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    Merchant Advocate Gives Advice On Healthy Finance Habits to Develop for Your Small Business

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Every business wants to make more money, however; building more revenue rarely comes from sudden business decisions. Rather, it occurs by implementing healthy finance habits over time that can translate into higher profits. As in the case of securing lower credit card processing fees, sometimes the small changes can make a big difference. Yet no matter how big or small, developing sound money strategies for your business will help ensure its continued success and longevity in the future.

    Cultivate a broader customer base.
    You can never have too many customers, which is why you must continually figure out ways to reach out to more of them. Perhaps you think your product caters to a very specific segment of the population. If that’s true, what will happen once you saturate that market? Your revenue stream will stagnate. Your profits won’t grow. Therefore, no matter how exclusive your product or service may be, you should always be thinking about how it can be of use to other demographics.

    Diversify your services or products.
    If you fall short of reaching more customers with your current services or goods, consider broadening your inventory or capabilities. If people don’t need what you already have, start thinking about what you can reasonably add to your business that they will want.

    Hire the right employees.
    Aside from the initial costs that went into starting your company, your employees may constitute the single biggest investment you can make regarding your financial success. Don’t hire employees lightly or quickly. Though your significant other or best friend may plead for you to employ their cousin or workout buddy, don’t do it unless they truly are the best fit for your business needs. Your employees represent you and your company; therefore, cultivate a set of standards from which you never deviate when choosing who you want to be part of your business both now and in the future.

    Merchant Advocate can help business owners practice healthy money habits by securing for them the best credit card processing rates. We guarantee that will provide you with the credit card expense reduction you deserve. To speak with a Merchant Advocate representative about our services, please call our Jersey City, New Jersey office at (732) 727-2073.

    How Are Credit Card Rates Determined for Your Business?

    Last updated 5 years ago

    The days when most people made store purchases with cash are long over. In today’s fast-paced consumer culture, making a purchase with a credit card has become the norm. Every time a customer buys something with a credit card, your business pays a credit card processing fee. In addition to the financial impact of the fees, this often means being obliged to raise your prices—which runs the risk of alienating customers.

    If you are trying to determine the effect that credit card fees are having on your business, consult this guide to how the rates are determined:

    • In the United States, there are more than 500 different types of credit cards, each of which has its own non-negotiable rates for processing. The vendor is responsible for paying these charges every time a transaction is made using the card. These charges compose about 90 percent of a business’s total amount of credit card processing fees.
    • Merchants also pay regular dues and assessments—either on a daily or monthly basis—for the use of credit cards. These fees are used by credit card companies to set rules and prices, continue research into new technologies, and pursue their own marketing and branding goals. These charges are also non-negotiable.
    • While these fees may not be negotiable, there are other charges that are. Managers, sales representatives, acquiring banks, and independent sales offices will all add their own fees on top of existing credit card rates in order to make a profit and cover their own cost of operation. A skilled negotiator can find a way to argue for the best credit card rates possible for your business. 

    At Merchant Advocate, we will work to ensure that you get the credit card expense reduction you deserve. Our experienced analysts have the know-how necessary to negotiate for the lowest fees available. Call our office in Jersey City, New Jersey, today at (732) 727-2073 to find out more about our cost-reducing services.

    Common Mistakes that Small Business Owners Make: What to Avoid

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Starting a business encompasses so many details and requires so much time and energy that it’s very easy to make a few faux pas along the way. For example, entrepreneurs may resign themselves to paying high credit card processing fees or allow their best friend to become their PR consultant. While many missteps can be managed and rectified, some mistakes can result in the failure of your business. To avoid this disastrous outcome, consider the following tips to keeping your business strong and thriving.

