A lot more Americans are working from home, and their reasons differ. Some do it for better work-life balance. They want more freedom and flexibility, so they can follow their passion. Others may have lost their source of income involuntarily or felt burned out at their corporate job, so they’re seeking a low-cost way to earn a living. Some are homebound, perhaps because they are differently-abled or looking after relatives. Regardless, what they all have in common is the need to earn more money.
The type of business you run can depend upon your skill set, where you live, and the opportunities available to you, among other factors. But whether you’re coaching people via Skype or marketing handmade crafts, you need an easy way to receive payment. And if you’re retailing, you need some kind of shipping system and a delivery service. You might also need space for your inventory.
In all these cases, you need a fast, stress-free system to accept cash from clients. Credit cards are your best option. They’re quick, versatile, and accessible from anywhere. If you intend to deliver goods to customers yourself, you can offer a cash on delivery option, but this only works if you’re personally doing the deliveries. If you’re using UPS or Fedex, your customers have to pay in advance. These two instances have different payment setups.
If you’re going over to your customer’s location, they can pay with your smartphone app or mobile terminal. For phone payments, you can initiate the payment and verify it immediately. If they’re manually swiping, you can carry the electronic keypad in your car, and they can slip their card into it. If you sign up with a good payment processor, they’ll offer these options at no additional charge.
Keeping costs low
Your business may also have an online presence, including a website. You can build one for free using web templates like WordPress and Wix. In such cases, find a merchant processor that will prepare your website for eCommerce at no extra fee. They’ll give you a free shopping cart, program your website to receive various cards, and integrate your payment system.
So how exactly do you get started? Once you identify an affordable merchant account, do some research to ensure they’re a good fit for you. For example, your home-based business might be a bootstrap operation, so you may not have a well-established credit score. If so, find out whether your chosen processor is okay with that. Also, make sure to find a merchant account provider that approves accounts immediately, with no application fee.