I’ve had two different bosses in 2 different industries let me know that “if an activity feels tiresome then you’re while using wrong tools.”
And that’s particularly true with auditing, editing and applying website changes.
Here’s an exciting too common scenario – you’re an internet marketer or business owner responsible for a sizable-ant website running WordPress. Unlike website software previously, you may make content changes aimed at your website. But it’s still very tiresome.
For those who have no developer sources with no MySQL skills, the best choice you’ve is opening a lot of pages in new tabs. A wordpress plugin like Yoast Search engine optimization includes “bulk edit” options, but then, it isn’t extremely fast.
When i state “bulk edits” – I am talking about taking spreadsheet data, uploading it, and editing dozens to thousands of pages at the same time.
And that’s what this tutorial is about. Here’s a couple of common scenarios where this can be used technique –
Bulk title tag changes
Bulk meta descriptions changes
Altering publish headlines
Editing content text to mirror a rebrand
Bulk adding a lot of pages
Editing product content
Editing tags and category data
Essentially other things restricted to your imagination where you’d otherwise have to open pages in WordPress and by hand edit.
That Which You’ll Need
An over-all knowledge of publish_id in WordPress. The publish_id field in WordPress generally is the ID quantity of every publish/page you’ve inside your WordPress database. Despite the fact that everything in regards to a given publish/page might change, the publish_id always stays exactly the same. If you’re adding pages/posts in large quantities, you’ll have to create these and make certain they’re diverse from those you have.
Publish_ID’s are often observed in Admin panel links –
Use of phpMyAdmin. phpMyAdmin is situated in your hosting account. It enables immediate access for your WordPress database.
Your spreadsheet software of preference AND LibreOffice. Stand out and Google Sheets are wonderful, but it’s important to format your CSV file in in a certain style for upload. Grab a duplicate of LibreOffice to create this straightforward.
The Truly Simple CSV wordpress plugin. This wordpress plugin will help you to upload your CSV file within WordPress and can complement & override database fields together with your edits. Snap it up here.
A backup of the WordPress database. Please, don’t attempt this with no backup of the WordPress database. If something wrong happens, it’s important to import your old database in via phpMyAdmin.
Step One. Get the current content in spreadsheet form
To begin, you ought to get all page data from WordPress. You’ll need to get it from the database since publish_id is frequently not public or crawlable.
Locate your database.
Locate your WordPress_Posts for changes to content
If you wish to edit groups or tags, consider the terms and taxonomy tags.
If you wish to edit content meta (like Yoast Search engine optimization changes) – also locate the _PostMeta table.
If you wish to bulk edit content using their company plugins like WooCommerce, BuddyPress, etc, search for their relevant database tables.
Export the table to CSV with column names.
Step Two. Cleanup Your CSV
You’ll observe that your CSV file is cluttered. It’s important to make use of your spreadsheet software of preference to delete and clean-in the sheet.
The bottom line is to depart the Publish_ID column in position, along with a column that may help you recognize what publish is exactly what (ie, publish title) and also the publish_type field to differentiate between posts, pages, and then any other content types you’ve.
Should you also downloaded another table, like the _PostMeta table, you should use the PostID to match the Search engine optimization Titles via VLOOKUP.
If you wish to add new content, then go on and assign a Publish_ID that doesn’t already exist.
When the column that you would like to edit has already been there, then let it rest and skip to another step. If it is not, it’s important to give a new column header. Listed here are the default database headers that you could add –
publish_author: (login or ID) The username or user ID quantity of the writer.
publish_date: (string) Time of publish date.
publish_content: (string) The entire text from the publish.
publish_title: (string) The title from the publish.
publish_excerpt: (string) For your publish excerpt needs.
publish_status: (‘draft’ or ‘publish’ or ‘pending’ or ‘future’ or ‘private’ or custom registered status) The status from the publish. ‘draft’ is default.
publish_password: (string) The password to safeguard the publish. The password is restricted to twenty figures.
publish_name: (string) The slug from the publish.
publish_parent: (int) The publish parent id. Employed for page or hierarchical publish type.
publish_type: (‘post’ or ‘page’ or other publish type name) (needed) The publish type slug, not labels.
publish_thumbnail: (string) The uri or road to the publish thumbnail. E.g. http://example.com/example.digital or /path/to/example.digital
publish_category: (string, comma separated) slug of publish groups
publish_tags: (string, comma separated) name of publish tags
tax_: (string, comma separated) Any field prefixed with tax_ will be utilized for a custom taxonomy. Taxonomy must already exist. Records are names or slugs of terms.
comment_status: (‘closed’ or ‘open’) Default may be the option ‘default_comment_status’, or ‘closed’.
Note: Empty cells within the csv file means “keep it”, not “delete it”.
Note: To create the page template of the page, use custom field key of _wordpress_page_template.
If you are a Search engine optimization using Yoast Search engine optimization for WordPress – here’s the database headers you are able to use –
_yoast_wpseo_focuskw – use to define your target/focus keyword in Yoast.
_yoast_wpseo_title – use to define your title tag for your page.
_yoast_wpseo_metadesc – use to define your meta description with that page.
_yoast_wpseo_primary_category – use to define most of your category for breadcrumbs.
_yoast_wpseo_canonical – use to define your canonical.
_yoastwpseo_meta-robots-noindex – use to define if it is a NOINDEX page (1 is absolutely value)
_yoastwpseo_meta-robots-nofollow – use to define if it is a NOFOLLOW page (1 is absolutely value)
To locate other fields for other plugins, travel through your database to obtain the field you’re searching for. Note the worth to find exactly what the right value appears like. You may also download the truly Simple CSV sample CSV.
Step Three. Help Make Your Changes & Format Properly
An Stand out / Google Sheets tutorial has run out of the scope of the publish. But at this time, it’s important to obtain the changes you would like out of all right rows / posts.
Then, save the file like a CSV.
Next, open the file with LibreOffice. Then, re-save like a CSV using the following conditions –
1. Select UTF-8 as charset.
2. You have to use field delimiter as “,”
3. You have to quote all text cells.
Step Four. Upload via Rather Easy CSV
Install Rather Easy CSV if you haven’t already.
See your WordPress Dashboard → Tools → Import → CSV
Upload your CSV file.
Then audit a sampling of the pages or make use of a crawler like Screaming Frog to rapidly take a look at all of your pages.
Benefit from the sense of incredible productivity.
Decide if you want to make bulk changes to WordPress. Scroll look out onto the What You’ll Need and obtain all things in order.
Note for marketers with bigger websites – it’s not often ideal to perform a “hot fix” on the production (ie, live site). Ask your developer for those who have a staging site that you could upload and test changes before “pushing” the alterations live.
Otherwise, you might want to produce a local or demo site to check this out prior to making countless database edits for your live site.
Last note – if you’re on the shared server, be cautious about uploading a lot of changes at the same time. At the best, your upload will timeout. At worst, you’ll crash your server like Used to do attempting to edit 10,000 pages at the same time. Look at your server limits and think about breaking your CSV into smaller sized chunks.
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The publish Steps To Make Bulk Edits To (Any) Content in WordPress made an appearance first on ShivarWeb.
Merchant Maverick originates a lengthy way since This summer of 2009. In those days I had been afraid. I had been afraid that my idea would fail. I had been afraid which i’d increase my charge cards and i also’d go bankrupt. I figured I’d have to settle my vehicle, and would eventually become destitute. Fear is really irrational. Despite the fact that I understood my “worst-situation scenario” wouldn’t be as bad as my fearful mind was which makes it to be, I had been still overcome with anxiety.
I Then appreciated a concept I selected up in the Four Hour Workweek. It’s theÂ Stoic concept that living your worst-situation scenario for any day (or even more) would free you against the worry of their possibility. Though I didn’t really test the idea, Used to do imagine it within my own mind. I imagined which i had unsuccessful, I imagined which i was broke, and that i imagined which i was destitute. However I also imagined that, despite everything, I’d be ok. Which I would survive, and i also would leave using the invaluable understanding with a minimum of trying to begin a business. Understanding which i could affect my next venture. Get yourself ready for the worst, provided room to operate inside my best.
For that first six-several weeks I forced myself to consistently write four blogs per week. I didn’t consider earning money, I simply made myself write. I recall I’d awaken (…late), handle a couple of emails, plan my day, choose a trail run, then around 4-5pm I’d mind towards the local cafe to bang out some writing. I’d get excessively caffeinated, and bust out my 10″ Lenovo Netbook. The laptop keyboard am small it made my fingers hurt typing onto it.Â Day after day I’d drive towards the cafe, and every single day, I’d continue writing. Meanwhile my charge card balances elevated, together with my fears of failure.
I finally began making some cash from Merchant Maverick at the begining of 2010, but my earnings was certainly not where it must be. I’m able to’t count the number of occasions I figured about quitting correctly. I recall calculating my monthly revenue and believing that I’d never reach an amount where I possibly could live easily. Was I wasting time? Must I have began another business? Irrational fears. Nonetheless, I pressed through, and each time Used to do, I’d be rewarded for this. Something positive happens. It had been such as the World was giving me hope.
