I have been thinking about starting one lately, and I’ve come to realize that there’s so much that I don’t know that I don’t even really have a clue as to how much I don’t know.
However, I thought it might be useful to collect some tidbits of knowledge to help people decide whether to start a business, or how to get one going easier or cheaper.
For instance I worked with a vendor and a computer programmer on my day job to set up an on-line credit card sales system. The vendor is Authorize.net, and I don’t want to endorse their specific services as I’m sure there are other similar ones.
With this vendor service you can process credit card transactions for a monthly fee of under $25 and a per transactions fee of 10 cents a pop, You can cut that transaction fee just about in half, if you validate your data to a greater level against their database. For instance, if you enter the customer address into their system and validate that address against the credit card billing address, they’ll knock about 3 cents off each transaction. But you’ll also get more declined cards because of simple typos.
You can go to the vendor’s website with a login ID and password, and process a credit card directly through a provided data entry form, and the money will be deposited into the bank account you specified when establishing your account.
Or, as my emplyer did, you can hire a computer programmer to build your own data entry form. The vendor publishes their data transfer requirements, and the programmer organizes the data output in a way that the vendor gets all the necessary transaction data, and either sends back an “Accept” or “Decline” message.