Probably the most important function of your business is the ability to accept payments. This is a critical element in your business set up for many reasons.
- Ease of sales
- Integration with online marketplaces
- Mobile payment for craft fairs
- Invoicing orders
- Integration with accounting systems
Without trust you will never get a sale. With the prevalence of online fraud, security leaks and hacks it is imperative that you use a well known branded payment system for your business – there are some recommendations later in this article.
Along with trust comes security. As a small or home based business you want to be completely hands off when it comes to credit card transactions. If you start taking card numbers and processing transactions offline or manually then you will have to start looking into PCI Compliance. This is something that would take considerable overhead and effort to achieve so I would recommend the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid!) and stick to user prompted payment be it by invoice or store methods.
Look to use a well known, branded payment system like Paypal, Square, Facebook Payments and avoid third-party options. Be very aware of protection for both you as a business and also protection for your buyers too. Payment protection builds confidence in your sale. Trust and security are paramount to securing sales!
Ease of sales
Find a system that is easy to use and easy to interface with other elements of your business as you build it. Consider options for all scenarios for example being able to take payments on the spot when you are at a craft fair, function or how to push invoices to clients via email, accept payments for orders online. Providers like Square offer boutique like kiosks for payment and interfacing with your clients. This is ideal for both easy payments as well as integrating other customer experiences such as email sign up for offers as well as discount codes.
Integration with online marketplaces
When it comes to getting your business online you have to consider how to take payments via the web. Ensure that the payment system you select can accept your orders via your chosen provider. Most of the online stores like WooCommerce, Wix, Shopify and ShopSale interface with the main payment providers with little or no effort.
Mobile payment for craft fairs
As mentioned in ease of sales look for a payment provider that allows you to take payments on the move. Paypal and Square have options to add card readers to your phone both via the headphone socket on your phone or tablet as well as more advanced options like Bluetooth based card readers with chip and pin functionality for extra security and peace of mind.
Being able to shoot an invoice to clients should be an easy option. Not only do you send a professional looking payment request but you have records for all of your transactions and a workflow set up for receipt of payment so you can then start work on your orders. Invoicing leads into the next section!
Integration with accounting systems
Integration is key! From creating your invoices to collecting payments via those invoice requests to logging all of your online sales. Everything should be integrated and linked to your accounting system. Most of the popular online store systems and payment systems will interface with software like Quickbooks and other basic accounting software or with other tools like Microsoft Excel if you prefer to handle the management, taxes and billing yourself.