No one works harder for your business than you. It's your baby, and you put in the blood, sweat and tears to make it a success. Of course, it's not just your effort that propels a business toward success. You must hire incredible talent and use the most effective technology to power your business as well.
However, when it comes to business growth, there's one workhorse you may have overlooked: business cards. Consider the benefits of paying with business cards instead of your personal cards, checks, cash or other payment methods.
Ease and Speed
If you're like most small-business owners, work probably never seems to stop. So, it's nice when certain tasks can be done quickly and efficiently. That's exactly what a business card can do for you. It helps by speeding up payments compared to relying on business checks, which must be mailed. Using cards for payment lets you make purchases online, by phone and in person.
Business cards are structured to monitor and catalog specific types of business expenses so that you can use this information in your financial tracking and planning processes.
A business card works hard for your business, providing you with many perks that you might not get otherwise.
For example, expense tracking and reporting allows you to assess individual and team spending against budgeted figures. You can also more easily include these figures in your tax filing for deductions. The data in these reports can be compiled on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis, providing you with a deeper understanding of the company's fiscal health and showing you exactly where improvements can be made.
Business Growth History
In those monthly and annual reports that help with expense tracking, you'll find another incredibly useful set of data: a track record that shows business growth history in terms of changing size and scope. This becomes a credible source down the road when you approach investors, lenders or even a potential buyer.
A business card typically gives you up to 30-days of float to help pay for the goods and services you purchase with the card. However, some business cards go a step further in helping you improve your cash flow or to take advantage of opportunities as they arise with flexible payment options. Look for cards that offer the option of a 60-day or 90-day interest-free period in which to pay your business card bill. This frees up more cash to operate your business while still procuring the supplies, equipment, and other items your business requires.
Business cards come with many perks that you might not get otherwise paying with cash or check. Many business cards offer rewards in the form of points, cash back, airline miles and hotel stays as well as discounts on all types of merchandise through the purchases you make on the card.
You and your business can save money on the things you already buy, further boosting your company's cash flow and financial position.
Employee Spending Options and Controls
Unlike a personal card, you can request multiple cards for employees when you rely on a business card. You can (and should) also set spending limits for each employee to manage expenses.
Assigning individual cards to your employees increases convenience by having the team handle certain purchases without your involvement as the business owner. What's more, this payment option provides a way to empower employees to handle more tasks within the company.
Your business card carries your name and your company's name. This is a promotion opportunity because it gets your brand out there every time you use the card. It can build credibility, brand awareness and interest without the cost of traditional marketing.
Things to Remember
Although your business card does a lot of the work, there are still things you should to do as a business owner to optimize those benefits. First, shop around to see which business card is right for you and your business. Compare rates, rewards and features. Don't apply for more than two or three business cards. Too much open credit may create a significant debt or impact on your credit score.
Next, you'll need to stay on top of due dates so you don't incur late fees and a tarnished business credit rating. By scheduling automatic business card payments, you'll be able to avoid this mistake.
Overall, business cards deliver a significant advantage for your business. It's up to you to ensure you maintain fiscal responsibility and leverage these benefits for your company.
The information contained herein is for generalized informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute investment, financial, tax, legal or other professional advice on any subject matter. THIS IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS ADVICE. Therefore, seek such advice in connection with any specific situation, as necessary. The views and opinions of third parties expressed herein represent the opinion of the author, speaker or participant (as the case may be) and do not necessarily represent the views, opinions and/or judgments of American Express Company or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries or divisions. American Express makes no representation as to, and is not responsible for, the accuracy, timeliness, completeness or reliability of any such opinion, advice or statement made herein.
A version of this article was originally published on February 4th, 2019.
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