It required us a little over 2 yrs before I had been earning enough to pay for my bills.Â I was finally in a position to breathe just a little, although I wasn’t nearly where I thought about being, a minimum of the worry of breaking the bank had formally disappeared.Â The breather didn’t last lengthy though the time had come to scale.
I understood I couldn’t get it done alone, but surprise surprise, I had been too afraid to employ someone. Let’s say it doesn’t exercise? Let’s say I waste my money? Let’s say? Let’s say? Let’s say? Fuck you fear, Used to do it anyway.
I hired my cousin who been an incredible author, with him, I expanded right into a second category, POS software. The POS category began earning revenue, and so i figured it might be a good idea to expand into much more verticals. The remainder, as the saying goes, is history.
After I got within the anxiety about hiring and delegating, that’s when Merchant Maverick really began to complete well. Whenever you hire great talent and get free from your personal way, you propel yourself much further and far faster than you could ever go by yourself.Â I are in possession of a fantastic group of gifted authors, researchers, editors, and support reps that may do their jobs much better than I’m able to. I allow them to do the things they wantÂ because I have confidence in them. The worry is finished.
So the actual, seven years later, wondering whether it’s a great or perhaps a bad factor the fear ceases to exist, after which I’m advised of the quote from the great book known as Have the Fear and Get It Done Anyway:
“The fear will be there forever as lengthy when i keep growing” – Susan Jeffers
I suppose it’s time for you to grow.
The publish 7-Many Counting! made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.
Finding a robust POS app that is also affordable is basically like ordering a really delicious cupcake with just the right amount of icing. Finding one that has mobile support and an integrated eCommerce store? Well, that’s akin to the holy grail for new and small business owners.
Vend is something a bit unconventional in the POS space. Its POS app is entirely browser-based, powered by HTML. That means you can run it on both Windows and Mac computersÂ â as well as iPads! Everything is stored in the cloud, meaning you can access your information everywhere. There’s also an integrated eCommerce store, and integrated payments.
Square is best known for its mobile payments app, which lets anyone accept credit card payments with just a smartphone and card reader. But the real advantage to Square is a powerful, completely free POS appÂ â and an entire ecosystem of business products that can help entrepreneurs exceed. Everything is stored in the cloud, as well. And did we mention you can sell on Square’s marketplace or through pretty much any other shopping cart software, too?
All of this sounds great, right? Good.
Vend will charge you a monthly fee for its POS. There are multiple subscriptions depending on what features you need. You have a limited selection of payment processors (at least for retail setups) with no transaction fees, and a simple, but functional, eCommerce setup (if you opt for the mid-tier plan).
Square is entirely pay-as-you-go. The POS is free — you pay only the processing fees, plus a monthly fee for whatever a la carte services you choose to add on. eCommerce support is entirely free beyond processing fees â you can use Square’s hosted solution or integrate with something else.
Both services have all three core offerings: a retail setup with a solid POS, mobile capabilities, and eCommerce setups. But as you’ll see, both have different core strengths. I highly encourage you to think about where most of your business comes from and evaluate which features are most important. Then crunch the numbers and look for the most cost-effective strategy.
Read on to see how Square and Vend match up on core features, extra services, cost, support, and more!
Products and Services:
Square and Vend are both omni-channel commerce solutions. They’re integrated so well that you can sell pretty much anywhere and keep all of your sales data and inventory in one centralized dashboard. Let’s take a look at how each of the 3 sides of Square’s products (the POS app, payments, and eCommerce solutions) match up. We’ll also take a look at the integrations and extra services available.
Sometimes I am genuinely shocked that Square doesn’t charge at all for its POS app (and a bit disappointed that it won’t let you use the app with a different payment gateway). It is without question the most robust free mobile POS (mPOS) out there. While it’s definitely friendly to both iPhones and Android devices, you get the most functionality out of an iPad. This is especially important in a retail setup.
Vend’s core offering is its POS â it’s taken the easy path toward integrating payments and eCommerce as well. So its app really is the biggest draw. Here’s the thing, though: I have a hard time really calling Vend “mobile friendly.” Since the POS is primarily browser-based, it runs on Windows and Mac computers. There is also an iPad-exclusive POS app â no Android, not even iPhone. That said, you can absolutely make do with an iPad as your mobile solution for pop-up shops or booths at events. I just don’t think Vend is really designed with mobile as a priority.
Square POS App Features:
Unlimited registers and up to 75 locations: Note: if you want to track individual employees, you’ll need to add the employee management subscription. But if you don’t need that individual data, this feature is free.
User permissions: This is fully customizable — you determine the role and what features they can use. But you have to be using Square’s Employee Management system. Otherwise, it’s all default.
Credit card payments: Accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express at 1 flat rate.
Transaction records: Record cash and check as well as accepting cards. This still allows you to take advantage of the customer database and loyalty program features.
Split tender: Accept cash and card in one transaction.
Inventory: Square’s inventory feature is basic, but it does allow you to keep track of stock levels in-store and online. Square will send you low-stock alerts and let you set your own threshold for them. Square also integrates with Stitch Labs for more comprehensive inventory support.
Import/Export via CSV:Â Populate your online and retail stores with products in one go.
Product Variants and Add-Ons: Technically, Square calls variants “price points” â but the point is the app supports them. You can also add item modifiers, which are essentially add-ons.
Email/SMS/print receipts: Your choice (and your customers’, too).
Full and partial refunds: Self-explanatory.
Gift cards: Order your own custom designs. There’s no redemption fees or activation fees. You only pay processing fees if the gift card is purchased on a card.
Offline mode: Square’s offline mode is pretty unique. Most “offline” functions for POS apps allow you to accept cash only â no cards. But with Square you can swipe a card as normal, and as long as you reconnect to the net within 72 hours, the transaction will go through. The caveat is that you eat the cost of any declined transactions.
Sales tax and tip: Square’s sales tax feature is basic, but very functional. Toggle sales tax collection on or off and set multiple rates as necessary, if you are selling in multiple locations or move around. You can also enable tips, which is something Vend does not support.
Loyalty program: Square’s loyalty program (add-on for $25/month per location) works by giving either free items or percentage discounts. The system is tied to the customer’s mobile number.
Reporting: Square won’t give you the advanced reporting of a full-scale POS but it does pretty well in this category.
Customer-facing display: This is a beta feature, but one that puts Square closer to full-fledged POS systems.
Customer database:Â Square’s customer database isn’t quite as advanced as you’ll find with more expensive CRM software, but it’s definitely worth looking into, and it’s improving all the time. In addition to the loyalty program, there’s a feedback feature and custom segmentation, and it links directly with Square’s email marketing service (starts at $15/month).
Special Offers:Â Send automated email campaigns linked from your customer database if you use Square’s email marketing.
Vend POS App Features:
Sell through one or multiple outlets: While multi-outlet support will cost you more (a point we’ll come back to), you can get a boatload of features that will make managing each location easier.
User Permissions: You can choose from pre-set roles with limited customization, but this is an entirely free service.
Accept Credit Card Payments: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express through one of Vend’s partners. You can also use non-integrated solutions through another payment processor if you choose.
Record cash payments: No check support, though.
Split tender: Accept cash and card.
Inventory: Vend has options to help you manage your stock orders in the dashboard as well.
Import/Export via CSV: Vend allows barcode printing, too.
Product variants: The POS technically supports 3 types of products: Standard, Variant, and Composite. Standard products are individual items with no other versions. Variants are products such as clothing, which come in different colors and sizes. Vend’s system allows you to create 3 modifiers per item. Composite products are those assembled from your inventory into a grouping â such as gift baskets. You cannot have separate inventory for composite products; it’s based on inventory for your other products.
Parked sales: This lets you save ticket in the POS and pull it up later, which is useful.
Price Books: You can create different price books for different stores, or for promotions, or for loyalty customers, or for whatever other reason you want. In Square, the best way to accomplish this is by setting individual item modifiers, so Vend is definitely far more functional.
Full and partial refunds: Self-explanatory. You can also do exchanges, a feature not available with Square.
Email or customizable print receipts: Your choice.
Store credit: This is a new feature, still in beta, but I would expect to see it roll out to everyone soon. Unlike Shopify, which lets you issue store credit but doesn’t have a proper way to track it, Vend’s store credit feature lets you keep track of it in your customer database. Currently this feature integrates with Xero, but not QuickBooks Online.
Gift cards: Gift cards work in store and online, but you can’t order them from Vend the way you can with many others (including Square).
Offline mode: Vend has an offline feature — but like Shopify and many other POS systems, it really only lets you accept cash payments and record sales. No credit card sales. In addition, you have to be signed in before the outage, and in offline mode has limited features. That said, it will get you through an outage mostly OK if you can survive on cash alone.
Sales tax: There’s no tip feature in Vend at all. However, its sales tax features are pretty advanced. You can set a single tax rate for everything, or create groups of tax rates. You can also set tax by location. The one flaw I see in the system is that creating tax rates doesn’t apply them to any existing products in your store. If you’ve already loaded products into your store, you’ll need to open up those products and modify the tax settings.
Loyalty program: Vend’s loyalty program is very simple, based on a dollars-for-dollars system. Spend so much and earn so many dollars to spend.
Reporting: Vend has some pretty advanced reporting — you can generate pre-populated reports or create your own custom ones.
