Is Square the right choice for my business? -Shift Your Thinking

Is Square ® the best choice for my business?

Are you like me and find yourself wondering if the credit card processing solution that you are using is the right fit for your business? Do you wonder if your fees could be lower or your equipment could be better for what you’re paying in monthly fees?

I know I did when I opened my business. Can I tell you a story?

I opened my marketing agency and picked up my first few clients in a matter of days. Life was good, clients were happy, I had work to do. The first couple of clients wrote me a check for payment, and it was easy, breezy and beautiful. It was about my third or fourth client who handed me a credit card for a series of head shots that I was taking… and I had no idea what to do. I honestly hadn’t thought about needing to accept credit cards to that point, and I was completely unprepared.

I spent the next few days researching credit card processing providers, and I learned quite a few things about how to process for my business and keep the most money in my pocket. I will start by giving you a rundown of how to know if Square is the right choice for your business. There are pluses and minuses to the Square® payment system.  Square boasts millions of customers and has an easy online signup. Once you get your account, it may not be as easy to work with as you first thought. To decide if Square is right for your business you need to ask 5 simple questions.

  • What is my average ticket per transaction?

It is important to understand what this means.  Your average ticket is the average amount someone charges on a credit card each time they swipe a transaction.  If your average ticket is $5.00, Square can be a good merchant processing solution.  Most businesses don’t have such a low average ticket. The break even point ends up being right about $8.00. If your average ticket is higher than $8.00, Square isn’t the right choice for your business.

  • How much do I process each month in credit cards?

The amount of volume a business does each month is important.  If a business does less than $2,500 per month, they are considered a micro account.  For most micro accounts Square® can be a good option. When your business passes the $2,500 monthly threshold, it’s time to find a reputable merchant processor.

  • How much do I want to spend in Equipment?

Upfront fees for equipment can be quite pricey with the Square solution. Square brings new clients in with a free mobile reader, but what do you do when you grow? If you desire a storefront solution, Square® charges over $1,000.  You will need a stand, cash drawer, Printer and an iPad to get started. There are many merchant services providers that will give you the same equipment free of charge.

  • Do I want to sign a long-term contract?

One of the advantages to using Square is the lack of a long term contract.  Many businesses think three to five year contracts are unavoidable in the merchant processing industry. We suggest that you don’t ever sign a long term contract with a processor. There are reputable merchant service companies that only use month to month contracts. Make sure you find a processor who works to earn your business.

  • How important is customer service for my business?

For many business owners, customer service is often an afterthought when it comes to credit card processing. If your business has ever had a charge back, you know how important good customer service can be. Many merchant service companies give you a dedicated support representative that can help when you have trouble. Square® sends you to a call center where you get to teach them about your business each time you call.  It can take days before an issue will be resolved, and you will want a single point of contact at that time.

When it comes to your merchant processing, you are really choosing one of your strategic business partners. Be certain that you will be working with a provider who works hard to earn your business, and works to help your business succeed.

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