by Guest Author on October 9, 2013
Being shown the door at a job that was sucking the life out of you was the best thing that could have happened. Downsizing forced you to follow your dreams of churning out gallons upon gallons of the absolute best homemade almond butter anyone has tasted. As an entrepreneur and small business person, you’re in good company. The Small Business Administration reports more than 23 million small businesses are open in the U.S., a number that is up 49 percent since 1982.
Getting the doors open and building a clientele was challenging, but don’t rest on your laurels just yet. It’s not that the hard part isn’t over, it’s just that keeping your small business up and running requires making money, while keeping your costs down and increasing your profits as much as possible. Thankfully, your almond butter business came along at just the right time to take advantage of some of the best trends ever available to small businesses.
Long gone are the days when you needed an entire room to house the office computer. Heck, gone are the days when you even needed a special “computer desk.” Technology is not only useful for your small business, it comes in a much smaller package. If you haven’t quite decided on which device might benefit you the most, here’s the scoop: Tablets are the devices that have it all. They’re mobile and Wi-Fi-enabled, making it easy for you to create, edit and share documents. In a review of the newest gadgets, Ted Nguyen reports the tablet/laptop hybrids are the most versatile. CNET is on top of it, highlighting two top hybrid contenders for less than $800: Microsoft Surface and the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2. Both run Windows 8 and dock to keyboards for those who don’t enjoy touchscreen typing.
Make the Most of Your Money
You’ve had to become adept at juggling orders with incoming payments and bills coming due. Even if you balk at the thought of business loans and credit cards, consider using a charge card to help with your balancing act. They differ from credit cards because you pay off the balance monthly. Charge card companies have tweaked the charge accounts of old to make them more business-friendly. For example, you can now get cash back cards such as American Express’s Plum that give you a discount if you pay early. They’re interest-free if you pay within 60 days, and the Plum has an adjustable spending limit to accommodate your business’ changing needs and capabilities. You can even customize your billing cycle, so payments come due when it’s convenient for you.
Alternative Payment Methods
Technology has done more than shrink your office computer down to the size of a pad of paper. Current technology provides customers with more ways to pay than ever, which will increase your bottom line, according to examiner.com. Nervous about accepting checks? NSF and fraud are no longer a problem when you install a Veriphone modem to instantly scan and process a check even before the ink dries.
If you’re one of the few businesses that don’t accept credit cards, start. Get a free “Square” credit card reader for your smartphone, and take payments on the sales floor or at the cash register. Or, open a Paypal merchant account to accept electronic payments including checks, credit and debit cards through your website or over email, fax or phone. If you want to go with the newest and most modern, opt for Bluetooth payments. All the customer does is flash his iPhone Card Case app, and your Bluetooth modem sends his payment info to the cash register.
About the Author
Christina Cruz- Christina is freelance writer from Missouri with a background in social media and online marketing.