Posts Tagged ‘craigslist’

Credit Cards Accepted Here

September 25, 2013

Recently I’ve seen several situations where not being able to accept credit cards for purchases has cost small business people money.  One was an author and speaker, the other an artist at a crafts fair.  Seriously, in this day and age, people still haven’t figured out how to take credit cards?!?  How many sales are you missing?  Could immediate payment improve your cash flow?  About 18 months ago, I posted a blog on this very topic complete with the easy – FREE solution.  Perhaps it is time for a repost!

Accepting credit cards for payment has lots of benefits for a small business.  Many consumers, like me, prefer to use credit cards for everything.  Impulse purchases are greater when a business accepts credit cards.    Immediate funds, no waiting for a check to be mailed or to clear.  No bounced checks – you know immediately if a charge is declined.

You know all that, so why are you not yet accepting credit cards for your small business?  Are the costs associated with traditional credit card terminals holding you back?  The hassle of carrying a “terminal”?  What if I told you the “terminal” is already in your pocket, briefcase or handbag?

With the Square, your smart phone becomes a credit card terminal.  Best part – the plug in to swipe the credit cards is FREE, the app for your iPhone, iPad or Android phone is FREE and there is NO monthly fee or “per transaction” fee – just a competitive 2.75% per card swipe.

Funds are deposited into your account the next day and it’s so easy to get started.  Go on-line and create your account and they will send you the card reader in the mail – did I mention it’s FREE?  If you can’t wait, go to Target or another retailer and buy the card reader for about $10.  Inside the package you will find a code to redeem for $10 when you set up your account – essentially refunding the amount you paid for the reader.

The app is very easy to use.  Enter an amount and description of goods or services purchased.  Swipe the card.  Hand your phone to the customer for an on screen signature and wait for the approval.  At the end of the transaction, you have the option of texting or emailing the receipt to your customer.  It’s fast, easy and very inexpensive – what’s not to love?

Yes, you can set it up to accept tips, calculate and add sales tax, track payments taken by more than one device and many other handy business features.  All for FREE!

I’m a professional speaker and I sell books and cds at the back of the room after a speech using my Square.

Whether you are a hair stylist, massage therapist, chauffeur, private chef, speaker, musician selling cds or performing for a party, a birthday clown, dog walker, house-sitter, window washer, house cleaner, gardener, handyman or any other service provider – you need this tool!

What would it do for your cash flow if when you sent a plumber, appliance repair person or delivery to a home  to not only leave the invoice as is typically done, but accept the credit card payment there on the spot?  No mailing an invoice and waiting for payment.

If you are in the hobby to business stage with your art or crafts, you can use Square to accept credit cards at local arts and crafts shows.

Clearing out your junk using CraigsList or even a garage sale?  You can accept credit cards using your Square!

You can also use it to let people make donations to your non-profit or to pay for event attendance to business or civic group meetings.  The possibilities are endless!

You may not think you need to accept credit cards.  You may think how you are doing business now is just fine but I can assure you that you are missing business if you do not accept credit cards.  Customers who don’t do business with you don’t typically tell you why but I know that  it’s a deciding factor for me.

Accepting credit cards is just one more way to look like you are serious about your business.  It also removes an obstacle to doing business with you for consumers.  When it’s free to get started and this inexpensive – why wouldn’t you try it?

Embracing Change

August 20, 2010

Most business people have seen more change in the past 18 months than in the entire history of their companies. They also admit they don’t know when – or if – things will return to “normal” or if THIS is the “new normal.”

One of my close friends closed her business this week after 10 years.  Other friends are unemployed or have been forced to move to being self-employed after the companies where they worked – often for decades – closed their doors.

In my personal life, I’m experiencing a bit of change.  The youngest of my stepsons is moving into his 1st apartment on Monday.  My only niece moved to Dallas to start college this week.  One of my friends who runs Vision House, a transitional housing facility for homeless families posted Facebook photos of her son’s college dorm room with wistful comments about the change this represents in their lives.  Even my housekeeper is feeling the emotional effects of the changes in our household!

Whether the changes you are experiencing are business or personal, they are still unsettling. Just reading all of this likely caused you some anxiety.  Not one to wring my hands for long I find myself asking, so, what can we do about it?

Be proactive – embrace the change.  Sure, easier said than done, but try  at least.  Activity, productive tasks, can lessen the sense of being out of control.

Simple things, going shopping for new apartment furnishings with my stepson helped quell my anxiety over the move.  Stripping and washing the bed linens so they will be fresh when they get to the new apartment seems to have helped my housekeeper feel like she’s helping rather than waving from the curb.

Your team members, family members and friends likely would like to help you with your changes as well. Do you have inventory you need to move?  Rally your employees and support network to look for ways to turn these items into cash even if that is using eBay or Craigslist.  Take this opportunity to clean out and stream line.  If you have too much space, is there someone else you know who would like to use the space and help contribute to costs?

When what you have done before is no longer working, it’s time to think outside the box – get creative – try something different.

Are there unemployed teens who can distribute flyers in the neighborhoods around your business or attract customers with signs and balloons along the road?    Are you using social media effectively?  Need help?  Ask a young person in your circle and let them feel valued.  If they do a good job, give them a reference for the work they have done on your “special project” to help them in their employment search.

Like all of you – I don’t know when – or if things will ever go back to the way they were.  But what I do know is that change is a natural part of life and that learning to embrace it is the surest way to not only survive – but thrive!

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