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starting a small businessMy daughter Allyson, is in the process of starting a small business. We have taken all of the first steps like:

-Naming the business

-Obtaining the Federal ID# and the LLC

-Finding the location for the business

-Determining her services and price points

-Opening her checking account

Now the next big question for her: How will she get paid?

In the old days, we opened a checking account and deposited the cash and checks that our clients walked in and handed us. These days things are very different. Yes, you still have the occasional times when someone carries cash or you decide to actually accept a check as payment. But what happens more often is someone wanting to pay with a credit card, debit card, or some other form of mobile payment.

According to CreditCards.com “In a 2016 survey, payment processor TSYS asked over 1,000 consumers which payment form they prefer. 40% chose credit cards, while 35% selected debit cards, and only 11% specified a preference for using cash.”   

So what are the options?

How about Paypal? A lot of small businesses start with this option because it is user-friendly and doesn’t require a checking account. However, there are limitations and drawbacks to using Paypal. It can take up to 4 days to get money transferred to your bank, terms of use and accounts are subject to suspension at any time, and customer service can be really hard to get a hold of.

There are so many options – Square, Stripe, Braintree and probably 40 others. But most of them have the same drawbacks as Paypal. It feels like you are at their mercy.

Then we looked at Quickbooks Intuit Payments and Invoicing program. My bookkeeper has been billing me for years using that program and when I asked why they preferred it I found out they liked how quickly they get paid and how much control they have over the whole process.

For me, I love the fact that she is planning to use Quickbooks for her financials and record keeping, so why wouldn’t she use the same system that is made to work perfectly with her financial program.

Doing our research we found that Intuit offers Smart Invoicing. Not only can you do on-site processing for those clients that come into your office, but with smart invoices, your clients can pay 24/7. We were also really impressed with the ability to create custom invoices. And although we didn’t need it, they have made their customer service very accessible.

When you start to look at your payment options you need to decide what the most important aspects are to you. Do you want to personalize your invoices? What financial program will you be using? Are you going to accept payments on your website? Do you need an easy in-person way for people to pay? You need to decide what is most important. What other aspects are important to you? Tell us in the comments below.