If the retail industry were an ocean, the corporations would be the sharks and the small businesses would be the minnows.
Chain stores like Walmart, Costco, etc. are towering figures, but as small business owners, let this not dishearten you. We can discuss how by making small changes to the way you do business and by learning from the best practices of other businesses you can actually push your own to be ready for the future.
And future small business trends look pretty wacky.Read More
Funding a new business or expanding an existing one used to consist of an application or two to banks and supplying your business plan or profit and loss statements for the suit-wearing loan officers to mull over with their underwriters.
Ever since the economic downturn in 2008 however, and in some cases even before, banks have been leery, if not unwilling, to release funds for small business use.
The only ally which seems to be trying to help small business is the SBA, and even these loans – which are usually backed 75% by the SBA against losses – require jumping through numerous hoops.Read More
Do you ever wonder why a lot of prices for retail products end in 99 cents? It is called psychological pricing and any prices ending in 9′s are considered “charm prices”.
These 9-based prices are based on a theory which states that consumers read prices from left to right and even when a decimal value of up to two places is very close to the next rounded value, consumers tend to associate the price with the last rounded value. Hence, when you list a price “$3.99”, consumers associate it with spending $3 as opposed to $4 even though the latter is a more accurate value.Read More
In today’s world of online shopping and big-box retailers it’s hard for the local business owner to compete, but it’s even harder if you are trying to compete on price. You may sell a popular item, but if Walmart carries a similar item and buys 10,000 of them every month, they’re going to get a much better wholesale price, and they are going to beat your retail price every time.
Trying to match the prices of major chains who buy in bulk or online retailers who have extremely low overhead is a recipe for losses.Read More
According to the National Retail Federation, Valentine’s Day spending grows every year. In 2012, people spent $17.6 billion dollars and in 2013 they’re estimated to increase spending by another billion dollars for $18.6 billion. Here are some additional numbers to keep in mind:
- People will spend an average of $131.
- Men are predicted to spend around $180 on their partners whereas women are more likely to spend around $90.
- Married couples spend almost half the national average, about $75 dollars.
We think accepting credit cards is already a no-brainer to be as accessible to customers as possible, but did you know that card-carrying customers spend more, too? According to Visa, the average cash transaction is $17, while credit card purchases on a Visa card average $66 and debit card purchases average $42. As far as checks go, their popularity continues to decline every year for everyday purchases.
Last year you probably bought a gift certificate or gift card, right? You bought one for a picky teenager, the office Yankee swap, or for kid who is old enough for an iPad, but not old (see: trustworthy) enough for a credit card connected to their iTunes account.
Gift certificates might not look so hot on the holiday tree, but last year 80% of shoppers said they planned to buy gift certificates and 58% said they’d like to receive one. They weren’t kidding either, because according to a Q4 trend report from last year, gift card sales grew 55% compared to the previous year.Read More
Did you know that American Express card members spend more than any other? In fact they spend 43% more. They spend four times more than Mastercard members and three and a half times more than Visa members. They also claim to the have the highest credit quality among major card issuers and 36% of employers prefer American Express for business expenses. If you’re not accepting American Express, you might be turning away valuable customers!Read More
If you look at your ERR statements and find it difficult to decipher what’s being charged – you’re not alone.
Deciphering ERR statements is difficult, because they are designed to hide true fees from merchants. Recently we told you what ERR pricing entails, and this week we’re going to show you exactly how deceiving it can be.
Recently, one merchant asked us to analyze their statements from a legacy processor. The merchant pointed out their great 1.85% qualified rate, but our analysis showed a much higher effective rate under the confusing ERR pricing, and exposed the ERR surcharge fees.Read More