The appeal of running a boutique business is keeping things small and organized. Customers love these cozy little establishments because they almost feel as if everything is specialized just for them. And in many ways, these businesses really are tailored to a very specific clientele. Owners of boutique businesses work extremely hard to design the type of establishment they can be proud to operate. It isn’t always easy to stick to your convictions when it comes to the high-stakes world of capitalism, but boutique business owners strive to do it every single day.
Of course, there are instances in the life of a boutique business where you have to make tough decisions. Sometimes you may want to institute a new product or program but fear it could soil the integrity of your business. Deciding on the forms of payment you want to accept can turn into one of these moral dilemmas. Accepting cash-only has long been a model for boutique businesses. And in a way, it makes sense. Things feel more manageable then. But this just isn’t something that can go on forever. Customers expect to be able to pay with their credit and debit cards whether they are at a “big box” store or the little antique shop down the block. Here are a few reasons why your small business should start accepting credit and debit cards.
Whether your business is an antique store, a thrift shop or any other “bricks and mortar” establishment, you can always benefit from being able to accept multiple forms of payment. And the best way to expand your horizons in a physical establishment is through retail swipe terminals. When you sign up with a merchant services account, you can easily start accepting plastic in a matter of days. Many account providers will have deals where you can actually get free swipe terminals when you open an account. However, be wary of these deals. In some cases, you may discover hidden fees associated with these machines if you ever decide to switch providers. The best way to get around this is either to buy the machines outright, or just be sure you want to stick with a specific provider for the long haul.
Once you have a machine and provider selected, the rest is pretty easy. Talk to your merchant account representative about the different types of machines available to you. You can choose machines with keypads for pin numbers, screens to sign or even machines that let you swipe the card and need no confirmation at all. No matter what type of machine you use, the results are always the same. In a few short business days, the money from each transaction will be deposited in your business bank account. Fees for this type of transaction are the lowest in the business, because of the decreased frequency of fraud during interpersonal purchases.
Taking it on the Move
Of course, not every boutique business finds itself grounded in the same place. Traveling food trucks are a perfect example of this. Do you run a cute little cupcake truck stationed on a college campus? In most cases, those students are only going to be carrying around their credit or debit cards, and you need to be able to accept them. But what are you supposed to do when you run a business that is on the go? Well, with wireless terminals you can swipe peoples’ credit cards from anywhere you please. They will transmit the card information wirelessly and your provider will process the information just like they would through a traditional swipe terminal.
Expanding your Range
Small family-owned catering companies are another business that can benefit from credit card acceptance. But what are you to do when most of your orders come in over the phone? How can you accept a credit card when you don’t actually have the credit card in your hand? With a virtual terminal, you can process any credit card, even if you aren’t there to swipe it in person. As long as you have all of the pertinent information, you can handle the transaction via any computer that is connected to the Internet. All you have to do is log onto the virtual terminal with your secure username and password. Then simply punch in the card information and you are ready to go.
These virtual terminals are great for more than just phone orders, as well. You can also use them to process orders that come in via e-mail, through the fax machine or even through postal mail. As long as you have the card information, you can process that plastic with a virtual terminal. These are just a few ways that boutique businesses can benefit from credit card processing. Of course, a merchant account provider can also help your web-based business accept credit cards. Talk to your merchant account provider today about all the wonderful services they can offer that will skyrocket your boutique business into the stratosphere.