With a simple gadget-and-app combination called Square, all the business owner or staff member has to do is swipe a customer’s card, enter in some pricing and cardholder details. The transaction is instantly processed, and the funds are transferred into the business’ bank account. The business simply needs to create an account on Square’s secure servers and attach the quarter-sized swipe card reader to their smartphone. Square also offers customers email and text receipts, management features for frequent customers, and reporting tools.
Square works with iPhones, iPads and Android devices, and is a great tool for mobile services such as plumbers, electricians, mobile vendors and consultants. Pricing for the system is based on use, with each transaction processed by swipe having a 2.7% fee. If credit card numbers are entered manually, the charge is 3.5% plus 15 cents per transaction. The swipe card reader gadget and the app are free, and there are no setup or management fees.
Fujitsu — ScanSnap S1100
For professional accountants, scanning documents has become an essential component of the concepts of the paperless office and optimized workflow, and many firms have successfully implemented scanning processes into the front end of most of their engagements. This has reduced paper storage requirements and added the convenience of digital copies that can be more easily used, stored and shared.
All of these are benefits that any paper-heavy business can enjoy, whether a professional services business, a contractor or a retailer. When workers at these businesses are mobile, they can even take those benefits with them with the convenient and very portable ScanSnap S1100. The smallest, fully featured scanner on the market, the S1100 offers optical character recognition to create searchable and interactive PDFs, and to pull information from documents and business cards. It then synchs that data into Outlook and other contact management systems. It can save scanned documents and cards to image, Microsoft Word and Excel files, as well as directly to cloud-based services like Evernote and Google Docs.
The pocked-sized S1100 (11”x2” and only 12 ounces) offers continuous feed detection, full-color scanning and a 7.5 second scan speed. It doesn’t even need a power cord, since it draws juice from the computer to which it’s attached via USB. The ScanSnap S1100 costs $199 and can be used with Macs or PCs.
Sutus, Inc. — Sutus Business Central
Every business has varying needs when it comes to their phone systems, data servers, email servers, routers and wireless networking. And unless they are in the IT business themselves, figuring the what and how of those components is a mountainous challenge.
The Sutus Business Central system integrates all of these parts of a business’ data, production and communication needs, including firewalls and other security protocols, to help ensure maximized productivity. The systems can also tie into point-of-sale systems, accounting programs, and scanners and printers, and supports users across multiple offices and remote locations. Even more convenient, the Business Central system combines all of these needs into a single IT appliance that simplifies managing these systems and helps reduce the total cost of ownership, from purchase and training, through maintenance and support.