Layaway program: This is included at no charge, with no integration required.
Customer-facing screen: A useful feature available at no-extra charge. You can only have one register linked to a display, but you can link multiple displays to one register.
Customer database:Â Obviously the database is good for having a loyalty program, With Vend, it’sÂ possible to segment databases by groups and even create different price books for them (such as rewarding particularly loyal customers with special offers). Vend’s API can link it to another CRM if you want. Note that Vend doesn’t have its own email marketing service; you have to integrate with another.
While Square’s app is incredibly robust for an mPOS, it’s still not quite quite on par with a full-fledged POS like Vend. You’ll get an incredible array of features, but if you are looking for some highly advanced, retail-specific capabilities â like store credit and layaway, you should look more toward Vend. Of course, Square also supports more service-based companies with many of its features, notably restaurants. And you get a lot of integrated services in a single place (email marketing, loyalty program, even timekeeping and payroll). They’ll cost you more than just the processing fees, obviously, but the convenience of everything being consolidated in one place, with a single log-in and no need to bother with importing/exporting data, certainly can’t be overlooked.
As my fellow writer, Jordan, noted in her review, Vend’s eCommerce offering is basic. It was something added later, and so it’s not as refined as the POS system. You get everything you need to run a web store in tandem with your retail setup, but it’s not feature rich by any stretch. Here’s what you get:
Free domain (or bring your own)
Multiple responsive themes to choose from
HTML and CSS support
Integrate with Shopify’s eCommerce store for greater functionality (and higher cost)
Inventory sync across retail and online stores
Customer accounts (can be linked to customer profiles in database)
Sales and promotions through Vend price books
Social media integrations
Integrated reporting features
Customizable tax settings
Pay Later (to support ACH or in-store cash payments)
There are some drawbacks, however. The eCommerce system isn’t particularly friendly to dropshipping, and there’s no integrated blogging system or email marketing (but you can get email CRM with an integration). You can’t support individual promo codes, either. Inventory is based on a single outlet, and you can’t change the outlet later. The system also doesn’t support partial payments using gift cards â the entire balance must be paid using the gift card.
But honestly? Square’s eCommerce feature isn’t amazingly complex, either. Unless you choose to integrate another shopping cart), you sell through Square’s marketplace (which gives you a hosted domain and URL, and not much else). The store designs you can choose from are responsive but there isn’t a lot of customizability. Square’s features include:
Free domain (or bring your own)
Multiple responsive themes to choose from
Choice ofÂ responsive templates
Support for digital and physical products (this is one of the biggest differentiators from Square)
In-store pickup available
Customizable tax settings
If you want more advanced features, or even just your own domain, you can integrate with Weebly, BigCommerce, or EcwidÂ or play around with Square’s API for a custom solution â but that’s only if you’re comfortable playing around with such things. Again, there’s no blog at all, and shipping options are somewhat limited â but you can enhance the options using an add-on such as ShipStation.
I think it’s important to remember that unlike a service such as Shopify, which was always meant to help people sell online, both Vend and Square started off serving different markets â Vend is a POS system for retailers, while Square’s core feature has always been mobile payments. It’s not surprising that both of these are lacking in eCommerce options. However, I look forward to seeing what both of these services introduce next as omni-channel commerce becomes more important.
I appreciate the simplicity of Square’s payments system. But no matter what kind of volume you do, you pay the same flat rate â 2.75% for swiped cards, 2.9% + $0.30 for eCommerce. There’s no reduction in feesÂ until you hit a very high volume â much higher than would qualify most merchants for a solid interchange-plus plan. The good news is you don’t have to deal with any sort of tiered pricing or qualified cards, all of which can be frustrating for merchants. You even process American Express at 2.75%. You can’t use any other payment processor with the app. But at the same time, it’s worth noting that you don’t pay for the POS at all â and you don’t have to pay for a more advanced eCommerce option unless you want to.
Vend decided, rather than try to implement its own branded solution like Shopify or ShopKeep, to simply partner with some other payments providers. Vend is an international product, and so there are other solutions available in other countries, but in the U.S., if you want an integrated processing solution in-store, your options are PayPal and Vantiv Integrated Payments (formerly Mercury).
The biggest problem with this is that PayPal is about the same price as Square (2.7% per swipe, 2.9% + $0.30 for eCommerce), on top of Vend’sÂ monthly fee. And Mercury/Vantiv Integrated, while not the worst company out there, has a record of spotty customer service and hidden fees and expensive contracts, and Vantiv tends to have a liquidated damages provision in its contracts.
However, there is a silver lining,of sorts. You can choose a non-integrated processing solution and use whatever merchant service provider you want. The one draw back to this is you’ll have to enter the transaction amount in your terminal and process it, then complete the transaction in Vend separately. It adds an extra step that not everyone wants to deal with. However, that said, it could easily be worth the trouble if you opt for a processor like Helcim, which will give you interchange-plus AND debit card rates for processing.
You can also choose from a variety of gateways (including Authorize.net) and connect your account to process eCommerce transactions. It’s a bit sad that Vend has disabled Authorize.net as a gateway option for the POS, but you can at least use it online so you can use virtually any payment processor.
None of these options is a terrible choice. When you want mobile processing, Square’s rates are absolutely competitive â as I’ve said, PayPal is very similar, and so are many other mobile options. I like that Vend will also give you special discounts once you clear $10,000 a month with PayPal. I also like that Vend doesn’t charge you any sort of transaction fees for using a non-integrated solution. Plus, with PayPal will let you start processing almost right away.
All I can say is, run the numbers. If you’re leaning toward Vend, talk to some of our top-rated processors and request a quote from Mercury. Don’t overlook PayPal, either. It might not be interchange plus, but there are some benefits:Â an affordable EMV reader, instant access to funds, and even a truly mobile option (PayPal Here) if you absolutely need to be able to use smartphones to process cards, not tablets. Plus, with the PayPal debit card, you can access your funds anywhere without needing to transfer them to your bank.
If you’re leaning toward Square, you have an advantage in that you pay no monthly fees, just card processing rates, That is, unless you opt for a monthly add-on service (like Employee Management). You can also get set up pretty much right away.
If you’re going to process credit cards, you need some sort of register setup, right? I like that both Vend and Square give you some flexibility in that department.
With Vend, you have a few choices for what platform to run your POS on:
Windows Computer: Requires Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 or Microsoft Surface Pro and Google Chrome.
Mac Computer: RequiresÂ Mac OSX Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite, or El Capitan and Google Chrome
iPad: Requires iOS 8 or later. Download the app from the iTunesÂ store.
All the hardware is sold via POSportal.com, which doesn’t offer any laptops but does have iPads available.
Vend’s hardware kit consists of the bare bones: a cash drawer and a USB receipt printer, plus a cable. If you opt for the tablet package, you also get a tablet stand and an upgrade to an Ethernet receipt printer.
The upside to this is that Vend’s hardware kits are fairlyÂ affordable (starting at just over $300 for Mac or PC, for $500 for the tablet version). You can also pick and choose your own hardware and build a custom package that includes a thermal label printer, a barcode reader and dock, and more. In all, that’s not too bad.
You’re probably noticing there’s one big thing missing: card readers. That’s because it entirely depends on who you choose for processing. PayPal has just a single EMV-compatible reader (chip and PIN) available for $149, that also supports NFC. Mercury offers a choice of EMV-compatible wired and wireless terminals, as will any non-integrated processing service you choose. Costs will vary, so be sure to shop around.
And if you already have some hardware, it might be compatible with Vend, no new purchase required! You can check whether your hardware is compatible here.
Square is far more flexible as far as hardware is concerned. While it can’t run from desktops or laptops at all, you do have a large range of mobile devices and tablets to choose from:
Android: Works with tablets and phones. System requirements vary, check the list of devices with known issues.
iOS: Works with iPad, iPhone, iPod. Requires iOS 8 or later, but some hardware may not be compatible with iOS 9, only 9.1.
It’s worth mentioning again that a handful of Square’s features are iPad-only. You can also check the compatibility between your device and specific hardware here.
Square also offers an assortment of hardware bundles, all of which fall in the $500 to $700 range. These include a tablet stand, a receipt printer, and a cash drawer, as well as receipt paper and a free magstripe reader.
That means the EMV-compatible card readers are sold separately. However,you do have a few options:
EMV and magstripe reader: $29
EMV/NFC (chip and sig): $49 (includes a free magstripe reader)
EMV/NFC (chip and PIN): $129 (Note: This isn’t a branded Square reader, but a Miura m010, which supports iOS only).
The Square Stand ($99 or included in some kits) also has a free magstripe reader built in. You can get a dock for your EMV/NFC readers, as well as a bar code scanner. Square doesn’t officially support a label printer, but it says many customers have used a Dymo printer in their setup.
Both Vend and Square give you some very flexible options as far as hardware goes. You have multiple cash drawers and receipt printers, and even card readers. It really depends on what you need. Frankly, though, the low cost of Square’s EMV readers is a big draw — they are the the lowest prices I’ve seen anywhere.
Fees and Rates:
It’s absolutely essential that your business find a POS and payment solution that fits your budget. There’s no sense in paying for more than you need, or letting yourself be conned into paying much higher credit card processing rates than you have to.
