It's not easy being a small business owner. Two of the biggest challenges on every entrepreneur's mind are how to minimize expenses and how to accelerate the growth of their business. The right payment processing solution can help on both fronts. So we did a thorough review of the leading payment solutions providers, and PayPal came out on top for more reasons than one.
PayPal has long been known to offer an excellent consumer experience, giving them an easy online checkout that accommodates different ways to pay. And for business owners, it's essential to provide this ease to your customers to gain referrals, return visits, and a good reputation. Fraud protection, security, ease of setup, and low overhead are all qualities to look for in selecting a good payment processor. PayPal checks the box on all of these key criteria. Here's how PayPal sets itself apart:
1. No hidden fees.
PayPal has simple, flat-rate pricing and transparency. It doesn't use "show rates" like other services who reel you in with lower fees, but whose add-ons add up. No long-term commitments, monthly minimums, startup or cancellation fees are also a huge plus.
2. It's not just for ecommerce.
Although a lot of customers do their shopping online, PayPal hasn't forgotten the brick-and-mortar businesses. If your business sells at farmer's markets, craft fairs, or on-site with clients, no need for a cash box. PayPal's mobile card readers allow you to accept credit and debit cards – even contactless payments like Apple Pay – in person or at your store.
3. Make it personal.
PayPal.me gives you a personalized link to your online store that you can share with your customers. All they have to do is click your link, type in the amount they owe, and send the money.
4. Get even more with PayPal Payments Pro
With PayPal Payments Pro, you're able to create a customizable checkout experience. You can seamlessly integrate PayPal to fit the look and feel of your website, maintaining your business integrity and aesthetic. Also, you can accept credit and debit cards, PayPal, and PayPal Credit.
5. Big purchases? No problem.
With PayPal Credit, your customers get access to special financing so they have more time to pay for their purchases. The best part: even though customers can pay over time 1, merchants get paid, in full, up front. For high-end items, this can make a huge difference to customers on the fence about a purchase. Some small and mid-size merchants saw up to 68% larger transaction sizes for customers using PayPal Credit compared to credit/debit transactions.2
6. Help fund your business.
Business cycles always include dips, like when you need to restock inventory or hire additional help. Certain businesses may qualify for a PayPal Working Capital 3 business loan – without a credit check and with a flexible payment schedule.
7. Go global.
One of the largest concerns with selling internationally is fraud. PayPal's reputation goes beyond the U.S., giving customers protection with secure payments and 24/7 monitoring, adding in that extra layer of confidence. They also allow you to accept payments in 25 currencies and from 203 markets around the globe.
8. It's a trusted business partner - starting at $0 a month.
Whether you're just starting out and have no experience in online sales, or have been in the business for years and want to expand, PayPal offers a trustworthy payment processing solution. For basic business solutions you can sign up for PayPal Payments Standard for no monthly fee; for a more customizable experience, you can sign up for PayPal Payments Pro for just $30 a month.
Of all the payment processors, PayPal is the most comprehensive payment processing solution that aims to help you attract new customers and sell more - online and off. PayPal is more than just a vendor for your business, but a partner to help you organize and optimize your sales. It's key to taking your business to the next level.
Update: Signing up for PayPal takes as little as 15 minutes! Follow this link to start accelerating your business with PayPal today.
1PayPal Credit is subject to consumer credit approval, as determined by the lender, Comenity Capital Bank. 2As reported in Nielsen's PayPal Credit Average Order Value Study for activity occurring from April 2015 to March 2016 (small merchants) and October 2015 to March 2016 (midsize merchants), which compared PayPal Credit transactions to credit and debit card transactions on websites that offer PayPal Credit as a payment option or within the PayPal Wallet. Nielsen measured 284890 transactions across 27 mid and small merchants. Copyright Nielsen 2016. 3PayPal Working Capital is subject to credit approval, as determined by the lender, WebBank, member FDIC. To apply for PayPal Working Capital, your business must have a PayPal business or premier account for at least 3 months and process between $20,000 (or, for certain qualifying business accounts, $15,000) and $10 million within those 3 months or within any time period less than or equal to 12 months. PayPal sales include processing on PayPal Express Checkout, PayPal Payments Standard, PayPal Payments Pro, and PayPal Here.
Between buying a new home and transporting yourself and your belongings to it, moving can be an expensive process. One often underrecognized cost of moving occurs before one's original house has even been sold, and that's staging the house. Homeowners often spend hundreds of dollars making a home appealing to potential buyers. To ease the financial burden of moving, here are several tips for staging your home on a budget.
Downsize Instead of Storing
The goal of staging a home is to create a blank canvas that potential buyers can imagine their own lives painted upon. To accomplish this, homeowners should depersonalize the home as much as possible, removing items that are specific to their family and eliminating clutter. This is where homeowners often incur their first costs as they rush to put as many older things in storage as possible.
To cut costs, focus on downsizing rather than storing items. Look for items that you can sell, donate, or give away. For remaining items, look for alternative places to store them, such as a friend or relative's house. This will also reduce the cost of moving your belongings when it is time to go to the new house.
