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Payment Processing Small Business Tips

Tips for Reducing Credit Card Processing Fees

reduce credit card fees

Credit cards are a favorite payment method for many consumers, so to do business with these consumers, merchants need a means of processing credit cards. Credit card processing refers to the many steps that occur behind the scenes that enable a customer’s issuing bank to pay merchants.

Because this process requires a few different parties to do their part, merchants must pay fees that reimburse these parties for their services. No one likes fees eating into their profits, but the good news is that there there are ways you can make them lower.

What Fees Are Associated With Credit Card Processing?

Credit card processing can be a great benefit to your business since it allows customers the convenience of paying with a card. However, processing credit cards comes with some fees that are deducted from the transaction. These fees include:

  • Interchange fees: Issuing banks, which are the banks that issue credit cards to consumers, take an interchange fee. The credit card networks set these fees and typically update them biannually. Interchange fees consist of a flat rate paired with a percentage of the sale and vary according to the type of sale. Certain transactions require higher interchange fees than others.
  • Assessment fees: Card networks, with the exception of American Express, take an assessment fee from merchants when their branded cards are used in transactions. These fees are usually based on a percentage of the total transaction volume for the month. You cannot alter these fees, but they are minor compared to interchange fees, consisting of a fraction of a percent of a sale.
  • Discount rate: Typically, merchants just see one fee for credit card processing, which the credit card processor takes. This fee goes to cover interchange fees and assessment fees, and whatever is left goes to the processor. The amount the processor takes is known as a discount rate, sometimes also called a markup. Different processors charge different fees, and you may be able to negotiate discounts.

In addition to these fees, you can pay additional fees for chargebacks, which occur when a customer disputes a charge from your business. You can typically avoid these fees by being careful to avoid errors and fraud.

How to Reduce Credit Card Processing Fees

credit card transaction fees

Now that you know what credit card transaction fees you’re required to pay, let’s talk about how you can reduce those fees. You can’t avoid credit card transaction fees, but you can find ways to minimize them. We’re especially focusing on interchange fees and discount rates, which can be the fees that end up costing you the most. Let’s look at five ways you can keep fees low so you can maximize your profits from credit card sales:

1. Read Cards Instead of Keying Them In

Some merchants who don’t have a credit card reader but have partnered with a credit card processing company take credit cards as payment by manually keying in the information on the card. This type of transaction is sometimes called a card-not-present transaction. Consumers use this method when they shop online and have to enter their credit card information for the sale to go through.

The issue with manually entering credit cards is that this method incurs higher interchange fees than swiping, inserting or tapping cards does. For example, the interchange rates for Visa and Mastercard are higher when the cards are keyed in rather than swiped. Fees for manually entering cards tend to be higher because this method is generally less secure. Of course, you need a card reader to avoid keying in cards.

2. Get an EMV Card Reader

We just looked at the importance of using a card reader to process credit card transactions, but not all readers are created equal. Older credit card readers weren’t designed to accept EMV chip cards. These new chip cards are far more secure than magnetic stripe cards since they generate a unique code for every transaction. If your card reader isn’t EMV enabled, then you will most likely pay higher interchange fees.

Your credit card processor may call these higher fees EMV non-compliance fees or EMV non-enabled fees. In addition to these higher fees, which you may have to pay whenever you swipe a chip card instead of using an EMV reader, you can pay even more if you process a fraudulent payment. As of October 2015, the liability for this fraud scenario was shifted to merchants who haven’t adopted the more secure EMV process.

3. Settle Transactions Promptly

Merchants send off their transactions in batches, typically at the end of a business day, to be settled. Typically, you can get the best interchange rate by settling charges within 24 hours. Otherwise, you may be subject to an interchange downgrade. The exceptions to the typical one-day rule are travel and entertainment businesses, which typically have eight days.

If you’re a typical retail business, don’t put off your clearing call. If you have the option to set a certain capture delay, opt for either immediate or one day. This way, you can capitalize on the best interchange rates available for transactions from that day.

4. Compare Quotes from Processors

While you can find ways to qualify for lower interchange fees, these fees are still set. In other words, you can’t negotiate for lower fees. However, discount rates from credit card processors are more negotiable. Some credit card processors, including NRS Pay, offer a custom rate. It isn’t all about negotiating with one company, though.

The most important thing is to directly compare quotes from various processors so you can make the best decision for your business. Make sure you understand what’s included in the quote you receive. It should include the interchange and assessment fees along with the processor’s discount rate. Some credit card processors will complicate things to obscure hidden fees and padded pricing, so look for simplistic, transparent pricing models. This way, you won’t be blindsided by exorbitant fees.

5. Get Payment Processing From Your POS Provider

one credit card provider

There are many benefits to having one provider for both your POS system and your payment processing. By partnering with one company, you can enjoy a more integrated, streamlined process. You can also enjoy some possible financial savings. In some cases, you can qualify for lower processing fees. As Fit Small Business notes, working with the same provider for your POS and payment processing can simplify your payments and eliminate fees you may otherwise be expected to pay, such as a fraud prevention fee or an integration fee.

You may also receive free equipment. For example, National Retail Solutions (NRS) provides a free EMV card reader to all merchants who commit to using our credit card processing for three years. This EMV reader can help you process payments more securely and avoid penalties for being non-compliant with EMV technology. Our card reader is also capable of taking Apple and Android payments. While credit cards remain popular, these mobile wallet apps are quickly gaining traction with consumers.

Get Discounts Through NRS Pay

For simplified, fair credit card processing rates your small business can afford, partner with NRS Pay. We offer a transparent fee model and do not pad fees. Instead, we offer two simple pricing models for small business payment processing fees. Our flat rate is $0.10 plus 2.49% of the sale. If your business processes more than $10,000 in credit card transactions monthly, then you can also qualify for a custom rate.

NRS is committed to helping small businesses succeed. We can even help you implement a cash discount program to offset credit card processing fees. Request a free quote today to get started.

Categories
Small Business Tips

Why Your Small Business Needs More Than a Basic Cash Register

When many people think of a cash register suitable for a small business, they don’t picture a touch screen system. Instead, they picture the old-fashioned cash register, complete with a cash drawer and manual buttons, that has been a longstanding machine used for facilitating sales.

However, the best cash register for small businesses is often a point-of-sale (POS) system instead.

We’re going to focus on why a basic cash register is insufficient for small businesses and why a POS system is a much better choice to help your business succeed. We’ll look at the pros and cons of each, so you can make a fully-informed decision for your small business.

What’s the Difference Between a Cash Register and a POS System?

Cash registers have been around since the late 19th century. After discovering the technology used to count the revolutions of a ship’s propeller, a saloon owner in Ohio named James Ritty created a machine that could keep track of his sales. He patented the machine in 1879 and called it Ritty’s Incorruptible Cashier. This first cash register didn’t include a cash drawer — it only tallied totals from each sales transaction.

After Ritty sold the rights to his invention, John H. Patterson founded the National Cash Register Company in 1884 and popularized this machine with business owners all over the nation. The cash register has long been a staple piece of technology for business, both big and small. Today, many small businesses still rely on traditional cash registers to facilitate transactions.

Modern cash registers are electronic, but they still fulfill the basic functions of earlier cash registers. Electronic cash registers consist of a cash drawer, a small display screen and buttons the cashier can press to add up dollar amounts, assign sales to particular departments and calculate change. Some registers will also print a basic receipt.Cash registers are essentially calculators designed for sales transactions attached to a drawer to keep cash secure.

So, how does the traditional cash register compare to a POS system? A POS system takes advantage of modern technology to expand greatly on the basic capabilities of a cash register. Like a basic register, a POS system includes a cash drawer. POS systems vary, but with an all-in-one POS system, you can also expect additional integrated hardware, such as:

  • Barcode scanners
  • Scales
  • Receipt printers
  • Credit card processors

These components are typically all separate for businesses that use cash registers. At a glance, one of the most significant things that sets a POS system apart is that it features a touch screen, which no longer limits cashiers to a set of manual buttons. Now, cashiers can access multiple menus and options to fulfill a range of functions. Because of this advanced hardware, a POS system is sometimes called a touch screen cash register, but POS software is capable of doing far more than just facilitating sales transactions. It may also be able to:

  • Track inventory
  • Record sales analytics
  • Log employee shifts
  • Facilitate sales promotions

It’s easy to see how a POS system offers far more capabilities than even the best cash registers. If you want to upgrade from a standard cash register, a POS system is the modern solution that your small business needs.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Each?

Now that you know the difference between a cash register and a POS, you may be wondering which of these options is the best choice for your small business. As with almost any comparison, there are pros and cons to each option. Let’s start with the advantages of cash registers and then look at the disadvantages of this more basic option.

Pros and Cons of Cash Registers

Digital cash registers do have some advantages compared to POS system, including:

  1. Affordability: Cash registers tend to cost less than POS systems, which is helpful for small businesses with a limited budget. Since there is no software involved, you won’t have to pay a monthly or annual fee to maintain software, so the upfront cost you’ll pay for your cash register — which could be up to $800 — is the full cost, with the exception of potential maintenance costs to fix a malfunctioning register.
  2. Familiarity: If your employees are already used to using basic cash registers, then they may find it easier to stick to the method they’re familiar with. However, since cash registers come in different models, it’s likely that employees who have used a cash register before will still need some training to learn how to operate your business’s specific model. In contrast, POS systems are designed to be cutting-edge and therefore will be updated continuously with new software improvements and features that will help you run your business better.

