8 Keys to Lower Credit Card Processing Costs

B.J. Kharrazi : September 9, 2011 11:36 AM : Blog

1. Know your Business Type

merchant card services los angelesVisa/Mastercard use pricing indicators or business types to apply discounts toyour rates. In the beginning, Visa/Mastercard used to charge one rate for everyindustry. Some industries refused to accept credit cards because they thoughtthe rates were to high and cut into too much profit margin. Supermarkets wereone of the biggest holdouts. So, Visa/Mastercard began offering discount ratesto specific industries, card types, and processing methods. This is why there are 440 different rate categories. These discounts paved the way for credit cardacceptance at supermarkets, gas stations and fast food restaurants.

Your business may qualify for one of Visa/Mastercards special programs.For example, if your business has an average transaction of less than $15, youmay qualify for the small ticket program. If you are paying 1.64% + $0.25 pertransaction now, then under the small ticket program you could get your rates aslow as 1.65% + $0.04. Now your processor will probably tack on another sixcents to cover its costs. Still, you would save fifteen cents a transaction or 1.5%on a $10 transaction.

Visa/Mastercard has programs for most industries like restaurant,B2B, MOTO,Quick serve restaurants, Convenience Store, Hotel, Gas Stations, Supermarkets,charities, insurance, utilities, government etc.

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Secrets of Small Business Video Marketing

B.J. Kharrazi : August 18, 2011 3:14 PM : Blog

While online video marketing is one of the world’s most effective online advertising formats, the Internet is the fastest growing segment in Online Marketing; when you put Video Marketing and the Internet together you have the most powerful combination today for small business advertising.

The Internet Video Marketing trend is growing exponentially. The longer your company waits to start using online video ads to build credibility, trust, loyalty and excitement for your products and services the harder it will be for your company to make sales period! Online Video Ads are definitely the way to go…. but how do you achieve the nececessary search visibility power?

SEO video marketingWe caught up with Brian Dean at Las Vegas-based, an acknowledged leader in “SEO video” marketing strategy and he had some tips for getting maximum search power from our videos —

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The Cloud9 Real Time 2011 Summit

B.J. Kharrazi : August 9, 2011 3:18 PM : Blog

Source: Catalyst QuickBooks Accounting

Cloud Hosting QuickBooks for QuickBooks OnlineThe “Cloud” is comprised of many different solutions and all of the providers that deliver Cloud products are experts on their own product or service.  Our Cloud provider – Cloud9 Real Time – has assembled the leading Cloud solution providers to come together and provide an opportunity to learn much at a single venue at a distinct two day event.

The 2011 Cloud Summit and User Conference will be in San Diego, California October 20th and 21st, 2011 at the Catamaran Resort and Spa.  This premier event will focus on Cloud technologies while giving attendees the opportunity to get in-depth user trainings on their favorite Cloud solutions. The featured manufacturers that will be providing user trainings are:, SmartVault, Intuit, CloudSway, eFile Cabinet, and Cloud9 Real Time. In addition to the user trainings, educational courses will be conducted to provide attendees with CPE credits, information on how to implement the Cloud to their firm and clients as well as marketing courses on how to ethically and effectively utilize Social Media Marketing. This exciting event will also host nationally recognized and awarded speakers, Bill Butterworth, Eric Pulaski and Jerry Undin. To find out more and register for the exclusive event… more »

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When to outsource small business bookkeeping

B.J. Kharrazi : July 9, 2011 11:20 AM : Blog

Small business owners excel in a DIY mode: Do anything and everything you can do yourself and don’t pay for anything new until you absolutely must. It’s especially tough to rationalize hiring financial help like a full-time or even an outsourced accountant or bookkeeper. Lead Research Group

With so-called “user-friendly” financial software like QuickBooks available, many business owners believe that they can maintain their financial data records and books on their own, even as they struggle with finding more time for the business and stress whether they are doing the bookkeeping correctly.

Source: Catalyst QuickBooks Solutions

Deciding about “hiring an out-source accounting team is something I struggle with all the time,” chuckles Matthew Marsh, president of Catalyst House client Lead Research Group, a Web and broadcast leads-generation and marketing company in Huntington Beach, CA. While Marsh finds basic QuickBooks relatively easy, it takes him away from working on his growing company (Lead Research Group has been named to the INC-500 fastest growing private companies – see: CES Client Named #23 on INC-500 List). Meanwhile, his company’s accounting and tax planning have become increasingly complex in the years since he and partner Ryan Rasmussen founded their national marketing company.

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Small Business Social Media Sanity!

B.J. Kharrazi : July 9, 2011 11:20 AM : Blog

small business social media accounting

What do you have to say to your clients and prospects and what do they have to say about your business or company?

You certainly do not need social media to reach out to your customers and clients but it doesn’t hurt to spread your name and brand in a way others looking for someone in your field can clearly see. Social media is about more than just marketing though. It’s about learning from those you engage with.

Karen Leland on Small Business Marketing
Karen Leland

Source: Karen Leland | Huffington Post

Earlier this week, I came across a springy King Charles spaniel happily chewing on a tennis ball, when he suddenly became aware of his owner filling up his water bowl at the drinking fountain.

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Save The Economy With State-Owned Banking …

B.J. Kharrazi : July 8, 2011 11:46 AM : Blog

… and stick it to Wall Street at the same time! Sounds like the best of both worlds to us!

State Owned Banks revolutionIn November 2009 Ellen Brown wrote at AlterNet that bailing out the banking system “…has only fixed the economy for bankers and the wealthy; it has not done much to address either the fundamental problem of unemployment or the debt trap so many Americans find themselves in.”

Source: Catalyst QuickBooks Solutions

The Bank of North Dakota may seem like a sole-surviving relic of a bygone era.  As a “state-owned” bank, it offers discounted loans to farms and agriculture, students and education, and small companies.  It serves as an important  economic development agency and a “banker’s bank” that reduces the loan risks of private banks and assists the private banks to finance bigger business projects.

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Decentralized Digital Barter Currency Gaining Traction

B.J. Kharrazi : June 5, 2011 5:46 PM : Blog

Source: Catalyst HouseBitCoin Digital Currency

In 2006 Douglas Rushkoff, when asked The Edge Question, “What is the most dangerous idea?,” replied, “open source currency.”

Well now a new P2P digital currency, called Bitcoin, may provide the ideal medium to engage in commerce outside the official economy and  — it’s decentralized, anonymous, and its supply is moderated by a mathematical formula to automatically deflate it over time. A truly dangerous idea.

So what is a Bitcoin?

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Amex Won’t Process Medical Marijuana Buys

B.J. Kharrazi : May 25, 2011 3:30 PM : Blog

Remember those old Visa commercials used to highlight places where they “don’t take American Express.” Well for legal medical marijuana dispensaries, it looks like a reversal: American Express won’t take them.

American Express says no to medical marijuanaAs of late April, paitents using their American Express cards topurchase medical marijuana received notice that their cards were declined. The rejection of the cards is due to American Express’ decision to no longer allow purchases of such medicinal products with their cards. American Express made this move despite the fact that the purchase of medical marijuana is legal in 15 states.

So far, American Express has given no reason for the new rule, leaving medical marijuana dispensaries and their customers guessing at possible causes. One theory is that the card issuer has received complaints from companies about their employees using their American Express cards to purchase medical marijuana.  American Express may also have received a high number of fraudulent or unauthorized charges from medical marijuana dispensaries due to people using forged or stolen cards to obtain pot.

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