Freedom, work satisfaction and flexibility are a few of the key reasons that small business owners “take the leap” to pursue their vision, according to an update from Visa (NYSE: V).
Rachelle Gonzalez, Founder of Taco Shelly’s in Bethlehem, PA, had reached a key point in her restaurant career. Her role in management left her “feeling dissatisfied, often frustrated,” the team at Visa wrote in a blog post. She missed the “camaraderie” of the bar and “being responsible for her own work ethic vs. that of others.”
Rachelle recalls that since she was a kid, she wanted to own her own business. Her passion for food and service “led her down the path of owning a food truck.” In the beginning, there was finding the truck, creating an “innovative” menu and firmly establishing her brand presence. Then, when she was ready to launch at her first food festival, she “wanted to make sure she could fully capitalize on the hungry crowds by accepting digital payments.”
Rachelle pointed out that she wanted to allow her clients the “flexibility to pay anyway they wish.”
As her business continued to grow, and more and more customers reached out to her to cater private parties, Rachelle “needed a way to accept payments over the phone.”
At first, she just went with the first solution she had found, which charged fairly high fees and “locked her into a multi-year lease.” Rachelle recalls that she wished she “had shopped around first.”
As the world becomes increasingly digital, small business owners like Rachelle are “embracing new forms of technology” in order to address changing consumer behavior.
According to the recent Visa Back in Business Global Study: 2022 SMB Outlook, “96% of consumers said they will continue to use digital payments as much as or more than they did in 2021.”
And with 41% of consumers abandoning purchases when digital payments aren’t accepted, it’s “no surprise that 73% of surveyed small and micro businesses (SMBs) see accepting new payment forms as fundamental to their growth.”
Visa has shared some suggestions for those who are looking for a suitable virtual payments solution for their small business:
- Shop around for competitive rates – Credit card processing providers charge fees for their services, like monitoring for fraud and verifying that your customer has sufficient funds available in their account. Decide how you will accept payments and then shop around for the provider with the best rates for your business.
- Consider your POS (point of sale) – Research the types of hardware out there, such as a cash register, tablet or dongle, a small card reader that you can plug into a mobile device.
- Open a merchant services account – Establish yourself as a merchant by opening a separate business account from, say, your personal bank accounts. A merchant account is a special type of bank account that allows your customers’ money to flow through the card processing system into your business bank account.
- Set up your terminal – If you’re opening a physical location, order and set up your hardware to allow you to accept payments via swipe, chip and tap to pay in person. Contactless payments are on the rise, according to a 2021 Visa study, and something to consider to future-proof your brand. For e-commerce businesses, you can work with your ecommerce platform to coordinate how to accept payments. Your credit card processor can also provide any necessary technical support.
- Make time for training – As an SMB owner, it’s worth taking the time to understand what makes your hardware and software tick. Look into training resources with your provider to understand how to make your POS hardware and software work best for you.