In that sense, Square has the advantage. You don’t pay for the POS, just card transactions. Here’s the basic transaction fees:
Swiped transactions: 2.75%
Invoice transactions: 2.75%
Keyed-in transactions: 3.5% + $0.15
eCommerce transactions: 2.9% + $0.30
If you want some of the additional services, here’s what you’ll pay:
Gift cards:Â Per-card cost (starting at $2 per card and dropping as you order more)
Appointments: $30 for one person, $50 for 2-5 staff, $90 for unlimited staff.
Payroll: $20 monthly subscription + $5 per employee paid (available in limited states)
Employee management: $5 per employee
Email marketing: $15 per month and up, depending on package
With Vend, you can choose from multiple packages:
Free Plan ($0/month)
10 active products
Community forum support only
Starter Plan ($59/month on yearly plan, $69 billed monthly)
Active products: 500
Live chat and email support
Advanced ($85/month on yearly plan, $99 billed monthly)
Active products: Unlimited
Live chat and email support
Multi-Outlet ($169/month on yearly plan, $199 billed monthly)
Active products: Unlimited
Live chat and email support
24/7 phone support
Remember that this is on top of any processing fees you pay. On the one hand, $60-$70/month sounds expensive because Square is free, and Shopify’s basic plan is $29. If you want an eCommerce store, that costs even more.
But that kind of thinking overlooks the fact that Vend gives you unlimited users and hardware integration for free. Shopify will charge you $40/month for those capabilities, and Square will charge you $5 per employee per month.
I like that Vend won’t charge you any transaction fees if you choose a non-integrated solution. If you use Shopify, you can wind up paying an additional 2% per transaction on top of your processor’s fees. And Square won’t let you use anyone else for payment processing at all.
If you use a different eCommerce gateway with Vend, you could wind up paying an additional charge for that. And if you choose an add-on (such as Shopify’s eCommerce integration), you’ll pay more for that, too. The same applies if you choose to integrate Square with another eCommerce provider, like BigCommerce.
This is really a matter of what you can afford vs. what you need. Since Square is entirely pay-as-you-go, it’s a good starting place if this is your first foray into retail. If you definitely need Vend’s capabilities, be sure to shop around and find the most affordable and convenient solution for card processing. Remember that you can use the import/export features both Vend and Square provide to move your data over if you ever decide to switch providers.
Contract Length and Early Termination Fee:
With Square, there’s no contracts, no monthly fees. You can stop using Square whenever you want with absolutely no penalty. That is a significant advantage. You can also try the add-on services for 30 days completely free.
Vend gives you the option to save some money by paying for a full year in advance. Otherwise, you can go month-to-month and pay more for each package. That’s pretty common for most SaaS (Software as a Service) providers. I recommend starting with the month-to-month plan and see how it works before you invest in Vend for a whole year. There’s a 30-day trial where you can decide if Vend is right for you.Â You can also try the free plan, although it has very limited offerings.
The other thing you need to consider, though, is who you choose as a processor with Vend. PayPal is entirely pay-as-you-go, so if you stop using Vend, you can stop using PayPal, too, with zero penalties.
The problem is if you choose Vantiv Integrated/Mercury. While if you look at the Vend site, it says that Vantiv offers no-term contracts, that’s not the case across the board. The company does lock some of its vendors into multi-year contracts with ETFs. So even if you can stop using Vend whenever you want, you may still be stuck with a Mercury contract that could be potentially difficult to get out of.
Sales and Advertising Transparency:
Square has always been well known for its transparency. Clear, flat-rate processing, not hidden fees. There’s no pushy sales people, shady gimmicks or to-good-to-be-true promises. There’s a detailed knowledge base you can search without even needing an account, plus a solid blog with helpful resources for businesses, and social media (Twitter: @Square or @SqSupport, Facebook, LinkedIn).
I like what Square is doing in this departmentÂ â though there is one niggling issue: account holds and freezes. Square isn’t exactly forthcoming about what causes them, and plenty of merchants are understandably upset. We’ll come back to this point in just a bit, though.
I also like how transparent Vend is. You know exactly what you’re getting and what the fees are. Again, there’s nothing that stinks of too-good-to-be-true. There is a sales forceÂ â you can request a consultation and Vend will send someone out to meet with you. However, I can’t find any evidence of Vend’s sales team using sketchy practices or hard selling techniques, which is good news indeed.
You can search Vend’s knowledge base before you sign up, and the blog is also full of great resource for merchants. Vend has a Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as a YouTube and even a Pinterest.
The problem of course, is that payments aren’t integrated. PayPal is generally fair and transparent — flat-rate pricing, no shady gimmicks for businesses. You’ll see, if you dig into PayPal user reviews, that it still has an issue with holds and account terminations, but I can’t find any evidence that Vend users are affected by this.
The only “gimmick” I can find that Vend offers is a deal with PayPal that will give you a 50% discount on Vend when you sign up for both.Â The half-off deal lasts for three months. And if you process more than $10,000 monthly, you also get discounted PayPal rates.
Vantiv Integrated also has its own flaws with transparency (namely disclosure of that ETF). Quite a few complaints about Vantiv, especially recently, focus on merchants being overcharged for processing, which is understandably upsetting.
Customer Service and Technical Support:
Square and Vend have both managed to keep their prices down by looking for cost-effective support…which meant neither company offered phone support at all initially. Fortunately, that’s changed, but I think it’s a bit of a stretch to say either company is completely rocking it in terms of customer service.
Check out any user reviews of Square, and the lack of customer service â especially decent phone support â is one of the most common issues. Square’s knowledge base is extremely detailed so you can solve most problems yourself. There’s also email support, and a new community forum. But to get on the phone, you need a customer code, which some users have had trouble getting (and something people with frozen or terminated accounts can’t get at all). There’s also a dedicated Twitter customer service channel, @SqSupport, and you can reach Square on Facebook as well.
Vend’s free plan doesn’t give you customer support at all â just access to the community forum. For the Basic and Advanced plans, you get access to a very detailed knowledge base, as well as email and live chat support â which is good. I like to see live chat as an option because honestly, waiting on hold and dealing with automated systems really sucks. However, if you really do prefer to talk to an actual person, Vend’s 24/7 phone support is only included in the multi-outlet plan. If you have one of the other paid plans, you can add phone support for $20/month. I don’t like merchants having to pay for customer support at all, but at least you get email and live chat at no added cost.
I do like that both companies have a service that will let you know whether the system is fully operational or whether it has issues. You can check out Vend’s status here, and Square’s here.
Something else worth mentioning is that if you need it, Vend has a lot of other resources to help. There’s Vend U, which is included at no charge with any paid subscription, and gives you a wealth of lessons and resources. If you’d rather pay an expert for their time, you can find Vend’s official list of partners here and look for someone in your area.
Negative Reviews and Complaints:
There are two very consistent complaints with Square:
Its tendency to hold or terminate accounts with no warning and very little room for appeal
Dubious customer support, especially after having your account frozen or terminated.
As far as holds and freezes go, that’s an unfortunate side effect of Square’s business model: it aggregates payments rather than opening individual merchant accounts for every single user. On the one hand, this means you can start processing much sooner, but on the other it means you may find yourself shut down with no warning. Square seems to be doing much better at mitigating the risk over all, and it’s definitely taking strides to improve its customer service, as well. However, if you are in a high-risk industry, I highly encourage you to avoid both Square and PayPal as your processors.
Vend’s complaints are a bit less focused. Some of the issues that come up most often include lack of various features, including limited cash management, or glitches in accounting integrations. Vend is constantly adding new features and rolling out improvements, though. There are also a handful of complaints about the quality of customer support âÂ but these are very, very few and far between.
Positive Reviews and Testimonials:
It shouldn’t be so surprising that Vend and Square have a lot over overlap in the “Good Things” categories â namely, customers like how easy-to-use and intuitive both POS systems are. They are easy to set up and get running. Because everything is stored in the cloud you can access your data everywhere. Just grab your iPad and open up the app to run your reports and check on sales. Beyond that, here’s what else what people like about each:
Easy to set up: You can start processing through Square pretty much right away.
Truly mobile: Unlike Vend, Square is truly mobile friendly. While the iPad gives you the most functionality, you can still run the system from a smartphone and have all your data in one place.
Offline mode: Square’s offline mode is the best one out there. It’s the only one that I know that will still let you process credit cards during an outage. Yes, you accept the risk yourself, but depending on your business it could be a nonissue.
Inexpensive: With a free website/shopping cart, a free POS, flat-rate processing and everything else,Â it’s hard to argue with the value that Square offers. WhenÂ you throw in allÂ the affordable monthly add-ons…Â it might not be the most advanced system, but SquareÂ has everything most businesses need at a very attractive cost.
Customer Service: You will see the few odd complaints about Vend’s customer service but overall, users really seem to appreciate it. You can get phone support if you want, but otherwise, live chat, email, and the knowledge base should see you through just fine.
Affordability: Vend sounds more expensive than Square, butÂ compared to many other cloud solutions or full-fledged POS systems it is very affordable.
Feature set: Vend doesn’t have everything everyone could ever want — but it certainly has everything you need, and then some. Even better, the company is always introducing new, more advanced features. Overall many people are happy with everything Vend offers.
