, Understanding, and Trying Again

In the beginning, Manisha faces some critical issues in running her tiffin services. 

“Humare area me sirf 2 ATMs hai, and paas me hi ek college hai. Cash payments lene me hume bohot problem hoti thi jiski wajah se humara business bhi thoda down rehta tha.”

Faced with a dilemma, Manisha tried to adapt to many digital payment options, but she faced issues with some transactions which hurt her pockets. It also became a bit difficult for her to generate receipts for her customers, as most of them used to pay for her services monthly.

After trying out some options and understanding the ins and outs of online payment methods, she came across Khatabook, which was recommended to her by a nearby shop whose owner she had a good relationship with. This was early in 2019, and she has been using Khatabook ever since.

 

Flavorful Food, Flavorful Transactions, Flavorful Financial Management

The dilemma of every small business owner in today’s age of online baking and transactions is getting with the times and adapting to them. It is especially hard for small shop owners as it can involve complicated processes to understand online payment portals and all their features.

Manisha, having already tried some options, settled on Khatabook because it changed the narrative of online finance management for her. In her seldom transactional business, she could not rely on payment methods where there was even a little bit of a chance of payment failures.

“Hum logo ko aisa solution chaiye tha jo payment, receipt, records, aur transaction history sab kuch me humari help kar sake. Hume complicated apps use karne me bohot problems hui thi kyoki unke features kaise use kare hume samajh hi nhi aate the”

Khatabook came with a set of features that were not only helpful for Manisha, but also easy to operate. Having a customer base that was primarily youngsters studying in the college nearby, this change also became a good source of attraction to compel more youngsters to come to her mess.

Early last year when the pandemic began, it became a bit uncertain as to when things will start to get back to normal. Most of her customers went back home until it was clear when things would be safe to open back up again. This left Manisha and many small shops around her in a haze about how can they collect their pending payments.

“Jab sab log March ke end tak ghar chale gaye the, idhar ke shop owners kaafi confusion me the ki hum pending paisa kaise collect karenge. Hum Khatabook ka use 1 saal se kar rahe the, to humare customers pehle se hi kaafi aware the ki payment kaise karna hai”

After conveniently generating the receipts of all her customers on Khatabook, Manisha sent them across to all her customers and was able to receive her payments in due time. 

“Us time pe ye time pe payment milne ki wajah se humare kaafi problems solve hogaye the aur hum aane waale time ke lie bhi financially prepared the. Khatabook ki wajah se hume aage ke time ke lie prepare karne me jyada problems nahi hui. Aas paas ke shop owners jo cash payments lete the unko dekh ke hume samajh aya ki Khatabook ki wajah se humne kitne problems avoid kar liye”

Keeping books, tallying all the purchases, and contacting every customer individually to get the payment wasn’t the way for Manisha as she had been using Khatabook for her business for quite a while.

Especially during the COVID pandemic, this feature helped her in keeping her business afloat and carry out online transactions with ease. Customer satisfaction was maintained even after the restrictions of the pandemic.

The Convenience of Automation – What it Means for Small Businesses

The essence of automation is to make tasks easier for humans. Manisha realized the convenience automated features from Khatabook brought into her business. While there are a plethora of features on Khatabook, our interviews with Manisha and other MSMEs brought up an interesting observation –  MSMEs are mostly concerned with features like transactions, record keeping, and generating receipts. 

“App me itne saare features hai par hum to bas yahi cheezo ke lie Khatabook ka istemaal karte hai. Isse jyada ki hume abhi tak to zaroorat nahi padi hai.”

Manisha conveyed that the main reason she has stuck by using Khatabook for her business and also her personal life is how much time the app saves her daily tasks. Previously, she would have to manually keep track of each and every single aspect of her tiffin services, but Khatabook has taken off almost half of her load. 

She no longer has to keep written tabs on sales, make receipts for her clients, go to the ATM for minuscule transactions, and much more! She says that it saves her at least 1 hour of manual labor daily. Convenience offered indeed!

Everyday People Need Simple Solutions

The most impactful part of our insightful talk with Manisha came at the end, where she talked about the dynamics of using apps like Khatabook with common people.

She conveyed that often apps and online services miss out on one key thing for the everyday human – Simplicity.

“Hum lower middle-class log hai. Education me humne sirf high school pass kia hai. Humko jyada features samajhne me bohot problem hoti hai.”

This was a very striking insight into what people like Manisha need. Something easy to operate, reliable, and optimized for heavy use. 

“Khatabook me aaj tak humne jitne bhi features use kie hai, sab samajhne me kaafi aasaan the aur unka use hume kaafi help bhi kia. Humko apne account me paise daalne me bhi kabhi problem nahi ayi. Aise hi type ke apps ki hi hum jaise logo ko zaroorat hoti hai.”

 

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