Productivity to go with LibreOffice Portable

Here’s something interesting: an entire office productivity suite that can run from a USB drive. It’s LibreOffice Portable, a portable-ized version of The Document Foundation’s free open-source suite. It’s compatible with most other productivity suites and tools, including Word, WordPerfect, and Lotus, and packs the tools you need, including a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation maker, drawing tool, and database.

At 412 MB, LibreOffice Portable is a substantial package, but who cares? With multigigabyte USB drives and memory cards, storage isn’t an issue. The installer offered an experimental option to exclude Multilanguage support, which saves 150 MB, but we chose the full installation. The program runs on any Windows PC from 98 to 7, which is a lot of machines. Opening the program’s folder, we found portable versions of LibreOffice Base, Calc, Draw, Impress, Math, and Writer, as well as an HTML-based Help file and data folders. Interestingly, these tools won’t run from a directory containing spaces, and we had to change our folder from “Portable Apps” to “PortableApps.” Once we’d done that, all the tools opened normally. We certainly have no complaints about LibreOffice, which many users have found to be a good performer and a viable alternative to expensive suites.

By installing the jPortable portable Java runtime environment, users can add features such as document creation wizards to LibreOffice Portable. LibreOffice has a lot to recommend it on its own, like LibreOffice Math; some well-known bundles have nothing to compare to it. Being able to take it all with you sets LibreOffice Portable apart from many similar tools. Since this portable version was created by PortableApps, it’s reliable and highly recommended.

PC Brother Software Administrator Free wants to sell you some software

PC Brother Software Administrator Free is a free utility for managing programs. It can terminate running processes, perhaps disastrously, and uninstall programs. In fact, it offers to uninstall your free programs and replace them with paid software that’s every bit as good, though some of the programs it recommends are inexpensive or free. Many are expensive, though, and the download link doesn’t tell you how much a program costs before installing it.

PC Brother Software Administrator Free’s interface bears a family resemblance, not just to the developer’s other tools but to similar freeware. It has three main buttons: Software, Running, and Uninstall. It opened on the Software page, which is a catalog with prices listed; one program was $495, but most were less. Clicking the Running button listed our system’s running processes; we simply had to select one, such as explorer.exe, and click Terminate to, what? Crash our system? We didn’t try, nor did we end any of the other processes that might have called a BSOD or worse. Clicking Uninstall opened a tool listing our installed software on one side with a series of boxes for “recommended” replacements. Sometimes the tool recommended free software, though why we’d want to uninstall Google Earth and replace it with Chrome,
Firefox, or IE is a question we can’t answer. The cell phone charge utility that came with our motherboard seems more useful than any of the three shareware system utilities the software recommender recommended for our system. And we’re not sure how Adobe Photoshop Elements replaces Microsoft Silverlight, but we are sure we can’t afford to find out. But we’d draw the line at replacing .NET Framework Security Updates with BizPlan.

If you’re looking for big-ticket shareware to replace your existing software, PC Brother Software Administrator Free certainly enables you to do just that, and we won’t ask your reasons. Otherwise, avoid this software. Its goal seems to be to get you to ditch your existing programs so you can buy some new ones. At best, it will recommend an alternative to what you already have. Used carelessly, it can remove important programs and possibly even harm your system.

New Market Research Report: Clinova – Product Pipeline Review

Global Market Direct’s pharmaceuticals report, “Clinova – Product Pipeline Review – H2 2011″ provides data on the Clinova’s research and development focus. The report includes information on current developmental pipeline, complete with latest updates, and features on discontinued and dormant projects.

This report is built using data and information sourced from Global Markets Direct’s proprietary databases, Clinova’s corporate website, SEC filings, investor presentations and featured press releases, both from Clinova and industry-specific third party sources, put together by Global Markets Direct’s team.

Scope

* Clinova – Brief Clinova overview including business

description, key information and facts, and its locations and subsidiaries.
* Review of current pipeline of Clinova human therapeutic division.
* Overview of pipeline therapeutics across various therapy areas.
* Coverage of current pipeline molecules in various stages of drug development, including the combination treatment modalities, across the globe.
* Product profiles for late stage and clinical stage products of Clinova with complete description of the product’s developmental history, mechanism of action, therapeutic class, target and major milestones.
* Recent updates of the Clinova’s pipeline in the last quarter.
* Key discontinued and dormant projects.
* Latest news and deals relating to the products.

Reasons to buy

* Evaluate Clinova’s strategic position with total access to detailed information on its product pipeline.
* Assess the growth potential of Clinova in its therapy areas of focus.
* Identify new drug targets and therapeutic classes in the Clinova’s RD portfolio and develop key strategic initiatives to reinforce pipeline in those areas.
* Exploit in-licensing opportunities by identifying windows of opportunity to fill portfolio gaps.
* Exploit collaboration and partnership opportunities with Clinova.
* Avoid Intellectual Property Rights related issues.
* Explore the dormant and discontinued projects of Clinova and identify potential opportunities in those areas.

Report Table of Contents:

Table of Contents
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Figures
Clinova Snapshot
Clinova Overview
Key Information
Key Facts
Clinova – Research and Development Overview
Key Therapeutic Areas
Clinova – Pipeline Review
Pipeline Products by Stage of Development
Pipeline Products – Monotherapy
Clinova – Pipeline Products Glance
Clinova – Late Stage Pipeline
Phase III Products/Combination Treatment Modalities
Clinova – Early Stage Pipeline Products
Pre-Clinical Products/Combination Treatment Modalities
Clinova – Drug Profiles
CLIN 3004
Product Description
Mechanism of Action
RD Progress
CLIN 3007
Product Description
Mechanism of Action
RD Progress
CLIN 3010
Product Description
Mechanism of Action
RD Progress
CLIN 3011
Product Description
Mechanism of Action
RD Progress
Clinova – Pipeline Analysis
Clinova – Pipeline Products by Therapeutic Class
Clinova – Pipeline Products by Molecule Type
Clinova – Company Statement
Clinova – Locations And Subsidiaries
Head Office
Other Locations Subsidiaries
Appendix
Methodology
Coverage
Secondary Research
Primary Research
Expert Panel Validation
Contact Us
Disclaimer

