Posted on

[BLACK] TOOL: Stripe Payments


Making Money

Charge it. Cha-Ching.

Are you looking for an easy to use credit card processor for your company?  Look no further. One of my favorite business solutions is Stripe, a software tool for collecting credit card payments.

Positioning itself as the ‘payments infrastructure for the internet,’ Stripe is the perfect solution for those looking to build a marketplace, mobile app, online storefront or subscription service.

Stripe Features

Do you need to accept payments quickly and easily? Stripe is not only easy to set up, but it doesn’t entail a long application process. You can be up and running same day. Do you need to accept payments from anyone, anywhere? Stripe currently supports businesses in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and many European countries.

Do you need recurring payments? With their subscription APIs and webhooks, storing customers’ cards on file is easy. Go ahead and collect the customer card upfront for background billing later. Stripe also offers flexible billing periods, coupons, trials, secure checkout (SSL) and more.

Pricing:

It only takes minutes to get started and there are no setup, monthly or hidden fees. It’s just 2.9% + 30 cents per successful charge. Transfers arrive in your bank account in 2 business days.

Sign up:

Visit the Stripe website.

Posted on

[Video] Be Willing to Walk Away from a Deal

Sales Integrity is Being Willing to NOT Sell Something

Are you so desperate for a deal that you’d never dare walk away from a sales opportunity? Especially one that’s a big deal that could pay your mortgage for 3 months or cover office expenses?

Thinking about walking away is tough for most entrepreneurs, especially considering hard we work for a living. But, there are times when it makes all the sense to do just that. Don’t sacrifice short-term gains for long-term success.

Today’s customer wants to deal with credible people who’ll tell them the truth.

Watch this 1:32 video from Jill Konrath to find out some good reasons why having sales integrity, even at the risk of losing income, is the right thing to do.

Posted on

[Video] Getting Funded in Silicon Valley

What Does It Take To Get A Deal Done?

Henry Wong (30 year Venture Capitalist in Silicon Valley) discusses the acid test for entrepreneurs, and talks about what elements to present when thinking about raising venture capital.  There are five key points that you must consider when seeking funding, one of which is having a cohesive team.

Watch this :06 video to discover the other four criteria; it’s well worth your time.

Posted on

[BLACK] TOOL: Shoeboxed


Making Money

Ready to eliminate paper clutter?

As entrepreneurs, we’re always collecting receipts. Yet, it seems like we never have any spare time to organize them.

Shoeboxed.com is ready to come to your rescue!  Consider Shoeboxed your full time virtual assistant that saves you time and money (especially during tax season)!

Shoeboxed takes the pain out of paperwork.  All you do is send the paper documents (receipts and business cards) by mail via the supplied envelope or upload them via your mobile phone.

Shoeboxed will scan, enter the data and categorize the receipts before posting them into your secure account.

Why I like it.

For me, the most appealing thing is the ability to just ship off all your receipts (in a shoebox!) and have them scanned.  So no matter where you are in your fiscal year, you can bring you receipt organization up to date without scanning one thing yourself.

That means your time as an entrepreneur is free to spend on more important issues.

With Shoeboxed mobile, you can just snap a photo of the receipt or business card on the go and upload it directly to your account.

Watch the video to learn more.

Pricing:

It’s free or you can get a paid account for $9.95/month.

Sign up:

Shoeboxed.com - Scan Receipts and Business Cards

Live and Learn.

If you enjoyed learning about this tool, please share it with others below.
Thank you for your support.

~ by Connie Hammond ~

Posted on

[eBook] Thriving on Less


Simplifying in a Tough Economy

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein

The recent economic recession has a lot of people worried, about their jobs, their businesses, their homes and their bills. When your income is dropping or in jeopardy and you still have a mountain of bills to pay, things can get pretty scary. However, tough economic times do not have to be a time of struggles! If you look for the opportunity in the middle of difficulty, as Mr. Einstein suggested, then tough economic times become an opportunity to transform your life.

Review or download the eBook from Leo Babauta to find out how (see below).

[gview file=”http://www.resortentrepreneurs.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Thriving-on-Less-by-Leo-Babauta.pdf”]
Posted on

[BLACK] TOOL: Meeting Ticker


Making Money

How much is your time worth?

If you’re anything like me, when your work day comes to a close, you find yourself asking this frustrating question “Where did all the time go?” Even more so, you’re probably exasperated by the fact that you didn’t get a lot more accomplished — in spite of the fact that you were not only ‘cranking out’ work all day long with not so much as a lunch break, but you were also attending worthless meetings. If you recognized yourself above, then there is a tool that I guarantee will help you save time … and money.  Because, in business, time is money.

