Someone once told me that if you’re not making money, you don’t have a business, you have a hobby.
If you want a business, you need to make it as easy as possible to get paid. Accepting credit cards is a great way to do that instead of relying on cash or checks.
When I first started my business, I received some “not so great advice” from someone who already accepted credit cards.
They explained to me that to accept credit cards, I had to go through my bank. So that’s what I did. Boy, what a pain that was!
Let me share the highlights with you:
- I filled out a lengthy application and paid an application fee. This process included a credit check, too.
- I had an auditor visit my place of business to make sure I was “legit”. My fancy business headquarters is my house, so I gave him the grand tour of my office and conference room (better known as dining room).
- I was terribly confused about how to set up my website to accept credit cards using the bank’s “convenient” application programming interface.
- I was charged countless monthly (seemingly sporadic) fees from my bank.
- I asked to cancel my account and was told there was a $500 cancellation fee.
Really $500 to cancel? Yes. This was the last straw that led to finding a simpler way of accepting credit cards to get paid.
How you can take charge (cards) and get paid
Depending on your type of business, there are several ways you’ll need to get paid. What does this mean?
Well, if you have a service-oriented business, you may need options to send electronic invoices, manually enter credit cards online or swipe credit cards on the spot.
You might sell physical goods, you may need to have the same options but also need an online shopping cart.
Or, you may be like many mom entrepreneuers and offer both products and services.
Sound confusing? It’s not, I promise.
There are two great ways to accept credit card payments to make your life easier, avoid headaches and get paid on time.
PayPal isn’t just for eBay anymore. Nope, it’s a lot more sophisticated now.
You can generate links and buttons to sell products from your website through your customized shopping cart. You can order a PayPal credit card swiper to use on your smartphone. And you can easily send professional looking invoices to your clients and customers, who can then pay you with their own PayPal account or a credit card.
PayPal even offers a debit card that draws from your account balance. What about fees? Get this – PayPal takes their fees off the top only when you get paid.
How’s that for affordability and flexibility?
2. Square Up
The Square card reader put this service provider on the map.
To use the free card reader, all you do is download an app, plug the small swipe device into your smart phone and start accepting card payments. It’s really that easy.
You can use Square to manually enter credit cards, and you can even turn your iPad into a “cash register” and have the option to carry a virtual wallet to pay for things.
Square’s fees are straight forward and your money is deposited into your bank account the next day.
Hmmm…which to choose?
Both of these options are great for any business owner who wants to accept credit cards.
And if you’re hung up on the fees associated with PayPal or Square, remember that 3% is a small price to pay for you to get paid faster and to offer your customers the convenience of paying with credit cards.
Plus, it’s so fun to say “Will that be cash, check or charge?”
What do you use to accept credit cards for your business? Share with us in the comments below.
About the author:
Terra Bohlmann, PMP, is the founder of TheWorkingHouse.com and the creator of Virtual Team Building Boot Camp, where she coaches entrepreneurs to understand how to grow their businesses using the web and virtual teams while working from home. Terra lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and three sons (9 year old Grant & twin toddlers, Cooper and Lance). Stay connected with her by visiting her blog, subscribing to her eNewsletter, HOME|WORK, or following her on Twitter.
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