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Handling Small Business Monthly Payments

Discussion in 'Offline Marketing' started by OfftoOnline, Nov 6, 2010.

  1. OfftoOnline

    OfftoOnline Newbie

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    This project will involve 150 businesses each being charged $33 per month, I'm trying to figure out the most effecient way to not have to chase that many businesses around for $33 bucks every month.

    It works out to $396 a year on a monthly basis so I'm offering:
    Annual at $363 (1 month free)
    Semi-Annual at $185 per payment ($26 Savings)

    Should I just not offer the monthly payment option? How would you approach this, I know how awful it can be sending invoices for small businesses so I'm trying eliminate that BS
     
  2. terry56

    terry56 Junior Member

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    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer
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    Camarillo,CA.
    Most offline Gurus say "charge monthly using PayPal"

    In reality, 99% don't know about Paypal, so they dont have an account.

    You cant set one up for them as you need bank account details.

    Definitely, register your business with your local city hall.
    Once you have your license, get a business bank account, they can then pay you to your business name.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010
  3. OfftoOnline

    OfftoOnline Newbie

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    Thanks, if a business grosses over 50k you can hire an accountant to fix your finances so you don't pay out the a** for taxes right? I think I might register an "enterprise" so I can put everything under one company.
     
  4. teeniegenie

    teeniegenie Supreme Member

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    I find most local businesses want to cut me a check each month instead of paying with a credit card. But if you can get around that issue a simple merchant account may make sense. This one has been highly spoken of here before (I don't personally use it at the present time):

    http://www.merchantinc.com/

    Hope that helps.
     
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  5. OfftoOnline

    OfftoOnline Newbie

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    I definitely agree they prefer to pay via check and I prefer to be paid via check, what I don't like is chasing a business around with invoices and all that stuff.

    I'm checking out that website now, I'm trying to minimize the amount of work needed for them to pay me too because that seems to be an important factor.
     
  6. krzysiekz

    krzysiekz Senior Member

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    Don't settle for a check. Are you really going to get each one of them sending it in the mail each month? Will you get it on time? Etc etc, won't work. You should get some sort of the merchant account and automatically bill them per month, so you get paid on time, all the time and you focus on providing the service that you are offering instead of wasting valuable and precious time on getting paid for your work!

    You might lose some customers... but if you do, find some new ones to fill the spot (if possible). Believe me, I don't even run anything of that scale but just sit down and logically think about how much work you will need to do and all the questions of "is your service working" "why is this happening" "why is this not happening" that you will have to answer and justify for them to make a payment to you - and this could potentially happen each month.

    To put it short - make it all automatic payments and don't do anything else. You will likely need some agreement first though, ie - get them to sign a contract that you are allowed to debit automatically $x per month on Y day, etc.

    If you don't mind, could you PM me some ideas of what you are doing as I am also in offline marketing and currently in the process of doing what the popular thread on here said to do (make dentist website, sell leads, etc :p)

    I hope this has been helpful.

    Thanks
     
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  7. goldstrike4u

    goldstrike4u Junior Member

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    In the UK the best way to take payments like this for individuals or small businesses is by standing order. Reading wikipedia it seems that there is a way in the US where the bank will automatically send you a check each month on behalf of the client?
     
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  8. OfftoOnline

    OfftoOnline Newbie

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    Yea, I'm going to set up this account, I'm registering as a business (sorry blackhater :p) and I'm pushing a 1 time payment for an even better deal than I posted, then a semi-annual one then finally a 1x a month payment, I think most businesses will be more than happy to pay a yearly fee. We will figure it out.

    I really agree with you, my dad owns a small business and he hates chasing people around for money when he could be earning more. I realize how annoying this is so I'm working to make sure this doesn't happen to me, especially since the amount of businesses involved can
    increase exponentially. I need it to be automated, that's where most of my research is going right now.

    Hmm, I'm Canadian so neither US or UK applies to me but I'm looking for something similar.

    Thanks to both of you guys for your help, I appreciate it.
     
  9. teeniegenie

    teeniegenie Supreme Member

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    I totally agree that dealing with invoices and tracking payments is a pain, but if that's the only way a customer will pay, then so be it. I've seen some customers become willing to switch over to automatic payments after a while (once they trust you and see that you're legit). So many "brick and mortar" businesses are leery of online services for some reason - they automatically think "scam".
     
  10. TapTapper

    TapTapper Junior Member

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    Hey y'all, there's a great free app to help you handle billing. It was originally created for hosting resellers but they updated it so it's not so web-centric anymore.

    Code:
    phpcoin.com
    It's also in most Fantastico packages so you can install it automatically through your host account
     
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  11. terry56

    terry56 Junior Member

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    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer
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    If you are working from home, your registered business is in your home address, so go get a P.O. box.
    In the USA you can do this:
    If the Post office address is say "5467 Almond St, Anytown, US" and your P.O. box number is 123, you can have an official business address of "5467 Almond St, Suite#123, Anytown, US"

    Now doesn't that look so professional? :)
     
  12. kenpodude

    kenpodude Registered Member

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    I like to use Freshbooks. you can get an authorize.net account and do automatic recurring payments with it. no more chasing payments...
     
  13. mobetman

    mobetman Newbie

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    Yes, Freshbooks is a great way to go. It allows you to accept automatic payment or checks and sends invoices, reminder payment and late payment messages to your clients. It also handles billing related to outside contractors you may hire to help you complete a project.

    You can get a free account if you have 3 clients or less (good for trying it out). They also offer a 30 day trial if you switch more than 3 clients over to the new system.
     
  14. lildog

    lildog Newbie

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    When I speak with the client, I present the monthly service price, but then show an annual price that reflects 2 months free, i.e. "Would you like to pay for 10 months and get me for 12 months?" I have only had 1 out of 27 clients not take the annual option.

    I have used this from realtor's wanting videos produced to seo work for a bakery. The one business that did not pay the annual fee was a barbershop.

    Hope this helps.