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Celebrating National Small Business Week

In honor of National Small Business Week, Bank of America Merchant Services is celebrating hardworking, dedicated small business owners and managers by offering tips and industry insights to help your business succeed.

We’ll post a new tip each day throughout National Small Business Week (May 6-10) so be sure to check back daily. You can also connect with Bank of America Merchant Services on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to see more articles and content made exclusively for small businesses.

Whether to close on major holidays

More than 60 percent of small business owners work more than 40 hours a week, which means maintaining a work/life balance can be especially difficult around major holidays. Depending on the industry, some businesses may profit from keeping their doors open during certain holidays – while others could benefit from a few days off.

To decide how your business should handle holidays, take a look at your sales data to discover what kind of an impact your decision may have. You can use your point-of-sale device to create business reports based on your personalized metrics.

Bank of America Merchant Services researched holiday sales and closure data across several industries to help you make a more informed decision. You can see how different industries performed during specific holidays in this Small Talk article

Learn about data analytics solutions from Bank of America Merchant Services.

Choose the right point-of-sale (POS) solution for your business

Whether you’re thinking about updating your POS or you’re about to launch a new business, there are several questions you can ask your payments provider to ensure you choose the right POS for your business. Do you need to accept payments on-the-go, perhaps as a plumber or food truck? Is your business open during non-traditional hours, and you’d benefit from 24/7 support? Is the device you’re selecting secure?

Create a list of functionalities you need your POS to have, then compare different options. And be sure to ask these five questions to help you decide the best solution for your business.

Learn about the POS systems available with Bank of America Merchant Services.

Manage the cost of card acceptance1

Believe it or not, there are steps you can take to help manage payment costs and lower your fees.

For example, settling transactions daily may lower the risk of disputes and the potential assessment for higher fees. Another best practice is to reduce the number of mismatched transaction authorizations and settlement amounts. Variations between authorization and settlement amounts usually trigger additional charges and may cause transactions to be rejected under certain card networks (unless your business is one that commonly processes tips).

Here are three more ways to help you manage the cost of card acceptance.

Protect your business from point-of-sale fraud

Last year, 40 percent of small businesses that suffered a data breach spent at least $50,000 to try to resolve it. And even one incident could cost a business more than 20 percent of its customer base.

Fortunately, there are steps business owners can take to improve security.

Change the default password on any new POS solution. Incorporate uppercase letters, numbers and symbols in your password, and avoid words or phrases that may be easy to guess. Also be sure to change passwords every 60 to 90 days, and keep POS software and firewall systems up to date – they can be vulnerable to malware attacks when updates aren’t installed in a timely manner.

The more informed you are about payment security, the more protected your business can be. Consider these additional three tips to help prevent point-of-sale fraud.

Learn more about data security and fraud protection with Bank of America Merchant Services.

Make your business more competitive

Bank of America Merchant Services surveyed more than 500 U.S. small business owners and consumers to figure out what the best small businesses are doing to stand out from their competitors. Nearly half of them are accepting digital payments.

In their survey responses, owners said Near Field Communication, or NFC payments such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay allow them to process more transactions per hour and give customers a better overall experience. They also noted digital payments are easily accessible for most consumers because nearly everyone carries a mobile device.

Curious to see how top-performing small businesses are beating their competitors? We've shared more ideas on how you can stand out from the competition here.

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