DIY What You Can
There are times when homeowners should bring in a professional to manage home renovations and decorating, such as when a task requires specialized skills. These types of jobs, when done incorrectly, will incur even greater costs if attempted on your own. However, many of the home improvement tasks that go into staging a home are simple enough that the homeowner can DIY them, such as painting, installing a backsplash, or refinishing the deck. Doing these tasks yourself will save you a significant amount of money.
Don't Redo, Update
Homeowners are often eager to make their houses look as appealing to buyers as possible. However, recall that the point of staging is depersonalization, making a home presentable so buyers can mentally impose their own style onto it. When staging a home on a budget, focus less on completely transforming the space and more on making what is there look presentable. For instance, if you wanted to give your bedroom a facelift, trying to replace the furniture and flooring would be pointless unless it was damaged or unkempt. Simply organizing the space and replacing the bed's comforter would be sufficient.
Another way to update the space without entirely redoing it is to rearrange it to maximize the space that is already there. For instance, pulling the furniture away from the walls will make a room appear bigger and allows more space for those touring the house. Using window trimmings that maximize natural light and incorporating wall mirrors can also make a room seem more spacious.
Raising a larger family than most means that your lifestyle is going to change. Costs will continue to multiply as your family grows larger. However, just because your family is large doesn't mean your quality of life needs to suffer. It just means you need to make a few adjustments to help things work smoother and more efficiently. We've compiled a couple of money-saving tips for larger families to help you get the most out of your dollars.
Always Buy in Bulk
The benefit of having a larger family is that things you buy in bulk rarely ever go to waste. Smaller families can benefit from buying in bulk, of course, but your large family will see the most use out of shopping in large quantities. You'll want to avoid going to smaller stores for necessities such as groceries and clothes, as these places generally have higher markups on their items.
Buy Wholesale Items Online
If you want to take buying in bulk to the next level, one of the best money-saving tips for large families is to buy online from wholesalers. Buying online comes with a number of benefits that you won't get when you go to a physical store:
- You don't have to drag your kids to the store with you
- You have a lower probability of making impulse purchases
- You can search for exactly what you need
- Wholesalers sell in very large quantities for a lower price per item
Never Throw Away Something Useful
When you have to buy things for multiple children, your costs to replace items will be much higher. That's why it's so important to keep everything you can. Clothing is a big part of this. Hand-me-downs can prevent you from needing to replace entire closets every year. Try to repair or upcycle any clothes that may have damage, as this is usually much cheaper than buying brand-new items.
Stick to a Budget
When you support a large family, expenses can sometimes get away from you. Proper budgeting helps to keep the extra purchases that add up to a minimum. Budgeting correctly can save you a lot of heartache in the long run. It's up to you how much control you want to take; you can make your budget weekly or monthly, depending on how tight a ship you need to run. What's important to remember is that making the budget is only the first step—sticking to it is where you'll really need to enact some willpower.
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Sometimes there is no choice—a home needs to be sold in the winter.
Spring may be the most popular time to put your house on the market, but homes do sell in the colder months. With fewer houses available, your home may be someone's only choice when house hunting in your neighborhood. As your neighbors hold out until spring, you'll already be done and ready to shop for your next house!
Here are a few tips for selling a home in the winter to get you on the right track.
Keep Paths Safe and Landscaping Fresh
Landscaping is the last thing on a homeowner's mind in the winter. Everything was cut back in the fall and may now be covered in snow. Still, take a walk around the house and yard to check everything out. Branches may have fallen from heavy snow, leaving a mess in the yard. Keep everything neat and tidy.
The last thing you need is a potential buyer slipping on the ice-covered walk in front of your house. Buyers often consider those moments bad omens, and this can affect their decisions. Shovel, snow blow, spread salt—do whatever you have to do to keep the driveway and walking paths clear, and don't forget the porch and deck.
Make the Inside Warm and Cozy
In cold weather, buyers won't spend a lot of time examining a home's exterior. Instead, impress them with the inside by creating an atmosphere which causes them to want to move in.
When there's time, leave wintery types of snacks and drinks, such as hot cocoa and cookies, available on a table during showings. This gives your home a welcoming feel to buyers.
Light the fireplace (if you have one) for a lovely ambience and set your thermostat to a comfortable setting. A warm home in the winter is much more appealing than a chilly one.
Make Your Home Less Personal
Understandably, this can be a tough thought for homeowners. After all, you've spent years creating memories in your home. To buyers, though, they need to picture it as their own. Too much personality makes that difficult.
It's always important to stage your home in a way that makes it look clean, comfortable, and move-in ready. Don't feel offended by the idea of taking family pictures down and replacing them with generic décor. This will help your home sell faster by helping buyers envision their own things there.
Cleanliness and Maintenance
Clean, clean, and clean some more. Make appliances, counters, and floors shine. No matter how old your home is, it needs to feel like new to potential buyers. If you aren't into dusting, now is the time to try. Don't forget window coverings that might need washing.
Be prepared ahead of time for home inspections by taking care of maintenance now. HVAC systems, plumbing, and electrical should all be up to code and running smoothly.
Use these tips for selling a home in the winter, exercise patience during the slower months, and your home will sell before you know it.