Cash registers also come with their share of cons compared to POS systems. Here are some of the main disadvantages to consider:

  1. No Integration: Cash registers are independent machines that are not integrated with other components you need to facilitate the checkout process, such as a barcode scanner and card reader. If you have multiple registers, they won’t be integrated with each other, either. This lack of integration means there is no communication among your equipment to streamline the process.
  2. No Inventory Tracking: Cash registers simply aren’t designed to help you manage your inventory, so you can’t count on a cash register to tell you when to order more product or when you may be overstocking a certain product. This means you have to rely on manual methods for tracking inventory.
  3. No Sales Analytics: Some cash registers may truly be like a calculator that wipes the slate clean after each transaction. Other cash registers are made to keep track of the day’s sales so cashiers can balance the cash register drawer. In either case, a cash register will not keep track of sales data long-term, so you have to do this manually, which is time-consuming and is likely to be inaccurate.
  4. Inefficient Checkout: Even if you’re only interested in facilitating sales transactions, a cash register does not provide the most efficient checkout experience. Having to punch in totals and manually subtract savings from promotions results in a slower process, which can feel cumbersome to cashiers and frustrating to shoppers who are in a hurry.
  5. No Screen: Even though digital cash registers have a small display screen, similar to the screen on a calculator, all this screen will display are the totals as the cashier rings up items. If you want a larger display screen that includes more detailed information for the customer, then you’ll need a POS system. A POS system also includes a touch-screen for the cashier.

Pros and Cons of POS Systems

Now that we’ve covered the pros and cons of cash registers, let’s focus on POS systems. POS systems offer many benefits, but we’ll hit the highlights with six significant advantages that a POS offers compared to a cash register:

  1. User-Friendliness: One of the advantages of POS systems is that they’re user-friendly. The touchscreen features clear, colorful buttons that make navigating through features easy. The interface will feel familiar to employees who are used to using a smartphone or touchscreen tablet, which means they may not need a great deal of training.
  2. Integration: Especially if you purchase an all-in-one POS system, you also benefit from the fact that all the components needed for checkout are seamlessly integrated together. If you need multiple checkout lanes or even if you have multiple store locations, POS systems with cloud-based software will all send information to an app so you can access all your data in one place.
  3. Inventory Management: Managing your inventory is a critical aspect of any small business. A POS system makes inventory tracking easy by maintaining an accurate account of what you have in stock, letting you know when to order new stock and providing data to help you accurately determine which products are helping your business grow and which may be a financial drain.
  4. Sales Analytics: A POS system also helps you make data-driven decisions to help grow your business. They track sales, so you can quickly answer questions like what your peak times are, which cashiers have facilitated the most transactions, whether a promotion helped boost your sales and more.
  5. Efficient Checkout: If you’re more concerned with the checkout experience itself rather than the additional features a POS offers, it’s important to note that a POS also provides a more efficient checkout process, which will please employees and customers alike. A POS automates multiple aspects of checkout so you can maintain accuracy and get customers checked out quickly.
  6. Dual Screens: All POS systems feature a touchscreen which makes the checkout process far more visually engaging for employees. Some POS systems also feature a display screen for customers. This customer-facing screen can help you improve sales since it provides transparency and can even display ads to inform the customer of upcoming promotions.

Despite all of these advantages, purchasing a POS system does have some potential disadvantages, including:

  1. Higher Cost: The main disadvantage that concerns some small businesses, especially start-ups, is that POS systems cost more than cash registers. While POS systems are more expensive than cash registers, they include many more features that will help your business become more profitable. Consider the many other components and software programs you would need to buy if you opted for a cash register instead of a POS, and the real price gap quickly disappears.
  2. Software Updates: POS systems are intended to keep up with current technology so they remain the best piece of sales technology you can have. This means that POS software will need to be updated from time to time. If your software is stored in-house, this can be an inconvenience. However, if you go with a cloud-based system, you’ll enjoy automatic updates whenever the developers improve the software.
  3. Potentially Intimidating: A final possible downside to consider is that a POS system is a departure from the old, familiar cash register. This may be intimidating to some employees who are not used to using modern touch-screen technology. That said, 42% of Americans aged 65 and up own smartphones, so it’s likely that all or nearly all of your employees will embrace the technology with some familiarity.

Why Do Small Businesses Need More Than a Basic Cash Register?

As we’ve seen, cash registers are extremely limited in their capabilities compared to POS systems, which do far more than just help you ring up customers. In light of the advantages POS systems offer, it should be clear that they are preferable for any small business that can afford them. Even if you’re worried about the cost, you should still consider investing in a POS system for a few reasons.

There are many reasons to invest in a POS system, but we’ll focus on three main reasons why you need a modern POS system instead of a basic cash register:

1. To Offer a Modern Checkout Experience

Customers today are often in a hurry and expect the checkout process to be efficient. That’s why retailers are always on the lookout for ways to speed up checkout time. Using a POS is an excellent way to do this since it integrates hardware and uses cutting-edge software to offer a seamless checkout experience. No more punching in discounts or getting frustrated over errors. A POS makes it quick and easy to facilitate sales in a way that shows customers you’re committed to the best technology has to offer.

2. To Manage Your Business Effectively

A POS system also gives you valuable tools to help you manage your business, from employees and inventory to promotions and more. These are all major aspects of management, so if you don’t have a POS to help you, you’ll find yourself relying on outmoded methods or software options that may work well on their own but aren’t integrated. A POS allows you to view data and make changes all in one place, so you can manage effectively, either on-site or on the go.

3. To Make Data-Informed Business Decisions

All-in-one POS systems include sale statistics that help you make business decisions based on data. Big companies use data to create their sales strategies. As a result, the best way to keep up with them involves using statistics yourself. POS systems track sales by item type, payment type, sale time, transaction total and many other factors. These robust statistics help you build business strategies based on your customers’ behavior. You’ll get to market directly to your customers to generate more sales and profits than just relying on a cash register for a small business.

4. To Improve Customer Satisfaction

With a comprehensive POS system, you will also get to improve your customers’ experience. In addition to offering a modern checkout experience, a POS system gives customers opportunities to save. All-in-one systems like POS+ have built-in promotion features that make it easy to create in-store sales. Integrated loyalty programs also help customers save money with a card scan. With the smart usage of these features, you can increase your profits while helping your customers reduce their costs.

5. To Increase Sales

Finally, when customers are pleased with the checkout experience they have at your business, and you leverage data to make smart decisions about what products you carry, when you run a sale and more, you can expect your sales to climb. If your POS system comes with loyalty software, this can encourage more repeat business. A POS system is a financial investment, but for many small businesses, it could help you become more profitable.

The Best Small Business Cash Register Goes Beyond a Cash Register

When choosing point-of-sale technology for your store, the best small business “cash register” includes complete POS features. POS+ has a full suite of features for store management. At National Retail Solutions, Inc., we understand that managing a store takes more than software and hardware. We provide comprehensive support and business services to help you succeed in your market. These features make POS+ the best POS system for small businesses:

Dependable Hardware

POS+ has all of the staples you need to run an efficient checkout. Its hardware includes a touch screen, barcode scanner, cash drawer and much more. We focused on dependable design to give you a system that holds up to frequent use.

Powerful Software

The technology in the POS+ system records your sales statistics and helps you manage your inventory. It includes many big business features at a small business price.

Customer Support

Our customer service team offers support via phone or email. They provide options for remote and bilingual support to give you the best customer support experience possible.

Mobile Access

Every POS+ user can use the free My NRS Store app to manage their system remotely. It works from anywhere with an internet connection to display sales information and let you change settings.

Integrated Services

At NRS, we offer additional services that complement the POS+ system. They integrate with POS+ to provide you with powerful business tools. POS+ users enhance their stores with these amenities:

Choose the NRS POS System to Replace Your Small Business Cash Register

Cash registers may have been a cutting-edge piece of technology back in the 19th century, but today, they pale in comparison to the capabilities offered by a POS system. The best small business cash register isn’t just a cash register. It’s a modern all-in-one POS system, complete with all the components you need to facilitate sales and help your business succeed. The POS+ from National Retail Solutions is designed with small businesses like yours in mind, so it’s an excellent option to consider. Request a free quote today, and see how you could see your business grow by bringing your point of sale into the modern age.

Categories
Payment Processing Small Business Tips

Credit Card Processing for Small Businesses

If you’re used to disappointed looks on customers’ faces when they see a “cash only” sign, it’s time to add credit card processing as a payment option at your small business. National Retail Solutions has all the tools and services you need to make this possible. Though credit card processing can be a bit complicated, it doesn’t have to be a source of stress. We’re going to explain why you should accept credit cards, what equipment you need to do it, how it works and what options we offer.

Why Should a Small Business Accept Credit Cards?

If your small business doesn’t currently accept credit cards, you may wonder whether adding credit card processing is worth the investment. After all, credit card processing involves adding equipment and allowing a little bit of every credit card sale to go toward fees. Let’s talk about why every small business can benefit from accepting credit cards.

In brief, small businesses should accept credit cards because consumers want and expect them to. If you aren’t sensitive to the preferences of your customers, you could lose business. In a 2017 survey, just 12% of consumers said they preferred to pay in cash. Most people find debit and credit cards to be more convenient and preferable to cash. Here are a few reasons many consumers prefer to use credit cards over cash.

1. Credit Cards Are More Secure

One reason your customers may prefer using credit cards is that they offer more security than cash. To pay with cash, you have to carry money around with you, which can make some people feel vulnerable. Whether you fall victim to a pickpocket or accidentally leave your purse or wallet in a public place, you could lose your cash in the blink of an eye.

In either of these scenarios, if you only had credit and debit cards in your purse or wallet, you could call your bank to freeze or cancel them. If someone has already made purchases using your cards, you can report these charges as fraudulent, and not have to pay them. If someone spends your cash, there’s nothing you can do, unless you somehow manage to track the person down.

