Entrepreneurial Advantages of Accepting Credit Cards

As an entrepreneur, you’ve taken balanced risks and put a lot of your life on the line to ensure your business is competitive and profitable. Accepting credit cards is the next step in helping your business grow, and in helping to achieve the brand recognition you deserve. These tips will help guide you through the process of accepting credit cards at your business:


What steps do I need to take before opening a merchant account?


You’ll need to have a business bank account to accept the proceeds of your credit card transactions, which means you’ll need to register your business if you have not already done so.


Your business bank account will be tied to your merchant account, allowing it to make daily deposits of any proceeds from credit card transactions associated with your business. The account can be with your local bank or with an online bank or financial institution.


Most banks – even local ones – have online application procedures that can make approval quick and easy. If you plan to sell online, you’ll need to make sure your website has a shopping cart program installed.


Your webmaster or designer can advise you on shopping cart systems, and a search of the Internet can turn up resources, as well. You’ll also need to understand the types of accounts available and the services you’ll need to help your business operate effectively today and grow in the future.


What types of accounts and services are available?


Today’s merchant account providers offer a broad range of choices for both large and small businesses. Account services are available for retail businesses, Internet businesses, and mail order and telephone sales companies, as well as for businesses that hope to do all or part of their sales on the road or in off-site locations, such as trade shows, fairs or conventions.

A reputable and established merchant account provider can help you decide on which service or services are the best option for your specific type of business.


How do I choose the merchant account provider that’s right for me and my business needs?


Many business owners begin the search by considering fees. That’s not surprising, since business owners have budgets to bear in mind when making any business decision.


However, when it comes to choosing a merchant account provider that is the best choice for your business, price is only one consideration – and it really shouldn’t be the primary driving factor in deciding which account provider to choose.


Here’s why: many unestablished and unproven account providers may offer initially low fees to build up their customer base; however, because they are unfamiliar with the day-to-day operation of a merchant account provider, choosing an untried account provider solely on the basis of their low fees is probably not a good idea.


You want to ensure the company you choose is ready and able to handle any concerns or problem you may encounter, and can provide you with the guidance and assistance you need to keep your business running smoothly.


Choose a provider that has a good and longstanding reputation among business owners. Choose a provider who works with other business owners who operate the same type of business as you do. And do a little homework of your own: call and email the companies you’re considering and judge for yourself how they respond – are they courteous, do they offer prompt responses, and are their responses informative and valid?


Also look for providers who can offer services that can help your business grow over time. Make sure they have comprehensive and readily available technical help and customer support services. If your business runs into a technical problem, you don’t want to lose huge numbers of sales or customers while technical support takes its time resolving your issue.


Your business is an integral part of your life. The care and effort you take now in choosing the merchant account provider that’s best for your business will pay off in the end, in terms of ease of use, increased customers, and a healthier, more robust bottom line.