List of Tables
Clinova, Key Information
Clinova, Key Facts
Clinova – Pipeline by Therapy Area and Indication, H2 2011
Clinova – Pipeline by Stage of Development, H2 2011
Clinova – Monotherapy Products in Pipeline, H2 2011
Clinova – Phase III, H2 2011
Clinova – Pre-Clinical, H2 2011
Clinova – Pipeline By Therapeutic Class, H2 2011
Clinova – Pipeline By Molecule Type, H2 2011
Clinova, Other Locations

List of Figures
Clinova – Pipeline by Therapy Area and Indication, H2 2011
Clinova – Pipeline by Stage of Development, H2 2011
Clinova – Monotherapy Products in Pipeline, H2 2011
Clinova – Pipeline By Therapeutic Class, H2 2011

About Global Markets Direct

Global Markets Direct is a leading provider of global business intelligence and market analysis. It publishes a range of high quality company and market reports created by its large research and analysis capability and drawing from its extensive unique databases of industry-specific information. View more research from Global Markets Direct at www.fastmr.com/catalog/publishers.aspx?pubid=1033

About Fast Market Research

Fast Market Research is an online aggregator and distributor of market research and business information. We represent the world’s top research publishers and analysts and provide quick and easy access to the best competitive intelligence available.

Increase Your Sales By Accepting Credit Cards

In the current day and age, it is rare to find a business that doesn’t accept credit cards as a form of payment, but a small group of businesses are still holding onto the old fashioned way of doing business.  Unfortunately for those businesses, most consumers have recognized the convenience associated with paying with a credit card, and may not carry cash regularly.  Many consumers may not even have a checkbook, and may only use checks to pay bills that can’t be paid through online bill pay services.  In order for a business to stay relevant and competitive with similar businesses, it is quickly becoming a necessity to offer your customers the option to pay with a credit card for their purchases.

In the year 2009, 66.9 billion credit or debit card transactions were made.  At the same time, 41% of businesses did not accept either credit or debit cards.  These businesses were missing opportunities to sell products and goods to those customers who rely on their credit and debit cards to make their purchases.

Why Do Some Businesses Avoid This Convenience?

Most businesses that do not offer the ability to pay with credit cards cited the cost of doing so as the main reason against it.  It is true that there are fees associated with hiring a credit card processing company.  These fees are often assessed by the individual company and the specific credit card being used (Visa, MasterCard, etc.).  But of the businesses that do offer the ability to pay using credit or debit cards, most assumed that it was just simply a cost of doing business.  Most businesses also believe that offering these services gives them the opportunity to help more customers and makes the payment process more convenient and less painful for their employees and customers.  In this way, they felt that their sales were increased.

It is a well-known concept that people will spend more when they use a credit or debit card than when they use cash.  Credit cards allow a certain level of emotional detachment from the process of buying things.  Consumers will swipe the card for more money than they will hand over to a cashier.  This is another way that offering the option to pay with credit cards will increase sales for any business.

Benefits Of Accepting Credit Cards

The increase you will see in sales is not the only benefit you will get from offering your customers this option.  Most businesses deal with at least one or two returned checks every month.  This means that you are missing the money for the purchase, and you are charged a fee for the returned check.  Even if you pass this cost onto your customer, you still run the risk of never seeing the money.  Credit cards are processed immediately, and won’t be approved without authorization.  With on the spot approval, you are guaranteed to receive your money quickly.  Those who accept American Express merchant services don’t have to deal with the hassle of returned checks each month.

A large part of your business is based on the level of customer service that you offer to all those who come through your doors.  When you accept credit card payments, you offer a more convenient shopping experience for your customers.  With the best American Express merchant services, you increase the flexibility your customers have when paying for their goods.  If a customer is inconvenienced when they come to your store, they may develop negative feelings toward your business.

Considerations When Choosing A Processor

If you make the choice to accept credit card payments from your customers, you will first need to find a service to handle the payments for you.  It is important that you ask any questions you have up front and discuss any specific terms before you sign a contract.  Approach this process like you would any other business partnership.  Be patient and do your homework before you make your final choice.  Make sure to compare American Express merchant services providers against each other to find the best one.  Ask some of the following questions of your potential service providers:

•             What fees are associated with your service?  Be sure to ask about monthly and annual fees.

•             Is there a cancellation fee if you are dissatisfied with the service?

•             What is the time between when the payment is made and when the payment is in your account?

•             What type of equipment will you need?

•             Is there a separate rate for rewards cards, or is the rate the same for all card types?

•             Is there a separate rate for debit cards?

•             Can you keep your current bank relationships, or do they want you to use a specific bank or account?

These are just a small example of the type of questions you will want to ask your potential credit card processing company.  Tailor your questions to the type of business you run.

Small Business Versus Large Corporations

You may be surprised at the range of prices and rates you find from different credit card processors.  With larger corporations, you may get a lower rate or fee, but you may give up the personal service and face-to-face contact you can often get from a smaller business.  Many of the larger providers also offer other solutions such as online bank deposit and small business startup loans which can be useful to your business.  Smaller providers often offer better customer service and a more personal connection, but the fees are often higher.  Picking the right processor is a matter of deciding what is most important for you and your business.  Make a list of absolute necessities and another list of things you are willing to compromise before you start looking for the right service.

Ask For Referrals

If you own your own business, there is a good chance that you know someone who has been in your situation.  Ask for referrals from friends and business associates that you trust for the company they use to handle credit card payments.  Stick with businesses that have similar needs to yours in order to best tailor your service to your specific business.

A Win-Win Situation

Offering credit and debit card payments to your customers is a win-win situation.  Your customers are offered the convenience and ease of paying with a credit card, and your business has a chance to improve customer relations and offer more flexibility in the way of payment.  When your customers leave the store, everyone will be happy.

