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Simply invest in a basic ledger and record all business costs and sales.Since you are doing it on your own, be sure to use a commonsense approach when calculating how much to invest in your business vs. Also remember to keep all business and tax records in a dry and secure place for up to seven years.You can also check with small business associations such as the chamber of commerce to see if they offer member discounts; it's not uncommon to save as much as 2 percent on credit card merchant fees.
If you're running a service business, one the most popular way people still pay for services is with a check.
You have to take a few precautions to ensure you don't get left holding a rubber check, especially when dealing with new clients.
There is a cost to provide these payment options--account fees, transaction fees, equipment rental and merchant fees based on a percentage of the total sales value.
But these expenses must be viewed as a cost of doing business in the 21st century.
Ask to see a photo ID and write the customer's driver's license number on the check.
If the amount of the check exceeds a few hundred dollars, ask the buyer to get the check certified or pay with a bank draft instead, especially if the client is new to your business.You will still need to familiarize yourself with basic bookkeeping and money management principles and activities such as understanding credit, reading bank statements and tax forms, and making sense of accounts receivable and payable.You also have to give careful consideration to the purchase payment options you offer customers, including cash, checks, debit cards, credit cards and online payment options, as well as establishing payment terms and debt collection in the event of nonpayment. Getting paid and money management can be tricky business because, in addition to customers, cash flow and managing your accounts properly is what keeps your business humming along.Consequently, getting paid in full and on time, as well as understanding money management, has to become a priority, even if you elect to hire an accountant or bookkeeper to manage the books.The major downside is that cash is risky because you could get robbed or lose it.In cases like that, collecting from your insurance company could prove difficult if there's no paper transaction as proof.Debit cards are another option, but to accept them, you will need to buy or rent a debit card terminal.Most banks and credit unions offer business clients debit card equipment and services.Once you've chosen a name and registered your business, you will need to open a commercial bank account. Start by selecting the bank you want to work with--think small-business-friendly--and call to arrange an appointment to open an account. However, when you go, make sure you take personal identification as well as your business name registration papers and business license, because these are usually required to open a commercial bank account.The next step will be to deposit funds into your new account (even 0 is okay).