Starting a Small Business : Step 7 Getting Ready To Accept Payments
Today we close out our series on Starting a Small Business. Last week we discussed opening a bank account, and today we are going to discuss what you need to do to get paid.
Getting paid on time is the most important thing to a small business. That is why I recommend accepting credit cards and bank ACH transactions. There are large disadvantages to accepting cash and check payments. You can learn more about that here.
To put it simply if I could get all my clients to pay me by credit card or ACH transfer I would.
How do you get set up to accept Credit Cards and ACH Transfers?
It really depends on the type of business you have. There are three main types of businesses
Of course, a business could be all three or a mixture of two, but for our discussion, we are going to look at them from this perspective.
To get set up to accept payment for a business you will need your accounting software and a payment processor. What you need is a service that will work with accounting software to allow you to email the invoices to the customer with a button for them to pay online. The vendor I recommend is a stripe.
Stripe works with the best two accounting solutions for services businesses Xero & Freshbooks and has an excellent fee structure.
You can learn more about Stripe here.
As a retail business, you need to accept payments at the time of sale for products you offer onsite. That means the payment processor you use needs to work with your point of sale system which integrates with your inventory tracking system. This means you will need a POS system and a payment processor who works together. I recommend Vend for there POS software and hardware bundles.
Vend integrates with the following payment processors.
All three are great vendors, but the main difference is that Vantiv works with IOS, Mac OS, and Windows, where Square and PayPal just work with IOS.
There are a couple of options. If you have a retail store and also sell online, I would stick with Vend as above. But if you strictly sell online, then I would suggest using Shopify or SquareSpace's integrated online sales platform.
Shopify has there own in-house payment processor
Squarespace works with Stripe or Paypal to process payments.
I don't advocate using a bank or credit unions payment processing option because their payment processor won't work with your POS or Accounting solutions. But it is essential to make sure you can accept electronic payments and depending on the type of business you intend to start picking the correct setup will significantly increase the timeliness of your income.
If you have any questions about picking a payment processor or setting one up let us know in the comments or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.