Stop the bleeding.

I recently came across this free online tool that’s a real eye-openers when it comes to monitoring time.  That tool, which stops the bleeding when it comes to wasting time, is the Online Meeting Ticker. All you do is enter in the number of people attending your meeting, the average hourly rate of the attendees and then click start.  You can even enter “one” attendee if you’re on a conference call and want to see if it was really “worth your time” at the end of the call. Trust me, after you freak out, you’ll want to stop the bleeding. And I’m guessing that if you have this ticker up and running during a meeting where attendees can view it, they will get to their point a lot faster.

Pricing

It’s free!

Live and Learn.

Get the latest TIPs and TOOLs:

Posted on

[BLACK] TOOL: Hello Fax

Making MoneyThere’s a new kid on the block when it comes to faxing services, and trust me…this is one tool you want to get your hands on.

Hello Fax.

If you’re anything like me, you hate having to print out documents that require your signature, sign them, scan them and then fax them back.  It’s always so time consuming and frustrating that just the thought of someone asking for a signature sends chills up my spine.

Until now.

If you’re ready to get your contracts and proposals executed asap in order to make money faster, then sign up for Hello Fax stat.

It’s a deal-maker.

It’s fast. It’s easy. It’s a dream.

Rarely do I get so excited about a new tool.  Yes, there are some that save me time or help with my workflow, but this tool is a dream come true for entrepreneurs, especially eco-friendly ones.

Did you know that the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year?  Hello Fax was started by Joseph Walla who had a vision of a paperless office, and that’s another reason I love it.

It saves trees. And it will save you time, money and stress.  Check out this :60 second video that shows just how easy it is to use:

With Hello Fax, you not only sign, edit and fax documents entirely online (no more printing!), but you’ll save money too.

Pricing

There are four package options available.  Pricing ranges from $0.00 to $69.99 depending on your needs.  I use the basic package, but envision upgrading to the next level soon as my business grows (I’ll need more fax pages for all those contracts!).

You can view Hello Fax packages and pricing here.

If you enjoyed learning about this tool, please share it with your friends.

Live and Learn.

Get the latest TIPs and TOOLs:

~ by Connie Hammond ~

Posted on

If You’re Struggling Financially, Weak Social Skills May Be the Culprit

By Steve Pavlina of StevePavlina.com

Often when people are struggling financially, they try to make improvements that never quite work out. One reason is that they’re working on symptoms while overlooking the real core issues.

If I may be direct, much of the time the main reason people struggle in this part of life is because they have very weak social skills. They may think that limiting beliefs about money, or perhaps a lack of self-discipline, are holding them back, but even people with very abundant lives have limiting financial beliefs and self-discipline challenges.

The real problem isn’t your financial skills or your beliefs about money. More often than not, the problem is that you’re trying to make money in ways that could be described as socially inept.

Are you socially inept?

People who are socially inept don’t understand that money is a social tool. Money is communication.

Instead they treat money as an object, as something to collect and acquire. But by using money in this way, they don’t realize they’re actually trying to use people. And trying to use people is a socially inept way of communicating. People generally don’t like to be used as tools, so money doesn’t easily flow to socially inept people who attempt to relate to others in this manner.

If you’re trying to get more money, you’re behaving in a socially creepy manner, and so you’re going to meet a lot of resistance and will most like meet with failure and frustration.

If you’re having some difficulty improving your level of financial abundance, let me share a perspective with you that I think will help. This will be a very down to earth perspective — no need to invoke the Law of Attraction or use terms like “vibrational match” here.

What is money?

We know that money is a medium for exchanging value. But what does that mean?

Let’s set aside all conspiracy theories for the moment and focus on the practical reality of what money does for us in our daily lives. Money is used for trade. When we use money, we’re trading one kind of value for another kind of value.

Using money amounts to trading goods and services, like trading apples for salt, or shoes for a massage.

Now who participates in these trades?

People. Human beings.

Money may seem more abstract than hard goods and services, so it’s understandable that people get confused about how to earn it, but imagine what your financial life would be like if there was no money. What would it mean to talk about financial abundance in the absence of money?

Without money in your life, you’d basically have two options for creating abundance.

