Are you losing business by only accepting cash and checks?

Are you losing business by only accepting cash and checks?

Many mobile business owners and professionals struggle with payment options. While you’re on the road, moving from one job (or client) to another, it can be difficult to keep things organized. Most small business owners have the luxury of a storefront, cash register, and credit card processing terminal. There’s no guesswork or potential “discrepancy” for them – either the card has funds or it doesn’t.

Mobile business owners such as landscapers, merchants, craft fair vendors, and others simply don’t have that luxury. Most are limited to accepting cash or check; the latter without guarantee that there are funds in the account. It can be difficult for them to find a payment method that is convenient for both them and their customer, especially for high-priced items. Unfortunately, this can often mean that the sale goes to the physical merchant instead, simply because they accept credit cards and/or provide a financing option that doesn’t include some sort of collection agreement.

(In other words, the credit card company acts as a “creditor” to them in a sense and provides the customer with a self-directed financing plan on their own terms.)

Are you losing sales because you don’t or can’t accept credit cards? This is a problem shared by many mobile business owners. Imagine the sales you would have had at your last trade show or job fair if paying a large amount was easier and more convenient for your customer.

Customers carry less and less cash. We are fast becoming a plastic consumer society and few people like to deal with the hassle of cash or checkbooks anymore. They prefer the ease and convenience of their credit or debit cards. Are you losing valuable sales because you don’t accept this most convenient payment method?

Many business owners also prefer credit cards. They offer the advantage of instant approval. You won’t wait days for a check to clear and money to be deposited into your account. Credit cards provide 24-hour payment in a 24-hour world. Payments can be processed quickly, on demand.

What if there was a way to accept credit cards from your mobile office or work site? This would allow you to build your business from anywhere and anytime. Why should a brick-and-mortar business get all the customers?

What will this do for your business? Your business can potentially grow by leaps and bounds – and you’ll make life a lot easier for both your customers and yourself.

Here’s the good news—you actually have options. Here are two solutions to consider:

1. Use a wireless credit card terminal.

If your typical workday consists of a large number of smaller transactions (for example, a pizza delivery business averaging 40 sales under $30 per day), then you should seriously consider purchasing a wireless credit card processor.

Your monthly merchant account fees (and equipment if leased) will be average, as will the sales discount percentage, but the convenience factor in addition to the potential increase in sales from customers who don’t necessarily have cash , will likely more than make up for the monthly fees and then some.

2. Accepting credit cards over the phone

Now if you are running a business where you are only closing a few sales per day but at a higher price ($x00 – $x,000) then you will want to minimize your merchant account costs as your credit card transactions will be more of a random event – although it will certainly impact your business in terms of convenience, efficiency and potentially even sales.

For example, if you own a landscaping business where the average transaction is $600, you’ll find that many customers will want to take advantage of either their card’s built-in rewards points (like “air miles”), flexible financing — or, in most cases, both extras benefits together.

The benefit to you is that the credit does not “bounce” and in most cases you will have access to the funds much faster than with a check.

Here’s the best part – you can accept credit card payments on the spot from any touch-tone phone, including your cell.

Also, the leading ‘pay by phone’ services available have very low monthly fees and work more like ‘pay as you go’.

It’s the perfect solution for a mobile business – or professional – where occasional credit card transactions are necessary (and profitable) but don’t justify the inconvenience of using a traditional terminal.

Some services cost just a few dollars a month at around 4% per sale.

So there you have it – two very viable options for mobile business types that would otherwise be stuck in the “dark ages” of cash and check payments.

Do your due diligence to see which service might be best for you and your clients.

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