Have you heard of Square, GoPayment, or PayPal Here? If you own a business or you are looking to pursue an entrepreneurial venture then these three software applications could greatly benefit you and your customers. The idea of all of these applications is to allow you to process credit transactions on your smart phone or iPad. The main benefit of being able to take credit on a mobile device is the portability and convenience. Accepting credit is practically expected in today’s world. Most shoppers prefer to carry less cash and may turn down a buying opportunity if they cannot charge it. If you own a small business or provide a service that does not have a brick and mortar location, then you really need some way to accept credit just like a storefront would. Square, GoPayment, and Paypal Here provide less hassle for you too. Taking credit is quick, easy, and you could carry less cash. There are a few drawbacks to mobile credit, but they do not seem to outweigh the positives. One main issue could be security breaches and technical issues. Using your mobile phone or iPad to transfer credit card information could potentially be an unsecure network. You should also keep in mind that your phone could die or stop working. Luckily, these applications are an additional advantage to your business if you do not already accept credit on-the-go, so it should not hurt you too much if there are minor technical issues. There is also an extra charge to accepting credit, but this is applicable whether you accept credit on a mobile device or in your store with a credit card terminal. The tradeoff between prices of each application is very similar. Each one charges a percentage of sale, or with Square and GoPayment you can pay a flat rate each month, but that will only benefit you if you are bringing in a large amount of money. Square and GoPayment both charge 2.75% on each sale, and PayPal charges 2.7%. In conclusion, these three applications are worth looking into depending on what your business needs are. Technology is constantly on the rise so make sure you are keeping up with the trends.
Could Mobile Transactions be Right for You?
New Advisor: Rhianna
Rhianna Witt is the new intern for the Community Economic Development Center. She currently is a junior Management major and Entrepreneurship minor. She transferred from the University of Dayton in the fall of 2012 and quickly found her niche here at Ohio Northern. In the Dicke College of Business Administration she is involved in the Peer Mentorship program and the Society for Advancement of Management. The Peer Mentorship program allows her to enhance her communication and counseling skills where she, along with other mentors, support freshmen through their first year to ensure that they efficiently adjust to college life. In the fall of 2013 Rhianna will be the secretary for the Society for Advancement of Management where she will be able to use her detail-oriented skills and continue to develop her knowledge in management. Outside of school Rhianna enjoys baking, pursuing her love of photography, and spending time with her family and pets. She has always had a desire for entrepreneurship and is eager to start helping others cultivate their dreams as well. If you are seeking small business counseling, feel free to contact Rhianna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Human Resources for Small Business
Pricing Your Product or Service
Author: Megan Siwik
After attending the Entrepreneurship Workshop, in Dicke Hall on February 26, 2013, I learned a great deal on how to price your product or service in order to be successful. Dan Fox, an alumnus of ONU, spoke on how price conveys image, perceived value, beating the competitor’s price, pricing to make a profit, understanding your customer and the four Ps of the marketing mix.
First, you have to understand that price plays a huge part in the perceived quality and value of a product/service. Many will pay a higher price for more value. An example of this would be the high price some will pay for a Bentley because they know for a fact that it is quality, prestigious and unique. A common mistake many small businesses will make is not recognizing the extra value and other benefits they offer to the consumer and they price their products too low.
Second, you have to take into consideration your competitors pricing and realize that the world is very competitive. Consumers are always comparing products/services to look for the best price or quality. The key is to differentiate your product/service so that customers are willing to choose you over your competition. Don’t be afraid to look into your competitors pricing and what they have to offer their consumers.
Third, pricing to make a profit is key in order to be successful and to keep your business open. Pricing is directly related to profit, but it is only part of a more complicated calculation. These calculations include finding your gross margin, break-even point and how many units/service hours it will take to make a profit. Something to keep in mind is that raising prices does not directly mean there will be an increase in profit. If you have any specific questions on how to do these calculations then stop in at the Community Economic Development Center and a business counselor will help!
Fourth, you need to know your target market and their needs! If you do not know who your customers are then you do not have anyone to sell your product/service to. It is important to know that you cannot sell to everyone; you have to pick a segment of the market to target specifically. Failure to do this for a small business can lead to failure, the best way to avoid that is to pick a market that you can serve better than the competition and have a need for what you are selling.
Lastly, you MUST know the four Ps of the marketing mix. The four Ps include: product/service, price, placement and promotion. All are intertwined and pricing is dependent on the other three. Your product/service will be priced depending on the types of attributes such as quality, features, options, services, brand name, and warranties. Placement refers to how your products are distributed to your customers. Examples include: retail, ecommerce, door to door, business to business and etcetera. Some of these distribution channels will be more expensive and this will show in the pricing of the product/service. Promotion includes all that goes into marketing and advertising your product/service to the people. This could include: sales promotions, public relations and other channels you decide to use for marketing. Although promotion can be expensive it is worth the spending in order to let your target market know that you exist and what you have to offer. Some overall closing advice on pricing would be to define your market, promote wisely, price to perceived value, to make sure your target market appreciates that value, to choose the most effective distribution strategy and to always be mindful of your profit.
Failure: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Author: Sasha Bolotova
A successful business is not only a result of what you do, but what you do not do as well. In order to be successful, there are certain things that must be done while there are others that must be avoided. I recently came across a study conducted by the SBA of 20 firms which discussed why ten of the firms failed while the other ten were successful in their prosperous years. To help you avoid failure within a small business, I would like to discuss several avoidable management traps highlighted in this study.