The first option would be to produce everything you desire for yourself. You’d have to grow your own food. You’d have to self-educate. You’d have to design and build your own shelter, harvest all the resources for it, and invent and build your own tools from scratch. You couldn’t use anything like a computer or the Internet unless you invented and developed all your own technology, including building your own communication networks. If you wanted to participate in modern society to any meaningful degree, we can safely rule out the go-it-alone approach.

Your second option for creating abundance would be to engage in trades with other people. There are two aspects to this. First, you need to have something to trade. Second, you need to conduct trades, which are social interactions.

So if you go the trading route (which is the only practical choice for most people), there are two fundamental skill sets that will determine your ability to create and enjoy financial abundance:

1. Your skill at creating value such that others are willing to trade for it.
2. Your skill at executing trades with others.

Both of these are social skills. Let’s explore this more deeply….

Creating Value

It’s common to think about creating value for others in terms of your mental and physical abilities, including your technical and artistic skills. Can you write software, create music, fix plumbing problems, or mop floors?

But how do you learn these skills in the first place? From your parents. From schools and teachers. From books. From the Internet. And probably from many other sources. Ultimately, however, you learned your skills from people. You wouldn’t even have the most basic skills of reading, writing, and speaking if not for other people.

Yes, you can also learn through direct experimentation, but I’m sure you’ll agree that most of what you’ve learned so far ultimately came from human beings. People created those resources and chose to share them with you. If not for the help of others, you’d pretty much be an idiot, at least by the standards of our modern society.

Now think about what an upgrade in your social skills could do for you here. If you were even more skilled socially, you’d be able to gain access to more and better educational and training resources.

Despite the massive amount of content on the Internet, a lot of knowledge is still fairly private, including some of the most current info that hasn’t yet trickled down to the Internet. The only way to learn certain information is through people. Additionally, some skills are just much easier to learn directly from people than through free resources.

What determines your ability to gain access to the best proprietary info? You can buy it, but in the absence of money, your access will largely be determined by the strength of your social network, which in turn is largely determined by your social skills.

So the better your social networking skills, the more opportunities you have for skill building.

Additionally, how do you learn the relative social value of different skills? How do you learn which skills have high trading value (like performing heart surgery) vs. low trading value (like mopping floors)? You learn this from other people too. Do you have a social network that encourages you to learn and develop skills with high trading value? Or do you have a social network that lets you settle for skills with low trading value? If you have the latter type of social network, why haven’t you consciously created the former?

If you aren’t able to create much value for others (i.e. high trading value), that will surely depress your income. If this is a problem you’re currently experiencing, it means your social network isn’t doing a very good job of training you to deliver strong value. And if your social network isn’t training you properly, then we have to take a serious look at your social skills, don’t we? After all, you’re the one who’s maintaining your social network. If you wanted to change it badly enough and had the skills to do so, you could certainly do that. Lots of people do.

Some people are just lucky. They’re born into amazing social networks that prepare them for lives of abundance. Others have to work at it. Either way, your social network is your responsibility. If it isn’t serving you, why not change it?

One again, if your finances are lagging and you’d rather not experience that reality, it means your social network isn’t doing its job, which means your social skills are lagging, which means you’re not doing your job socially. Financial failure and social failure are the same thing.

Trading With Others

Now let’s look at the second aspect of creating abundance. Once you have some value to offer, you can engage in intelligent trades with other people to fulfill the desires that you can’t or won’t fulfill on your own.

What makes for a successful trade? In the long run, this is also determined by your social network and your social skills. Opportunities for trade will come from other people, largely through your social network. If your social networking isn’t bringing you abundance-producing, win-win trades on a regular basis, then again, your social network isn’t doing its job. And if your social networking isn’t doing it’s job, why not? That would imply that you aren’t doing a good job of creating and maintaining an empowering network, which in turn points to social skills that are lagging.

My intent isn’t to beat you down here. My intent is to help you target the right strategy for growth if you’ve been struggling to create financial abundance. Some people don’t see much improvement even after years of working to improve their finances, and that’s largely because they never address the underlying social problems that give rise to scarcity. I think you’ll experience a lot more growth if you reinterpret your financial problems as social problems. At the very least, it will give you a new avenue to explore.

How Strong Social Skills Can Create Financial Abundance

So how does abundance result from strong social skills?

Let’s revisit our two aspects of trading:

1. Your skill at creating value such that others are willing to trade for it.
2. Your skill at executing trades with others.

Imagine a person who has amazing social skills. What would that look like, and how would it affect the two trade-related skills above?

