Small Business and Solopreneur Payment Tools

With more businesses using employees working from home or outsourcing to freelancing independent contractors, solopreneurs are springing up everywhere. The single owner/operator business model is growing exponentially, especially since the COVID pandemic. Working from home or remotely is great, but time is money, and invoicing and getting paid efficiently is important. These resources are great for solutions for both the solopreneur and the small business, whether selling in person or online.

Functions of Billing and Payment Solutions

There are several companies providing the type of services in this article. They do not all necessarily offer everything here, and they often do things differently. However, three of the most widely used are:

  • PayPal.comi
  • Square.comii
  • Stripe.comiii

Comparing their services as related to your business and how you bill, charge, or invoice customers will probably show that one or more of these will get the job done. Check for which features and services each offers and their costs, if any.

Credit Card Processing

All three offer card processing services, so you do not have to set these up separately. They process credit and debit cards, take a processing fee, and then the balance is deposited into your account. Their fees are competitive, though shopping can probably get you a cheaper rate. However, you will probably be dealing with a third party that only offers the processing.

Onsite or In-person Charging for Products or Services

The solopreneur or small business can use a computer and swipe cards. For the more mobile businessperson, there are portable small Bluetooth devices for swiping cards. There is also a tiny swipe tool that is attached to a smartphone and processes through an app.

Transfer to Other Accounts

Once money is in your account, you can have your bank accounts set up for transfers. Depending on the service and the fee, you can have access to some or all the transferred funds as soon as instantly or out several days.

Business Debit Card

There can also be availability to get a business debit card to access your balance in the account. One or more of the services give a 1% discount on all purchases with their business card.

Invoicing

For the freelancer who works from home and invoices clients, all three of these offer invoicing apps for computer and other devices. You can set up terms, discounting, and line-item billing for clients. Some offer support for coupons, free trials, prorations, addons, partial payments, and overages. Recurring automatic invoicing and payments can also be set up. The invoice can require one or more payment methods including credit card, debit card, direct deposit, or check.

Reporting

All three offer different reports for income processed through their service. Invoices and payment transactions can be exported for bookkeeping and accounting purposes.

These services are popular because they streamline the sales, billing, and payment processes for even the smallest of businesses. They do so at an acceptable cost, while allowing the solopreneur or small business owner to maintain cash flow.

i Start selling right away, Paypal.com

ii Tools to run your business, Square.com

iii Subscriptions and invoicing for ambitious businesses, Stripe.com

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