The first trap discussed is inadequate records, which nine of the ten failed businesses had. It is extremely important to make sure that all finances are kept in order, because all nine businesses discussed in this study had accountants that said they couldn’t even reconstruct simple forms due to the unsorted records kept by the owner. Going along with finances, it is important to not expand beyond available resources. When a company grows too rapidly and the bookkeeping system cannot keep up with the expansion, shortcuts are made which tend to lead to disastrous outcomes. Lack of information about customers is another important small business failure factor. You have to always be up to date on your customers’ information or you might end up like the failed businesses in the study that had bankrupt customers who never paid their accounts. Just as it is important to know information about your customers, it is also important to have a variety of customers as well. Diversifying your business market is crucial to staying successful. If you only have one main customer, then your business will fail if that customer ever decides to terminate the contract.
Many small business owners hire family members to work for their company, but this has to be handled correctly and carefully. Nepotism must not take over when having family members working for you and result in high salaries with small contribution from workers because that will ultimately lead to business failure. If hiring a family member is done correctly, it could lead to business success in the future because shaping a successor is always important. Although it is not a pleasing thought, one day or another, you will need to retire either due to old age, illness, or just because you are ready for it, but either way having someone to continue running your business correctly is essential. This ties into the final trap discussed, absentee management. Simply put, if you are not able to operate your business at all times, it is bound to fail. So if you think you are not able to handle your business 24/7 then you need to start thinking of shaping your business successor, or at least a leader that you can count on while you are away.
Being aware of at least a few of these business traps is necessary in order to build and manage your own successful small business.
Small Business Management: Is it in YOU?
Author: Sasha Bolotova
Starting your own business is a serious commitment, so do you ever wonder whether it is the right decision for you? Not only do your professional goals and needs need to be considered, but the advantages and disadvantages of owning a small business need to be kept in mind as well. There are various benefits that can be achieved by creating and managing your own small business. If you are willing to take on the responsibility of being a small business owner, one of the most appealing advantages is the ability to be independent. Being your own boss gives you the freedom to expand on your vision. It challenges you in ways you couldn’t be challenged before and it most certainly creates a sense of gratification. Other important benefits of owning your own small business include, but are not limited to, financial opportunities, job security, community service, flexibility, and family employment.
While the advantages are important to realize, it is even more important to understand the disadvantages of owning a small business before launching into one. If you are not aware of the downfalls, you will find this career path frustrating and will end up unhappy. However, understanding the disadvantages can properly prepare you for what lies ahead. One of the most significant barriers is the sale fluctuation, which are always consistent when working for a large firm. There could be months where you will need to take out loans to make sure that your business can get through rough patches, and as the owner it will be your responsibility to make sure that your business is afloat and running through those rough patches. Other drawbacks of owning a small business consist of competition, increased responsibilities, financial losses, employee relations, laws and regulations, and the most critical disadvantage is the risk of failure.
Owning a small business is not for everyone so it is crucial to evaluate the level of your passion, dedication and all of the advantages and disadvantages before committing yourself to not just a career path, but also a life style.
Do You Have What It Takes?
Is There Hidden Money in Your Business?
Passion Can Take You Anywhere: Meet Megan S
It’s not your credentials that set you apart from the rest of the people in the world, but your passion. I believe it is passion that sets me apart and is making me successful in all aspects of my life. This including school, my career, the clubs I lead, where I volunteer and when it comes to baking cupcakes. My name is Megan Siwik; I am a senior marketing and management major with a minor in entrepreneurship at Ohio Northern University. I wanted to go after these three aspects of business so I would be prepared to open my own bakery. Volunteering at the Cleveland Ronald McDonald House, five years ago, opened my eyes to how much I loved baking for a good cause. This allowed me to set my goals early and to work hard to achieve many of them before graduation. While at Ohio Northern I have been working toward a dual major, working two jobs, and leading American Marketing Association, Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization and Sigma Iota Epsilon as president. I am also part of two mentoring programs: Ada Friends and for the Dicke College of Business. My involvement and leadership in these programs shows the passion I have for business and how far I will go to reach my goals. I will also do anything I can to become the best in my field of work and open my own cupcake bakery. Being a business counselor for the Community Economic Development Center will allow me to help turn other’s passions into their own true life successes.
Richard K Biography
Richard Kaszar is a senior Pharmaceutical Business major with a concentration in Marketing. Outside of the curriculum of the Dicke College of Business Administration, Richard has gained knowledge of business through the positions he has held in various organizations at Ohio Northern University. He has gained financial knowledge through being the treasurer of the Ohio Northern University Singers as well as being a founding father and treasurer of Phi Gamma Delta. Richard has also gained experience and marketing through working as a telemarketer for Ohio Northern University’s Phonathon, running fundraisers for Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, as the Recruitment Chair for Phi Gamma Delta, and as the Networking Coordinator and Vice President of the Pharmaceutical Business Club. Upon graduation, Richard hopes to enter the health care field in marketing and advertising. Long-term goals of his include achieving his master’s degree in Health Care Administration and eventually a doctorate in Marketing in the hopes to expand the prevalence of undergraduate degrees in Pharmaceutical Business to other universities.
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