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Just for the Health of It

Credit Card Processing Machines – Does Your Salon Need a Card Processing Machine?

Is it important to have a credit card processing machine?

I’m often asked if salon owners should have a card processing machine in their salon. The real is that it very much depends! You should really consider factors such as:

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v The type of person you are now and want to be in the future. If global salon domination isn’t on your ‘radar’ and you’re more than happy with your lot in life and there is absolutely nothing wrong in that then, perhaps, a machine isn’t for you. (Back in the 1970’s my mum ran a salon from the front room and never had any plans to make it any bigger. She was quite happy working on her own)

v The type of treatments you offer. If, perhaps, you run a salon where you do lots of small treatments for relatively small amounts of cash (Nothing wrong in this) then processing cards will seriously damage your revenues as you will have to pay the processing charges. If you sell big ticket items then you’ll struggle to survive without having the ability to charge credit cards.

v The amount of retail you sell or expect to sell. If retail products really aren’t your ‘bag’ then a machine will be less important to you.

v Your clients. If your clients have/don’t have cards (in the majority of cases) then perhaps you should/shouldn’t have a machine.

However if you want to expand sales and expand your business. If you want to capitalise fully on retail opportunities. If you want to earn every single dime you can then you cannot afford not to have a credit card processing machine.

Why you’ll need to be able to take credit cards

You know when you buy something with your credit card it’s just not the same as handing over hard folding cash is it? Overall I’m sure we’d all think about our purchases just that little bit more if we hand over cash rather than our credit card. Don’t you?

Well, if we think in that way then – you’ve guessed it – so do our clients! Our clients will, perhaps, spend more money with us if we can process their credit cards rather than simply accepting cash.

So what typically does a credit card processing machine cost?

Firstly you’ll probably be expected to pay a set up charge for getting a processing machine. This can be around the £200/ US$320 mark.

Then you’ll be charged a monthly rental for the machine and the connection. This is likely to be around £20/US$32 per month. After this (as if all of the above isn’t enough!) you’ll then be charged per transaction. Depending on the type of card presented to you. Charges typically vary from a flat rate to a percentage of the sale.

Processing cards really could not be easier. All machines should come with full training and to a very user friendly manual.

To conclude then you need to ensure that, if you have a machine, that you’re going to use it. You want to ensure that all the costs attracted to the machine are covered by your pricing structure. (You must not be making a loss from accepting credit cards) And, finally, all your staff (you included) are fully trained on how to use your credit card processing machine.

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