1 Accept new payment methods Credit cards Are you allowing your customers to pay by credit card? Every purchaser has preferences and wants flexibility in how they pay for products and services. They want fast, easy and most of all, secure transactions. By accepting credit card, you can: – Get faster settlement and improved business cash flow, increased protection against fraud. – Capability to process international transactions. – Your customers can avoid cheque or bank transfer, they get credit payment terms and you get your payment in just 4 days. Hence, it’s benefiting both, you and your customer. Therefore, to meet your customers’ demand and improve your revenue, start accepting credit card from your customer today!Procurement cardsProcurement cards are designed to deal with high volume of low value, often repetitive, purchases made on a daily basis. Most of the Local and Central Government Agencies are using procurement cards for transactions. If your business accepts procurement card, you can get onto a list of capable suppliers. It doesn’t have to be pricey. Your invoices will be processed by the ITS Bureau into procurement card transactions for you. Your company will have to pay 25 for joining fee and 1 per transaction to the ITS Bureau.For larger volumes ITS Procurer online can be up and running in 2-5 days at a cost of 350 to allow you to process telephone and mail order procurement card transactions online.PayPalSome customers dont want to use credit cards on sites they arent familiar with. Accept Pay Pal and they can pay by card even if you dont accept cards directly. You could also avoid bank charges by using e-bay/PayPal for all your transactions with your suppliers/customers. This allows you purchase and sell without having to go through any bank at all. Secondly, create a low cost variant of your existing business. Primark outperform Marks & Spencers !!You dont want to undermine your existing business or upset your existing customers who are happy with your current offering, but are some of them already looking elsewhere for a value product.Instead of cutting down your prices, can you create a value offering that runs alongside, so your customers can have more choice without purchasing from your competitors?Differentiate the product or service: The value product or service needs to be identifiable so that you dont undermine your mainstream product. Can you find a lower cost equivalent, this can have a less elaborate package, or lower cost ingredients, a smaller pack size, lower service levels, shorter warranty. Take a look at Tesco’s value offering, these are just the same products the cut price stores have always been offering, but now given shelf space by the big boys to give their customers the choice without going across the road.Differentiate the delivery: These offerings are for customers who are looking for a way to save money, not an invitation to existing customers to pay you less!!Therefore, place them in a separate room, advertise in a separate brochure, set them on a separate website, let your buyers know they exist but let them know this is a low cost option with lower levels of customer experience and product/service differences.Option number 3, obtain potential customers Many situations change during a recession, and this creates extra opportunities for some businesses.We have all watch the redundant investment bankers on TV. Others will also be searching for new opportunities. Many will be starting new businesses.What can you offer them: Can you market to the redundancy program with a franchise opportunity, business service or supplies?But remember that most will not survive- Dont expose yourself to too much debt let them pay by credit card.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This article has been written by Caesarea Howard, who works for Davies McLennon Chartered Accountants. If you need a Hemel accountant or St. Albans Accountant, visit Davies McLennon website to find out more information.
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