2. Credit Cards Are More Convenient

Credit cards are also more convenient for most people. Rather than having to keep track of how much money you have on you, with a credit card or debit card, you always know you have access to your funds. You also don’t have to take the time to count out bills or change, which tends to speed up the checkout process. If you don’t have exact change, you’ll get change back, which can be a nuisance to some people.

Coins jingle around in pockets or get lost in the bottom of a purse and weigh it down. Even folded bills take up more space than a credit card. Some people prefer to forego a wallet or purse altogether and carry their phone with an attached sleeve for holding a few ID and credit cards. While you may be able to cram a couple of bills into your phone sleeve, it’s much easier to stick to cards in this instance.

3. Credit Cards Let You Track Your Spending

Another advantage of paying with credit cards is that it allows a person to keep better track of their spending. Every time a person swipes, inserts or taps their card, whether it’s to buy a sandwich or a sofa, it creates an electronic log of those charges. With cash, you would have to keep track of your spending manually by making entries in a notebook or in your phone, or keep paper receipts for every transaction to compile a payment history.

Credit or debit card users can check their payment history online anytime and can use these records to help them budget and keep track of their finances. Digital spending records can also be helpful when it comes time to file your taxes, especially if you lose track of receipts.

4. Credit Cards Build Your Credit History

Paying with a credit card also helps a person build their credit history. Even if you’re exceptionally responsible, if you pay for things in cash, you won’t establish a credit history lenders and others can use as proof of your responsibility. If you faithfully make your credit card payments on time, you’ll steadily build a positive credit history that results in a high credit score.

Achieving a high credit score is essential for several reasons. In today’s world, your credit history comes into play whenever you need to take out a loan, whether it’s to finance a new vehicle or take out a mortgage on a home. Your credit history can even influence your insurance premiums.

5. Credit Cards Come With Rewards

Finally, some consumers prefer to use credit cards because, unlike cash, credit card transactions can reward customers with perks like cash back. The cash-back model typically rewards consumers by giving a certain percentage of the cost of each purchase they make back to them. For some cards, this percentage will differ based on what they’ve bought such as fuel, groceries, restaurants and so on.

Some cards reward customers through programs where they can accrue points by making purchases. Once the cardholder gets to a certain number of points, they can earn a reward like a gift card. Another popular reward system is for travelers who can earn airline miles or other travel discounts by using their credit card.

What Equipment Do I Need to Accept Credit Cards?

Hopefully, everything you’ve read so far has convinced you of the need to include credit card processing as a payment option at your business. If you want to maximize your business and please customers, you should give your customers the option to pay with a credit card. So, how can you get set up to accept credit cards at your business?

There are ways to manually enter credit card numbers on a computer, like consumers have become accustomed to doing on e-commerce sites. However, manually entering information is an inconvenient and inefficient way to process credit cards. The best way to process credit cards is with a suite of equipment that works in concert to make the checkout process as quick and convenient as possible.

Before we discuss the other pieces of equipment that can assist in the process, let’s focus on the essential piece of equipment you’ll need: a credit card reader.

Credit Card Reader

A card reader is called such because it reads the information embedded in a credit or debit card, either through a microchip, magnetic strip or both. This device is what customers interact with. They insert or swipe their card when prompted and confirm the amount of the payment. This card reader initiates the process of authentication, which we’ll discuss more in the next section.

Merchants should make sure they have a card reader that is capable of reading EMV chip cards, since these cards are becoming increasingly popular over the traditional magnetic stripe cards you swipe. According to credit card giant Visa, three-quarters of U.S. storefronts now have the necessary equipment to process EMV cards.

The trouble with magnetic stripe cards is that the information they contain never changes, so getting the details once is enough for someone to copy it and use it for fraudulent charges. EMV cards prevent fraud by generating a new code each time a person uses it to buy something. That way, information from one transaction won’t be useful to someone wanting to commit fraud by using it repeatedly.

EMV chip transactions take a bit longer than purchases with other credit cards, but they’re still fast, at about 15 seconds for a typical transaction. No matter what type of card a customer is using, a card reader makes it easy for them to share their payment information so their bank can deposit payment into your business’ bank account.

Other Components Used to Facilitate Credit Card Sales

Small business owners who want to embrace a fully modernized checkout experience that makes it easy to process credit card payments should use a card reader as part of an all-in-one POS system. You can think of a POS as the brain that connects all the necessary components to facilitate a checkout process. An all-in-one POS system comes with all the components you need for checkout, already integrated to work together seamlessly. These elements include your card reader, along with these other essential pieces of equipment.

  1. Barcode scanner: Barcode scanners make it easy to ring up items. Rather than manually plugging in information or prices, checkout personnel scan each item with their handheld barcode reader. One of the major advantages of scanning barcodes is that you can track inventory in real time this way. As you scan an item, your inventory records change to reflect having one less of that SKU in stock.
  2. POS terminal: The POS terminal is the screen you and your employees will use behind the counter. Employees can enter information as needed and can even use this touchscreen terminal screen to accomplish tasks separate from the checkout process. These could include programming in discounts, managing inventory, checking sales analytics and more.
  3. Customer-facing screen: The best POS systems will also come with a customer-facing screen directed toward the front of the counter. Unlike the POS terminal, this is not a touchscreen. It’s there so the customer can see the name and price of each item displayed as the cashier rings them up. They can also see the money they save from discounts. A customer-facing screen provides the transparency customers appreciate.
  4. Cash drawer: Cash drawers are essential pieces of hardware for any merchant. Modern cash drawers come equipped to prevent theft and keep cash secure. Of course, cash drawers come into play when a customer wants to pay in cash, but they may also be valuable for customers who pay with debit cards and request cash back.
  5. Receipt printer: A modern thermal receipt printer uses thermal technology rather than ink to print on special paper that will turn different colors under varying degrees of heat. These thermal printers make it easy to produce accurate receipts for customers, and they make it easier for the merchant, since they integrate with your POS system, so everything is completely automated.

How Does Low Rate Credit Card Processing Work?

Now you know why credit card processing is essential and what equipment you need to facilitate these transactions, let’s talk about how credit card processing works. To the consumer, credit card processing looks like nothing more than inserting their card, seeing the sum on their credit card bill and paying it. A lot goes on behind the scenes, however, to make that transaction possible. We’re going to draw back the curtain and explain this process step-by-step.

There are three fundamental steps in this process: authorization, authentication and clearing and settlement.

1. Authorization

The customer initiates this process by either swiping or inserting their card. The processor then reads the information on the card and sends it to the credit card network, such as Visa or Mastercard. This network acts as the go-between for the customer and their issuing bank.

2. Authentication

The network sends the customer’s payment information on to their bank. The bank then checks to make sure the purchase is legitimate rather than fraudulent, and determines whether the transaction should proceed. For example, if the customer has already reached their credit limit, the sale won’t go through. The card reader should tell the customer at this point whether the system has accepted or declined their payment.

3. Clearing and Settlement

The process appears to be over at this point from the customer’s perspective, but the merchant still doesn’t have their payment yet. A process similar to the one above takes place, which can take up to several days, to make sure all is in order before the cardholder’s bank sends funds. The processor comes into play once again as it transmits the necessary information to the credit card association to settle the payment.

Fees Explained

The funds that get transferred to the merchant will have fees deducted to pay the banks and processors involved for their part in facilitating the transaction. From a retailer’s perspective, they see a small amount of each credit card transaction withheld, typically around 2 to 3% for a retail store. This fee gets divided three ways, with the most significant chunk going toward paying the required interchange fee to the issuing bank.

  • Interchange: Credit card networks like Visa and Mastercard set and publish interchange fees. These networks update the current fees biannually. An interchange fee consists of a flat rate, such as $0.10, with a percentage of the sale, such as 2%. Together, these amounts will satisfy the credit card network’s requirement for each sale.
  • Assessment: Interchange fees aren’t the only fees credit card networks require. They also charge assessment fees. Whereas the interchange fees go to the issuing bank, assessments go directly to the card association. Assessment fees are much smaller than interchange fees, at just a fraction of a percentage per sale.
  • Discount rate: The amount credit card processing companies charge you beyond the fixed costs associated with interchange and assessment fees is the discount rate. The discount rate, sometimes also called the markup, is a flexible amount a processor can set so they also get paid for their part in facilitating credit card sales. You may be able to negotiate this rate with some processors.

Processors will use one of these models to determine their fees.

  • Interchange plus: Interchange plus models vary from month to month, and are complicated to understand and read on a statement. However, they can be the most cost-effective option for retailers who move a lot of product every month or who sell high-dollar items.
  • Flat rate: Flat rate models keep things simple and tend to be a good choice for merchants whose ticket items are low. Flat rate processing does not take factors like card type into account. For every transaction, you’ll pay one predetermined fee.
  • Tiered pricing: Tiered processing models consist of three different possible fees you’ll pay on a credit card transaction, depending on whether it falls into a qualified, mid-qualified or non-qualified tier. Factors like the type of card and how it’s entered determine the tier.

What Options Are Available From NRS?

Choosing a credit card processing company to facilitate your credit card sales, both with equipment and ongoing processing services, is a crucial decision. Choosing the wrong partner could result in paying unreasonable markup fees or finding hidden charges on your bill. National Retail Solutions keeps things transparent and offers two pricing options for credit card processingso you can choose the best fit for you.

  • Flat rate: The flat rate keeps things consistent, so you know what fee you’ll pay every time, whether someone swipes, taps or dips their card. This flat rate is 2.49% of the transaction cost plus $0.10, making it one of the cheapest credit card processing options for small business.
  • Custom rate: If your businesses process over $10,000 a month in credit card transactions, you can also work with NRS to set a custom rate designed to fit your business and save you money. You can get a free quote to find out what this rate would look like for you.