In this case, it is honestly difficult to point out a clear winner. While Square and Vend have similar offerings, comparing them isn’t a perfect apples-to-apples comparison. Vend is a cloud POS that happens to work on an iPad; Square is a mobile payments app that happens to have a very effective POS that also works on an iPad.
As always, the issue ultimately boils down to what features you need and what you can afford. Vend is a great option for retail environments, but it requires a monthly or yearly subscription, plus you pay processing rates. Square is an excellent mobile solution, and it has everything you need to run a retail register setup as well. You pay only processing rates and the monthly subscription fee for any add-on services you want.
You get comparable options for hardware. Square gives you an online store at no additional cost, while Vend offers one in its mid-tier subscription plan. Both also give you inventory management and a choice of add-ons and integrations to expand the functionality.
If you’re unsure of your budget, you don’t need as many advanced features, or mobile is a genuine concern, Square is a viable option. You only pay per transaction, which is great if you’re just starting out. Just know that Square’s aggregating model isn’t quite as stable as a traditional merchant account.
If you can afford Vend and need the more advanced features it offers (exchanges, store credit, etc.), by all means go for it. You’ll certainly get better customer support, but for the most part everything is so intuitive you should not need much guidance. Make sure you shop around for the best processing option, and consider a non-integrated solution from one of our top-rated merchant account providersÂ if you want the lowest rates and best service. .
I hope this helps you make a decision! Be sure to check out our other iPad POS options as well as our mobile processors.
The post Square VS Vend appeared first on Merchant Maverick.
Are you currently attempting to build or update an online business for Landscaping or Outdoors-focused business or blog – but without blowing your financial allowance? WordPress Styles may be the platform to kickstart your ability to succeed!
With WordPress styles, you may create a completely functioning website for your company or blog, and on top of that, no coding understanding is needed! WordPress styles includes a simple setup and enables you to definitely maintain control of your site rather of coping with the contracts and lengthy-term commitment of website design firms. Plus, WordPress is definitely an open-source software so you’ll have a lot of sources helping in the network.
Here’s a summary of the very best WordPress styles for Landscaping and out of doors – focused companies or blogs curated from your favorite theme marketplaces to help you get off around the right feet.
Disclosure – this site receives customer referral charges from companies and merchandise pointed out on this web site. All data & opinions derive from ShivarWeb staff’s independent research and professional judgement.
Anaglyph Lite is really a free WordPress theme having a responsive design, therefore it will appear good on any device (including mobile and tablets) with no need to create separate code. Due to it’s simplicity, this theme enables you to pay attention to content – and it is really pretty versatile. All of the design features are simple to personalize (fonts, colors, layouts, etc). It is also suitable for WooCommerce – the very best eCommerce wordpress plugin available. Take a look at Anaglyph Lite here.
Be Theme is really a premium, responsive WordPress theme having a multipurpose – and extremely flexible – design. It arrives with over 180 pre-made templates, and all sorts of elements of design one each on are simple to personalize using the drag editor – so that your fonts, colors, layouts, etc could be precisely how you would like it. The admin area is simple to navigate and it is also suitable for WooCommerce. This theme is value for your money. Take a look at Be around.
Birch is really a premium, responsive WordPress theme having a creative design – together with a beautiful homepage slideshow option. It’s a style packaged with versatility within the design and compatibility. All of the design features are customizable and it is compatible with the essential plugins you’ll need. It’s very easy to integrate with social networking and it has an element video option too. Take a look at Birch here.
Businesso is really a free, responsive WordPress theme having a clean, sharp design. A great option if displaying images is really a priority. All of the elements of design could be customized – colors, fonts, layouts, menus. Additionally, it includes a pretty sweet menu option, with some theme options that will help you produce the look you’re opting for. Take a look at Businesso here.
Challenge is really a premium, responsive WordPress theme having a professional feel into it, and also the theme is incredibly effective. It’s several demos which are worth building from – but all of the elements of design and layouts are simple to personalize too. A few additional features include Google maps integration, prices table options, Lightbox for stunning image display, and WooCommerce compatibility. This theme is a superb comprehensive package. Take a look at Challenge here.
Inovado is really a premium, responsive WordPress theme having a crisp and clean feel into it – It features a gorgeous interface! It’s flexible in a lot of ways – the look elements are simple to personalize and it is compatible with your major plugins (including WooCommerce). Additionally, it provides extensive helpful shortcodes to evolve the website for your preferences. Effective and solid platform to jumpstart your web presence. Take a look at Inovado here.
Preferential Lite is really a free, responsive WordPress theme having a unique design and all sorts of functionality you’ll need for the website. It’s a breath of outdoors – specifically for the cost of free! All of the elements of design could be altered, also it provides extensive useful elements incorporated within the theme like message boxes and social networking integration. It is also child-theme ready, which means you don’t need to bother about updates altering your design without your permission! Take a look at Preferential Lite here.
Rolec is really a premium, responsive WordPress theme by having an awesome design – its professional yet unique having a smooth-scrolling experience. Initially meant for real estate market, it can make displaying images of your experience and work very simple. It features a effective backend, and all sorts of elements of design are simple to personalize. Take a look at Rolec here.
Rustik is really a premium, responsive WordPress theme having a clean, minimalist design – but it’s full of some good features. It’s original design meant for whenever of eCommerce store, speculate it’s so flexible, it might work superbly together with your landscape or outdoors site. It is also suitable for MailChimp & Aweber, and all sorts of elements of design are simple to personalize. Take a look at Rustik here.
Salient is really a premium, responsive WordPress theme having a multipurpose design that’s incredibly versatile. It arrives with a lot of prepackaged demos that may be tweaked for your design preference. Salient has quite a number of theme options too, like custom publish pages, that induce amazing squeeze pages for the site. It is also eCommerce-ready. Take a look at Salient here.
Striking Multiflex is really a premium, responsive WordPress theme that features “your site, your way” – also it totally comes through. The look is extremely professional and user-friendly, and completely customizable in most aspects. It’s suitable for eCommerce and all sorts of fundamental plugins you should power your site. You may create amazing portfolios and squeeze pages with this particular theme too. Take a look at Striking Multiflex here.
UDesign is really a premium, responsive WordPress theme having a professional yet fun design. Since it’s a multipurpose theme, her functionality to power an incredible landscape or outdoors website. It is simple to change or personalize the look elements like colors, fonts, layouts, etc using the drag feature. Using the custom widgets along with other theme options, UDesign is really a solid choice if you are searching to have an “all-in-one” package. Take a look at UDesign here.
Vertex is really a premium, responsive WordPress theme having a modern, sleek design along with a effective backend. In the layouts completely lower towards the seamless scrolling effect, this theme results in a stunning experience. It’s an excellent option if you are website is image-heavy, and in addition it is able to create a number of pages – like contact forms, galleries, location specific squeeze pages, and just how-to pages. Take a look at Vertex here.
Webly is really a premium, responsive WordPress theme having a unique feel to it’s design – however that doesn’t hinder its functionality whatsoever! This can be a versatile theme with all sorts of custom options. The look elements all can be customized – fonts, palettes, layouts, etc. It’s very useful shortcodes and theme options that will help you produce the site you picture. It is also compatible with the plugins you will need. Take a look at Webly here.
WordPress Styles make the perfect and versatile method to increase publicity and also be your Landscaping or Outdoors business/blog. You are able to take complete possession & increase your potential using the design functionality while impressing your customers with stunning designs and quality content simultaneously!
Only a word of caution – make certain to make use of styles rich in coding standards, and don’t forget that the good theme is flexible & utilizes plugins. You could browse around for other styles that won’t be particularly for Landscaping or even the Outdoors, but could easily transform itself with couple of plugins and custom code!
If you are wondering ways to get began on creating your site, here’s an in depth tutorial regarding how to create one on your own.
If you are a new comer to WordPress world, here’s the Beginner’s Help guide to WordPress – videos incorporated!
Best of luck!
The publish Top 14 WordPress Styles for Landscaping & Outdoors made an appearance first on ShivarWeb.
Any entrepreneur will testify towards the impossibility of securing capital for his or her companies, particularly start-up companies. Banks aren’t exactly noted for being understanding or compassionate in assessing people’s worthiness to obtain a business loan. Particularly in this publish-recession climate, it’s natural that entities offering smaller sized loans to individuals without perfect credit would increase in prominence to fill the space.
Knowing that, we thought it may be fun to pit Accion and Kiva, two world’s leading nonprofit microlenders, against one another inside a fight for microsupremacy. (At Merchant Maverick, there exists a weird concept of fun.)
Accion and Kiva U.S. share a good deal in keeping, yet also differ in important ways. Accion began like a community development solution in Venezuela in 1961Â and has since spread all over the world, offering microloans and financial education in additional than 30 countries. Accion began offering loans within the U.S. in 1991 all references to Accion in the following paragraphs pertain particularly for their U.S. branches.
While Accion’s mission would be to provide financialÂ services to underservicedÂ communities, their loans have a price. The applying process is extensive and thorough actually, it requires considerably longer to obtain through compared to the typical online loan provider. You’ll need to sign an individual guarantee or set up collateral to obtain funding, and Accion’s rates of interest vary from 8% to 22%.
