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    Tips for Keeping Small Business Employees Happy

    Last updated 5 years ago

    As a small business owner, how can you keep your good employees happy and engaged, so that you don’t lose them to a bigger operation? You might be surprised to learn that the answer isn’t money. What small business employees really want is recognition of their contribution to your business. What are some the ways you can show them that their work is valuable?

    This video gives small business owners tips for boosting their employees’ morale. You’ll learn how important it is to give your employees specific job descriptions, so that they’re clear about what their responsibilities are. When they complete their tasks well, small gifts, like tickets to an event or a gift certificate to their favorite coffee house, will let them know their contributions are appreciated.

    At Merchant Advocate, we understand the financial obstacles small businesses face. Let us find you great savings in your credit card transactions, so you have more money to grow your business. Call us at (732) 727-2073 to learn more.

    Keep Up with the Latest in Small Business News with these Handy iPhone Applications

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Running a small business keeps you busy, so how can you carve out time to keep up with small business news stories? Forget waking up early to catch up on the latest happenings. Download the Small Business Center iPhone app and have breaking business news with you wherever you go.

    Backed by the Fox Business Network team, this app brings you everything from in-depth analysis of new marketing trends to advice on setting up a new business. You can also be part of the conversation in the small business community, thanks to a Twitter feed of small business discussions sent directly to your phone.

    Below are some other great business applications you may want to look into:

    Bloomberg Businessweek News Application

    Intuit Small Business Blog Application

    These applications make life easier for small business owners, much like we do at Merchant Advocate. We want to help you keep more of your profits by making sure your credit card processing fees are as low as possible. Call us at (732) 727-2073 to see how we can save you money.

    Business Costs and Expenses: A Look at Where Money Goes in Small Businesses

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Wise spending is the key to success for small businesses, so keeping an eye on where the money is going is essential. Do you ever wonder how your spending habits stack up against the habits of other small businesses? Comparing your costs and expenses to other similarly-sized companies can help you catch areas where you could be cutting costs, from overpaying for employee benefits to paying too much for credit card processing. Here’s what you need to know about the expenses most small businesses face:

    Employee Wages and Benefits
    According to American Express, small businesses are shelling out the most money on employee wages. In a 2011 survey, small business owners reported that wages made up 19.4 percent of their expenses. Employee insurance benefits accounted for another 2.4 percent of company expenditures.

    Keeping products on the shelves is another major expense for small businesses. Inventory expenses eat up an average of 7.7 percent of a small businesses’ money each year. Of course, that number can be dramatically higher for small businesses that rely on product sales and much lower for companies that sell a service rather than a product.

    Credit Card Processing Fees
    For some small businesses, just getting paid represents a major expense. The credit card processing fees they pay on each transaction can take a significant bite out of their profits. Depending on the rates they’ve negotiated on their merchant account, small businesses can pay up to six percent or more of the cost of each transaction to their credit card processing company.

    Don’t let credit card fees hold your small business back. Merchant Advocate can negotiate low processing fees on your behalf, and your upfront cost for our services is zero. Call (732) 727-2073 today to find out how we can help you keep more of your profits by reducing your credit card costs.

    Keep Your Company on the Cutting Edge: Small Business Trends to Be Aware Of

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Is your small business lagging behind the times? The business world moves fast, and you’ve got to stay head of the curve to succeed. Whether it’s tapping into the newest digital marketing techniques or cutting your credit card processing costs, being current matters to your customers and your competitors. Consider these small business trends that could make your company more productive and profitable this year:

    Cutting Costs
    To survive in the current economic climate, small businesses are looking for new, creative ways to cut costs while providing their customers with a great experience. Forget flashy and extravagant—trimming overhead costs and offering customers products and services at lower price points is the new normal. Many small businesses are opting to tier their products and services, with lower-priced options and luxury options, to increase their customer base.

    Physical Products
    The world may be going digital, but more and more customers are craving something tangible. After years of growing online, many small businesses are looking for ways they can put a real object in consumers’ hands. Even small businesses that rely on digital offerings to make their money are looking for creative ways to offer customers something that exists offline.

    Aging Customers
    The American population is getting older, and small businesses are looking for ways to turn Baby Boomer aging into profits. The Baby Boomer population has money to spend, and small businesses are marketing to them as such. In addition to services and products designed to make growing older easier, small businesses are targeting over-55s who frequently make purchases for their kids and grandkids.

    One thing that is definitely out of step with the small business world is paying too much money for your credit card processing. At Merchant Advocate, we’re dedicated to helping small businesses improve their cash flow by not overpaying for credit card fees. There are no upfront costs for our services, and we can save you hundreds or more every year. Call (732) 727-2073 today to see how we can save you money on your credit card processing fees.

    What You Need to Know About Negotiating with Your Processor for Lower Credit Card Rates

    Last updated 5 years ago

    If you’re like most businesses, one thing you know about your customers is that they seldom carry cash. Whether you’re a web-based company that has no choice but to take payments by card or a brick-and-mortar store with cash capability, most of your payments are probably card based. That means that credit card processing fees are a major business expense. Like credit cards themselves, not all accounts are created equal, and fees can vary greatly from business to business. If you don’t secure the lowest rates possible, you could lose thousands in profits every year. Here’s what you need to know about negotiating with your credit card processor for lower rates:

    Work Your Connections
    Many trade organizations and local business groups have deals with credit card processing companies to offer their members discounts. Make sure you’re taking advantage of every price break you’re entitled to. You may also be able to get a lower rate if an existing customer of a processor refers you. Let them know who suggested their services and request a matching rate.

    Know the Competition
    Your credit card processor doesn’t want to lose your business, but other companies want to gain it. Use this to your advantage during negotiations. Let your current credit card processor know that you have a better offer on the table, and give them a chance to match it. Be precise about what the other company is offering you so your existing provider knows exactly what the stakes are.

    Understand All the Fees
    For every credit card payment, you’ll be charged a processing fee and a transaction fee. Some companies offer low processing fees but hit you with high transaction fees. Be sure to include both fees in your negotiation so your processor doesn’t make up the reduced rate they give you on one fee by overcharging you for the other.

    Although it’s possible to fight for your own rates, small business owners can get better results with an experienced negotiator on their side. At Merchant Advocate, we help small businesses beat overpriced credit card processing fees every day. Call us at (732) 727-2073 and start saving money now.

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