First, this person would have more educational and skill-building resources than most people. Great social skills can be used to build and maintain an empowering network of intelligent and resourceful friends and contacts. If this person ever wanted help learning anything, there would always be someone to turn to, someone to suggest and offer quality resources.

As great as Google is, there are some questions that are best answered by human beings.

Moreover, a human network can provide abundant emotional support, encouragement, and accountability. Google doesn’t care if you procrastinate. Good friends, however, do care.

This socially skilled person would also have a better sense of other people’s needs. Better social skills means better empathy and listening skills. So s/he would have an easier time figuring out what to do to create strong value for others, value that people would gladly trade for. The socially inept person, by contrast, would be more likely to create something that nobody wanted, which can be very discouraging.

Next, this highly social person could cultivate a social network that delivers a continuous flow of choice opportunities for quality trades. If this person wanted a job, it could be found through his/her social network. If this person wanted to start a business or offer a new product or service, his/her social network would provide plenty of assistance to make that a reality, including abundant referrals of new clients and customers. Suffice it to say that this person would have a serious advantage.

Our socially inept counterpart, however, would suffer major disadvantages across the board. S/he wouldn’t be in the best position for attracting educational and skill-building opportunities, and s/he would also miss out on the choicest trading opportunities. Long-term financial scarcity would be the most likely outcome.

My Social and Financial Expansion

When I look back over the past 20+ years of my life, I see a major correlation between my social skills and my experience of financial abundance. During those times when I was the most solo-minded in my thinking, my finances lagged. But when I put some serious effort into social skill-building and expansion, my financial life improved markedly shortly thereafter.

For example, when I decided to become active in the Association of Shareware Professionals in 1999, I went from earning about $300 per month from my computer game sales to more than 10x that within a matter of months. I can directly attribute the improvement in my finances to the education and opportunities that came to me through my expanding social network.

Until I made that commitment to reach out socially in my industry, hardly anyone knew that I existed. I was never invited to speak at conferences. I had no chance of winning awards and getting free publicity for my products. I never had friends emailing me advice and suggestions and sharing resources.

Both in my own life and in the lives of others, I’ve seen ample evidence to convince me that financial abundance is largely a result of strong social skills and the intelligent application of those skills.

Specifically, this includes the following:

1. Your ability to proactively befriend intelligent, resourceful people and add them to your social network.
2. Your ability to inspire people to refer helpful opportunities to you (resources, leads, clients, etc).
3. Your ability to serve as a positive source of inspiration and opportunities for others (maintaining win-win connections).
4. Your ability to prune and release dead-weight relationships (avoiding win-lose and lose-lose connections).

To be very direct once again, people who suffer financially generally make the following social mistakes:

1. They often behave as loners and spend a lot of time alone or with the same few people (social isolationists).
2. The frequently suffer from approach anxiety and low self-esteem, which discourages them from initiating new connections and creating social expansion (social timidity).
3. They clutter their social lives with losers who have little to offer in terms of support, resources, and skill-building (low standards).
4. When they do meet intelligent and resourceful people, they act passively and fail to establish new friendships (lack of intitiative).
5. They remain loyal to a pity posse that consistently blocks good referrals with fear, jealousy, or sarcasm (clinginess).

I know this sound harsh, but pause for a moment to see if any of this resonates with you.

The Good News

The good news is that if you’re currently suffering from financial lack, and if you can see and admit that it just might have something to do with your lagging social skills, there’s hope for you yet. :)

It will take time to upgrade your social skills and to overcome related fears and limiting beliefs, but this is a rewarding journey to undertake. If I can go from a shy child who used to play alone in the sandbox to a man who thinks of 3-day public workshops as a form of play… and from debt/bankruptcy to seeing money show up whenever I need it… then why not you?

I can’t offer you an overnight fix here (and beware of anyone who promises such silliness), but I do think it will help you to focus on a social upgrade as the key to financial abundance. You can start by browsing my blog’s archives and reading some articles on social skills, but this time read those articles with a fresh perspective. How could a social skills upgrade impact your experience of financial abundance?

And if you’d like more help along these lines, please consider attending our February Conscious Relationships Workshop. Although financial abundance isn’t the main focus, it’s very likely that you’ll learn new ideas, tools, skills, and perspectives at this workshop that will help you improve your finances.

Do Something Different

As a final thought… the key for me in creating this change was to admit to myself that being a social isolationist wasn’t working. So maybe… just maybe… I should try doing the opposite for a while.