    1. Overspending on inconsequential items. Not only do business owners make the mistake of allowing unreasonably high credit card services from credit card companies, but they also often squander more money on unnecessarily expensive materials. All too often, young entrepreneurs prioritize the way their business looks over the way it actually functions. As a result, they purchase pricey furniture or technology that doesn’t help their company, but rather depletes their bank account.
    2. Cutting corners on important business and legal matters. As mentioned, too many business owners spend money when they shouldn’t and skimp when they should invest. Such is the case when entrepreneurs decide not to buy business insurance. Often, they may also choose to not hire a lawyer to look over their lease before signing on the dotted line. Unfortunately, this frequently causes problems for business owners down the road.
    3. Mixing personal and business assets. To have a truly successful business, entrepreneurs must refrain from using their personal assets to build their company. It may take time and tenacity to secure the loans you need to start your business, but you will be better off in the end. Maxing out your credit cards will not only ruin your personal finances, but also compromise your business’ financial health. Though you should receive a paycheck from your business, the company ledger does not constitute your private checking account should you find it difficult to pay back those credit card bills.

    Merchant Advocate can help you make informed business decisions regarding your credit card processing fees. We will research your current expenses, compare them to what you should be paying, and make sure that we secure the credit card expense reduction you deserve. To learn more about our services, call our Jersey City, New Jersey office at (732) 727-2073.

    4 Helpful Tips for Protecting Your Credit Card Information

    Last updated 5 years ago

    When running a business, it’s essential that you consistently maintain the highest security standards regarding your customers’ credit card information. No longer do companies process credit card purchases solely through in-store interactions. Online transactions have become a major revenue stream for many businesses.

    However, credit card fraud has also grown in response to this evolution of the business world. Should your files become compromised and your credit card information stolen, you won’t be worrying about credit card processing fees because you’ll no longer have customers seeking your business. Rather, you’ll be contending with the headache that comes with notifying your customers of the security breach and dealing with the fallout. To avoid this outcome, consider the following guidelines for keeping your credit card information safe and secure.

    1. Change default usernames and passwords. Never keep the usernames and passwords given to you by your computer programmer. As soon as your software is up and running, change this information to something that’s difficult to guess. Do not use usernames or passwords that incorporate your birth date or other personal information that someone may have access to and use.
    2. Keep your computer programs continually updated. Software companies are frequently testing their programs to ensure the programs’ security. When they find weaknesses, they will provide customers with updated software that has fixed those issues. When you receive an update from your software provider, install it immediately so that you will eliminate those weaknesses as well.
    3. Encrypt customer credit card information. One of the most important tactics you can employ to protect your credit card information is to use a program that encrypts the information. It’s incredibly difficult for would-be hackers to use credit card numbers when they have been encoded.
    4. Limit access to confidential credit card information. Though you want to instill an atmosphere of trust within your company and toward your employees, you should nevertheless strictly limit who has access to customer credit card numbers. The fewer individuals who can see and use that information, the better the chances are that it will never be compromised.

    Merchant Advocate offers business owners unparalleled service in securing the best credit card processing rates available. We will make sure that you receive every credit card expense reduction possible to keep your fees low. Call our Jersey City, New Jersey location today at (732) 727-2073.

    Learn More About Merchant Services With The Links Below:

    Last updated 5 years ago

    Making a small business succeed means staying abreast of the latest economic trends. It also means being quick to spot new opportunities for growth—as well as opportunities to cut expenses. Check out the links below for guidance.

    • What effect will the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act have on small businesses around the country? This article provides some important background information on the bill.
    • answers some commonly asked questions about the JOBS Act and how it could affect your business.
    • Is the economy on the verge of its long-awaited recovery? This article from National Public Radio traces the recent financial trends.
    • This piece from the Center for American Progress provides a detailed look at the state of the economy as of August 2012.
    • According to The Wall Street Journal, the current recovery is the weakest the American economy has seen since the end of the Great Depression.

    If you’re interested in learning more about how to cut unnecessary expenses for your company, contact Merchant Advocate at (732) 727-2073. We specialize in helping businesses keep their credit card processing expenses low.

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