Electronic payments provider Square, one of Facebook’s partners in its Facebook Fit initiative for small and midsized businesses, provided five tips for businesses eyeing electronic payments in a post on the Facebook for Business page.
- Have the technology fade into the background: They say first impressions are the most important, but we think last impressions count, too. Your final moments ringing up a customer should be spent chatting about your products, not waiting for a transaction to be processed. Our products at Square are designed to fade into the background. They help make payments quick and seamless, and they’re unobtrusive, so you can actually see your customer and keep your counter as beautiful as the rest of your store. That way you can keep the focus where it should be: on your customers.
- Use affordable devices that you and your employees already know how to use: You probably own a smartphone or even an iPad. Why not run your register with a device you’re already comfortable using? There’s no longer a need to buy large, clunky, expensive equipment to run a business. You don’t need to purchase new equipment or train your employees on a new device. Plus, now your register can multitask. A Chicago pie shop uses its iPad to ring up customers with Square and play the latest tunes as people snack away.
- Understand what’s selling — and when — by looking at your data: Many small business owners have a gut feeling about what’s selling. But sometimes the data tells a different story. A San Francisco cafe was always out of croissants by day’s end. With Square’s free analytics, it saw that only the chocolate ones were selling out — the unsold plain croissants were just being eaten by employees after closing. Now the cafe orders more chocolate pastries, which means more sales and happier customers. Make sure you have a way to access real-time stats about your business, and be open to making changes based on the data.
- Know what you’re paying and when you’ll get your money: We’ve all had the frustrating feeling of looking at a bill and seeing charges we don’t understand. When it comes to payment processing, those days should be over. With Square, you pay one low, transparent price no matter what type of card you swipe. And you get your funds as soon as the next business day. Spend your time waiting on customers, not waiting for your money.
- Keep your freedom and use the latest technology: As technology advances, make sure you can upgrade easily and aren’t locked into any contracts. By using a software-based register like Square, you get updates automatically — and they’re free. When our technology improves, your technology improves. That way, everyone’s happy.
Readers: What have your experiences been like with Square or similar electronic-payment technologies?