Must Haves For Every Small Business

There’s certain equipment, software and advertising that is necessary for every small business to succeed.  Helping your business to prosper is a matter of knowing the right things to invest in, and being aware of the tools that are available to you.  Not only do these things help your business, they make your life much easier by helping you to simplify tasks and stay organized.  Consider using some of the following tools to help get your business up and running and help keeping you organized.

DropBox

Have you ever had to carry around a large file, or make copies of things to share with everyone in your office?  Or do you always have seven different flash drives you are carrying around because each one holds a different set of information?  With DropBox, you can upload your files into the cloud, and give access to anyone who needs to see the information.  No more passing around disks and flash drives, or emailing large files to everyone in the office.  Not only does this tool help you to share information, it is also a great organizing tool for all your office documents.  Set up folders for each set of information, and everyone can access them.  This is a great way to simplify the process of sharing information through the office.

Skype

Skype is a great way to hold long distance conference calls and videoconferences without paying a huge fee for phone service.  If you deal in international clients and have to worry about time differences, Skype is a great tool that allows you to communicate regularly and effectively without a huge phone bill.  Skype can also be used to send documents right away, even if you are currently on a call.  Skype is a great tool that allows you to multi-task and keeps you in touch with your clients and business partners who aren’t close enough to visit.

LinkedIn

Are you starting a new business and looking to hire the best talent that you can find?  LinkedIn has become a great resource to provide you with an online directory of resumes and applicants.  It also gives you a chance to connect with people who are of a similar mind and who may have the same interests in you.  It’s no longer necessary to weed through hundreds of applicants before you can find the best person for the job.  With LinkedIn, you can recruit who you want working for your team.

Social Media Fan Page

Social media is a daily staple in the lives of most Americans.  Millions of American log onto their Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts every day.  Your business needs to have a presence on these sites.  Create a fan page that your customers can like and visit often.  Give out special deals and discounts for those who are members of your fan page.  And update your page often so that your customers feel like they are getting valuable and valid information about your company.  Using social media also allows you to appeal to a younger generation and bring in some younger customers.  These customers will then spread the word to their friends, and you’ve suddenly increased your customer base.

Accounting Software

If you hate keeping the books, and don’t have the funds to hire an accountant, consider investing in online accounting software or a bookkeeping program.  You can track inventory and manage all receipts online, and get rid of the hassle.  These are great programs that allow you to save time and stay organized

So now that we’ve discussed some tools that allow you to more effectively use your time on the computer and online, there are other valuable tools that are more tangible and hands on that you will want to invest in for your small business.

Advertising

It’s essential when you start a new business that you are able to get the word out to your potential customers and let them know what you are offering.  The best way to do this is through an effective advertising campaign.  Utilize all options for your business advertising; print ads, flyers, online ads, trade shows, and any other tool that presents itself as an option to help you advertise your business.  Don’t think of the expense when you spend money on advertising.  This is one investment that will provide a great return.

Payment Hardware

In the current business world, much of payments are made either online or with credit cards.  There’s a good chance that most of your clients or customers will want the option to pay you with a credit card.  For this purpose, you will want to invest in the best credit card processing terminal and software that allows you to take payments from your customers.  Shop around and ask other business acquaintances for which processing company they prefer.  The company that provides the best processing service should also offer you the best credit card processorterminal, and may even have the best wireless credit card processing terminal available for your use.  Solid payment hardware is essential to running a successful business.

Good Reputation

This ties into the type of product and the quality of the product you are selling.  Word of mouth is a great advertising tool once you get a customer base.  If your customers are telling their friends that the service or product they received was just okay, it’s not likely that their friends will come to you for service.  But if they rave about the quality of your product, this is a great way to bring in new customers.  You develop a solid reputation by offering a quality product and always providing your customers with the best customer service they can find.  Make it worth their while to talk to their friends about you, and you will have new customers almost instantly.

When you start a new business, you want to make the right investments.  If you are going to spend money to help your business run more efficiently and to broaden your customer base, make sure that you are doing it on the right things.  Take advantage of as many free online tools as you can, and then invest your money wisely in things that will help your business to succeed

Why You Should Go From A Cash-Only Business To A Credit Card Business

Do you own a small business that is currently set up to take cash-only payments? If so, then you may be hurting your chances of becoming more successful and drawing a wider customer base. While there is little doubt that cash will always remain a viable form of payment, it is a fact that many customers prefer the security and convenience of paying with a credit card. If you don’t get your business set up to take credit card payments, then your competitors will likely have an advantage over you and you may discourage customers from purchasing your merchandise or services.

If you want to make your business more competitive and give yourself a greater chance of increasing your profits, then you should seriously consider setting up a merchant account such as a merchant services Visa Amex or merchant services Visa MasterCard account. American Express, Visa, and MasterCard are some of the most well-known credit card giants out there, so it would be wise for you to set up your business so that you can accept credit card payments from these companies.

Level the playing field with merchant services

Everyone is painfully aware that the economy hasn’t returned to healthy levels, and as a result small and large businesses alike are struggling to get by. If you want to make it in this current cut-throat business economy, then it is important that you level the playing field so that competing businesses don’t have an edge over you. That is why you should open up a merchant services Visa account and purchase the equipment and software that you will need in order to accept credit card payments from your customers.

Benefits of setting up a merchant account

If you set up the best merchant services Visa MasterCard account or the best merchant services Visa Amex account, you will undoubtedly experience some very worthwhile benefits. Some of these benefits include:

•             Ability to offer services and products to a wide variety of customers

•             Ability to access funds promptly

•             Ability to sell products online

•             Ability to provide secure transactions for your customers

•             Ability to accept credit card payments via phone

•             Ability to capture information about your customers’ spending habits

•             Ability to take out cash advances for your business needs

Ability to offer service and products to a wide variety of customers

If you want your business to truly be successful, then it is wise for you to try and appeal to a wide customer base. One way that you can appeal to a greater number of people is by offering flexible payment options through the best merchant services Visa account you can find. If you increase your customers’ payment options, then you will inevitably increase your customer base and give your business a better chance of increasing its profits.

