Build your Construction Business with Credit Card Processing
Construction has an atypical business model. There are multiple aspects to it. You could have in-house architects and engineers, meaning you offer a start-to-finish package. Or you may work with professionals who outsource the actual building work to you. Each system has a different payment structure. For example, you may deal with suppliers directly, or you may simply manage your crew and deposit them on-site as needed.
Let’s look at it from a business perspective. Assuming you’re involved throughout the process, you’ll sit with the client and listen to their vision for the project. You’ll outsource or partner with engineers and architects to draft a design, and once the client approves it, you’ll source construction materials. You might go all the way to finishing and interiors. How do credit cards feature in all this? Well, you have to pay your suppliers – probably via bank payments.
Portable payment systems
You probably send your workers to collect building supplies. Maybe they carry a check, or a wad of cash. This is risky – and bulky – given they’ll be carrying construction materials and tools. Talk to your suppliers about accepting credit card payments. It leaves you with more physical cash for other activities (for example, daily or weekly wages for your workmen). Also, it works out cheaper than cash payments, and it’s easier to reconcile your records.
To facilitate card payments, find a merchant processor that offers a mobile solution. If the tool is included with your account at no extra charge, that’s even better because it improves cash flow and cuts costs. All this contributes to your bottom line. Plus, you can earn loyalty points which can be redeemed for discounts and free construction supplies. On the other hand, your customers have to pay you as well. Instead of having them wire a lump sum into your account, consider having them use their credit cards
Cards and construction
This works well for phased payments. Ordinarily, they’ll come inspect every stage of construction and approve it. Then they’ll go back to their office and ‘put the check in the mail’. This affects your cash flow, and you could end up chasing payments for months. Instead, chart a clear payment path from the beginning. It could be a per-phase or per-month system. Have everything in writing, including payment dates and site assessment schedules.
Set them to coincide, and let the client know they should come on-site ready to pay, if they’re happy with your work. Then, get the kind of merchant processor that supports mobile payments. By the time they leave the site, their payment is already secure, which is great for business. Besides, good merchant payment processing providers can conglomerate cash, check, and card payments into a single system, facilitating streamlined accounting.
For more information on building your construction business with credit card processing, or to sign up for a own merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.