Regardless of which rate plan you select, you can usually expect to receive your funds within just 24 hours, which is a valuable perk for keeping your cash flow more current. We understand how critical it is to have access to your funds when you need them.

According to Business News Daily, if you own a small business, it’s essential to find a credit card processor that specializes in businesses of your size, since otherwise, you may face credit card processors who don’t understand your industry and expect you to generate at least $10,000 in revenue every month. While NRS has a custom rate option for businesses that create this much in credit card sales, we also cater to smaller businesses with our flat rate.

At NRS, we understand the unique needs of payment processing for small businesses, and believe size shouldn’t keep you from having the best technology to facilitate sales and help you manage your growth. That’s why we offer payment services, such as our card reader and processing services, that make it possible to accept not only all major credit cards, but also mobile wallet apps, EBT and eWIC.

Money isn’t the only element you should consider when choosing a partner for credit card processing. In a past blog post, we discussed three critical factors to consider when selecting the best payment system for small businesses.

  • Security
  • POS compatibility
  • Customer service

When you partner with NRS, you get these valuable qualities and more.

Contact NRS Today for Reliable Small Business Credit Card Processing

The world of credit card processing can seem complicated and confusing, but credit cards are here to stay. If you want to make it easy for customers to do business with you, you should know how to find the best credit card processor to supply you with the equipment to accept all forms of payment.

Consider making a smooth transition into modern technology with the easy-to-use, all-in-one POS+ from NRS, and be sure to count on NRS for all your payment processing needs. When you work with NRS PAY for credit card processing, you may be eligible for a complimentary credit card reader! To get started, request a free quote today.

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Small Business Tips

Why Is Inventory Management Important for Small Businesses?

small business inventory management

If you want your small business to succeed, you should pay close attention to how you’re managing your inventory. We’re going to explain what inventory management is, what it looks like for different types of small businesses, why it’s important, and how you can do it effectively. Strategic inventory management that uses the right tools, especially a POS system with inventory management software, can help you run your company more efficiently and will keep your customers coming back for more. Focusing on improving your inventory management is one of the best ways to grow your business.

What Is Inventory Management?

Inventory consists of the products you plan to sell. If you own a small manufacturing business — which includes businesses like bakeries or boutiques where you sell handmade goods — then your inventory also includes the ingredients or tools you use to create your end products. For example, in a bakery, inventory would include the baked goods currently on sale as well as your flour, eggs, sugar and more. Inventory is more straightforward for most retail stores. It’s the stock you have in your backroom and on your shelves.

Inventory doesn’t manage itself. That’s why inventory management is a critical ongoing task for many businesses. On the most basic level, managing your inventory means you keep track of what inventory you have in stock and know when you need to order more stock. Effective inventory management also involves paying attention to key performance indicators that let you know how various products are selling so you can make informed decisions about which products to carry in the future.

What Does This Look Like for Various Small Businesses?

Inventory management looks a bit different from business to business depending on the types of products you sell and whether you use consumables at your business that you also need to manage. Let’s look at some examples of what inventory management looks like for just a few of the types of small businesses we work with:

  • Convenience stores: C-store customers want a place where they can quickly pick up the items they need without having to navigate a big-box store. Managing convenience store inventory involves closely monitoring which products are selling well and which aren’t. Each spot on your shelf is valuable, so you only want to carry items you know your customers are looking for, and you want to keep them in stock.
  • Boutiques: Boutiques often carry carefully curated, unique items and may not keep a consistent list of items in their inventory, so managing this inventory is different from managing inventory at another store. If you own a boutique, you want to stay on top of trends and make sure you don’t overstock an item that you may end up having to clearance to get rid of.

inventory for small store

  • Liquor and tobacco stores: Liquor stores and tobacco stores carry a specialized set of merchandise, but there is still plenty of opportunity to refine your product offerings. If you notice a certain type of cigarette or a particular brand of whiskey isn’t selling well, you could replace these items and the shelf space they take up with products that will sell.
  • Grocery stores: Supermarkets or grocery stores typically have a long list of SKUs they carry, which includes a lot of perishable products. When the products you carry have a short shelf-life, you can’t take a chance on throwing unsold inventory away. You also don’t want to disappoint customers who stop in looking for a specific ingredient for a recipe they’re eager to make.
  • Beauty salons: Retail stores aren’t the only types of businesses that need to manage their inventory. If you own a beauty salon, you likely have some hair, skin or nail products available for sale at your salon. No matter how much of your business is focused on selling products, any amount of inventory needs to be managed properly if you want this aspect of your business to run smoothly.

Why Should Small Businesses Care About Inventory Management?

Too many small businesses either have no method in place to manage their inventory or rely on poor, limited methods. This is a problem because inventory management can be a critical factor in shaping the success of your company. Before we talk about what could happen if you don’t manage your inventory, let’s focus on the positive results you can expect when you implement strategic methods of inventory management.

Managing your inventory properly leads to some great results. It will help you:

  • Be informed: No more need to operate off of guesswork or hunches. When you stay on top of managing your inventory, you know exactly how much stock you have on hand and when you need to order more. Being informed means you can more accurately predict the future and can make data-driven decisions.
  • Save money: When you can accurately pinpoint what will sell and eliminate unpopular SKUs from your product lineup, you can save your business money. Especially if you sell perishable items that could end up getting thrown out, you can save your company money by only making what you expect to sell or just a bit more. Eliminating waste and maximizing the products that do well is a recipe for financial success.
  • Save space: When you manage stock efficiently, it doesn’t just mean financial savings but space savings, as well. Small businesses are often limited to small backrooms to store stock, so using this space well and not overcrowding it unnecessarily is important. Only store what you need and enjoy the orderly storage space.
  • Please customers: When customers find the products they love at your company and know they’ll always be in stock, they’ll be satisfied with their experience. Whether that specific brand of Prosecco they love is waiting for them on the shelf at their local liquor store or their preferred brand of pet food is consistently available at their local convenience store, customers will appreciate that they can count on your business.

good inventory management

What Can Happen If You Don’t Manage Your Inventory?

We’ve seen the positive results you can enjoy when you manage your inventory effectively, but you may still be wondering how bad it could be to run your company without an emphasis on inventory management. Here are some issues that are common to businesses that don’t properly manage their inventory:

  • Financial waste: When you don’t manage your inventory, you are bound to make poor purchasing decisions that lead to either having too much or too little of certain products. When you have too much of a perishable product that doesn’t sell, you essentially toss your money straight into the garbage can. For non-perishable products, you’ll likely place them on clearance and take a loss just to get rid of them.
  • Missed sales: The other scenario is that you don’t purchase enough of a particular product due to poor inventory management techniques. When you have a stock-out, you miss out on potential sales. Many stock-outs occur due to faulty ordering and replenishing practices in-store. Missed sales mean missed profit. They could also lead to unhappy customers, which we’ll discuss more in a bit.
  • Cash flow problems: Waste isn’t the only financial consequence of not managing your inventory. You can also expect to deal with cash flow problems. Any inventory on your shelves represents money you’ve spent without any profit from it yet. A common mistake is to buy too much stock, which results in too much of your money being tied up in inventory rather than being available for other meaningful uses.
  • Chaotic stockrooms: Mismanaged stock is unlikely to look orderly or to fit neatly in your stockroom. When you’re purchasing inventory and stocking shelves without much strategy behind it, you’ll likely have a crowded, chaotic stockroom. A stockroom like this can lead to injuries for you or your employees and can make it difficult to pull stock or even know what you have in the back.
  • Unhappy customers: Another inevitable results of not managing your inventory is upsetting your customers. When a customer finds a product they love at your store, and it’s temporarily out of stock the next week, this could be their last trip to your store. Even when you keep items in stock but don’t pay attention to what sells and what doesn’t, you could still have customers who are dissatisfied with your selection.

manage inventory

How Can You Manage Your Inventory Manually?

Some companies still rely on manual inventory management tools. Typically, this means they maintain a spreadsheet on the computer. The spreadsheet should have columns dedicated to fields like the name of a product, the SKU and the quantity you currently have in stock. You should ideally adjust this number each time a product is sold or comes in. However, that’s an unrealistic goal for most, so what ends up happening is that the numbers on your spreadsheet are outdated most of the time.

It isn’t just that information quickly becomes outdated. This manual method also allows plenty of room for human error. One study revealed that retailers only had a 63% accuracy rate when it came to inventory tracking. To make sure the information on your spreadsheet doesn’t get too far off the mark, you need to implement periodic checkpoints.

Manual methods of inventory tracking should always include manually counting your inventory periodically so you can update your numbers and minimize discrepancies between the numbers you’ve recorded and the reality of what you have in stock. Audit your stock monthly or, at the very least, quarterly. These periodic checks are a good idea no matter what methods you use to track inventory.

Remember that inventory management goes beyond just recording numbers. It’s about making decisions. If you’re managing inventory manually, you’ll want to implement a strategy like ABC analysis to help you make decisions about which products to reorder when. This technique involves categorizing your inventory into three classes. Popular products that generate around 80% of your revenue belong in Class A. Class B is for inventory that is marginally popular and accounts for 15% of revenue. Class C is for inventory that moves more slowly and only accounts for 5% of revenue.

To successfully implement a strategy like ABC analysis, you need to gather and analyze a lot of data. Consistently maintaining information on a spreadsheet and coming up with figures to know how products are selling will take up a lot of time. That’s time you won’t get to spend on other business tasks. So, while manual inventory management can be done, you’ll have to dedicate a significant number of work hours to it.