Ability to access funds promptly

You may be under the impression that it will take a long time to access your funds if you accept credit card payments. However, most credit card payments go through very quickly and will sometimes show up in your merchant services Visa account the next day. The actual credit card authorization process also happens very quickly, so accepting credit card payments won’t require a lot of patience on the part of you or your customers.

Ability to sell products online

If you plan to sell any of your products online, then you absolutely must set up a merchant services Visa Amex account or you won’t be able to take online payments. Obviously your customers won’t be able to pay with cash or checks if they purchase from your online website, so if you want to take advantage of the ever-growing world of online purchasing and selling then you need to set up a merchant services Visa account right away.

Ability to provide secure transactions for your customers

A quality merchant account will allow you to take credit card payments in a very secure way. Whenever you take a credit card payment, you are dealing with very sensitive information that thieves would love to steal. That is why it is so important to keep your customers’ credit card information as safe and secure as possible. This goal can be accomplished with a reputable merchant services Visa MasterCard account. If your customers feel like you offer very secure credit card payment methods, they will be more likely to purchase from you instead of competitors.

Ability to accept credit card payments via phone

Many small businesses don’t operate out of one location, which can make it tricky to accept credit card payments for goods or services sold. With the right merchant account you will be able to accept credit card payments over the phone in just a few simple steps. All you have to do is dial a specific number that the merchant account will provide you with, and then follow the prompted steps to enter the customer’s credit card information and the amount of the transaction. The merchant account will take care of the rest for you, including authorizing the credit card transaction and depositing the funds into your account. As you can see, this is a very convenient way for small, traveling businesses to accept credit card payments remotely.

Ability to capture information about your customers’ spending habits

If you can analyze the spending habits of your customers, you can target your products and advertising to their specific wants and needs. Based on the information that you receive from credit card transaction reports, you can work with your merchant account services provider to set up a reward program for loyal and returning customers. These types of advertising and rewards techniques can help you to gain an advantage over your competitors and secure the loyal business of your customers.

Ability to take out cash advances for your business needs

Some merchant accounts can offer you cash advance loans if you don’t want to take out a traditional loan for your business. Typically there are no application fees or closing costs for these cash advances, and the merchant services provider will usually take a percentage of your company’s credit card transactions as payment for the cash advancement.

 

If you are looking for ways to improve your profits and out-sell your competition, one of the best ways to achieve this goal is by setting up a merchant account so that you can take credit card payments.

What To Look For In An Internet Merchant Account Provider

Welcome to the exciting world of ecommerce!  It’s a wonderful place where unidentified clients and vendors meet together to exchange goods, services, and of course, currency.  Unless you don’t have a merchant internet account; then you can’t exchange currency online.  For those with small businesses, particularly those with internet store fronts, getting a merchant account setup online couldn’t be easier.  But before you march on over to the computer and sign up for a merchant account with the first entry in your Google search results, take some time to do a little research first.

Find a Reputable Vendor

The ecommerce boom has turned a lot of individuals into small business owners.  It has changed the way many consumers make purchases, making shopping nearly effortless.  It has also changed the way dishonest people take advantage of others.  There were reportedly 500,000 ecommerce websites in the United States in February 2012.  With that many websites aimed at selling goods or services to shoppers there has to be a way for the business owners to collect money online, and it comes in the form of a merchant internet account.

Before choosing a vendor to do business with, however, take some time to read independent customer reviews, contact the Better Business Bureau, and conduct a thorough investigation before settling on a merchant internet account provider.  As ecommerce websites have cropped up so have fictitious vendors that would have you believe they can provide merchant services for your company.  Some businesses have the misfortune of finding out too late just who they were really dealing with.  Signing up for an account with PayPal, Google, or another reputable company will ensure that you won’t get taken by a clan of swindling hoodlums.

Complete the Application

No, a merchant account is not the same as a bank account.  There are some similarities that exist between a business checking account and a merchant account, but in reality they are two separate animals entirely.  A merchant account requires an application and underwriting, and not all applicants are fortunate enough to get approved the first time around.  It’s not uncommon for banks and other financial institutions to conduct a pretty extensive background check in order to determine the cash position of your company.  This enables them to decide whether or not to open a merchant account in the name of your business.  Some vendors require a fee just to submit the application and get started with the background investigation.  If your company does get approved there may also be fees associated with underwriting.

To remain competitive in the industry, however, there are many vendors that offer free applications and underwriting.  Don’t mistake this as a fraudulent company trying to buy its way into your business.  It’s not that that can’t happen, but there are plenty of honest vendors out there that waive the application and underwriting fees so they can compete with other vendors that are in the same business.

There are several items on the application that are standard questions.  It may ask you to produce the following information:

•             Company name

•             Tax ID number

•             Principle owner’s name

•             Mailing address

•             Phone number

•             The business entity type (S-Corp, LLC, etc.)

•             Website address

•             Email addresses of officers

•             An estimate of how many credit card transactions you plan on processing each month

•             A monthly gross sales estimate

•             Bank account and routing number

As you complete the application online, be certain that the website is secured.  The address bar should have an image of a padlock inside it and the address should begin with “https://.”

Investigate the Fees

Even the best merchant internet account will have fees associated with it.  It’s simply an operating expense that comes with running an ecommerce business.  Vendors that provide merchant services generate income by charging customers to use their service.  It’s pretty standard to have fees that are percentage based as well as some flat-fees that occur on a monthly basis.  Some of the more common fees include:

•             Discount rate.  Each transaction that you process through your merchant internet account will be counted as a sale.  A discount rate is when the merchant account provider takes a percentage of each sale that is processed.  The percentage rate can fluctuate from one merchant service provider to the next, but usually they are pretty competitive.

•             Transaction fee.  In addition to taking a percentage of each sale that is processed through your online merchant account, the best merchant internet account provider will also charge a transaction fee.  This is usually a flat-rate fee.