I was already going bankrupt at the time I made this decision, so I figured I had nothing to lose by changing things up. It seemed worse to perpetuate the patterns I had while sinking into debt, so “do the opposite” seemed like a valid strategy.

It took a while to feel comfortable with a more active and varied social life than I was used to, but it worked — faster than I expected. In fact, on the Myers-Briggs test, I actually flipped from an INTJ to an ENTJ during that time, meaning that I switched from an introvert to an extrovert, at least according that that particular personality test.

In the meantime, after sending this newsletter I’m going to fully enjoy some socially abundant time in Hawaii this week with 130 friends. As I sit on my balcony overlooking the ocean, it’s a sunny 79 degrees with a light cool breeze blowing through the palm trees.

Lately I’ve been noticing how much I’m enjoying my life — and how different things are today vs. how they were many years ago when everything seemed like a struggle.

A key turning point was when I decided to step outside my socially comfortable cocoon of familiarity and to become a more active participant in the world.

I started small, first by becoming more involved in an industry trade group, then in a larger subset of my industry, then by writing articles for lots of people, and so on. But it all began with the admission that my comfort zone was becoming a cage, and that I had to abandon it in order to keep growing.

In the long run, growth is a lot more rewarding and fulfilling than comfort.

Posted on

[BLACK] TIP: How To Attract More Money


Making MoneyEveryone is working so hard these days to make more money and survive this recession, including myself. We’re laser focused on acquiring the actual dollars and cents to pay our bills that most, I’m afraid, are forgetting how money really flows to us.

Money flows to us in the form of opportunities.

When you have your nose to the grindstone, going through the motion of making a living, you’re more than likely missing opportunities that are presented to you throughout each day versus when you’re engaged and truly present in the moment.

It’s time to slow down, open your eyes and really start paying attention to the “signs” that show up.

What opportunities have you missed out on today?

Did you shut down the person who tried to make contact with you at the coffee shop this morning? Did you choose not to take the call from a friend, opting to work…work…work instead? Did you dismiss yet another volunteer project that came your way because you just don’t have the time?

When was the last time you reached out to someone else and offered help or support? When was the last time you shook up your routine and tried something new? Have you spoken to your neighbor lately? What about that long lost friend?

How many times did you say ‘no’ today?

Sometimes you have to take the time to create the opportunity.

A customer of mine from Aspen asked me to spend time reviewing his website content earlier this week as a favor. It was 1:30 am, and I was tired from working all day. Needless to say, it would have been easier to blow off his request and just go to bed.

Instead, I stayed up longer and took the hour needed to provide solid feedback and offer my opinion.

Meanwhile, I’d been fretting about my upcoming trip to Aspen and where I’d find the extra $3,000 I needed to get there and really enjoy an extended stay.

The “opportunity” to help my client out auditing his website for free resulted in a grateful phone call the following morning. The first words out of his mouth were, “Can I please pay for all your expenses to come out to Aspen so you can help me with my website?”

Holy Moly!  Done!

A few weeks ago, my friend invited me to a “preview” for a personal development course. During this overview presentation, I learned some wonderful new techniques that would prove beneficial in both my personal and business life.

I really wanted to attend the full weekend course.

As I was thinking about whether or not I should just go ahead and register for the pricey course in spite of being on a strict budget, my generous friend tapped me on the shoulder, pulled me aside and told me that she really wanted to treat me to this course if I was interested in attending.

Holy Moly! Done!

Last night, I connected via phone with a new friend and fellow resort-entrepreneur who I met online. The conversation lasted well over an hour, and I have a sneaky suspicion that we’ll be working together in one form or another in 2012. Instead of being rushed because of my never-ending to-do list, I took the time to be fully engaged in our conversation.

Who knows where it will lead, but I have a good feeling that’s another opportunity in the making.

Opportunities may not produce actual dollars in your pocket, but they produce riches nonetheless.

I’m most certainly a “pay-it-forward” kind of gal, so I’m guessing that’s one reason these opportunities continue to pop-up. But, I also know it would have been easy – because of my workload — to stay hunkered down, work some more and concentrate only on me and my stuff.

When you start saying yes to opportunities and invitations that show up, you may be surprised at the riches coming your way in return (and riches don’t have to mean cold hard cash).

You may win a laptop. You may get a special treat. You may receive advice that you really needed to hear…advice that changes your course and opens more doors.

Stay open to the possibilities today.

Posted on

[BLACK] TOOL: Amazon Associates

Making Money

Do you write blog posts (you should) about your business?

