The thing with business merchant services is if your customers cannot make a payment, they will not buy. They will find a similar product somewhere else – a product coming from a merchant giving them more options and extra convenience.
Implementing business merchant services is a must – a bit tricky for those who are not tech savvy, but totally doable. Such services are intuitive and user friendly these days. Now, how should you prepare before deciding on the best small business merchant services out there?
Evaluate every aspect of your business
Most business owners try to find the best merchant service by analyzing fees and what they can offer for the price. Sure, you do not want to spend more than what you can afford. If two merchants offer the same service, you will obviously choose the least expensive one.
There are clearly more considerations to pay attention to. Take a look at it. How big is it? Is it growing? Are you planning to expand? If you run a large corporation, you might as well develop your own payment system – clearly, it requires a top notch infrastructure.
Consider your location – some payment processing companies are limited. What are you selling? Some methods are better than others based on what you sell. If you count on impulse shopping, you need a seamless payment option – suitable for mobiles too.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes
Basically, you need to find out who your client is – identify the perfect customer. A lot of people will look around and browse, but only a few of them will confirm the purchase. If your product is mostly aimed at elders, you may not do too well with very technologically advanced solutions.
If you are after teenagers or young adults, they know what they are doing, so they are more suitable for such applications. Online shopping is, however, very popular, so most people have a clue or two. Adding more payment solutions will give you access to a wider market though.
If you have a solid customer database, provide the option to offer saved card payments. If you provide a regular product or a service, recurring payments could be a convenient option for your customer. Basically, you need to find the perfect customer and identify their needs.
Choose with your business growth in mind
There may not be too much space for growth if you only provide a local service and you already have a solid database – but you never know. You may end up hiring some people and reaching a nearby neighborhood or town too.
When it comes to payments, what works for some businesses will not necessarily work for yours too. You need to plan with scalability in mind. If you plan to keep a low profile, a flat rate on a monthly or yearly basis might be alright. There are no hidden fees or unexpected surprises, even if you grow a little.
If you plan a slight growth, these flat rates will add up – especially if they are charged for each transaction. At this point, you may want to consider a custom solution. If you think you can swap, keep in mind that swapping is usually difficult and may incur extra costs if you have a contract.
Reliability is a must
Lots of new or inexperienced business owners focus on nothing but the price, fees or expenses. While they do matter, there are other things that could be more important. No one really pays attention to the reliability – a terrible mistake.
If you truly want to make a good choice, double check the uptime. Even if everything about your business is perfect, this is how you get money from customers. Any issues will affect your business straight away and can affect the cash flow from the first issue.
This is a major decision and everyone overlooks this concept. It is a business choice and a good match for your scalable needs will bring you years of good experience. Keep in mind that problems may still occur, regardless of who you choose – however, you want a reliable provider who can handle them.
Never overlook the customer support
This is one of the most important things to remember when about to implement online payments and it works in more directions. First, you want good customer support from the provider. Second, you want quality support from your staff.
One thing at a time. Double check everything about the provider. Get in touch with the customer service and ask questions. Even if you do understand the technology, ask more about it, to figure out what kind of service you are about to get.
Moving on, to get your business ready for this upgrade, make sure your staff understand what it is about. Your staff should be able to handle some of the most basic potential problems – you will most likely have to bring in a bit of training.
Your workers should not necessarily gain experience to figure things out. Sure, experience is important, but they need to be trained on how to use devices, how to process payments or how to troubleshoot various devices. Keep in mind that some customers will be confused about new technologies.
As a short final conclusion, getting your business ready for online payments implies more than just finding a provider, checking their fees or terms and accepting a deal. Do it wrongly and you could be stuck in the wrong contract for years without the possibility to get out.
This is not just a random change. It takes proper implementation – you need to ensure it is suitable for your business and it will match your further needs. On the same note, there is no need to rush with a decision – analyze the market first.