•             Statement fee.  Statement fees are also flat rate fees.  They are traditionally fees that the merchant services provider charges each month for the creation of statements.  Many merchant account statements are now available in electronic format, but usually having a PDF formatted document rather than a paper statement doesn’t change the fact that a flat fee will be charged to your account each month.

•             Monthly minimum fee.  If you experience a lower than normal sales month it can impact how much you will be spending in your merchant account.  A monthly minimum fee is charged if your sales don’t go above a certain dollar amount.  The fee may be slightly different from one vendor to the next.

•             Account set-up fee.  When you get a merchant account there is usually a one-time fee to get everything organized and ready for you to start accepting payments online.  While it’s not standard protocol, the best merchant internet account providers may have people who respond to your negotiation skills and might reduce or wave the set-up fee altogether.

•             Annual fee.  You can expect this fee to come payable each year on the anniversary of the date you first opened your merchant account.  It’s a fee that merchant service providers charge to have an account open and active.

Conclusion

As you organize the various elements of your internet business, make sure you don’t skimp on the time you take to research merchant accounts.  Look for a vendor that has a good reputation, see if you can score a waived application fee, and read all the fine print when you’re investigating processing fees.  Taking the time to conduct a thorough investigation before signing up with a merchant account provider will help you feel confident that you’ve made a good decision.

Advantages Of Processing Credit Cards By Phone

Modern shoppers have slowly ebbed away from paying for goods and services with cash and checks, and they have gravitated instead towards paying with plastic. This has presented a bit of a challenge to some small businesses, because purchasing credit card processing software and hardware can cost quite a bit of money up-front.

In some cases, your company’s annual profits may not justify the additional cost of purchasing credit card processing machinery. Or, you may operate a business out of your home or a small office that won’t support bulky credit card processing equipment. If this sounds like your situation, you will be happy to know that you have the option of processing credit card transactions by phone. Not only will this help eliminate the need for purchasing costly equipment, but it will also allow you to conveniently accept customer credit card payments no matter where they are located or where you are located.

Benefits of processing credit cards over the phone

As a business owner, you are undoubtedly looking for ways to grow your business and increase your profits. One of the best ways to do this is by offering your customers quality products and allowing them to pay for those products in a way that is convenient to them. Here are some of the ways that the best telephone credit card processing can help you to achieve these goals:

•             Greater convenience

•             Payment flexibility

•             No need to purchase expensive equipment

Greater convenience

By using the best telephone credit card processing services, you will make it more convenient for your customers to purchase from you. Let’s face it, if your company doesn’t have a way to accept credit card payments you will probably end up losing business because that is how most people prefer to pay. Not only is it easier for customers to pay by credit card, but they also have the option of earning rewards points on their credit cards. They can’t earn these same rewards points if they pay with cash or a check, so adding the convenience of telephone credit card payments will help to boost your business.

Payment flexibility

The flexibility of telephone credit card processing is especially helpful to companies that don’t work out of one location, such as consulting businesses, cleaning companies, repair and service companies, or any other company that can benefit from being able to take credit card payments over the phone. There are many different quality telephone credit card processing companies that can help you get set up to take credit card payments over the phone for the convenience of both you and your customers. If you want to ensure that you get the service and reliability that you need, then you will need to take some time to narrow down your options and choose the best telephone credit card processing companies you can find.

No need to purchase expensive equipment

Of course one of the greatest benefits of taking credit card payments over the phone is that you don’t need to have a physical location that is equipped with checkout terminals and expensive credit card processing equipment. Instead, you can keep things simple and set up an account with a reputable telephone credit card processing company that will allow you to take credit payments quickly and easily over the phone. This means that you won’t have to fork out a lot of money in advance just to be able to take credit card payments, which can help you to save money and focus on growing your business without the added expense of credit card processing equipment.

How to set up your business to receive credit cards over the phone

Luckily, getting set up to accept credit cards over the phone is very simple because telephone credit card processing companies will walk you through the process. Before you decide which telephone credit card processing companies to work with, make sure that you do some research to find out what specific telephone credit card processing services you want to have. Not all telephone credit card processing companies are created equal, so be sure to compare prices and services to make sure that you are getting the best deal available.

Once you choose a company that you want to work with, they will have you set up a merchant account so that you can accept credit card payments. You will then be given a phone number that you will call each time you want to use the company’s telephone credit card processing services. You will then be guided through a prompt system that will have you enter the credit card number and the amount of the purchase via your phone. The transaction will be either accepted or declined while you are on the phone, so you will have confidence in the validity of the transaction right away.

Tips for choosing a telephone credit card processing company

If you want to receive the best telephone credit card processing services you can get, then you need to be picky when you are choosing a processing company to work with. A few things that you should consider when looking for the right processing company include:

•             Hours of business

•             Customer service

•             Rates

Hours of business

If you plan on being open for business during specific hours, then you will need to be sure that the telephone credit card processing company you choose to hire is also open during those hours so that you can take payments whenever you need to. This is especially important if you plan to take orders 24/7, because you will need a processing company that will be available during your business hours.

Customer service

When it comes to choosing a telephone credit card processing company, customer service can’t be emphasized enough. You will want to make sure that the company you choose to work with has plenty of customer service staff who will be available to help you with any questions or credit card processing problems that you may run into. For the sake of your business, they will need to be competent and able to resolve any problems quickly and accurately.

Rates

Before choosing a telephone credit card processing company, make sure that you check their rates so that you can get the best deal possible. If you keep these tips in mind you should be able to find a great telephone credit card processing company to hire.

Alternative Solutions

Some businesses require alternative solutions for accepting payment. It may be important to establish an online payment gateway service in order to be able to process payments online. In addition mobile credit card processing services are great for sales agents that meet their clients in person rather than talking to them over the phone.

