They say it takes money to make money, so when people hear about billionaires making killer deals, people assume they were probably already millionaires to begin with. In the context of small business, having money lets you make more. You can invest in expansion initiatives, buy advanced equipment, or hire staff with superior skills.
It’s difficult to make any of this happen when you’re barely keeping up with running expenses. And this can occur even with small businesses that have a steady client base. Why? Because having clients and having money are two separate things. Just because you’re worth paying for doesn’t mean they will.
Secure capital for expansion
It’s good business practice to pump profits back into the business. But many enterprises stagnate (or even collapse) because there isn’t enough money when they need it. Customers pay weeks or even months late, so by the time the cash arrives, there are holes to plug and debts to pay. If you can barely stay afloat, it’s hard to expand. Receiving payments earlier is the best option.
By allowing your customers to pay by credit card instead of cash or check, you can resolve your biggest cash-flow headache. For product-based businesses, you can have them pay prior to delivery. Service-based organizations (like electricians, plumbers, landscapers, or cleaners) can do this too. Tell customers you take credit cards, and that you’d like them to clear payments before you leave. And be sure to inform them before you deploy, so they don’t feel ambushed. People will usually appreciate the convenience. And most of your customers probably don’t like being hounded to send in late payments any more than you like hounding them.
This credit card payment option means that you’ll have a merchant account at a payment processing company. If you get the right package, it will include portable card readers, mobile phone apps, or eCommerce applications, depending upon your needs. If you tie this into your call-out system (for service-based businesses), customers can enter their card details before you’ve even left the office.
Tools of the trade
The aim of all these activities is to increase your liquidity, and to free up money for expansion. Other benefits of credit card processing are the ability to charge recurring payments without having to lift a finger (once you’ve received your customer’s permission, of course).
Possibly the largest advantage of credit card processing for small business growth is peace of mind. You no longer have to chase payments, so you’re relaxed, have disposable income, and can carve out mental space (and physical space) to draft expansion plans. For more information on how credit card processing helps your small business grow, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.