How Can You Use Technology to Manage Your Inventory?

Any type of inventory management is better than nothing, but manual inventory tracking isn’t typically the best option, as we’ve seen. It requires a great deal of time and effort and is still limited. If you want to manage your inventory more effectively and with less effort, then you need to take advantage of modern technology.

pos with inventory management

There are many inventory management system options on the market today, but the best option for most small businesses is to integrate their inventory management with their point-of-sale (POS) system. If you’re unfamiliar with a modern POS system, you can think of it as a high-tech cash register that keeps track of inventory and does everything else to facilitate the checkout process. When your POS comes with inventory management tools, you don’t have to monitor inventory separately. Instead, when a cashier rings up an item, your system automatically subtracts one from the quantity you have in stock. It’s that simple.

When it comes to making restocking decisions, there’s no easier or more reliable method than using inventory management software for small businesses. A POS system with inventory management like the POS+ from National Retail Solutions will tell you at a glance whether a product is well-stocked, needs to be reordered soon or needs to be reordered immediately. Following these guidelines will help you keep items in stock consistently rather than reordering when you suddenly realize you’re out of something.

When you have software to track your sales, it doesn’t only help tell you how much you have in stock — it can also help you make strategic decisions about which products you should continue carrying and which you should potentially eliminate from your product offerings. You likely have a general sense of which products do well and which don’t, but you don’t have to rely on these general impressions when you have a POS inventory system for your small business. This system will deliver analytics that let you know exactly how each of your products is performing.

Manage Inventory Like a Pro With the POS+ From NRS

Inventory management is a critical aspect of your business. As we’ve seen, using the right technological tools to manage your inventory requires less time and effort, helps you keep items in stock and delivers the data you need to make strategic decisions. All of this leads to a thriving small business that carries the right items in the right quantities and keeps customers happy.

With the technological tools that are available today, there’s no reason to struggle with outmoded systems like spreadsheets. Inventory management software may cost more upfront, but consider all the money you’ll save by eliminating waste, saving time, never missing a potential sale and more. The best way to manage inventory is to use software that integrates seamlessly with your POS system.

The POS+ from NRS is an all-in-one system that features quality hardware and cutting-edge software, giving you everything you need to facilitate the checkout experience and to manage your inventory behind-the-scenes. The POS+ will also streamline other aspects of your business, including your customer loyalty program, so you can spend less time struggling with manual methods and more time watching your business thrive. To learn more about how NRS can help your business succeed, contact our sales team today for a free quote.

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Small Business Tips

How to Start a Convenience Store Business

how to start a convenience store

Even with the rise of online shopping and grocery delivery, plenty of people still benefit from having a convenience store nearby. Running a neighborhood convenience store allows you to provide the community with the immediate purchases they need. If you decide to start a c-store, good preparation and planning can help you succeed. Think about these five aspects of business when opening a convenience store.

1. Initial Financing

Before establishing any other part of your convenience store, you need to create a financial plan and the money to fund it. Both franchises and independent c-stores require an initial investment to get started. If you don’t have the money set aside, you can take out a loan or work with an investor. An investor’s interest in your store depends on your business plan. Creating a detailed business plan that makes sense can help you get the funding and support you need.

2. Convenient Location

Your c-store will benefit from having as much traffic as possible in the nearby area. Customers tend to stop by convenience stores on their route to and from work or as a quick trip. To appeal to this audience, you need a store location close to major roads or footpaths. The property itself should also make it simple to enter and leave. Well-lit and open entrances, exits and parking lots increase the convenience of visiting your store.

3. Food, Drink and Merchandise Vendors

Vendors provide the supplies, merchandise, food and drink sold at your convenience store. Depending on what you want to sell, you may work with one vendor or multiple. A full-service vendor can provide most of the items in your inventory. However, working with more than one vendor could give you more flexibility or help you save money. Consider your target audience and their priorities, as well as your business goals, when choosing how you work with vendors.

4. Management and Staff

Depending on the size of your c-store, you might decide to start with a small number of staff members and add to them. As your business grows, you might expand your space or hours. You could also see an increase in business that requires more people to manage. Your involvement with the store can also affect your need for employees. Start with a team based on your expected activity and work from there.

5. Technology and Equipment

Convenience store equipment allows you to store and prepare food, clean the area and manage sales. Your c-store’s equipment might include:

  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Drink dispensers
  • Commercial coffee makers
  • Shelving
  • Hot food displays and hot dog rollers
  • Ice machines
  • Food warmers
  • Cleaning tools and supplies

We also suggest considering purchasing a point of sale (POS) system to handle your transactions. A convenience store POS system’s robust features make checkout faster to offer better convenience to your customers.

Boost Your Sales With a POS System for Convenience Stores

POS+, the Convenience Store POS system from National Retail Solutions, Inc., has everything you need to manage your c-store’s sales. The powerful equipment and software help you organize vendors, calculate profits and more. Discover how you can grow your c-store by buying POS+ online today or getting a custom quote for a POS system for your convenience store.

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Small Business Tips

How to Start a Tobacco Store and Vape Shop

how to start tobacco store

Wondering how to start a vape shop or tobacco store? Perhaps you want to open a business that specializes in both types of products. These store models require preparation and planning like any other store, but they also have special considerations. Get ready for these aspects of running a business if you want to open a vape or tobacco shop.

1. Business Plan and Finances

Every company needs a business plan and budget to increase its chance of success. While many vape and tobacco shop owners start their ventures out of passion, careful preparation serves as a more solid foundation. Using your enthusiasm to drive an already sturdy business premise can help you grow your shop to its greatest potential. Once you have a business plan, you can contact investors, take out a business loan or use existing funds. Make sure you include costs for inventory, a vape shop point-of-sale (POS) system, employees and more.

2. Licensing and Laws

Vape and tobacco products have specific laws and regulations surrounding their sale. Many laws that apply to tobacco also apply to vape products, but your state’s laws may vary. Your tobacco or vape store will also need the licensing required by federal and state laws. In some cases, your local area will also have rules regarding vape and tobacco products. Remember to look at regulations on the federal, state and local levels to ensure you follow the law.

3. Location and Zoning

When finding a location for your vape or tobacco shop, you have to consider convenience and legality. Many towns have zoning policies that require tobacco and vape stores to stay a distance away from certain properties. Once you know where you can legally open, you can figure out where the most customers will find you. An area with a high amount of foot or car traffic can attract a wide range of customers. However, if you have a specialty store, you might want to open in an area where you can find your target audience.

4. Suppliers and Inventory

If you already consider yourself a vape or tobacco enthusiast, you might already have a few suppliers in mind for your shop. However, you also want to keep the needs of other vape and tobacco users in mind. Remember to stock quality staples first and branch out from that base inventory.

5. Staff and Equipment

Once you establish the previous elements of your shop, you can get the employees and equipment to run your business. If you start a vape shop, you may want to focus on employees with the same passion as your customers. Any kind of business benefits from the right sales equipment. A Tobacco Store (POS) system like POS+ can help you:

  • Manage transactions
  • Track sales statistics
  • Record vendor relationships
  • Weigh and price loose-leaf tobacco
  • Scan thousands of existing items or add your own

These features and more make vape shop POS systems indispensable to small businesses.

Run Your Vape and Tobacco Business With POS+

POS+ has a price and features tailored to small businesses like yours. To learn more about The World’s Greatest POS, contact our sales staff or buy the tobacco store POS system today.

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Small Business Tips

How to Start a Grocery Store

how to start a grocery store

When you decide to run a small grocery store, you are tapping into a broad market — everyone in your community needs food, after all. However, you still need to set your business up for success to ensure you stay competitive. With preparation and common sense, you can achieve your starting goals. Consider these five elements when you open a grocery store.

1. Business Funds

A grocery store owner needs finances before they can set up their business. To get an investor’s attention, you need a compelling and detailed business plan that shows your competence. Remember to research the costs of equipment, food, a grocery store cash register system, credit card processing, staff wages and other necessities. Once you have a budget, you can create a comprehensive business plan and pitch it to investors. You can also use existing savings or take out a business loan.

2. Inventory and Suppliers

As part of your business plan, you need to determine your inventory and suppliers. Your vendors create the foundation for your inventory by supplying your food and merchandise. Some grocery store owners use full-service wholesalers that can provide most of the items they sell. Meanwhile, others choose more flexibility by working with multiple vendors.

3. Location and Building

Your store’s location will have a major role to play in your exposure to customers. Some customers might seek out your store if you sell specialty groceries. However, opening in a high-traffic area helps you attract everyday customers who need necessities. Operating out of a building close to car or foot traffic spreads awareness to people going about their day. The inside of your building should also have enough space to stock your shelves while following regulations and you should use a point-of-sale (POS) system for a supermarket to facilitate sales.

4. Employees

The number of staff members you need for your team depends on the size of your store. If you have a small community grocery store, you can hire a few employees. However, a larger store needs a bigger team. A grocery store needs multiple people to handle sales, inventory, customer service and security. You can grow your staff as your business expands to meet your increasing needs.

5. Technology and Equipment

Modern grocery store management requires the technology and supplies to manage sales, hold inventory and keep food fresh. Since grocery stores can have a high volume of sales and plenty of inventory management, you need a top-quality POS system for a supermarket. A Grocery Store cash register system like POS+ from National Retail Solutions, Inc., can track your sales and stock. You can integrate it with a scale and credit card reader to further boost your business.