How Flexible Merchant Accounts Services Can Help You Do Business

When Diners Club founder Frank X. McNamara came up with the idea of creating a credit card that consumers could use in multiple places, charging the merchants for each transaction back in 1950, he could not have predicted how the merchant accounts services industry would grow.  In fact, he thought credit cards were just a passing fad and sold his shares in the company to his partners just two years later!  Today, as a merchant, not catering for sales made using credit cards or debit cards puts you at a distinct disadvantage, but when it comes to determining the best merchant accounts services available, you should strive to find a balance between what your customers want and what your business needs are in order to maximize profit opportunities.

Debit & Credit Card Transactions Growth

According to reports compiled by the United States Census Bureau, the number of households that have and use debit cards has increased significantly from 2000 to 2009, with projected figures for 2012 also expected to see this upward trend continue:

•             In 2000, there were 160 million debit card holders who made 8,291 million debit card point-of-sale transactions.

•             By 2009, the number of card holders had jumped by over 20 million to 183 million, with 38,541 million transactions.

•             The projected number of debit card holders for 2012 is 191 million with an estimated 52,620 million transactions totaling 2,089 billion dollars of purchases.

While the US Census Bureau’s reported credit card figures do not reflect the same expansion, with a projected number of 160 million credit card holders in 2012 making a projected 2,378 million transactions of 870 billion dollars, these consumers remain a considerable spending force.

Matching Your Customers With Your Merchant Accounts Services

Before investigating what merchant account services best suit your needs, you may want to take some time to develop a profile of your consumers and determine what they want from you in this area.  There are an increasing number of merchant accounts services available to you with varying capabilities, such as mobile or wireless services, and also a wide range of equipment to purchase.  While it may benefit you to offer all of these options and capabilities, some of them may not be services that your clients are demanding or would use.  You do not have to purchase all the bells and whistles if all your customers seek is the bicycle!

You may also want to take into consideration how much of your business is conducted through face-to-face transactions and how much is taking place online.  Most providers offer flexible merchant accounts services that factor in both of these, although you may obtain your payment gateway – which is your e-commerce service enabling you to transact online – from another third party supplier.  Once again, you should gain an accurate picture of what your customers’ preferences are to help you to decide on what your needs in these areas will be.  Does your payment gateway need to have a shopping cart structure, for example?  Or, do you need credit card services that can accommodate a lot of international transactions? If you cannot obtain all of your merchant accounts services from one supplier, look for vendors who may have relationships with each other or who offer bundles.

Rates & Fees

As with any service provider, you are going to want to make sure you are well-informed and aware of all rates and fees involved with any contract you enter into with a merchant accounts services vendor.  The credit industry can be difficult to navigate and it may seem overwhelming to come to grips with every single aspect of every single transaction and its related rates and possible additional fees.  As with most comparative shopping, if the fees and rates being offered are significantly less than those being offered by competing vendors, take a closer look at the fine print.  You may also want to ensure that your rates are locked in contractually so you are not hit with significant and sudden increases. Two of the most important rates and fees are:

1.            Discount Rates – the discount rate is a percentage amount that is applied to the dollar amount of every transaction that is made.  Each transaction will fall into one of three classifications: qualified, mid-qualified or non-qualified.  Depending on the classification, the rate charged will vary with qualified transactions usually incurring the least fee.  Ensure that you are aware of how your merchant accounts service provider classifies transactions, including what timeframe restrictions may apply.

2.            Per-transaction fee – the per-transaction fee is a separate fee from the discount rate that is also incurred on every transaction that is authorized.  Be aware of additional fees for when a transaction’s authorization fails.

These are just two of the fees that you will be charged. Make sure you know upfront what every transaction is going to cost and also what monthly fees or chargeback fees may be part of your contract.

Getting Equipped

Now that you have decided you want to accept credit and debit transactions, you will need the equipment to do this.  Some companies may lease you this equipment while others will sell it to you, or both.  As with deciding on what services to offer, your customers’ preferences and needs should play a role in determining what equipment you require.  For example, do you need to be able to make transactions remotely?

The best merchant services will offer customer service and technical support as part of your contract.  Read testimonials about the ease-of-use of the equipment and response times for technical support, and also how easy it is to install the point-of-sale equipment and credit card terminals.  You may also want to look at what businesses of a similar size to yours are using.

 

Conclusion

 

It is a widely accepted fact that if you are doing business in today’s marketplace, you need to be able to accept credit card and debit card payments to truly be operating at your best.  But just because you should be doing something, does not mean that there is a one-size-fits-all solution.  By taking into consideration the purchasing habits and trends of your customers, you will be able to paint an accurate picture of your customer needs.  Being able to calculate what merchant accounts services you cannot afford to be without alongside what services you can afford, in addition to ensuring that you know exactly what you are getting into and what you need to pay, you should be able to find a satisfactory solution.

The best business relationships are partnerships and by seeking a vendor that is intent on helping you and assisting you in ensuring that you are providing the best service possible, customer satisfaction should be something you are giving and receiving.

Everything Small Business Owners Need To Know About Credit Cards

Choosing the best credit cards accepting service for your small business is a big decision.  You can’t make this decision hastily or without adequate information.  If you do a little research before you choose with payment processing company you want to sign up with, you’ll be more certain to get a good value for your money and serve your customers in the way they deserve.

Some Facts About Credit Card Use

There was a time when credit cards were very unusual forms of payment.  Credit cards as we know them now were only introduced in the mid twentieth century.  Very few people carried them on a regular basis or used them for routine purchases.  Many businesses wouldn’t accept credit cards because of the many steps required for credit cards accepting payments.  Within just a few years, the number of credit card users rose significantly; by the 1980s it was common for most American adults to have at least one credit card in their name.

Today, there are estimated to be 609.8 million credit cards held by customers (“The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice,” Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 2010).  As of 2008, the average credit card holder had 3.5 cards in their name (“The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice,” Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, 2010).  Even though debit cards now are now one of the most common forms of payment – if not the most common – people still love the convenience and ease of use associated with credit cards.

