Small Business Merchant Accounts


Dollars, Percents, and Success

The defining characterization of a successful business is not limited to having large amounts of real estate or a large number of employees occupying an office space. A business can be tiny, yet still be a giant in terms of transactions. Likewise, a big corporation might transact billions of dollars in sales, but after expenses, the estimated profit may only come to about 10% of any transaction. A smaller business may make about $60,000 a month in sales and be able to declare a 35% estimated profit on their transactions. Given this figure, the smaller business may be 25% more profitable than the big business.

Which is more successful? It’s about point of view.

There is a certain degree of popularity with small businesses these days. The great big corporate giant may have the best prices, but ultimately lacks offering that little bit of something special that comes with walking into a mom and pop shop. Your business may be a small e-commerce business with a nice website or one that conducts work at a physical location. One major obstacle for small businesses is the common question, “How will your small business merchant account process a card payment?”

What is a Small Business?

Many entrepreneurs living in smaller rural areas may discover the challenges of having a brilliant business model with very limited resources. They might have trouble with finding a building or office space to use for business. There may be issues with the local population not being high enough to provide enough local traffic for business. In the event that the entrepreneur is technologically proficient, an online, e-commerce website could be exactly what is needed to supplement these factors. In urban environments entrepreneurs may have more opportunities, but finding a way to stand out over the competition puts greater pressure on offering the best products and services. Once the doors open, it always begins as a small business.

As a small business, getting a store or office space to work out of isn’t too difficult, nor is getting a business bank account and tax ID number. It’s going the extra mile and finding unique ways to grow that is the true test. A T-shirt printer takes all kinds of local orders for custom prints to sell. The printer operates with only a few employees. They get orders for festivals, concerts, and even uniforms for sporting events such as Little League baseball. To fulfill these custom orders, they may commonly have to go and meet with clients to get their orders. On the road, this company can use a mobile card reader to process payments through the convenience of a smartphone. They can also process orders online through a well-secured online payment gateway through a small business merchant account.

Taking a Credit Card Payment

Can you imagine what it would be like without the ability to accept cards? With no small business merchant account provider, there is no sign on the door that says you accept card payments. A business without that sign outside their door declares to anyone walking past, “Go get cash first”.

Why is that important? From an online prospective, it would be a poor business practice to not offer that option for your potential customers. Anyone that could find your website for a product or service would be more likely to look elsewhere. At a physical location, you can get a customer or client that only has plastic and what? Are you going to send them to the bank? Are you going to inconvenience a client by having them work around what you do and don’t do. Once they leave, why waste the gas? Instead of going there and back again, why not just go to another place to get what they wanted with less hassle? With the lack of a small business merchant account, you’ve just created business for your competition. If you inconvenience your customer, they will go to someone else who will happily take your profits.

Taking Advantage of Impulse Buying

Studies show that shoppers tend to buy more impulsively when they see a sale or something that’s in style. Impulse buying is much more of an emotional response than a rational one. Smart businesses know how to capitalize on these emotions. With the option of accepting credit cards, the chance of providing instant gratification for your customers grows in near-exponential proportion. By answering the simple question of “Do You Take Credit Cards?” you can easily win over window shoppers in an instant.


The Margins That Make a Difference

After taking the time to investigate which small business merchant account is best for your business, you can look at what kind of benefits and features can help you grow.
For online businesses, the merchant provider offers payment gateways. This is the special webpage a customer accesses when making a purchase where they provide their credit card information. It needs two things, a simple user interface so that the customer doesn’t get lost and security features. Different merchant account service providers offer different types of software for integration with your website’s shopping cart.

For merchants with a physical presence, there is hardware and software available. Hardware includes terminals for accepting cards as well as a mobile card reader that attaches to a smartphone. Many small businesses deal with trade shows or events that require a remote presence away from the main business location. Also, having a mobile payment option is great around the shop or office in the event that power is lost and phone lines go down. The mobile option is a great backup.

Likewise, e-commerce sites may want or require a physical card swiper in the office. The mobile option is also a great idea for e-commerce businesses. If your business is exclusively e-commerce, you may still need to receive payments physically. A physical business presence may be necessary should a trade show or event come about with the opportunity to increase exposure and sales.

Small business merchant accounts provide solutions. A small business is a successful business when it has everything it needs to be able to grow.