By Mike Ward
Sept 24, 2012
A wise man once said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.” In business, the main thing is consistently generating more revenue than you spend each month. Of course, there are a multitude of business plan components that work together to help a company generate revenue, such as a strong marketing plan, internal business operations, direct sales efforts, customer service, and a host of other components. At the end of it all, though, the main thing is that customers must give a company money on a consistent basis in exchange for a good or service. It is this exact transfer of cash from the customer to the company that is essential to operating a successful business, and for small businesses to accept customer orders, they need a merchant account service.
When initially choosing a merchant account service, the task can seem daunting to small business owners as there are hundreds of options. Furthermore, choosing the wrong merchant account service can be a very damaging situation due to the tendency for some less-than-reputable providers to charge huge hidden fees, which can cripple small business owners. Thus, it is essential for entrepreneurs to conduct full due diligence when considering merchant account services.
What exactly is a Merchant Account?
A merchant account is an account that allows small business owners to process credit card and debit card purchases. If a company is running any form of online sales, then a merchant account is absolutely essential. Furthermore, a seamless checkout process must be in place in order to retain customer confidence.
No 3rd Party Re-directs
When customers purchase from your website, they want to purchase from you. Therefore, it is essential to set up a merchant account that allows the checkout process to be completed on your own website. Some providers, such as Paypal, will require customers to be redirected from your site at the final stages of checkout. Studies have proven that this decreases sales, as many customers will be confused as to why they were redirected off your site and will simply exit the buying process.
Fully understand all fees
It is essential to make sure and understand the entire fee structure a merchant account service will be assessing to your account. If fees see too good to be true, they probably are. Even after you read all of the fine print in the contract, contact a sales agent to confirm that you understand everything completely.
Conduct an exhaustive search online of any firms you are considering for merchant account service. This step can save significant headaches and act to reduce a significant amount of risk. Remember, not every customer will have 100% positive feedback, but the overall majority should be positive.
A high quality merchant account service is a must-have for small business owners as they take their businesses online to capture a larger market share.
This has been a guest post by Mike Ward. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, and while attending college he became a freelance writer. In 2009 he started writing for merchantseek.com, where we compare rates and processing solutions from different merchant account providers.