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General Article

Why Your Credit Card Processor is Holding Your Business Funds

You’ve had a very promising start to your business and are looking forward to reinvesting funds to chase your goals. However, you check your merchant account and find that a hold has been placed on your funds. Plans stall, frustration sets in, and now you’re wondering what it all means and where do you go from here. Most importantly, how are you going to pay bills on time? What should you do when card processors hold funds?

First, it’s important to know the difference between a merchant account hold, also known as a “funds hold” and a merchant account freeze.

What is a Merchant Account Hold?

 

A merchant account hold happens when a credit card processor pauses settlements and holds all processed funds in security. This is why you’re not seeing the money deposited into your merchant account. (Keep in mind a hold differs from an ACH delay or rolling reserve; these are an internal issue at the acquirer or processor level.)

There are many reasons why your provider might choose to withhold your funds. In the event that your provider says you broke the terms of your contract, you could wait up to 180 days to receive your funds. Common reasons why a hold might occur include limiting risk and chargebacks. The primary reason a processor will hold funds is to limit the risk of a merchant closing their account while they still owe fees, chargebacks and fraud.

They may also choose to hold funds to ensure there is money available in case chargebacks occur. Having funds on hold helps to shield them from suffering losses due to a merchant conducting fraudulent transactions, and to ensure they can pay any accompanying fees.

 

What is a Merchant Account Freeze?

 

A merchant account freeze is similar to a hold, but a freeze is a worst-case scenario for merchants. When a freeze happens, your business will no longer be able to accept credit and debit card transactions. To complicate matters further, any and all income from recent transactions will not be deposited until the processor lifts the freeze.

How to Avoid and Fix Account Holds

 

The most important thing is to be transparent and communicate clearly when it comes to your merchant account. Before partnering with a processor, spend some time going over the terms and conditions in the agreement so you can avoid unnecessary holds and freezes. Make sure you only use your merchant account for your business (not another business or person), and only sell items that you agreed on initially.

It’s also important to keep in touch with your processor over any and all changes to your business. For example, if you starteded out processing around $10,000 in transactional volume per month, but you suddenly experience rapid growth and it jumps to $40,000 per month, you’ll need to let your processor know. Another big thing to manage diligently is chargebacks. Find a processor that can help you fight against and protect your business from chargebacks.

All in all, avoiding a merchant account hold boils down to choosing the right payment processor and being proactive with your account activity. Make sure your processor understands the ins and outs of your business type and industry.

Summary:

 

Did your card processor place a hold on your funds? Here’s everything you need to know about holds, freezes and what to do when card processors hold funds.…