Power Your Grocery Store With POS+

Grocery store cash register system, pos system for supermarket

We designed POS+ for community businesses like your grocery store. Our robust POS system for supermarkets can track vendors, calculate profits, track sales trends and much more. It also has an affordable price meant for small and mid-sized businesses. With so many features tailored to your grocery store, POS+ counts as a wise investment for your new business. Request a custom quote by contacting our sales team or buy the grocery store cash register system online to learn more.

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Small Business Tips

Using a Customer-Facing Screen to Grow In-Store Sales

customer facing screen

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, but any small business owner will tell you they have to work hard to compete with big-box stores or chains that have more resources to spend on things like advertising and the latest technology. There are plenty of ways small businesses can promote their own growth. One way, in particular, is by using a modern point-of-sale (POS) system at your checkout counters.

 

In this post, we’re going to focus in on one part of a POS system — the customer-facing display screen. This screen may seem small, but it can make a big difference for your business. If you want to improve your customers’ checkout experience and encourage them to keep shopping at your store, leading to an upturn in sales, keep reading to learn how a POS system with a customer display can help you do just that. We’ll explain what this screen is and what it does, then dive into the benefits you can enjoy when you add a customer-facing screen to your store’s checkout counter.

What Is a Customer-Facing Screen?

A customer-facing screen, also sometimes called a customer-facing display, is just what it sounds like. It’s a screen that faces customers in the checkout line. If you’re picturing a cash register with a screen for customers that shows the price of items as they ring up, it’s important to note that a modern customer-facing display is a major step up from this small, calculator-like display.

 

A modern customer-facing screen looks more like a computer or tablet screen. Its larger size and vivid display make it more of a focal point in the checkout line. It can also display far more than just prices as items are rung up. We’ll talk more in a minute about what a customer-facing screen can display.

 

A customer-facing screen isn’t a standalone piece of technology. It’s part of a whole POS system. A POS includes all of the hardware and software it takes to facilitate the checkout process. In addition to the customer-facing display, this also includes a screen for the cashier, cash register, card reader, barcode scanner and more. An all-in-one POS seamlessly integrates all of these components for a high-tech checkout experience.

 

Note that the customer-facing display is different from the display on the payment processor, which may prompt customers to approve of their purchase total, ask for their PIN and more. The customer-facing screen is not interactive with buttons for customers to press. Instead, it engages the customer with a purely visual display.

 

The customer-facing screen is an important part of the POS since it immediately shows the customer that they’re going to enjoy a checkout experience enhanced by modern technology. The information displayed on the customer-facing screen engages the customer in the checkout process and may even keep them coming back more in the future.

What Information Does the Customer-Facing Screen Display?

customer screen display

A customer-facing screen can display various categories of information that customers may find helpful. This information also keeps customers interested while they’re waiting in line. These categories of information include:

1. Transaction Information

One thing all customer-facing displays show the customer is transaction information. This means that, as the cashier rings up each item, the name of the item along with the price shows up on the display. This way, there’s complete transparency, so the customer doesn’t have to inquire about prices and can confirm that each item is the price they expected. This helps to prevent any confusion or mistakes. For some customer-facing screens, the information stops here, but more advanced POS systems with customer-facing screens can display other categories of information.

 

2. Promotions

More versatile POS systems can also show store promotions on their displays. Every customer loves to get a discount, and they can see exactly how much money they’ve saved on their display. In the case of discounts that require a certain minimum purchase, the screen can inform them of whether they’ve met the requirement or not. If not, they can throw in a candy bar or two or whatever it takes to unlock the discount. Showing your customers how much they’re saving is a great way to encourage them to come back for more great deals.

 

3. Advertisements

Some POS systems even include advertisements on the customer-facing screen. These could be ads from a parent company or network of retailers, or they could be your own personalized ads for your store. For example, you can let customers know about an upcoming sale they don’t want to miss. Advertisements should appear in a portion of the display without blocking transaction or discount information. Displaying ads on a high-definition screen can help engage the customer when they may otherwise become bored.

 

Are Stores Required to Have Customer-Facing Screens?

Customer-facing screens aren’t just a good idea — for some, they are legally required. For example, in California, stores are required to display prices conspicuously as items are rung up during checkout. This law promotes complete disclosure for customers. A customer-facing screen is an easy way to comply with this law and reap a whole host of other benefits, which we’ll talk more about in the remainder of this article.

 

Check to see if any state laws or municipal ordinances require you to have a customer-facing display of some sort. If so, don’t settle for a small, lifeless display that only displays the price of each item. Instead, opt for a POS system with a customer-facing screen that will elevate the whole checkout experience. Even if any state or local laws require you to have a customer-facing screen, you should still strongly consider it.

How Can a Customer-Facing Screen Help Me Grow In-Store Sales?

Now that we’ve established what a customer-facing screen is, what it displays and whether you’re legally obligated to have one, let’s turn our attention to the benefits of a POS system with a customer-facing display. After all, whenever you’re considering investing in new technology, you want to make sure you’ll get a good return on your investment. So, how can a customer-facing screen help your small business grow and thrive?

 

The answer comes down to two major benefits a POS with a customer screen can deliver:

1. Improve the Checkout Experience

First, if you’re looking to grow in-store sales, then you want to give customers a great checkout experience. If customers see a long, slow line or see other customers becoming frustrated with errors, they may abandon their purchase altogether. If they suffer through an inconvenient checkout process, it’s not unreasonable to expect that to be the last time they patronize your business.

 

A customer-facing screen, as part of a modern POS system, can tremendously improve the checkout experience for customers compared to methods that involve older technology or stripped-down, more manual methods.

 

2. Encourage Customer Loyalty

small business success

Small businesses understand just how critical customer loyalty is to their growth and success. Loyalty is what keeps customers from going to big-box stores instead of your smaller establishment. Of course, when customers know that checking out at your store is a pleasant, rather than frustrating, process, they’re more likely to keep coming back.

 

But that’s not the only way a customer-facing screen encourages customer loyalty. It also uses advertisements to encourage customers to come back for more deals and lets customers who have opted into the rewards program know how much money they saved from their special customer loyalty discounts.

How Does a Customer-Facing Screen Improve the Checkout Experience?

Let’s talk about how a customer-facing screen can deliver the first of those two major benefits we just looked at. Improving the checkout process for customers should be a priority for all retailers. After all, modern consumers tend to highly value efficiency and are apt to compare all checkout experiences to the ease, speed and transparency of checking out online.

 

Having a POS with a customer screen can improve the checkout experience for customers in several ways:

 

1. Speed up Checkout

There are a lot of ways a POS system can help you speed up checkout time. When it comes to the customer-facing display, specifically, it can help eliminate a customer’s need for asking about the price of an item or whether a discount was applied. They can see all the information, right there on their screen, so there’s no need to slow things down by checking to see if the cashier has it right. A more efficient checkout process will leave customers pleased that they stopped into your business.

 

2. Minimize Errors

Customers don’t only care about efficiency. Most customers care equally about accuracy. Human errors can be inevitable from time to time, but the right technology can help to eliminate as many of these errors as possible. In the case of a customer-facing screen, the customer can see the whole checkout process happen in front of them and can read individual item prices, discounts applied and the final total — just like they’re used to doing online. When there’s complete transparency, you can expect far fewer misunderstandings and errors.

 

3. Engage the Customer

A customer-facing screen can also serve to engage the customer while they’re waiting to pay. They can look at the prices and relevant discounts as the cashier rings up each item, and they can also look at advertisements. While ads can be a nuisance in some situations, when people are waiting on something, they tend to be drawn to advertisements as a source of interest. You know what we mean if you take public transit and find yourself reading the ads that pepper the inside walls of the bus or train.

 

How Can a Customer-Facing Screen Encourage Customer Loyalty?

We’ve seen how a customer-facing display can elevate a customer’s checkout experience, and this benefit alone can encourage customer loyalty. When it comes to grocery stores, customers cite long lines and bad checkout experiences as top reasons they would go to another store. This illustrates just how strongly you can encourage customer loyalty by giving customers a great checkout experience.

long checkout lines

However, there are still other ways a POS system with a customer-facing screen can encourage customer loyalty. It can:

1. Instill Confidence in Customers

When customers know you’re taking advantage of the latest technology and that they can rely on your checkout process to be accurate, this imparts a high level of confidence. Customers don’t want to feel like they have to monitor the checkout process vigilantly. Once they feel confident that your cashiers are accurately ringing up items, that the discounts are being applied and that it’s all right there for them to see, they can rest easy with an enhanced level of trust in your business. They may even get to relax and enjoy friendly conversation with the cashier.

 

2. Get Customers Excited for Upcoming Sales

Another way you can encourage customer loyalty with a customer-facing screen is by advertising upcoming sales. When a customer sees that those shoes they couldn’t take their eyes off of will be on sale next weekend, they have a reason to come back to your store. The same principle applies, no matter what you sell. An upcoming sale, whether it’s on sweaters, screwdrivers or strawberries, will encourage even a new customer to come back to your store soon to cash in on those great deals.

 

3. Highlight Their Loyalty Rewards

A customer loyalty program turns customers into more consistent shoppers and can help your business grow since customers are more likely to recommend a brand with a good loyalty program to their friends. If you don’t already have a loyalty program, you should implement one right away. The customer-facing screen will show customers how much money they saved on items because of their loyalty status, which should encourage them to remain loyal customers and may also pique the interest of that new customer behind them in line.

 

How Do You Get a Customer-Facing Display Screen?

Now that you know some of the ways a customer-facing screen can help you grow your small business, you may be wondering how you can add this technological gem to your checkout lanes. The best way to incorporate a customer display is to equip your store with an all-in-one POS. This way, your customers can enjoy a convenient, modern checkout experience, and your employees can benefit from the ease and accuracy that a modern POS delivers.

