Do you remember the good old days when all of your payments were either check or cash and it was in hand and could be documented the old fashioned way?
I felt so in control… there was a file, a photo copy, a ‘paid’ stamp on the invoice. So many checks and balances…. And then, technology evolves…. and the world of providing convenience to our customers is not an option but an expectation…..
And for my Dance Studio Owners… you quickly embrace the change because everyone says you have to and in your mind you believe this is going to be a game changer…. No more Sally, chained to the front desk accepting tuition payments and generating receipts (YES!).
And before you know it, you’re filling out merchant applications, signing up for gateways (what is a gateway anyway), or even better, there is an automatic merchant relationship with your existing software (Thank Goodness! They for sure have your best interests at heart!)
And AWAY you go! Money In… Money Out…. Your bookkeeper is just reconciling your Quick Books or Quicken Account according to the bank statement…. This is so much better? Right?
Well what I am sure most haven’t done – and I say this only because it took me YEARS to figure it out and even understand the terms…. Is REALLY dissect and audit the Merchant Statement.
Amex Rate (if applicable)
Internet Service Fee
PCI Non-Validation Fee
Or even better….. the ‘accidental charges’ due to human error
Even now, it’s hard for me to wrap my head around all of this. Between the bank statements, the credit card statements, the merchant statements…. line by line…. tracking any and everything…. My errors, their errors, outside fraud! It’s a full time job! And as a small business owner… we have all the time in the world to become experts in finance right? Or better yet… pay someone $75-$150 an hour to put the financial pieces of our lives together and connect the dots….
If any of this resonates with you…. may I offer two solutions –
#1 Feel free to reach out to me personally with your challenges and I would be happy to make recommendations (No Charge of Course) firstname.lastname@example.org –
#2 Reach out to an amazing merchant services advocate who has saved thousands of dollars for many in the dance industry (I’ve heard direct testimony from a colleague) and who also took the time at NO CHARGE to review all of my merchant accounts recently and gave me incredible feedback and peace of mind.
Phil Hinke is a former merchant services provider, now merchant customer advocate! His website is a wealth of information…. but if you don’t have the time to digest it all and/or don’t feel confident with the terms and processes…. shoot him an email and he will do the analysis for you and break it down in simple terms with direct action items!
Remember…. If you are processing $90,000 a year in credit cards….
And are paying 3.5% plus fees = $3150 + fees…
Just imagine what 2.5% plus reduced fees = $2250 + reduced fees
That’s quite a savings ($900 annually + additional savings on fees)