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Online Marketing

10 Great Strategies When You Establish An Online Business

Building an online business is an exciting time. There is so much to look forward to – and a lot to get wrong as well.
So here are my top 10 considerations to think about when you are first thinking about starting out:
Tip 1 – Select a niche you are keen on:
You will probably be spending quite a bit of time on your new online business, so select a niche that you enjoy, not one that you just consider will make the largest profit. There is money to be made in pretty much every niche if you approach it sensibly, so you may as well enjoy the ride.
Tip 2 – Don’t get ahead of yourself:
There is a lot to take on board when you are starting out online for the first time. Take it one point at a time and only think about developing a new area of expertise when you have mastered the last one, otherwise you will end up struggling with "information overload" and begin making mistakes.
Tip 3 – Be mindful of the LARGER picture:
Whatever niche you select will have a direct influence on the overall size of your marketplace. Decide upon a relatively small sector and you will reach fewer potential customers than if you specialize in a bigger marketplace. It does not mean that you are bound to make less profit in a less significant niche, but you ought to think about your long-term goals and how big you want to eventually make your internet business.
Tip 4 – You MUST be prepared to work hard at it:
Developing an internet marketing venture is identical to building any offline business – you need to be ready to commit the time, effort and work at the beginning if you are wanting to benefit from the rewards later on. Do not expect to do well by devoting only half an hour here and there on your new venture, it will call for a more dedicated and consistent approach if you want to be successful.
Tip 5 – Grasp the basics before you start:
Getting appropriate internet marketing coaching and advice before you start is crucial. Spend time learning as much as you possibly can before creating your first blog. It will prevent disappointment and heartache later on and considerably improve your likelihood of success.
Tip 6 – Get your finances planned properly:
Building an internet business can frequently be accomplished on a surprisingly small budget, but you need to be prepared to "speculate to accumulate" as the saying goes. Work out a sensible budget at the outset and be ready to spend this if the need arises. You might wish to invest in a paid advertising campaign, or subscribe to a niche membership site, or outsource your content creation for example. If you have not allocated a budget to underwrite this expense, this may cause your new business to suffer a bit.
Tip 7 – Learn to test every bit of marketing you do:
This is not difficult to do in an online business and many dedicated analytics services are available to assist you. Study what works best – and what is not offering the returns you are looking for. You could well be surprised at the results and this will allow you to fine-tune your online marketing campaign (and your budget) in the months ahead.
Tip 8 – Do not chop your prices:
It is occasionally tempting to cut your prices a bit in the hope that this will help to boost your turnover. It is not difficult to sell something for less than it is worth – the trick is to publicize products in which you have real faith and then ask a fair price for them. Your margins will be bigger and your customers will assume that they are getting a more valuable product at the same time.
Tip 9 – Look at affiliate marketing:
When you are growing your business online, you ought to be putting as much effort as possible into generating traffic, developing your reputation and gathering a targeted email list that you can continue to keep in contact with in the weeks and months ahead. This is much easier to do if you are not finding yourself distracted by product creation, customer service issues, refund requests and so on. Affiliate marketing eliminates these distractions and allows you to concentrate on what is crucial to your long-term success.
Tip 10 – Traffic is vitally important:
In your enthusiasm to start, the importance of getting hungry and targeted visitors to your website can frequently get forgotten – and of course a site without any visitors is not going to produce any money. Look at the various methods of driving potential buyers to your site and implement these …

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Marketing Management

As a Small Business, Can You Afford to Waste Half Your Advertising Budget?

John Wannamaker, founder of the east coast Wannamaker’s Department Stores, is credited with having once observed, “I know I waste half the money I spend on advertising, the problem is figuring out which half.”
This is an insight that is often lost on inexperienced marketers, particularly new businesses.
Wannamaker understood that for a variety of reasons only half of those who were seeing his ads were customers or potential customers for his store, and that he was wasting his money advertising to the half that were not. The irony of Wannamaker’s observation is that it was made more than 100 years ago, when his media choices were a tiny fraction of what they are today — maybe he had the local newspaper, some billboards and perhaps handout fliers to choose among, but certainly there was no TV, cable, radio, the Internet, bus signs, logo wear…
Wannamaker clearly understood he needed to target his marketing efforts specifically at those people who were or were likely to become customers. Like Wannamaker, as a marketer you need to know your customers or potential customers because if you don’t know who they are, then you could very possibly waste half or more of your promotional dollars on media that will charge you lots of money for viewers / readers who are not and likely will never be your customers.
Here’s an extreme, but true, example of someone’s misguided media buy: I once heard a high-end jewelry store advertising their pricey crystal glassware on a hard rock station. Yes, the station was the number one in the market, but that “number one” included a great many young people (high school age and below) who were certainly not in the market for expensive glassware.
As a small business can you afford to throw away half of your marketing budget like this?…