Founded in Bay Area in 2005, Kiva’s mission would be to bring microfinance (by means of loans no more than $25) to the people and communities all over the world who’ve virtually no use of other causes of funding. Kiva U.S., launched in 2016, is different from Kiva’s other individuals. Rather of seeking funds from funding partners, borrowers request funds from people from the Kiva community. Think Kickstarter, however for loans.
Unlike Accion, loans acquired via Kiva U.S. carry no interest. It’s possibly the only real lending program where the loan provider doesn’t stand to create a profit. Although this makes Kiva U.S. quite the worth proposition for borrowers, the utmost amount borrowed is considerably smaller sized than Accion’s ($10K versus $50K), and also the application could be even lengthier.
Continue reading to find out if Accion or Kiva U.S. best match your funding needs.
You have to meet a comparatively lengthy listing of qualifications to acquire an Accion loan:
Attend least 18 along with a U.S. resident
Credit rating should be a minimum of 575 (500 occasionally)
Should have sufficient income to pay back the borrowed funds
Should not be greater than thirty days late on any bills
No late rent or mortgage repayments within the last 12 several weeks
No declarations of personal bankruptcy within the last 12 several weeks
No foreclosures within the last 24 several weeks
No type of loan adjustments due throughout the loan term
In case your loan relates to a business that’s experienced operation for less than six several weeks, the next will also apply:
Your company is home- or incubator-based
You’ve under $500 in past-due debt
Your company isn’t in a single of Accion’s disfavored industries (porn, gambling, guns, etc.)
Accion’s loan needs can vary according to locality. Browse the needs where you reside before you apply.
Kiva U.S., in comparison, includes a completely different group of needs. Their lending model depends on the idea of “social underwriting” — within the application, you’re requested to “demonstrate social capital” by 1) lending a minimum of $25 to a different Kiva small company borrowerÂ and 2) recruiting lenders out of your personal and/or professional systems to loan for you. Based on Kiva’s website:
“Depending on how big the borrowed funds and multiple factors, borrowers must invite between 5 and 35 lenders from inside their network.”
The concept is the fact that individuals are not only a fico score they will be able to leverage their status among individuals who know them better to demonstrate their creditworthiness.
Beyond this, Kiva U.S. mandates that you be considered a U.S. resident who’s 18 or older, that the loan is for business purposes, that the business isn’t bankrupt or perhaps in property foreclosure, which your businessÂ isn’t involved in the next:
Multi-level marketing / network marketing
Illegal activities (e.g. gambling, scams)
Pure financial investing (e.g. stocks)
Terms and Charges
Fundamental essentials typical rates and charges for Accion and Kiva U.S. However, remember that because Accion’s offering’s vary by condition, the rates quoted below can be a quite different than’s available in your town.
$500 â $50K
$25 â $10K
6 – 60 several weeks
6 â 36 several weeks
3% â 5% closingÂ fee
$135 processing fee
Rate of interest:
8% â 22%
Approximately. 9.5%Â â 33%
Really illuminates the contrast, doesn’t it? Also, observe that Accion needs a personal guarantee and particular collateral in a few instances Kiva doesn’t. Accion also charges a processing fee and aÂ closing fee Kiva doesn’t.
Because the terms and charges go, Accion resembles a far more “traditional” online loan provider, while Kiva U.S., using its smaller sized, interest-free loans, is really inside a class alone.
Both Accion and Kiva U.S. could make you undergo an extended application than will other online lenders, so be ready to watch for funding. If your quick capital infusion is the thing you need, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
With Accion, you’ll start by completing the applying online, answering questions regarding your company, earnings, home, education, and liabilities. Whenever you’re done, you’ll obtain a call from Accion to show you whether you qualify. Should you choose, you’re directed to speak to a “lending team member” who’ll show you through the entire process of assembling financing application. This can largely contain gathering evidence of the data you gave within the initial questionnaire online. Following this, it will require a while for Accion to ensure everything. Some Accion applicants have were not impressed with the invasiveness of the process. The typical time from application to funding is 3 to 4 days.
The procedure for acquiring a Kiva U.S. crowdfunded loan is much more involved. Just like Accion, you’ll submit an application on Kiva’s website with personal and financial information and information on your social networking accounts. You’ll have to submit a photograph along with a short bio about both you and your business for that loan campaign. There is also a Kiva trustee to attest to your character and endorse your campaign (therefore enhancing your campaign’s prospects), however this is not mandatory.
At this time, a Kiva member will take a look at application and allow you to know regardless of whether you’ve been approved. Even if you’re approved, however, there’s still a methods to go before you decide to’ll use whatever funding. You’ll be requested to lend a minimum of $25 to another person’s Kiva loan campaign. This will make sense, as Kiva’s entire ethos is made around reciprocity and democratizing the entire process of raising business funds.
Subsequently, the loan campaign will enter a 15-day private funding period that you’ll be needed to recruit 5 to 30 individuals from your individual and/or professional systems to lead funding for your loan. The greater funding you request, the greater individuals from your network you’ll have to recruit.
Following the private funding period, you’ll then go into the public funding period. You’ll are in possession of thirty days to boost funds from anybody and everyone. Assuming the loan goal is arrived at, the cash is going to be sentÂ to your PayPal account within a week.
Seems like lots of work, doesn’t it? Kiva U.S. loans might be interest-free, but obtaining them requires significant reserves of your time, effort, and persistence.
Sales and Advertising Transparency
Here’s a place where both Kiva and Accion stand out. As nonprofit entities dedicated to social responsibility and financial education, they don’t attempt to upsell you or lure you into doing anything with incomplete information. Both information mill very transparent in presenting what they offer.
Accion goes one step further, offering several business resourcesÂ as along with details about workshops and occasions they hold in metropolitan areas round the country.
Customer Support and Tech Support Team
Accion and Kiva have thorough and extensive FAQs which should answer almost any question you’ve concerning the process. In the event you need further assistance, both companies provide email and make contact with support (though Kiva’s phone is voicemail message only — they’ll respond within 48 hrs).
Reviews and Complaints
Professional reviewers happen to be rather interested in both Accion and Kiva U.S., praising their openness and transparency while appreciating their pursuit to provide underserved communities with much-needed business capital.
Accion’s settlement costs and processing charges came set for critique, however, as has Kiva’s extended and hard funding process.
A couple of AccionÂ users haveÂ complainedÂ about rejection for sometimes murky reasons, plus an excessively invasive personal analysis to find out the loan-worthiness. Others have lamentedÂ Accion’s relatively high-rates of interest and poor customer support. However, many have recognized the service in order to them when banks wouldn’t.
Most reading user reviews of Kiva published online don’t have to do with Kiva’s current U.S. division and it is choices, thus rendering them under helpful for the purposes.
It wouldn’t be terribly useful to declare a “winner” between Accion and Kiva U.S., his or her divergent funding models may be suitable for one business and could not suit another. Particularly, Accion’s choices differ somewhat based on whereby the U.S. you reside, which means you’ll need to visit the website and enter where you are to determine exactly whatÂ options they’ve for you personally. However, some general conclusions could be attracted.
Should you operate a business that needs a modestly-sized loan of under $10K and are prepared to invest the energy needed to conduct a social fundraiser campaign, you will canrrrt do much better than Kiva U.S.’s interest-free microloans.
However, should you’re looking for a bigger loan, would prefer to not need to go hat-in-hands to potential lenders, andÂ are not able to satisfy the burdensome needs to obtain a financial loan, Accion is a superb funding option really worth investigating. Actually, it’s a popular of ours at Merchant Maverick.
Read our full Accion andÂ Kiva U.S. reviewsÂ to obtain the full picture of those organizations.
The publish Accion Versus Kiva U.S. made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.
Among the big points to consider whenever you’re searching at booking software programs are whether you need to make use of the program like a platform for other, tangentially related tasks – things like inventory control, reason for purchase, and even perhaps some CRM and marketing. There’s an absolute attract the thought of not getting to sign in to five different programs to operate your company.
Simultaneously, however, additional features have a tendency to come confined, and also you don’t wish to waste your precious capital on stuff you aren’t prone to use.
Despite being quite large, robust platforms, BookingBug and Square Appointments are generally scalable programs that may provide your business room to develop to their full-featured sets. Figuring out which is the foremost fit, however, requires a closer inspection at what each one of the programs offers, and a feeling of where your company is headed.
Until you’re able to our prime, custom/enterprise levels, there’s not a contest here with regards to cost. BookingBug begins at $19.95/month because of its solo plan, whereas you’ll have to covering out a minimum of $30/month hop onto Square Appointments.
The large caveat here’s that BookingBug puts a cap on the amount of bookings you may make monthly, if you possess a particularly busy solo account, it’s easy to assume a predicament that you could easily get bumped up to and including greater tier to support your heavy usage. You don’t need to bother about by using Square Appointments, that is only worried about the amount of staff people who definitely are while using program.
Initially glance, Square Appointments makes better decisions when it comes to color and layout. It’s a little crisper, cleaner and much more modern-searching. There’s also less steps involved with establishing your calendar and becoming began.
However, Square Appointments includes a couple of annoying quirks that include being a member of Square’s bigger, integrated platform: a few of the features the thing is around the sidebar aren’t really available, simply because they come under another product heading (like Square Payments, for instance).