The Importance of Credit Card Payments

Given how many people own credit cards and use them for many of their most of common purchases, all businesses should seriously consider having a payment system set up that allows them to accept credit and debit cards.  Whether you sell retail items to customers in a traditional brick and mortar store front, do business entirely online, or operate a production facility that sells in volume to clients, you’ll need one of the best credit cards accepting payments systems available today.  Large percentages of your revenue will come via credit card payments; you need to have a system of payment and processing set up before you open for business.

The choices you make regarding the method of credit cards accepting you’ll use depends in part on how your business is run.  If you are going to have a storefront location where customers or clients can pay for goods and services then you’ll need a credit card terminal integrated with your point of sale system.  If you do all your business online, you’ll have to arrange for online payment processing.  Once you decide that you need a small business credit cards accepting system, you’ll need to complete a series of steps before your system is ready to accept payment for the first time.

The Different Types of Payment Terminals

You’re probably already familiar with traditional credit card terminals.  A merchant or customer will swipe the credit card being used for payment; often, a series of prompts must be followed before the payment is complete.  The terminal communicates with a central system that tells you whether the card has been approved or denied.  Some traditional credit card terminals print receipts, others don’t.  Currently you can expect to pay between $90 and $130 for one of these terminals.  They can be bought at any business and office supply store or from a number of online vendors.  Larger, more complex terminals and processing equipment can be bought or leased from your payment processing company.

Wireless credit card terminals are used by taxi drivers, restaurateurs, food cart owners, and other merchants who don’t have the room for a traditional terminal or who do business in non-traditional settings.  A wireless terminal can do all the same things that traditional terminals can and offer certain business owners greater flexibility in terms of what forms of payment they can accept.

Thanks to advanced mobile computing technology, it’s now possible to turn your smart phone or tablet computer into a credit card terminal.  All you need to do is download a payment app, purchase the hardware that reads a swiped card, and you’ll be set to go.  The card reader hardware is very compact; the smallest ones are only a little more than an inch square.  If you vend your products at a lot of events or other variable locations, this is an ideal way to accept payments.  Like traditional and wireless terminals, these mobile terminals charge merchants a small usage fee.  You’ll want to compare fee rates before choosing a service.

If you do any business online, you’re going to need what’s called a virtual credit card terminal.  A virtual terminal processes and accepts payments made electronically, usually via a merchant’s website.  These terminals have some additional functions that others don’t.  For instance, it’s possible for customize the terminal to apply taxes and discounts or set up recurring payments.  If you intend to sell things through your business’s website, talk with your website designer about how the credit card payments will be managed.

Steps to Prepare Your Credit Card System

Once you’ve decided what kind of terminal you want to use, you’ll need to get it set up with a small business credit card processor.  These centers are typically affiliated with banks or with the credit card companies themselves.  Arrange to speak with a representative, preferably one that specializes in working with small business owners.  The best small business credit cards accepting agencies will have many skilled representatives who can guide you through the set up process.

You are probably already aware that there are credit card processing fees associated with accepting credit cards.  Processing and acceptance fees will be applied on a per purchase and/or per month basis.  If you’ve opted to lease your card reader equipment you have to be prepared for this expense, too.  Ask for a point by point cost breakdown from your representative.  Make sure you understand what each fee is, how much it is, and how frequently it has to be paid.  Once you sign the agreement, you’ll be ready to go!

All businesses, large or small, need to decide if credit cards accepting is right for them; given that credit and debit cards are such frequently used forms of payment, it may be the case that you can’t afford not to.  You’ll need to do some planning before your system can be set up.  Once that’s completed you’ll be ready speak with a representative from a bank or other card processing center.  After all that’s taken care of, you’ll be ready to greet your customers!

Getting Your Company Equipped With Credit Card Processing

In this day and age, plastic has become the new currency of the United States.  It has been reported that approximately 60 percent of all retail purchases are made with a debit or credit card.  Since more and more businesses are accepting these alternate forms of payment, many people find it more convenient to simply carry their cards with them, rather than bother with cash or checks.  Many businesses have stopped accepting checks altogether because of the added hassle of processing.

Using your credit cards is also a great way of tracking your expenses.  With 24 hour online access to your credit card statements, you have a detailed report of all of your spending transactions.  Due to this influx of credit card shopping, it is almost a necessity for any business to incorporate the best credit card merchant processing services into their point of sale.  Whether it is at the store or online, allowing credit card transactions is an important detail in the daily operations of your business.  By opening up other alternative forms of credit and debit card processing, such as mobile devices, you can continue to grow your businesses.

It is not enough to simply process credit and debit cards within your store.  In this time of cyber mania, many people do their shopping from home, either on their laptops or smart phones.  The new trend in credit card payment processing is setting up online and mobile processing capabilities for your business.  When setting up credit card merchant processing services for your business, there are several different options that are available, such as:

Online Processing

The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce reported that online transactions exceeded $194 billion dollars last year alone.  If your business does not have the best credit card merchant processing option available for your customers online, you are missing out in additional revenue for your company.

While the holidays are quickly approaching, many people prefer to complete their holiday shopping online.  In fact, many people report that they do the majority of their shopping over the internet.  By allowing people to bypass the crowds, traffic, and hassle, online shopping offers a convenient way to purchase your items from the comfort of your home.  Not only that, but your items are delivered to your doorstep from anywhere in the country.

Online exposure introduces your product to an entire population of people that might not otherwise see your merchandise.  Even if you are limited to one store front, with an online presence you can complete sales transactions from across the country.  By enabling your business to accept credit and debit card payments online, you are able to compete with other businesses in your field from around the world.

Mobile Processing

With advancements in mobile applications being continually upgraded, the options that are available through your smart phone seem limitless.  Not only can people make payments over their smart phone, but they can also accent payments with their mobile device

One of the newest trends in credit card merchant processing is the ability to accept payment from your mobile device, including tablet, smartphone, or another piece of electronic equipment.   Wherever you go, you can set up a virtual point-of-sale application that can process credit card transactions in real time.  All you need is a Wi-Fi connection or a 3G network in order to process the payments.  It is now possible to take your business with you wherever you go.  Your customers will be impressed by your advanced technology.