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What is Marketing

5 Things Every New Home Business Owner Online Should Know

If you’re just starting out online as a home based business owner and Internet marketer undoubtedly you’ve discovered just how much information is available telling you what to do, how to do it and when to do it. Unfortunately, you may get several different opinions from so called experts who are commenting on the same topic.
In order to help you wade through the plethora of data and differing points of view on the web here are 5 things every beginner should know before embarking on their Internet marketing career:
1. Find something you enjoy doing and something you know about. Don’t settle for the first program someone is promoting just because they’re guaranteeing success. Discover a topic you’re passionate about and you’ll greatly increase your chances of success.
People who love their jobs and who can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning to go to work are the people who will put in the time and effort necessary for any new business start-up to thrive and do well.
2. When you find the system or the Internet marketing program you enjoy take action immediately. For various reasons people fail to move forward with their business idea when they’ve found it. This happens even when the how to do it strategy is laid out for them in a step-by-step fashion.
Whether it’s a fear of failure, a fear of success or some other phobia you must recognize it and confront it and then take the action necessary to become the success you’ve envisioned.
3. Now that you’ve found your passion and you’re doing what you need to do to make it work you now need to be consistent and keep doing it. First time Internet marketers often make the mistake of trying a new home business idea for a few weeks or a few months and if they’re not seeing the results they expect they desert their strategy and start looking for something else.
Once you decide on a plan stay with it for the long term and give it a chance to become profitable before you abandon it. People make the mistake of jumping from one idea to another without really giving them a chance to achieve their goals. When you find something you enjoy doing stick with it and stop looking for the newest big money maker online.
4. When you’re just starting out on the web try to surround yourself with successful Internet marketers and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Visit the top forums and chat rooms related to your topic and try to strike up relationships with some of the top marketers on the Internet.
As with any enterprise, whether it’s offline or online, networking is a vital component of your success. These people have achieved what you’re striving for and any information or advice they can offer may help get you there quicker.
5. Just because you’re new to this field don’t be afraid to offer help to anyone who’s looking for it and always provide valuable content to your website visitors. When you visit forums try to answer or solve some of the problems people may be having with their Internet business. If you don’t know the solution try using Google to solve the issue.
Also be sure to give your prospective customers what they’re looking for by adding valuable content to your website. This will enhance your reputation online and people will soon come to think of you as an expert in your niche which can only lead to increased sales and profits.
Starting a home based business online can be a daunting proposition at the best of times. However, if you approach it with the right attitude in the belief that success will be yours by working hard and by having confidence in your ability to get there you will enjoy the fruits of your labor much sooner rather than later on the web.…

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Marketing Ideas

3 Marketing Techniques That Can Propel Your Business

Marketing is a game that very few understand, and the small business owners who do understand make it a point to keep their “business success” to themselves. Luckily, their “secrets” are simple, ordinary tasks that even a baby can do. So what are some of these “ordinary tasks” that these business owners are doing? Well I’m glad you asked.
In today’s lesson, I’m going to show you some ways to market your business and how take immediate control over your niche starting right away. These are techniques that have been proven to work for me, and a lot of other businesses that I follow. Here’s technique number 1.
1) Use Google Places
Have you ever heard of “Google Places”? It’s a section on Google where business owners can add their local business to, in return for targeted traffic on autopilot. I’m confident that many of your competitors are using this strategy for themselves, while you still wonder in the dark about how to market your business.
Google Places is very easy to use. You will want to upload your listing, along with pictures and videos of your place of business. This will help to attract prospects to you since you’re kind of giving them an overall “tour” of your business. Never just fill out the essentials – add pictures and videos so that your prospects can get a better look at your company, and so that they can call you if they have any questions. Here’s another marketing technique that successful business owners do.
2) Join business related forums
This is a great way to gain friends and to hear advice for your business from other business owners around the country. So let’s say you’re a chiropractor who lives in Los Angeles. You could go online and find a chiropractor forum where you can post and leave messages to other forum members. This is a great way to stay on top of the marketplace, and learn what works versus what doesn’t. Here’s the last marketing technique for you:
3) Offer something for free
If you want your prospects to take action now, then offer something for free. Your free gift should be something that isn’t available anywhere else, and that can truly improve the lives of your target market. To promote your free offer, make it the topic of each ad that you run.
In your ad, tell your prospects that they will receive a free gift from you in return for their contact information. Once you get their information, send out the free gift along with a pitch for your products and services. After your first month of contacting your lead, continue to contact them once a month with another free gift, and a pitch for your products and services.
This simple strategy of offering something for free can really blow the lids off your sales and profits. If you don’t believe me, simply put these strategies to work in your business today. You’ll be more than happy that you did.
Good luck with using these tips to earn more money in your business now.…

