There are many keys to doing business successfully, and one of them is the different ways you are able to accept payments from clients. Perhaps its obvious that if you can take more forms of payment, you can do more business. What may not seem obvious is all of the ways that you can take payment and how to get started. I will list several and give some tips, as well as pros and cons, for each.
Cash. It’s been said that “cash is king” but it’s not always easy to get cash from someone, especially if they don’t live in your state or if you want to do business online. On the plus side, if you can get it, you most likely won’t have any problems redeeming it.
Checks. While checks seem to be a great way to take payment, they are not timely and not 100% reliable. Case in point, I am waiting for a check that someone told me they sent last Wednesday from about 15 miles away. My suspicion is that I am not being told the whole truth, and my prayer is that it shows up at all. With the advent of technology, taking checks by phone or electronically might be an option as well.
Credit Cards. There is no reason as at all that a business owner should not be able to take credit cards. There are at least two options that will allow any business owner to accept credit cards. One is PayPal, which isn’t optimal but it gets the job done and the second is Square which is nice if you are in an environment where you see customers and can swipe their cards. Square allows you to take payment using your smartphone, which is nice and if you don’t have the customers card, you can do a manual entry, but it will cost you a little more in fees. That aside, it’s not that difficult to get a traditional merchant services account. In fact, if you want a referral to the company I use and recommend (First Data), just send me your info using my contact form and I will have my rep contact you.
Trade (a.k.a. Barter). Talking about doing business on trade, elicits many different responses based on your experience with trade transactions you have done in the past. I know because when I first met by trade broker (who is now a close friend and professional colleague), I had thoughts of those unbalanced trade deals and other trade deals gone bad. Regardless of your experience, doing business on trade is a good thing. You can choose to believe it or not. In fact, I am going to do a series on the benefits of accepting trade as a form of currency to help business owners understand how they might be missing out. One of the companies I own generated 27% of it’s business through the trade network that I am a part of, and the best part is that it included lots of cash paying customers. Stay tuned for that series, especially if you are a skeptic. I know I was, and not I am a believer and one of the biggest advocates of doing business on trade.
I hope that this is helpful to someone and perhaps you can earn some more business simply by taking credit cards if you weren’t or joining a trade network if you are not in one. If you have any questions about trade networks, feel free to contact me and I will share what I know. Also, please subscribe to my blog or Facebook Page to make sure you get all of the follow up posts in the “business on trade” series.