How To Choose the Right Card Reader for Your Business
In these times of technological growth and the expansion of online services, owning a business has become more desirable and accessible to the general public than ever before. Being your own boss has become the dream for many, and it provides opportunities to expand one’s income while having flexibility of schedule and creative control over your career path.
While owning a business seems like the ideal solution for a myriad of challenges, many businesses struggle or fail due to lack of knowledge, planning, and effective use of resources. Everything from writing a comprehensive business plan to selecting the best card reader for accepting payments has a far-reaching impact on the success of a business. Here are a few crucial tips to ensure your small business starts out with a firm foundation.
Go In With a Plan
Having a plan is an important aspect of any endeavor, but it is especially important when owning a business. A business plan is a multipage document that allows you to outline key elements of your company while helping you to secure funding and bring on future partners if desired. This should be the first step in your journey to being your own boss.
A comprehensive business plan should include the following:
- An overall summary of your business (including personnel, products/services, mission, vision statements, etc.)
- A description of your business’s purpose
- A summary of the market landscape that your business fits into
- An explanation of the organizational structure of your business
- An in-depth explanation of products and services you offer and how you plan to create/obtain them
- An explanation of marketing and sales methods
- An outline of funding needed for business startup, as well as potential funding sources
- A summary of projected income the business will generate
- Supporting documents (such as licenses, references, images, etc.)
When creating a business plan, be as descriptive as possible. It may take a lot of work in the beginning, but it will mitigate many challenges down the line.
Be Intentional About Your Business Type
In the past, brick-and-mortar businesses were the norm, but with the convenience of online shopping, many small business owners have shifted to a hybrid or fully online model. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for businesses, and that is why it is vital you make an informed decision about how you will deliver your products and services. When deciding whether to offer in-person, hybrid, or online services, ask yourself the following questions:
- What products or services am I providing?
- What demographics of customers am I trying to appeal to?
- What are my competitors doing?
- What resources do I have, and what resources can I obtain?
- What are the pros and cons of each business type?
Having a firm grasp on location and delivery methods allow you as the business owner to make informed decisions about other aspects that will ensure business longevity. When deciding, utilize market analytics collected in your business plan as a starting point of research.
Choose a Proper Card Reader
A big part of running a business is having the right equipment to provide your customers with the best experience. It may not seem important, but making the wrong choices could negatively impact your ability to perform essential duties.
Payment solutions are a critical part of doing business no matter what products or services you provide. These solutions enable you to securely collect payments from your customers and move funding to necessary accounts to feed into expenses. Card readers can be hardware solutions (such as point of sale systems), software solutions (such as payment gateways for online commerce), and mobile solutions (such as apps that work on mobile phones/tablets or portable devices).
When choosing a card reader, there are three important criteria to consider.
1. Business Type and Location
There’s really no point in having a physical card reader system if your business is fully online, while using a software solution may provide unnecessary hurdles in a physical location. Make sure to select the solution that is most appropriate for your business.
If your business is in a permanent physical location, having a hardware solution may be your best option to provide ease of use for customers and employees. For businesses that move around, mobile applications or portable devices are typically less expensive and less cumbersome to operate on the go. For businesses that are completely online, using a payment gateway that integrates seamlessly into the website makes payment and accepting payment a breeze.
2. Proper Security
Customers care about protecting their information from scammers. If payment information is unsecured, hackers can take advantage and commit monetary and identity theft. Card readers and software that are not properly secured provide a smorgasbord for internet criminals.
Do extensive research on payment solutions and ensure that they meet Payment Card Industry Security Council standards. Don’t allow fancy features or pricing to distract you from security specifications. Choosing payment solutions that have built-in safeguards that protect your customers’ most vulnerable information should be top priority.
3. Low Prices and Fees
While this shouldn’t be the number one priority, a business owner should choose tools that fit within their means. Look for solutions that have minimal processing and service fees on credit card payments. It also may be worthwhile to consider adding credit surcharges to customer transactions to mitigate the processing costs. Think critically about your customer demographic before committing to this decision.
Customize Your Card Reader Solution Today
Owning a small business can be empowering and incredibly rewarding. It allows you to explore your passions, remove the cap on earning potential, and have the flexibility to choose your own schedule. To ensure that your business lives long and provides quality products and services to your customers, having a plan and the right equipment are vital steps.
Payment Club is the premier solution for small business owners to accept card reader payments and more. We offer retail, online, and mobile options. Our solutions are secure and feature-rich, with some of the lowest fees in the industry. Contact us for assistance in determining which payment solution works best for your budget, business type, and technical needs.