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Marketing Ideas

Why It’s Important To Stay On Top Of The Marketplace In Business

How are you going about marketing your products and services? Are you copycatting your competitors’ ads, or are you creating them yourself? Have you played customer to see what your competitors are doing to sell more of their products to you? If not, then you will want to start doing those things today.
To make more money in your business, you have to stay on top of marketplace. This way you won’t be surprised by the sweeping changes that occur in your industry. To stay on top of the marketplace, you will want to subscribe to some of your trade journals magazines, and you will also want to subscribe to a marketing magazine. A good one is the “Direct Marketing Association” (DMA).
This way you’ll be on top of the marketplace in 2 ways. The first way is by seeing what the latest issues are in your niche, and the second way is to stay on top of the marketing arena so that you can know what has changed in the world over marketing your products and services.
In today’s article, we’re going to take a look at how you can make more money in your business – despite being hit hard by another change in the marketplace. Here’s the first tip:
– Beware of any “Panda” updates
In the world of internet marketing, there was a recent event that took a BIG toll on website owners. Businesses who thought they could market in only one way found themselves out of business immediately. So what do I mean by “panda” update. Well, here’s what it is:
The Panda update was a shot at content farms. By content farms, I’m talking about article directories, blogs, and any kind of content arena that has people submitting more and more of their content to their website. But the panda update changed all of that.
Some sites took a 30% hit in traffic, and some websites were affected even more. The panda update was performed by Google, and it’s something that still has a lot of business owners shaking in their shoes.
Are there any “Panda” updates in your offline business? Are there any situations in the way that you market your business that could cause your business to take a hit also in sales and profits? Well this is something that you want to think about.
If you want to stay afloat even with major traffic hits like the Panda, then you should do whatever you can to bounce back from it. In the internet world, it’s getting harder and harder to promote yourself without risking any duplicated content tags on your articles. So submitting your content to just one site will help you to do just that.
This is why you can’t just rely on one form of marketing your business – because at any time, it might just take a hit that could affect you and your company.
Do what you can to stay on top of any changes in the marketplace. The more you can do this, the more you can adapt to the changing world of business.
Good luck with using these tips to make more money in your business.…

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What is Marketing

5 Effective Internet Marketing Tips for Your Online Business

Do you want your online business to gain more attention from your target market? Use these five effective internet marketing tips listed below and your website will get the exact results you’re looking for!
Build Web 2.0 Websites
Sign up with several Web 2.0 websites and start creating your own blogs. If you’re given the chance to pick your own subdomain name, see to it that you include your keywords so you can quickly attract the audience you want. You should also write unique blog posts that are relevant to your niche and insert some links that point back to your main site. Some of the best Web 2.0 websites on the internet today are Squidoo, WordPress and HubPages.
Select the Right Keywords to Target
Choosing which keywords to focus on is very important in internet marketing. You have to be specific as much as possible-find out what words your customers actually type when they search the web, and pick the ones that bring the most results. If you’re having trouble determining this, you can use the Google AdWords Keyword Tool to help you. This great tool will show you which keywords are successful and have less competition in your particular niche market.
Write & Submit Original Articles
Create original and informative articles, ideally around 350-500 words, and submit them to popular article directories like EzineArticles. Don’t forget to use specific keywords and put a link back to your website on the resource box!
Make & Submit Creative Videos
You can also make short videos to promote your website. The video can be an advertisement for your online business, or a simply an informative video that provides tips for your target audience. Again, be sure you include your web URL on the description area.
Use Social Bookmarking & Pinging Services
Lastly, make use of social bookmarking websites such as StumbleUpon, Digg, and Reddit to announce to the internet community that you’ve posted new articles, videos, posts and other contents on your website or blog. You could also ping the latest web contents you’ve made. Pinging services function similarly to social bookmarking, but the process is much quicker and easier. One of the most effective pinging resources you can use is Ping-O-Matic. To achieve the full effect and attract more traffic, you should always social bookmark and ping every content you’ve just published on the internet.…