In the event you are not offering your customers the credit card option, you could find your business is not as successful as it could and should be.
Even in a day and age when shoppers are trying to trim their credit card debts, millions and millions still rely on plastic for purchases. As a result, the smart business owner needs to offer that option. If they do not, they could find some of their potential business ending up in the hands of the competitor who does have a merchant account in place and running.
Whether you are a small business that has been around the block or you are just about ready to put the open for business sign out, here are a few things to consider when it comes to applying for and instituting the credit card option for customers:
* The best means to initiate merchant accounts are via banks, salesmen and going online;
* Small businesses can also run accounts via services such as Google Checkout and PayPal. In these cases, while the business oftentimes does not have its own merchant account, they can feed their processing through an aggregated corporate account that the two mentioned companies provide;
* Prior to applying for a merchant account through a bank, make sure you have all the necessary documentation in place. Being that a credit check will be in order, make sure you can properly explain away any issues regarding bad loans, credit card debt, etc. Also make sure that you include everything from your financial past of note, as it is easier to explain why you defaulted on a loan or had major debt than trying to hide it and hope it does not come up;
* In the event your small business is looked upon as a risky business, your rates to land a merchant account are likely to be higher. Banks and other merchant account providers are looking to avoid small businesses with potential fraudulent activities and those with a large failure rate. Among such businesses would be those from home, eCommerce, mail order, auto rentals, bars, insurance sales, limo services, tour companies, and those merchants who have filed for bankruptcy in the last decade;
* If you are cleared for offering credit cards as a form of payment at your business, remember that you will have the expense of transaction equipment. Another expense that you can be hit with is on charge backs, wherein the customer refuses to pay a bill and a charge back is required to resolve the matter.
So, with more knowledge in your hands on implementing credit cards for your small business, how do you go about finding the best rates?
By all means, shop around, get referrals, and be sure to read the document terms before signing any paperwork. Just as you would with making a major purchase on your own like a car or home, you need to read and understand the language so that you are aware of potential fees, etc. should something go wrong with the account.
Lastly, keep in mind that there is typically not a long-term contract in place when it comes to the constant rate you pay for the service. Your costs are likely to change over time, so be prepared for that.
Offering credit cards as an alternative to cash-only payments just makes good business sense for most small business owners.
The question is, will you take credit for being a smart business owner at the end of the day?
Photo credit: merchantscenter.com
Dave Thomas has more than 20 yearsâ experience as a writer, covering news, sports marketing, SEO, press releases, social media and more. Youâll find Dave at:Â http://www.examiner.com/news-in-san-diego/dave-thomas