If so, you have an opportunity to create another revenue stream for your business by recommending Amazon products which apply to the subject at hand.

What is it?

Amazon Associates is one way to make money when you advertise the products on Amazon.  When you sign up to be an “associate,” you’ll be given a unique associate id which is embedded in the URL for tracking and payment purposes.

Links and Banners

One way to use Amazon Associates is by posting links and banners.  When you add these links and banners to your web page and visitors click on them from your page, you can earn up to 15% on all purchases made during their shopping session. 

So, not only would you make money if they bought your recommended item, but if they continue to shop during that specific online session, you’ll keep earning a commission.

There are three options for promoting the Amazon product: text links, image links and enhanced image links.  Your links will include your unique Associate tag for tracking purposes, allowing you to get paid for qualifying revenues coming through this link.

Or, link to Amazon product categories and promotions using their stylish, graphical banners.  Banners come in a variety of sizes adn shapes.  They’re easy to add, and you can show special graphics for special Amazon promotions such as Back to School or Mother’s Day. 

Widgets

Amazon Widgets are rich, interactive mini-applications that bring Amazon functionality to your website. There are 14 different widgets to choose from including: search widget, my  favorites and a carousel widget.  You can customize your widget and grab the HTML for you to use on your site.

Site Stripe

If you want to go gangbusters, turn the Site Stripe on so you can build your Associate links right from any Amazon.com page.  It’s a quick and easy way to build links while browsing Amazon.  You also get short-cuts to Associates news and reports, it’s easy to configure and completely compatible with the Product Links.

WordPress Plugin

I use the WordPress Amazon Associates plugin by Matthew John Denton which quickly and easily allows you to monetize your website through the integration of Amazon products and widgets tagged with your associate id.

It’s extremely easy to setup.  All you do is download and activate the plugin, then insert your unique Associate ID.  Once set up is complete, you’ll have the option of inserting relevant product recommendations into your posts while editing.  This plugin even makes product recommendations based on your subject matter.

It really doesn’t get much easier than this.  Below is a screenshot of what the plugin looks like in wordpress.  You just enter the search term and choose which index (ie. books), and then it suggests relevant products.  You can see an actual example of what the enhanced image link looks like at the end of this post.  I’m suggeting the “KaChing” book (one that I’ve actually read and do recommend) about Making Money Online.

Bottom line?

Unless you have huge traffic numbers, don’t expect to make a lot of money.  But little things do add up, and this is one simple way to generate extra money while also providing the additional service to your readers of recommending relevant products. 

Recommended Reading:

[amazon_enhanced asin=”0470597674″ /]

Posted on

[BLACK] TOOL: Square Payment System

What is it?

Rated as one of the 50 best inventions of 2010 by TIME magazine, Square is the easiest way to get paid.  Better yet: it makes it easier for your customers to buy.

Their app enables you to accept credit cards quickly and easily using your mobile device — and get NEXT DAY payout to your bank account!

It’s the perfect tool for small businesses.

When you sign up for a Square account and download the app, they ship you a free card reader (a “square-shaped swiper” that plugs into your phone to swipe credit/debit cards; see product photo below).

Square 2.1 just launched which help users better run their business.  New improvements include faster transactions (4 second transactions!), easier tipping (add gratuity with a single tap) and the ability to skip signatures on purchases under $25.

As of May 2011, the company had shipped 500,000 card readers and is on pace to process $1 billion in payments this year.

Why Do I Like It?

Because Square will be around a while: they just raised another $100 million in June 2011.  Because Jack Dorsey who was co-founder of Twitter also founded Square so it’s got some credibilitiy.  Because it’s a cool little gadget.  Because it works.  Because you can collect money and avoid ‘check in the mail’ or ‘I forgot my wallet’ excuses.  Now you can just reply to those excuses with: “No problem. I take credit cards right here and now.”  SWIPE.

What Is The Cost?

Free.  You pay a transaction fee of 2.75% for each swipe (no commitments).  If you enter credit card numbers manually, Square costs 3.5% + 15¢ per transaction.   More details re: pricing.

Who Are The Competitors?

Most competitors out there require a merchant account, a credit check, have hidden fees or require its own system.  Word on the street is that Google is planning a new mobile payments service which would allow consumers to tap or wave their mobile phones at a cash register to pay for their purchases.

Although this is a unique solution without direct competitors, some similar companies are:

More Information:

Product Screenshot:

Click to Tweet   

Live and Learn.

~ Connie Hammond ~