For many sole traders and SMEs, the process of invoicing can feel like a necessary evil. From plumbers and carpenters, to hairdressers and mobile businesses, issuing, waiting and in many cases reminding businesses to pay their invoice represents part and parcel of everyday life.
But does this have to be the case?
With card processing now more accessible than ever to businesses of all sizes, traditional invoices can now be replaced with instantaneous payments in most day-to-day applications. And with many small businesses potentially haemorrhaging money as a failure to accept cards, changing your method of payment could be more important than you think.
Invoices – more than just a inconvenience to your business
Invoicing can often be a slow and tedious process for businesses of all sizes. In a digital world where so many of today’s transactions are performed online, they can also feel a little outdated. But far from just creating a mountain of paperwork and an administrative headache, invoicing may in fact be costing your business money.
Recent research published by business software provider Exact, estimated that nearly one in five SMEs have forgotten to invoice for goods or services at least once. Businesses can and are continuing to lose money as a result of having to wait for payments – to the tune collectively of around £3.7 billion.
In addition to invoices harming your bottom line, an inability to accept card payments may also be hurting your operations.
A necessity your business needs
Although many trades and mobile business may believe that the majority of their customers still prefer cash transactions, attitudes are continuing to change. A 2013 study by PayPal revealed how small businesses could be missing out on around £800million of sales each year by not taking credit or debit cards – with a staggering 64 per cent of businesses not accepting cards as of Q4 2013.
To put that into perspective, last year alone credit and charge cards were used to make 2.3billion purchases in the UK to a value of £142billion. No matter what your product offering, that represents a huge market that your business will be unable to tap into if you’re not accepting card payments.
In the same PayPal study, the research unveiled fears over start-up costs and merchant fees amongst some of the key reasons many small businesses have avoided card processing. But as well as being far over exaggerated, the small costs that are incurred at start-up can often be covered within weeks with the additional profit made through offering card processing as a means of payment.
Add a layer of authenticity to your business
No matter what the nature of your operations, you can discover a range of practical card machine solutions to fit the unique requirements of your business. Whether that’s a fixed Point-of-Sale (POS) machine at a trade counter, or a mobile unit that can be used up and down the country, today’s credit card processing units are able to adapt to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
In addition to increasing the efficiency and profitability of your business however, adding cards as a payment method can also help you project a more professional and authentic image. Accepting card payments carries with it an air of legitimacy and it’s something you can market to consumers – helping to build trust, value and confidence in the customer-business relationship.
Although the traditional invoice isn’t likely to go away just yet, credit and debit card processing can help lessen the chance of costly processing times and administrative woe – allowing you to focus on more important parts of your business!
Want to know more about how card processing can help your business phase out traditional invoicing? Speak to one our friendly team FREE on 0808 231 4431 to discover more.
October 16, 2014