Many new business start-ups look to pricing and payment models as the first port of call when ironing out the profit-making details of your business plan. While brick-and-mortar businesses such as shops and restaurants might find investing in a card machine is an unavoidable outlay, it might not be long before we have to review the way we make and take payments in the wake of Covid-19.
There is now a plethora of online payment tools flooding the market. While a card machine may seem like a ‘no brainer’ option in keeping things simple and convenient for your customers, there’s nothing like a global pandemic to help us question the status quo.
Here are a few reasons you might want to review a knee-jerk decision to get a card payment machine for your new business start-up.
1. You trade mostly online
From crafty creations to vintage goods and general gifts and products, Etsy has become a go-to outlet for product-based start-ups. Platforms such as Etsy mean merchants don’t necessarily have to invest in a website initially, helping to kick-start revenue for many small businesses in the early stages. If you do choose to trade via your own website however, opensource platforms and plugins such as WooCommerce can support businesses in establishing an e-commerce function within their own site.
2. Your business is services-focused rather than product-centric
Tradespeople or service-centric business start-ups who sell skills rather than products may well avoid the shackles of card payment commissions too. By nature, trade businesses or professional service enterprises historically lend themselves more to cash payments or an invoicing model, respectively. For example, if you’re a trade business owner, it may be tempting to get a mobile cash machine to complete the payment transaction once you’ve finished the job. However, it might be worth exploring other online payment options as these might help you take payments just as quickly and securely and may not be as costly as you might expect.
3. You choose to invoice instead
While invoicing clients may sometimes seem like a slow and outdated method of taking payments, it still has a firm place in the professional services arena. Don’t forget, as a business owner, you dictate your payment terms and there are clever ways in which you can chivvy along clients if they pay late or if your cash flow situation becomes troublesome. Check out our Invoicing 101 for more detail on invoicing best practice.
4. You want to accept cash only
When it comes to choosing taking payments for your small business at zero cost to you, nothing really beats the humble cash-in-hand exchange we know and love. However, in 2019, reportedly only 23% of all transactions were made by cash, and with the Covid-19 pandemic meaning even fewer consumers are carrying cash, it might be worth exploring options to ensure you don’t lose out on valuable business as a result of only accepting cash payments.
5. You want to provide a convenient, efficient alternative
Even before the coronavirus forced its hand in prompting businesses to review the customer journey, many were already looking to find ways to provide a more streamlined payment experience for customers. For example, popular restaurant chains Wetherspoons and Bills recently began to allow customers to pay for their meals from their table, via an app. Many payment providers such as PayPal also offer different options for processing card payments online. However, with a number of disruptive alternatives entering the marketplace, offering lower costs and an equally secure, convenient alternative to card payments, it’s worth shopping around for a solution that suits your business and doesn’t break the bank.
6. Card payment commissions and costs are too high
Especially if you’re just starting out, the initial outlay of a card machine as well as monthly rental fees and the commission you’ll be charged for each transaction, using a card machine might seem a little overwhelming. It might also be unnecessary. Ultimately it depends on your business model and goals, but other online, contact-free payment methods are available and, with the ever-changing world of work we currently inhabit, these alternatives might prove to be a more efficient, more practical option for your forward-thinking business in the long run.
Whether you want to take cash payments, continue sending invoices or make use of online payment options such as Coupay, now is a good time to question the norms when it comes to taking payments for your small start-up business.
After all, card-free card payments might just be the thing of the future.