In today’s tough economic times and soaring unemployment, some people aren’t going back to their career choice; instead they are turning to self employment as a way to subsidize their lifestyles. Statistics show there are as many as 38 million home based businesses in the US today. And if you are thinking of starting up your own business or have recently done so, one of the many things to add to your to-do list is to think about credit card processing.

At first, credit card processing may be something that seems to be farther down the road. If  you have a simple product or service, do you really need to accept credit cards? Isn’t cash and checks “good enough” until the business grows a bit more?

Technology has make it easier than ever for small businesses to compete in today’s marketplace. When people find a unique product or service and decide to make a purchase, they want to do it quickly. Spur of the moment decisions create the majority of all sales. Yet people can’t make quick purchases with cash if they don’t have it on hand, or a check if their checkbook is at home. While cash and checks are disappearing, credit cards are the handy way of moving around in our busy lives. We never leave home without our ID, phone and credit card, so its imperative to accept them if you want your home based business to succeed.

Credit card processing pays off in additional ways for home based business owners as well. When you swipe a credit card, you’ll know within seconds if the customer has the money and is authorized for the payment. Not so with a check, which can take days to learn, and many more days or weeks to collect on in case of non sufficient funds. Plus accepting credit cards can completely do away with your billing functions as all transactions are handled immediately – and no collections.

Depending on your specific situation, credit card processing can be handled in different ways. If you run all credit cards at a retail location, you’ll have different needs than someone who needs a mobile payment system for meeting with clients on the road, or card not present transactions for items purchased by phone or your website.

While all of this may seem confusing when you are still deciding on a logo and how to set up your business, it doesn’t have to be. A professional merchant services representative can talk with you about your needs and make the right suggestions for you.

One more check off your to-do list.

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