Monthly Archives: May 2018

Accept Credit Cards and Watch Your Business

Caring for your business is a lot like caring for a garden: you plant the seeds, you tend it faithfully, nurturing it lovingly. And like a garden, your business needs to be fed with a constant stream of ideas and techniques that will help it grow and thrive, even during economic droughts. Learning which techniques work and which are no more than showy methods that drain your budget and energy takes some time. But the results are well worth the effort.

For businesses looking to grow and blossom in today’s economy, one of the best and most effective steps to take is to begin accepting credit cards for purchases of goods and services. Accepting credit cards is a simple process, thanks to today’s merchant account service providers.

With more providers entering the field every day, fees have been reduced and application requirements and procedures have been greatly streamlined, meaning you can open an account with minimal effort and low cost. In fact, with so many account providers looking for your business, the number of account options has made establishing an account easier and more affordable than ever, even for small or new businesses.

With the advent of television shopping channels and web stores catering to customers from across the globe, businesses have had to become savvier in attracting and retaining customers, and in growing their overall profits. Accepting credit cards can help you achieve all of these goals, while still maintaining your budget.

Studies indicate that now more than ever before, consumers are using cards for all sorts of purchases, from small, everyday items, to large special purchases for holidays or special occasions. Many consumers appreciate the flexibility afforded by credit cards, allowing them to make purchases of nearly any size while paying back a little each month. And unlike a loan or store purchasing offer, consumers know that once they pay back part of their balance, that part becomes available for them to spend on other items, increasing the flexibility factor.

Credit cards today offer loads of online tools that help consumers manage their monthly budgets and grow their credit score and credit history, which can help them get loans, insurance – even a job. Many cards also offer extended warranties on electronics and other purchases, making them especially valuable to customers who buy those products.

One of the major reason consumers are using credit cards more often today is as a result of the incentive programs they offer. Even just a few years ago, competition among issuers was much more subdued than it is today.

In recent years, though, as consumers have begun using credit cards more frequently, card issuers have begun to actively compete for a greater share of the business. As a result, many card issuers now offer bonus incentives that allow consumers to tote up reward points each time they use the card. Points can be redeemed for airline or hotel vouchers, electronics, jewelry and other merchandise – even cash, making it worthwhile and often profitable for consumers to use their cards.

OK; those are a few of the reasons why consumers love to use card. Here are a few of the reasons how that attitude can help your business bloom:

  • Customers who use credit cards tend to spend more than those who pay with cash. Credit card users are more likely to buy more expensive items than cash customers, and tend to shop much more frequently. In addition, credit card users make impulse purchases far more often than cash buyers, and those impulse purchases are usually significantly higher than the impulse purchases made by cash buyers.
  • Customers who use cards appreciate convenience, and so tend to be more loyal to the businesses they patronize. Every marketer will tell you, it costs more to attract a new customer than to retain a current one. Offering credit cards is a great way to grow a customer base that is loyal and less likely to shop around.
  • Companies that accept credit cards are viewed more favorably by customers who feel these companies are striving to meet their needs. In addition, research indicates businesses that accept are viewed as being safer and more legitimate than cash-only businesses.
  • Accepting credit cards can improve your cash flow, too. When credit card transactions are processed, those funds are deposited to your business bank account that day. There’s no waiting for checks to clear – and more importantly, no bounced checks – and no risk of theft or loss, since the money is directly electronically deposited.

Smile and Watch the World

An old Chinese proverb says that a person without a smiling face should not open a shop. Another version of that same Chinese philosophy says that you should have a smile that would bring a good price in the marketplace.

Would others say that you should open a shop? Would they offer a good price for your smile? Would you rather be a beacon of light or a messenger of darkness?

I once attended a lavish party where everyone was very well dressed. I noticed one particular lady, obviously wealthy by the size of her jewels, standing alone. She had apparently spent a lot of money on her exterior. However, the frown on her face explained why no one seemed interested in talking with her. This lady obviously didn’t realize that her face said much more than her jewelry.

Someone, whether male or female, can appear to be quite attractive physically. However, without a smile, that attractiveness is quickly lost. On the other hand, I’ve often noticed someone who wasn’t especially attractive getting the attention of everyone around them. The big reason was an easy and glowing smile.

I was in a crowded waiting room of a doctor’s office some time ago. Everyone seemed lost in their own thoughts. A lady walked in with a cute baby. As she sat down, the baby looked at the people around him and simply smiled. Several of the adults instinctively smiled back at the baby. Before long, everyone in that waiting room was smiling at the happy baby. The entire atmosphere of the room was uplifted by that baby’s smile.

My mother, may she rest in peace, had a captivating smile. She built a large and highly successful children’s nursery in the Midwest with her personality, her charm and her ability to make people like her. When a parent walked in the door, whether an existing or new client, she greeted them with a warm smile and an enthusiastic “welcome!”

Dale Carnegie says, in the book How to Win Friends and Influence People, that actions speak louder than words, and that a smile says that you like the other person. That they make you happy. That you are glad to see them.