Some jobs are sometimes taken for granted, because they involve everyday skills. Catering can be one of them. After all, we’re willing to cough up cash and dress up for a fancy restaurant. But when you tell loved ones you want to start a catering business, they may be skeptical. At least until they try out one of your meals. That’s when they can be converted and may even ask how they can get involved!
Like any other business, you require three main things – tools and equipment to perform your craft, goods and services to sell, and a way to get paid. Caterers often deal with large payments, so your customers may offer to pay by check. That gives you the hassle of chasing after payments and dealing with bounced checks, when your efforts are better invested in the actual cooking.
Also, if you’re a startup, you may not have the scope for accounting clerks or debt collectors. And you don’t want to spend half the day hunting down payments. To make things even more complicated, catering is a cash-heavy business. You have to pay suppliers for your vegetables, meats, cooking oils, and other kitchen supplies. So your need a top-notch cash flow strategy.
The smarter way to pay
This involves one simple decision – accepting credit cards. When you get paid by credit card, you don’t need follow-up calls. You don’t have to jump each time the mailman arrives. Credit card payments are approved or declined immediately, which means that you know exactly how much cash you can play with.
Accepting credit cards doesn’t have to be expensive. There are payment processors that will review your application at no charge and process it swiftly. To help you along your business journey, they’ll provide a free POS (point-of-sale) terminal in the form of website software, electronic keypads, portable plug-in card readers, or smartphone apps.
Look for a payment processor with low rates, who will still provide free customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Support for startups
The right payment processor will work with you even if your credit is bad or your business is labeled ‘high risk’. To ensure you’re dealing with a reliable payment partner, take a look at their references. Do they have testimonials? Have they won any industry awards within the payment processing industry? If it’s a yes on all counts, then the company may be worth your consideration.
For more information on credit card processing for startup catering businesses, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.