BookingBug has lately taken some steps toward making their product more user-friendly for instance, the website now displays better on cellular devices. The organization has additionally added tabs which help cut lower on a few of the convoluted navigation problems that once plagued this program.
As the setup process for BookingBug continues to be a little lengthy, that which you’re getting into return is really a highly customized booking experience enhanced for the kind of business. Compared, Square Appointments is rigid. So while you will find points both in their favors, I give BookingBug a little edge.
Set Of Features
Champion: Square Appointments
This is when the comparison will get just a little trickier, based on regardless of whether you evaluate Square Appointments by itself or included in the bigger (and much more costly) Square family. It’s reliable advice that Square is capable of doing bearing the majority of your company’s digital infrastructure, from scheduling, to analytics, to payment processing (odds are, you’ve interacted with Square’s POS software like a customer already).
This isn’t to state BookingBug is really a slouch within the feature department. For smaller sized, cash-strapped companies, it most likely provides more bang for that buck as it can certainly perform the majority of the same functions you receive with Square (although on the more sensible scale).
Still, when we’re speaking about pure feature potential, Square is playing inside a different league entirely.
I discussed BookingBug’s extensive start-up process earlier, but I wish to underscore precisely how thorough it’s. You’re likely to be requested about the kind of business you’ve, the sorts of sources BookingBug ought to be tracking for you personally, staff settings, cost settings, and much more. Even if you not appreciate the amount of steps between your time you join a free account and booking the first appointment, all this is performed in the customizing your experience.
Champion: Square Appointments
It’s a cliche in the realm of SaaS, however, many developers save money on overhead by restricting the avenues customers have for contacting customer support. BookingBug, regrettably, is one. You’ll have to pick a mid-tier or greater plan if you wish to have the ability to achieve a person by telephone, or else you’ll be tied to email/ticketing or online references.
Square leverages its size here by providing phone support to any or all its users, which makes it a much less frustrating experience whenever you encounter an unpredicted problem.
Companies searching for feature-wealthy booking software that provides them room to develop can securely choose from either BookingBug or Square Appointments both of them are well-designed services from trustworthy companies.
I’d, however, direct nearly all small-to-medium companies toward BookingBug over Square Appointments, unless of course they’re otherwise heavily committed to Square’s infrastructure (or intend to be). Generally it’s a much better value and simpler to bend toward your unique needs.
The publish Square Appointments Versus BookingBug made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.
Exactly what do you consider whenever you consider marketing campaigns? Typically, crazy promotions, phoney contests, and flash sales spring to mind. These campaigns, while effective for the short term, aren’t repeatable.
When does your discount end up being the regular cost? When would you burn up your Facebook following or list?
Let’s say I said there is an easy method to construct an advertising and marketing campaign? Let’s say I said there is a kind of advertising campaign that may provide lasting advantages to your company for many years?
It’s your lucky day. There’s this type of strategy. It’s known as evergreen marketing, also it fuels probably the most effective companies across industries.
It might seem cheesy, however when you consider the word “evergreen marketing” consider an evergreen tree: it doesn’t die every season. It stays eco-friendly and fresh all year long.
That, at its core, is evergreen marketing. It’s an idea which will last beyond this week’s trending topics, next week’s news, or perhaps the next couple of month’s popular search phrases. Rather, it lasts.
A great way to frame evergreen marketing is by using a good example of evergreen content.
Say you have your dog grooming business, and you need to create a bit of content which will exceed season trends or popular culture.
An evergreen content subject for you may be something similar to, “how to wash dog hair from furniture”. This can be a subject that transcends monthly search traffic trends, and won’t become obsolete inside a couple of several weeks. Probably, it’s an issue that pet proprietors continuously ask as lengthy as furniture and dogs co-exist.
What’s the advantage of an evergreen tree? It stays around all year long! Same applies to an evergreen advertising campaign. If your campaign is really evergreen, it continuously leave an enduring impact on your company without constant updating. This time is crucial for small company proprietors marketing their local or online business…while still running operations, finance, shipping and customer support.
Let’s go ahead and take grooming your dog example again.
You choose to roll using the subject of methods to wash dog hair from furniture. You are writing an extensive list of the greatest 10 ways to do this, filled with videos and pictures that report the processes, and publish it aimed at your website. Within the first month, the publish will take off. The following month, the visitors to the publish is even greater. During the period of the following couple of several weeks & years, traffic keeps growing.
You’ve produced an ageless publish. It pertains to searchers regardless of time, the month, or perhaps the year. Probably, this publish will be among the very best pages in your site, getting in significant website traffic (and most likely quite a lot of new clients!) every month.
It’s an unspoken truth that for every company a couple pages (usually ones printed years back) drive many of their traffic. It’s the 80/20 rule for content. 80% of the traffic can come from just 20% of the posts.
Concentrate on the evergreen 20% of the marketing that lasts – expand and improve it in order that it develops itself.
That’s the advantage of evergreen marketing. An evergreen advertising campaign is constantly on the yield benefits for the business every month, whether that’s by means of elevated traffic, more conversions, or even more customers walking using your door.
The Potential Risks
Such as the seem of evergreen marketing to date? Obviously you need to do! Regrettably, it’s not only a plug and go, perfect system. Picking out an evergreen advertising campaign is, well, hard.
You might find that once you begin considering evergreen ideas (for example how you can clean dog hair from furniture), the subject was already covered. We reside in a content-saturated world where anybody could be a marketer – and anybody can setup an internet site. Meaning generally, evergreen topics curently have an offer surrounding them.
If that’s the situation, not every hope sheds. It’s your work to locate a unique position, in order to go more in-depth.
Using our grooming your dog example, it most likely isn’t enough to create articles just on how to get dog hair from furniture.
Rather, using a list format and including video lessons and photos, you’re developing a more thorough resource that’s not the same as the 50 articles that have a typical paragraph method of explaining how you can clean dog hair off a couch.
Pro tip: If you are utilizing a content method of evergreen marketing, make certain that you’ve pre-qualified your articles ideas with the proper tools and research.
You may even must find a distinct segment in your market. Typically, niches tight on campaigns focused on them, departing you with lots of topics that may be covered. This makes your evergreen campaign much more valuable.
Bear in mind, however, that the evergreen advertising campaign needs to be highly relevant to your company. You might find that the business isn’t exactly fit for an array of evergreen ideas.
While you’re certain to find something that’ll be timeless, you might find that it is recently been exhaustively covered because of the limited options inside your field.
There’s risk to relying positioned on evergreen marketing tactics. You’ll lose out on the variety of short-resided campaigns and periodic promotions. Bear in mind that it is no either or choice. In case your evergreen technique is your “battleship” – temporary promotions will be your small “speedboats.” Your evergreen strategy ensures that you’ve a firm foundation to be able to take a risk with shorter campaigns.
How to get it done
Before you decide to join in, here three items to bear in mind when building your campaign.
1) Target Selected Markets
We’ve already discussed how an evergreen subject isn’t one that’s trending, or just popular in just a minute over time. However that will also apply for your audience. For a campaign to become evergreen, it needs to be with different specific audience, not really a product, season, or instant.
Bear in mind that the evergreen campaign does not have to pay for your full audience. Probably, your clients could be damaged out into certain audience segments, that have different needs and wants. By upholding your evergreen campaign centered on one of these simple selected markets (or individuals with similar needs with time), your subject will resonate better, because it will likely be more carefully aligned using the audience(s).
Examples for Inspiration
Consider Dove’s Real Beauty campaign, that has arrived at it’s 10-year anniversary. What initially began as a number of ads highlighting real women to assist destroy stereotypes, the campaign is continuing to grow and seen several phases, from print ads to motivational commercials such as the one below.
This campaign couldn’t happen to be possible if Dove had attempted to focus on all of their audience, including men. Rather, it’s effective and evergreen since it concentrates on women–specifically, grown ladies who continue to be battling stereotypes by what makes someone beautiful.
2) Compete on Overall Value
It isn’t uncommon for marketing campaigns to compete on value. Consider it: most campaigns concentrate on some kind of promotion, like two-for-the-cost-of-one sales, BYGO free, or some % off a few days ago only. A real evergreen campaign competes on value alone, this is not on gimmicks or prices. What this means is the campaign is focused on working out what your target audience values, and orienting your marketing around that completely.
To be able to know very well what your audience truly values, you need to know your target audience! The first step really is necessary here. When you establish your target audience, you are able to dive into what really matters for them. Conduct audience research by doing interviews and creating personas (marketing lingo to have an example profile of the customer). Then, orient your marketing around these personas.
Examples for Inspiration
Let’s take a look at REI (full podcast episode in it here). REI concentrates on education. Their consumers dig information on the truly amazing outdoors, and REI is too pleased to provide them with the data they have to make their next adventure perfect. While a person knows they might visit Dicks and obtain 20% business gear, it normally won’t care. They’re faithful to REI because REI provides them top-notch content.
3) Explore New Ways to work
After you have your audience and know you’re competing according to value, not gimmicks, you’re ready to locate a start up business position. This is actually the step that provides evergreen marketing campaigns some umph. An example of the different business position is niche clubs for purchasers on online stores.
