You started your business for one main reason: to make money.
But being able to send out invoices is only part of the equation…collecting on those invoices is the other part.
And that’s the part so many small business owners choose to ignore.
By refusing to get a merchant services account and accept credit cards directly.
Cash or Check
When I was coming up in the world (and no, I’m not that old but it does seem like a heck of a long time ago) small businesses had only 2 real options of getting paid.
There was no other option for the freelancer or mom-and-pop outfit to collect their money.
There was no Square. There was no PayPal. there was no QuickBooks Payments.
You didn’t have all of these marketers calling you offering you great rates on merchant services.
There was no Google that would returns thousands of results for a search on “merchant account” or “accept credit cards”
They had to send a bill and wait, hoping that they weren’t going to be stiffed, the checks didn’t bounce or get get lost in the mail.
Or demand payment on the spot and walk around with the checks or wads of cash.
Technology Makes Getting Paid Simple
But now, things are much different.
Having a merchant account doesn’t require a huge business to qualify.
Merchant accounts today don’t have to come with a hefty investment or long-term contract agreement for the equipment.
You don’t have to have a fancy POS system or deal with those nasty carbon forms.
You don’t need anything more than a smartphone or tablet.
Heck, you don’t even have to be awake to get paid!
That’s how far we’ve come. It’s almost impossible not to get paid these days.
That is of course if you purposefully make it hard, and that is exactly why….
It’s Stupid Not To Accept Credit Cards
I’ve heard all of the excuses:
I don’t want to pay the fees for accepting credit cards.
I only use cash, so I won’t take credit cards.
I already take PayPal.
Well, guess what, it’s still a stupid business decision!
Want to know why?
Because not everyone uses PayPal.
Because your personal preferences shouldn’t be forced on others.
Because keeping even 70% of a credit card payment is better than 100% of not getting paid at all!!!
Look, I’m not going to get into the benefits of one vs. the other here (but you can read my thoughts on cash if you’d like).
With the way rewards and benefits are being offered to credit card users, there is good reason for so many people to choose to put all of their regular purchases on plastic.
Some people, like myself, sometimes refuse to do business with anyone that won’t take my credit card as payment (trust me, I’ve already dumped my dry cleaner for that very reason).
You have to make paying you as convenient as finding you, or else you’re going to lose out on a lot of business opportunities.
And just for the record, accepting PayPal or other kinds of transfer apps isn’t the same, because when you become a merchant, you select the type of business you run, and people get bonus rewards for spending in certain businesses. So, lose that excuse right away, especially since not everyone who has a credit card uses PayPal. Nor would some people want to, so don’t force them into it or you may lose them.
A Simple Solution
Worried about the expense of taking credit card payments?
There’s a wonderfully simple answer.
All you have to do is increase your fees/rates/prices (whatever you call what you charge for what you deliver) by a small percentage across the board.
That way, if someone does want to pay you with credit, you’ve already factored the costs into the rice and your net will back to the full value you envisioned.
Caution: What you don’t want to do is to announce that you are charging people a separate fee for this specific purpose because they will get pissed and not give you their business. They may actually tell their circle about it and warn them not to give you their business either. And you don’t want to do anything illegal or that violates the merchant services agreement so be careful.
Do it the right way, and you’ll have nothing to worry about. Not only will you keep people happy, but you’ll open yourself up for more income to come your way.
The message is simple…you need to have a merchant services account of some kind regardless of how small your business is.
And if you’re a tiny business, the last thing you want to do is limit prospects by not allowing them to pay you how they want.
After all, what kind of nut turns down a customer who is willing to pay for goods/services?