If a small business owner can gain an upper hand on their competition, why wouldn’t they take it?
For the small business owner not offering debit and credit card services to their customers, it can be a long road to turning a successful return on investment (ROI) at the end of the day. Not only does it make good business sense to accept credit cards, but it can make things much easier on the business owner when it comes to recording and dealing with financial transactions.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimated last year that there are 181 million credit card holders in the United States, representing nearly 77 percent of the adult population of the U.S. The CB also estimated that there are more than 1.4 billion credit cards currently in circulation in the U.S.
According to The Federal Reserve, credit cards are used more than 20 billion times a year in the U.S., with the total value of these transactions coming in at around $1.9 trillion.
So, you’re a small business owner and you are either new to the business world or you have yet to embrace offering credit and debit cards, along with electronic check payments. Is it time to change that thought process? If the answer is no, think about all the times you have likely lost out on a business transaction if you were only offering cash as a payment option.
What to Look for When Shopping for Merchant Services
In order to enhance your business and give customers one less reason to go to the competition, consider the following when looking for a merchant services firm to deal with:
- Look for a firm that offers reliable payment processing services;
- Look for a firm that has a solid track record, low or no history of complaints, and offers proven customer service for its clients;
- Look for a firm that spells out its rates and fees so that you are not hit with various charges. That also means read the contract terms line by line;
- Look for a firm that has a solid rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Now that you have an idea of what to look for in a credit card provider, what are the advantages to using cards for your small business? Among them:
- Allowing credit cards has the potential to double or even triple your present sales. A number of studies have indicated that businesses who accept credit cards can witness a major increase in volume;
- Allowing credit cards will legitimize your business. Displaying credit card logos at your business, on business cards and flyers, etc. gives your business more of a sense of trust with customers;
- Allowing credit cards helps improve your business cash flow, as you have funds available from the credit card sale that go immediately to your business bank account. This allows you to avoid delays with waiting for checks to clear or having to deliver invoices over and over again to customers;
- Allowing credit cards allows you to snatch the impulsive buyer. If customers are shopping and are short on cash, they may have an impulse to buy something simply by getting the plastic out of their wallet or purse;
- Finally, allowing credit cards makes shopping more convenient for customers, meaning they are more likely to do business with businesses that offer such options.
At the end of the day, accepting credit cards at your business more often than not just makes good business sense.
Give yourself some credit for allowing customers the option to choose cash or credit.
About the author: With 23 years of experience as a writer, Dave covers a wide array of topics from starting a small business to hiring the right employees.
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