 

If you want to fully reap all the benefits a modern, all-in-one POS system, equipped with a customer-facing display, consider the POS+ from National Retail Solutions (NRS). Our POS system is user-friendly for your employees and visually engaging for customers. It comes with loyalty software and exclusive access to BR Club, a customer loyalty program that other stores in our nationwide network take advantage of. Your customers can see accurate pricing on their screen, can view advertisements from your store or our network of businesses and can see exactly how much they’ve saved by being part of the BR Club.

get your customer screen

If you want to see your in-store sales grow and your store succeed with the help of the POS+, contact our sales department for a free quote today.

Categories
Small Business Tips

8 Ways to Grow Your Small Business

grow your small business

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, but all too often, small businesses run into roadblocks that can cause them to fail or at least become stagnant. If you want to see your business grow and thrive, we have eight suggestions for how you can make that happen. Don’t leave the success of your small business up to chance. Jump on the following opportunities to grow your business.

How to Grow Your Small Business:

  1. Refresh Your Brand
  2. Focus on Customer Service
  3. Advertise Locally
  4. Offer Promotions
  5. Manage Your Inventory
  6. Add Credit Card Processing
  7. Implement Customer Loyalty Program
  8. Use an All-In-One POS

1. Refresh Your Brand

Your brand encompasses all aspects of your business’s identity. It includes basic elements like your name and logo and more conceptual elements like your company’s core values and your overall “personality” as a business. The goal for most businesses is for their brand to make a positive and memorable impression. Whether you operate a hair salon, a grocery store or a clothing boutique, you want your business to be the one that comes to a person’s mind when they think about whatever category your business fits into.

Strong branding can help you make a lasting impression and can help project the positive values you want people to associate with your business. If you think your branding may not be doing these things for you, then it’s time for a refresh. Rebranding can mean a complete overhaul of your name, logo and more, or it can be more subtle. In some cases, hiring a graphic designer to help you come up with a more effective logo can be all the difference you need.

If you’re confident in the more aesthetic aspects of your brand, you may want to focus on those more conceptual aspects. Make sure your business has a clear mission, vision and values. Did you know that 64 percent of consumers say they’re more likely to form a trusting relationship with a brand that shares their values? Branding isn’t just for your customers — it’s for you, too. Make sure your employees are familiar with your brand’s identity. When you and your employees feel confident in your company, that confidence will allow your business to grow and thrive with greater success.

2. Focus on Customer Service

focus on customer service

Amazing customer service is one of the things that tends to attract consumers to small businesses over big box stores or bigger companies where they may pay less. The numbers don’t lie. A majority of consumers will spend more money to patronize a business that delivers superior customer service. This should be encouraging to small businesses because they are often in a better position to offer excellent customer service.

When your clientele is smaller, it means you can develop closer relationships with your customers. You may even be able to greet some of your customers by name or ask after their family members or other aspects of their personal lives. However, even if you have repeat customers, you’ll never be able to develop these sorts of personal connections if you don’t take the time to say hello and make conversation. Something as simple as that can turn someone into a lifelong loyal customer.

Anyone in business knows that customer service isn’t always just smiles and pleasantries. Sometimes, it means handling difficult situations and trying to please a customer who is upset over something like a faulty product, a scheduling error or any number of problems that are bound to occur from time to time. In these situations, customers should know you genuinely care about solving a problem, and you should address it as quickly as possible. In every aspect of your customer service, make people feel valued, and they’ll value your business.

Advertising can get expensive, and it doesn’t automatically lead to growth, so you shouldn’t take out ads left and right without careful consideration. That said, some strategic advertising can certainly help you gain exposure and can help your business grow. What is strategic advertising? Boiled down, it’s advertising that gives you the highest return on your investment. The less you pay for an ad and the more customers it brings in, the better.

Simple, right? But how can you pull it off? It can seem impossible to compete with large national or regional chains because they spend excessive amounts on advertising. So, rather than try to compete with this level of advertising, focus on the unique advantages you have as a small business. People are more likely to see your small business as a part of the local community. So, focus on local advertising, and emphasize your role as a part of the local landscape.

See if any restaurants include ads on their menus or tabletops. See if other businesses or community centers will let you post a flyer on their bulletin boards. You may even want to consider taking out an ad with a local radio station. The key is to keep it small so you’re not overspending and you’re still reaching the local customers who are most likely to stop into your business. The Small Busines Administration has many affordable advertising ideas.

4. Offer Product Promotions

offer product promotions

It’s no secret that people love a good sale. Promotional deals have been a long-time strategy for retailers, and it’s no wonder. Sales can pull in new customers and keep current customers coming back. Even if they come in for a particular item that’s on sale, they’re likely to purchase other items in the store while they’re there. It’s a win for them, and it’s a win for you.

So, if you’re not currently offering any promotions, that needs to change if you want to grow. It can be overwhelming to know where to start when it comes to store promotions. How can you decide what to promote or place on sale? In some cases, you can make this decision based on your current circumstances. For instance, a sidewalk or clearance sale is an excellent way to attract customers while also getting rid of older inventory you no longer want to store. If you need to sell perishable items before they expire, a promotion like a buy one, get one free can help.

For regular promotions, it helps to have software that does the work for you. If you’re in the market for a point of sale (POS) system, look for software that takes the guesswork out of creating store promotions. If your POS system has a customer-facing screen, use it to display information about current or upcoming sales. This will encourage customers to come back tomorrow or next week for more great deals that help grow your business.

5. Manage Your Inventory More Effectively

Inventory is an essential aspect of so many small businesses, from restaurants to retail. Of course, different businesses have different needs when it comes to inventory tracking, but they all share a common goal of managing inventory effectively. Effective inventory management isn’t just about knowing what’s in your inventory currently. It’s about making your inventory help your business grow.

For a restaurant, that may look like accurately tracking how often and how much lettuce you need to be delivered. When you pinpoint the right delivery schedule and amount, you can make sure you always have fresh lettuce for your diners, avoid waste and maximize your profits. For a grocery store, effective inventory management tracks which products are especially popular and which may need to be eliminated from your product offerings. Does one type of cereal sell out while another simply takes up room on the shelf?

The key to successful inventory management today is to let technology do the work for you. You don’t need to base decisions on guesses or assumptions, and you don’t need to be consumed by manual tracking methods. Using outdated systems like spreadsheets for inventory management over modern cloud-based software systems can lead to mistakes that make up as much as 35 percent unnecessary costs for inventory management in a year.

If you want your business to grow, get great inventory management software for your small business, and let the data speak. If your POS system offers inventory tracking, that is an excellent way to streamline the process and take full advantage of modern technology.

6. Add Credit Card Processing

credit card processing

This may seem like a small thing, but if you don’t currently have an option for credit card processing, you could be stunting your company’s growth. For a small business, credit card processing may seem like an unnecessary headache. This may apply to you if your business is exceptionally small or if you sell at farmer’s markets, fairs, festivals or trade shows more than in a brick-and-mortar store. While it may have been acceptable to expect consumers to pay in cash at these venues a decade ago, that is no longer a reasonable expectation.

According to a study by the Mercator Advisory Group, 36 percent of consumers checking out in a store prefer to pay with a credit card and 33 percent with a debit card. Only 18 percent prefer paying in cash. When over two-thirds of consumers prefer to check out with a credit or debit card, you need to make that possible. Otherwise, you may lose their business.

To get started, you’ll need to have the right equipment. Purchase or rent a credit card reader where customers can swipe or insert their cards. The credit card machine for your small business should be integrated with a POS system so the system can coordinate with financial services to automate the credit card processing fees. If your credit card processor can also handle mobile wallet payments, then you can please even more customers. Never let the logistics of payment stand in the way of a sale.

7. Implement a Customer Loyalty Program

Are you aware that even just a five percent increase in customer retention can lead to more than a 25 percent increase in profit? If this number from Bain & Company seems hard to believe, keep in mind that it always costs more to acquire new customers than it does to keep your existing customers. Focusing on turning customers into repeat customers is a smart strategy if you want your business to grow and experience long-term success.

Delivering the excellent customer service we discussed earlier is one way to keep customers. Another way to encourage customer loyalty is through a loyalty program that tangibly rewards customers for their repeat business. Many consumers will shop more frequently, or even exclusively, at a store where they have a loyalty membership.

You could use a variety of models to build your customer loyalty program. A simple example is the stamp card where customers get a stamp for every $10 spent, for instance. Once their card is full, they get a special discount or even a free product. The issue with a stamp card or other manual rewards methods is that they don’t fit especially well into our modern world where customers expect processes to be automated for speed and accuracy.

A more attractive model for these consumers is a rewards program that uses modern technology. When loyalty customers can get special promotions sent to their phones and cash in on rewards by simply scanning a card, they will be more likely to stop in and make a purchase. Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed at the thought of making this happen. Consider taking advantage of a program that does the work for you, like the nationwide BR Club loyalty program.

8. Use an All-In-One POS System

all in one pos system

If you want to really bring your small business to the next level, an easy and effective way to do that is by purchasing an all-in-one POS system. There are many reasons to get an all-in-one POS for your small business. If you’re currently using a manual cash register for your small business, any POS system is a significant step up from manual ways of facilitating the point of sale, but an all-in-one POS system is more like a giant leap up.

An all-in-one system includes every component you need at check out, including the cash register, credit card reader, terminal screen and receipt printer, plus the software you need to manage inventory, track sales and more. A POS system like this can streamline the way you run your business and help you do it more successfully. No one wants to deal with a multitude of tech tools that aren’t designed to work together. And no one wants to pay for all of these tools separately, either.