Creditors, financial institutions, and other financial companies are realizing the benefits of allowing members to pay their bills over their mobile device.  Some companies have downloadable mobile applications that will allow you to access your information quickly and easily.  Not only can you view your monthly statement, but you can make your payments, and be directly connected to a representative if needed.

Although mobile processing may be one of the latest trends in credit card payment processing, it is still relatively inexpensive.  With its ease of use, mobile processing is a very desirable option to increase your business.

Wireless Processing

Years ago, the credit card machine required a phone line to transmit purchase and credit transactions.  When you swiped a card, the information traveled via phone line to the processor, and the transaction was completed.  These days, transactions can be completed with no phone line needed.  Wireless processing is significantly quicker than using a landline, giving your customers the added benefit of getting their transaction processed fast.  This innovative way to process transactions opened up a wealth of possibilities when it comes to allowing your customers to purchase with a credit or debit card.  With a wireless processing unit, portability is key.  These machines are essential for fairs, trade shows, or any business that conducts purchase transactions where a phone line isn’t available.

Retail Processing

It’s no surprise to most business owners that having a credit card processor in their store front is absolutely essential in running their business.  Hardly anywhere you go these days will tell you that they don’t accept credit cards.  Although some merchants may choose to not accept certain credit cards from certain financial institutions, they most certainly accept some form of plastic payment.  Your retail credit processing system should be easy to use.  This will translate into a speedy and wonderful experience for the customer.

Telephone Processing

There are still people out there who are unfamiliar with using a computer.  With the looming threat of identity theft and credit card fraud, some people are hesitant to pay with their credit card online.  Although most online transactions with reputable companies are secure, some still find it safer to pay their bills either over the phone, or by sending their payment through the mail.  Also referred to as MOTO, Mail Order Telephone Order payments are easy to do.  If you don’t have access to the internet or a computer, then you can simply call in your payment and everything will be taken care of for you.

With all the new advances in digital and wireless devices, it is an exciting time to be a business owner.  The best credit card processing companies are always finding new and fascinating ways to bring exceptional service to their customers.

Weight Loss Products In Focus At Inventeo.com Offers Reviews From Real People …

Weight Loss Products In Focus At Inventeo.com Offers Reviews From Real People To Help Buyers

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Leba, Poland (OPENPRESS) December 20, 2011 – With obesity and related health problems now reaching an alarming rate globally, weight loss efforts have become more relevant than ever. Research reveals that in the United States alone, the weight loss and diet control market is approaching $60 billion, doubling the overall spending on various diet products and programs estimated at $30 billion in 1992, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Indeed, given the many products available these days, it is not uncommon for people to fall for impressive claims that are in fact fraudulent. More often than not, famous celebrities are engaged to endorse weight loss products, successfully luring individuals who want to look exactly like the personalities they admire. In this regard, weight loss product reviews come in handy to help consumers confirm that the merchandise is legit.

Inventeo.com is a website that provides useful reviews of weight loss products such as pills, drinks, food, workouts and step-by-step diet or exercise routines. In particular, it comes with valuable information about the 7 Day Belly Blast Diet, Muscle Gaining Secrets, Eat Stop Eat, Turbulence Training, No Nonsense Muscle Building, The Diet Solution Program, Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle and Fat Loss 4 Idiots all of which causing quite a stir among weight watchers and body builders.

Departing from other review hubs, Inventeo.com features genuine appraisals and comments from real product users. The website also directs visitors to the official websites of the products being reviewed, allowing for easy and hassle-free purchases.

Inventeo.com does more than just product reviews of weight loss and health products in the market. It is also home to various assessments of products that serve entertainment as well as home and gardening purposes. Miscellaneous products that are making a lot of hype are also being reviewed by the website, including Reverse Phone Detective, How to Build a Chicken Coop, Pregnancy Miracle, The Muscle Maximizer, Yeast Infection No More, The Truth About Six Pack Abs, The Magic Of Making Up, Aquaponics4You, Teds Woodworking and Earth4Energy.

People interested in researching about the many products that claim to help shed the excess pounds should visit www.inventeo.com and get valuable information to ensure a great buy and achieve real health and weight loss benefits.

Law Blog Product Review: An iPhone App for PACER

There are several reasons to loathe PACER (short for Public Access to Court Electronic Records), the federal judiciary’s database of electronic court records.

The first — and man do I hate it for this — is the lack of a full text search. If you don’t have a case number or a party name, you’re flying blind. The second is the price: 8 cents a page. Imagine if Congress tried to charge that amount to access the Congressional Record.

FedCtRecords, a new iPhone app crafted around PACER, fixes neither of these issues, but how could it? It does, however, take the very middling PACER desktop experience and replicates it on the iPhone, with no major loss in translation (except the ability to file documents; the app only allows users to review). The docket report is there, in all its glory. You can access attorney numbers and emails directly from the “attorney” or “parties” screens, and save them to your contacts.

One of the app’s few bells is a feature that allows you to save cases of interest in a virtual briefcase. For a reporter, it’s a handy way to track cases in districts that still don’t allow media to receive email alerts when new filings are made in cases of interest. (Another reason I’m not a PACER fan: inconsistency across judicial districts.) For lawyers, I imagine the app could be useful as a means to track cases in which they are interested but have no involvement. The app doesn’t ping you when new filings are made, but at least it groups all your cases one place.

Once you accept charges to view a document, you can email it anywhere. FedCtRecords won’t allow you to search all courts at once, as the PACER Case Locator does. But the locator is now optimized for mobile devices, so you can use it in conjunction with the app, which isn’t ideal, but that’s life.

FedCtRecords was brought to my attention by Newton Oldfather, who told Law Blog he is a recent graduate of UCLA Law who spent the summer creating the app with his father and a friend. The app will be paid, but Oldfather said he made it free for the holidays. Of course, you still have to have a PACER account to use the app. Eight cents a page.