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#Answered: Your questions about owning and operating a small business in Charleston

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A small business using SumUp’s payment processing products | Photo provided

A small business using SumUp’s payment processing products | Photo provided

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Last month, we asked you to submit your most-#Asked questions about owning and operating a small business (whether you sell smoothies at a Charleston market or vintage clothing on Etsy).

Now, SumUp — one of the leading mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) companies in the nation who prides themselves on supporting local, independent business — has your questions #Answered.

Q: I have a small business idea, where should I start?

A: Define the product or service you want to sell, who your audience is, and how you’ll get the word out. It might feel overwhelming, but every business once started small.

Finding small business communities, networking opportunities + even online resources like our business guide can be great motivational tools.

Q: Is it worth it to have a website in addition to social media accounts?

A: Using a website and social media largely depends on the type of business you run + the products/services you offer.

Think about it this way – a retail store or bakery could attract tons of business by sharing pictures on social media with potential customers. However, a mechanic or taxi driver might not see the same engagement, so it wouldn’t be worth the time or effort. Check out our website for more information about starting social media pages for your small business.

One of these questions was submitted by Leslie V., a local maker who runs her own woodworking business | Photo via @vanderwoodanddesign

Q: How important is it that my business accepts credit cards?

A: It’s absolutely possible to find success as a cash-only business. However, accepting credit card payments offers the most flexibility for your customers.

Additionally, many payment solutions (including SumUp) have the ability to track these cash payments, meaning all of your sales history can be managed through one platform.

Q: What are some marketing tips to grow clientele for custom product orders?

A: Never doubt word of mouth when it comes to marketing your business. One way to do this is by offering a refer-a-friend discount. It works like this:

  • You offer a special discount or free product when a customer refers your business to a friend.
  • The friend receives a direct recommendation from someone they trust + you get a potential new customer.
  • The referrer receives the discount or product + will be more likely to recommend your business again. It’s a win-win.

Social media is another great tool to advertise new products, custom work, or upcoming promotions + reach more people.

Q: How do I turn my side hustle into my full-time job?

A: Taking the leap into self-employment can be both exciting and thrilling, but with every jump, it helps to have a safety net. Before you turn your side-hustle into your primary source of income, consider:

  • Connecting with other business owners in your network + community
  • Creating a plan that outlines the costs of launching + running your business
  • Setting clear expectations that will help you accomplish long-term goals

Read more about transitioning your business from part-time to full-time in SumUp’s Small Business Guide.

Q: What’s the best form of accepted payment for my business + my consumers?

A: It’s important to consider how many transactions happen a day, the average amount of each transaction, and the type of transactions (in-person or virtual).

For example, if you own a donut shop and take many small transactions in one day, you’ll want to look for a card payment solution with low transaction fees. If you sell jewelry on social media, you’ll need to find a payment solution that provides virtual payment options, such as invoicing.

If most of your customers still prefer to pay with cash, it’s important to find a card payment solution that doesn’t require expensive upfront costs or fixed monthly contracts. SumUp offers affordable hardware options (starting at $19) without any hidden fees or subscription costs.

For more FAQs about running your small business, visit SumUp’s website. Ⓟ

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