Customers can enroll in a club and obtain special content, deals, and use of elite occasions. Now that’s an offer that doesn’t go from style! It’s geared to a particular audience (loyalty shoppers), competes on value by providing unique possibilities for purchasers, and isn’t periodic or short-resided.
Again, this task dates back to really understanding your audience. Should you not know your audience, or else you have no idea them good enough, you will not have the ability to consider an innovative way to use them!
Depend heavily in your audience research and personas with this step, and make certain you do not get too crazy. An innovative method of doing business could be a terrific way to interact with your audience for a long time, but when it will get too gimmicky or complex, it’ll really turn your clients off.
Examples for Inspiration
What is the loyalty program that’s much better than Amazon . com Prime? While loyalty programs aren’t anything new, Amazon . com Prime (and Prime Now) really have a unique method of their special offering. Furthermore Prime People get special sales, they also have shipping incentives, for example free two-day shipping. Amazon . com recognizes that value and convenience are essential for their customers, making Amazon . com Prime incredibly effective because it possesses a unique business approach that suits individuals exact values.
But exploring new methods for using the services of your present audience isn’t restricted to Amazon . com. Boutique retailers like Huckberry, Trunk Club and Dollar Shave Club have place a new spin around the traditional retail model.
An evergreen marketing strategy is a large lift, but it may be worthwhile.
As lengthy while you seek information, identify your audience, and make certain you’re supplying valuable information inside an imaginative way, you will be on the right path to making an enduring campaign that affects your company for a long time.
Find out more about building an online marketing strategy for ecommerce here.
Find out more about building an online marketing strategy for local company here.
The publish Evergreen Marketing: Planning Marketing That Lasts made an appearance first on ShivarWeb.
All businesses need a method to handle its finances, and the, which involves both invoicing and bookkeeping. From coping with believed taxes to collecting payments from to forget things customers, there’s a great deal which goes together with operating a company – and because the freelance economy grows, increasingly more independent contractors have found themselves swamped inside a ocean of knowledge, rumor, and needs. Some have a DIY approach: plenty of research, spreadsheets for invoicing and accounting, possibly an appointment having a CPA in the finish of the season. Others search for tools to assist automate the procedure and turn it into a little less confusing.
This information will concentrate on freelancers and incredibly small companies, because when your company grows, the advantages to double-entry accounting become increasingly more important. Read my article here to discover why.
However if you simply’re beginning out, and when your accounting needs are extremely simple, there’s no problem with beginning by helping cover their fundamental expense tracking and invoicing software. Even better, a few of the systems available are affordable (reely), simple to use, and could save you hrs of your time over doing things in MS Stand out, Mac Figures, or Google Sheets. And also you’ll never need to bother about accidentally saving over a bill or typing more than a timesheet entry.
So, let’s join in and answer that annoying question: do you want invoicing software, accounting software, or both? (Hint: very couple of freelancers or micro-companies need both.)
Common bookkeeping software misconceptions
First, let’s begin by dispelling some fundamental myths:
When the label states “Accounting Software,” that’s what it’s.
FreshBooks, I’m searching to you. It’s most likely probably the most visible offender, however it’s hardly the only person. The word you have to search for is “double-entry accounting” or “double-entry bookkeeping.” If software doesn’t offer this, it’s not full accounting software, regardless of what it calls itself.
Should you create invoices, you’ll need dedicated invoicing software. That’s the only method you’ll get features like recurring invoices and automatic payment reminders.
Some invoicing software marketers maybe have you think that accounting software cannot possibly meet all of your invoicing needs. But typically, that’s simply not true. Integrated invoicing features have become by a lot as accounting software has had towards the cloud, and as a result nowadays there are accounting programs available with better invoicing features than some dedicated invoicing programs.
Invoicing software programs are less costly than accounting software.
It might are in position to reason why a course with increased abilities could be more costly, right? But with regards to invoicing and accounting software, that’s not necessarily the situation. Here’s that which you’ll purchase programs that permit you a minimum of 200 clients and limitless invoices:
*For that purpose of comparison, prices exclude all promotions and annual subscription discounts.
&daggerQuickBooks Pro cost reflects a 1-time purchase cost of $299, divided through the typical 36-month product existence.
&DaggerDebitoor costs Â£20/month. $27 reflects the exchange rate by the date want to know ,’s publication.
Accounting software programs are confusing and impossible for any non-accountant to make use of.
QuickBooks has lengthy been the defacto standard of accounting software, also it’s acquired a status to be really perplexing for that neophyte. But typically, cloud-based accounting software (including QuickBooks Online) is made to attract business proprietors greater than to CPAs. Which means less accounting jargon (some programs have stripped it altogether), plenty of fundamental help articles and walkthroughs, along with a simpler, less overwhelming interface than you’ll see in traditional accounting software.
Will invoicing software be sufficient?
So with all of that removed up, which’s good for you? I’m going to begin by stating that anybody can perform well with accounting software. Until very lately, actually, which was my go-to recommendation virtually overall. That’s now lower to around a 75/25 ratio, mainly because of Zoho Invoice’s growth of some spectacular low-cost and free choices. But when after studying it on double-entry bookkeeping, you choose that’s what you would like, I’ll function as the last person to speak you from it. Lengthy-term, it’s generally the easiest method to keep an eye on your company finances.
Invoicing and expense-tracking software, however, is only going to act as an answer for the business in the event that business meets some very specific criteria:
You’ve got no inventory.
Let’s say you sell products, you should utilize full double-entry bookkeeping with correct inventory accounting. No doubt.
You’ve got no accounts payable (or that which you have is really minor that you simply don’t want to trace it individually from expenses).
Accounts payable is all about what it really seems like: items you haven’t compensated yet, but will have to pay for. Bills, quite simply. Suppose you are renting a workplace and also you have an utility bill around the to begin the month that’s due in thirty days. From the moment you receive the balance before the time you have to pay it, the funds ought to be logged as accounts payable.
Knowing your debts (in addition to what cash is arriving â “accounts receivable” in accounting lingo) is essential to get an entire financial picture of the business. Area of the reason for keeping good financial records is knowing where your company standsâand the easiest method to obtain a truth of this is thru double-entry bookkeeping.
Accounts payable isn’t the same factor as expenses. Lots of cloud-based invoicing software includes fundamental expense tracking. Should you pay any bills once you receive them, or maybe your main expenses are purchases that you simply purchase immediately, you’ll be able to most likely manage having a system that doesn’t support accounts payable.
You don’t need much of accounting reports regarding your business.
Most invoicing programs don’t offer extensive reporting options. For instance, most don’t even provide a simple profit/loss report. Presuming that you can do fundamental math and take away your expenses out of your revenue, this might not bother you . . . however it’s an issue worth thinking about. If you wish to check out balance sheet, you’ll have write up yourself. The greater complex your money get, the greater you’ll have to do by hands. And don’t forget, your time and effort may be worth money.
You’ve got no employees.
The 2nd you’re coping with payroll, full accounting software is a lot more likely to suit your needs than invoicing software. Can you cobble together a strategy to make invoicing software work? Yes, in some instances . . . however it’s easier to you need to be your accounting correctly at that time.
You don’t need job costing.
Should you’re unsure what that’s, read about it here. If you want job costing, accounting software programs are generally the best way to goâit’s the only method you’ll get all of the options you’ll need. Harvest may be the exception towards the general rule it’s invoicing software that may handle fundamental job costing, if you meet the rest of the criteria about this list and also you strongly prefer it to the accounting software available, it’s possible you may consider.
Good reasons to use invoicing software
So say you meet all of the criteria within the last section. You may choose invoicing or accounting software and it’ll most likely meet your company’s needs, a minimum of for that near term. We’ve spoken about the advantages of accounting software already. What exactly benefits might invoicing software offer?
That could seem just like a downside, however if you simply check out Wave or Xero and discover yourself confused and at a loss for all of the options, you will probably find invoicing software a far more manageable starting point.
Automated late charges or snail-mailed invoices
Fundamental essentials only major features you’ll find in certain invoicing software that we haven’t yet observed in accounting software. If you would like your program to instantly calculate late charges and add these to invoices, or if you wish to have snail-mail invoices sent in the mouse click, then you definitely’ll need invoicing software.
Better good value
When I pointed out earlier, cost varies broadly among invoicing and accounting software options. Based on your particular needs, you might find that the certain invoicing program includes a plan which provides you more quality than a similarly priced accounting program. For instance, for those who have under 25 clients (and don’t believe that number increases substantially soon), Zoho Invoice includes a fantastic free plan that allows you to distribute invoices free from Zoho branding (Wave includes its branding on all invoices and emails). Plus you receive a handy client portal. Or say you’ll need a program that supports both retainer invoicing and limitless clients: Harvest may have your back beginning at $12/month your very best accounting choice is Zoho Books, at $29/month.
With regards to deciding between invoicing and accounting software, your particular conditions and the requirements of your company determines your very best course. You actually can’t fail using the accounting option . . . but for many people, beginning by helping cover their fundamental invoicing and expense tracking might have some advantages.
Still debating which is the best for your company? Or confused within the difference backward and forward? Drop us an email in comments.
The publish Invoicing Versus Accounting Software: What’s Perfect for Your Company? made an appearance first on Merchant Maverick.