You should look for an all-in-one system that is cloud-based, meaning the software is stored in the cloud as opposed to being installed on your local hard drive. One advantage of cloud-based systems is that your provider can update them remotely. Another significant advantage is that you can access your data from anywhere, so even if you’re not at the store, you can still manage your store by checking in and even making changes to the system if needed.

Watch Your Business Grow With the POS+ From NRS

grow your business with NRS

The best POS system for small businesses is the POS+ from National Retail Solutions. Our all-in-one POS system offers the best value on the market, so your small business can afford it. If you’re hesitant to make the investment, think of the many benefits your business will enjoy with modern POS hardware and software. With the POS+, you can easily manage your inventory, track sales data, offer product promotions, encourage customer loyalty, allow customers to pay in any way they prefer and deliver a checkout experience that’s engaging and efficient.

If you’re interested in how the POS+ could help our business grow, contact us for a free quote today!

Categories
Small Business Tips

What to Know About Cash Advances for Small Businesses

cash advances for small businesses

What to Know About Cash Advances for Small Businesses

Most small businesses have a keen understanding of the phrase, “It takes money to make money.” It can be frustrating to know that your company would almost certainly thrive if it weren’t for a temporary cash flow problem. You may have to turn away business because you don’t have the funds to fulfill orders or can’t afford the equipment you need to perform a particular service.

Being short on the money you need to make money is a common problem. You may be short on funds because your money is tied up in inventory or because you are waiting on customers to pay. Whatever the cause of the problem, a disruption in cash flow can be a serious detriment to your business. Cash flow problems cause a staggering 82 percent of business failures.

So, what can you do to overcome a financial bump in the road without letting it turn into an insurmountable obstacle? When your business lacks the funds it needs, it’s time to look outside of your business for financial help. There is always the traditional business loan, but loans like this require you to get approved, which can be difficult or impossible for businesses that have just started out or have some unfortunate credit history behind them.

The perfect solution for many small businesses strapped for cash is a cash advance. In this post, we’ll learn more about what a cash advance is, how it works and why you should consider seeking one out for your business.

What Is a Cash Advance?

A cash advance, also called a merchant cash advance (MCA), is a way to finance essential business purchases like new inventory, supplies or equipment when you’re short on cash. In most cases, you can get up to $250,000 from a cash advance loan.

merchant cash advance

Though a cash advance is often referred to as a cash advance loan, it isn’t technically a loan. It’s actually a sale of your future assets. When you know having access to cash right now would solve your problems and allow your business to make money, then you can sell a portion of the profit you stand to bring in to the MCA provider in exchange for the cash advance.

Because a cash advance is a different financial product from a loan, it’s a viable option for businesses that have applied and been turned down for a traditional business loan. This means issues like a low credit score or limited business history won’t keep you from being able to get a cash advance.

Like a short-term loan, cash advances are meant to be a quick fix solution that can help businesses right away. You get the cash you need, sometimes in as little as two days, and you pay the lender back relatively quickly — often within a matter of months.

Why Do You Need One for Your Small Business?

Based on the explanation above, you probably already have a good idea of why your business could benefit from a cash advance. Let’s look at three major reasons why your business might need a cash advance:

1. You Need Cash Now

The most basic reason to consider a merchant cash advance is that you need access to cash now. There are many reasons why you may need money right away. For example, one problem some small businesses run into is that they don’t have the money to purchase new inventory. You may have purchase orders that you can’t fulfill because your customers won’t pay you until you’ve paid to restock the products they’ve ordered.

If you find yourself in this scenario or another circumstance where you need money before you can make money, then a cash advance is a valuable option. You can pay your wholesaler or manufacturer and satisfy your customers. In turn, you’ll get paid and can pay back the MCA provider.

2. You’re Just Starting Out

Starting a small business takes both careful planning and a leap of faith. Before you can make any money, you need to fund all sorts of startup costs, such as your building, employees’ salaries, equipment, inventory and more. You may think at first that you’re all set but then run into additional costs you aren’t prepared for.

If you run into unexpected costs that you need additional money to pay for when you’re first starting out, you may apply for a loan and quickly find that it can be difficult to be approved for a loan when you haven’t been in business long. A cash advance can be a helpful solution for new businesses who need a little extra push to get some momentum going.

3. You Have Bad Credit

Another common reason why you may not be able to get approved for a traditional loan is if your credit score is too low. Business credit scores range from 0 to 100. If your business’s credit score is below 75, you may have trouble getting approved for a loan. You could also apply as an individual, but you’ll probably need your personal credit score to be around 700 for a small loan or closer to 800 if you want a business loan.

Your credit score is based on factors such as whether you pay bills on time, what your credit history is like and how much available credit you have. While poor decisions or mismanagement can certainly lead to a bad credit score, you may also experience difficult circumstances that are beyond your control. Whatever the reason for your low credit score, it won’t keep you from getting a cash advance.

How Do Cash Advances Work?

how do cash advances work

We’ve looked at the benefits of a cash advance, but how exactly does it work? Fortunately, the process is fairly simple. If you get approved for a cash advance, you receive your money in a lump sum right up front. There are two possible ways you can pay the provider back:

  1. You give them a portion of the proceeds from future debit and credit card sales until they are paid back. This portion will be expressed as a percentage.
  2. You allow them to debit your account on a daily or weekly basis until they are paid back. These regular payments are called Automated Clearing House (ACH) withdrawals.

Unlike a loan, with a cash advance, there is no set time in which you need to pay back the provider. You will simply continue to make payments in one of the two ways above until the provider has been paid back.

Of course, the amount you pay back will end up being a bit higher than the amount you were advanced. This is how cash advances can be mutually beneficial for businesses and MCA providers. The provider will determine what is known as a factor rate. When multiplied by the amount of cash you receive, this factor rate will determine the total payback amount.

For example, if your advance is $1,000 and the provider agrees to be paid back at a factor rate of 1.3, you will end up paying $1,300 back to the provider. The good news is that, even if it takes you longer than you had planned to pay back the amount, the advance won’t rack up any interest. The final amount you pay will always be set at $1,300.

The terms of the cash advance will outline how much money your business will receive, how much you will pay back and how you’ll make those payments.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?

As with any form of financial assistance, cash advances come with some potential disadvantages, but they also have some advantages. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of getting a cash advance.

pros and cons of cash advance

Disadvantages

When you research cash advances, you may see warnings of their pitfalls, but in many cases, these aren’t necessarily disadvantages unless you have a false expectation of what you’re getting with a cash advance. It’s important to understand that merchant cash advances:

1. Can Be Costly

Compared to other forms of financial assistance, cash advances can be expensive. Most factor rates fall between 1.1 and 1.5, so in the worst cases, you could end up paying 50 percent more back than you received. Look for a contract that includes a lower factor rate. The lower the factor rate, the smaller the percentage above your advance you have to pay back.

2. Come With Restrictions

Since MCA providers have a vested interest in your business being profitable, their cash advance contract may include some contingencies to help ensure that you can pay them back. For instance, you may not be allowed to close your store for an extended period of time or change locations.

3. Can’t Fix Long-Term Problems

Cash advances are meant to help businesses solve temporary problems so they can make money. When companies have ongoing issues with their cash flow, this is an indicator that some inherent problems in the business structure need to be solved. In these cases, a cash advance will only put a bandage on the problem.

4. Depend on Future Sales

This isn’t necessarily a disadvantage, but the future can be unpredictable. You may think that once you get your cash advance, your business will make plenty of sales and you’ll be able to pay the MCA provider back quickly, but there may be a chance your business won’t do as well as you expected and it will take longer to pay the provider back.

Advantages

Cash advances also come with their fair share of valuable benefits, which is why they’re a popular option for businesses that need a leg up. Some of the pros of cash advances are that they:

1. Are Easy to Apply For

Applying for a cash advance tends to be a very simple, straightforward process. MCA providers don’t require much documentation from you, and what is needed, you can upload online. In many cases, you can complete the whole process online, so you don’t have to take the time to go to a bank or office. The terms of your advance should be clear so there’s no confusion or hidden costs.

2. Have High Approval Rates

Getting approved for a cash advance tends to be much easier than getting approved for a loan. You may have to provide a few months’ worth of your business bank statements or records of your past credit sales so the MCA provider can see that your business will do well enough to pay them back. They may also want to see your credit history, but the standards won’t be as high as they would be for a bank loan.

3. Get Money to You Fast

Cash advances are especially helpful when you need cash right away. After submitting your application to a provider company, you should hear back quickly. If you are approved, then you’ll likely get your cash advance within a week. Some companies may get it to you in as little as two days. This stands in stark contrast to the months it can take to get your money when you apply for a bank loan.

4. Don’t Require Collateral

If you open up a line of credit or get a loan, you have to provide at least some of your current assets as collateral in case you default on the loan or can’t pay back the creditor. You don’t have to do this when you get a cash advance, though. Since cash advances are unsecured, you don’t have to put any of your assets – either personal or business – on the line.

5. Accommodate Ebbs and Flows

Loans with fixed monthly payments don’t take into account the natural ebbs and flows of business. You may have some months where you do very well and others where sales are down. While some cash advances involve set payments, the more common model is that the provider gets a percentage of your credit card sales. This means, if sales are down one month, so is your payment to the provider.

How Does a Cash Advance Through NRS Work?

get a cash advance

To get a cash advance through NRS, you can apply online. Just fill out the quote request form, and then a cash advance specialist will reach out to you to answer any questions you have, address any potential concerns and get any additional information needed to draw up a cash advance contract.

If you are approved, you’ll receive your money within two to three days. This means you can immediately put your cash to use to buy inventory, office supplies or equipment, or to use it for working capital. A cash advance gives you the money you need now so you can continue to be profitable in the future.