Launching a business involves successfully completing a dizzying array of small and large tasks. Along with finding the right products, determining whether you’ll be selling online, in person, or both, and coming up with a marketing campaign, you also need to think about how you’re going to accept your customers’ payments. Having the right credit card equipment is crucial.
Times have changed.
Not all that long ago, customers paid for their purchases primarily with cash. For big- ticket items or in other limited circumstances, they may also have used checks. Then credit cards came along, allowing customers to spend more money than they actually possessed at the time of purchase.
Accepting credit cards required specialized equipment that could reach each customer’s sensitive payment data and transmit it securely to the payment processing company for authentication and verification. No longer could an old-school cash register fill the bill.
What payment devices you need today.
As you move toward cutting the ribbon on your new business, prepare to invest in the following equipment to optimally serve your customers and boost your sales.
• Credit card readers or smart terminals. Without these basic items, you cannot interpret the information on your customers’ plastic. Although these devices have been around for decades, modern NFC-enabled versions allow buyers to pay contactlessly without sacrificing security.
• Peripherals. Devices such as receipt printers and barcode scanners allow you to provide sales information to your customers and manage inventory, respectively.
• Your website. Although it isn’t a piece of equipment, the importance of launching and regularly updating your ecommerce site is so great that we couldn’t resist including it in this list of must-haves. As your digital ambassador, your site provides guests with what often is their first impression of your company. Spend time to ensure that your website is uncluttered, mobile-friendly, and packed with content that people can use.
• An ecommerce platform. If you are going to sell and accept payments online, you’ll need a way for customers to search for items. You’ll need a digital shopping cart they can place what they are going to. Finally, you’ll need the payments functionality that allows for secure completion of the sale.
Getting a new business off the ground often feels like attempting to complete a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle. With so many moving parts that need to be fitted together in just the right way, the process can seem overwhelming. However, once you have the proper plan in place (and the payment solutions that can make it a reality), you’ll likely find that you have all of the necessary building blocks to form the foundation of a strong, long-lasting company.