salon_gurus_tax_time_training

Tax Time – A New Way of Looking at It

As many of us are now getting the various forms and statements we need pulled together to file our tax returns, here are some things to keep in mind.

The IRS and state labor boards only recognize two categories of worker:  You are either an employee…or you are not.  That’s it! Very simple!

The IRS does not care if you are an employee or not. They also don’t care what type of non-employee worker you are (booth renter versus I/C). They just care that they get the full amount of taxes owed:

15.3% of all earnings is due in Self-Employment taxes for those who are NOT employees – to be paid by the worker on their individual tax returns.

or

15.3% is paid by withholding 7.65% from an employee’s paycheck, matched by the employer with another 7.65%, and both halves must be remitted on a timely basis to the IRS after each payroll.

That’s it! Very simply put, the IRS wants 12.4% of earnings for Social Security and 2.9% for Medicare or 15.3% total…and they don’t care who pays it! They only care that it is reported and paid. So, who pays?

  1. IF you are “hired” and “bossed”: told how to perform the services you perform, what products to use, what protocols, your appointments are made for you and you must be there even if no appointments and must participate in various chores and tasks for the behalf of the salon/spa’s business, required to wear a uniform and attend staff meetings, and most telling of all, they PAY YOU, then you are an EMPLOYEE. If your owner walks like a boss and talks like a boss, then by definition s/he is one. In this case THE EMPLOYER PAYS HALF.
  2. If you are not an employee, then you fall into one of a couple commonly-seen categories of NON-EMPLOYEE working relationships. In this case THE WORKER PAYS IT ALL:

A. If you owe rent for the space you inhabit each week/month, then you are a renter. In this case, you are a micro salon inside the business and you should bear the burden of your own expenses: your products, supplies, marketing, credit card fees and all. If you are paying for these things, then you get to choose how/which ones to pay for. If you have to pay for these things but don’t get to choose, then this is not a legal booth renting set up.

B. You are a true Independent Contractor – though this is actually very rarely a legal situation. There are several rules which dictate exactly what a true I/C is. One of the biggest definitions is that the I/C performs only services which are not the core services of the business. For example, a hair salon may have an I/C manicurist who comes in and performs manicuring services; or one that adds a specialty such as lash extensions or massage. These I/C workers must be free to work in other venues if they choose…they may NOT be treated as employees! Since they are paying for the products they use, they get to choose which ones….and the manner in which the work is performed. To be considered a true, legal I/C situation, a hair stylist working inside a hair salon does not meet the definition. If the salon bills itself as a hair, nail, skin care salon, then it cannot engage I/Cs to come in and do those core services. This is often ignored in our industry, but just because others do it, does not mean YOU should!

OK, now we have the definitions correctly set out…what happens in real life? Here’s a disturbingly common scenario:

You were given a paycheck each week by the salon/spa. Your paycheck did NOT have payroll taxes withheld, but you were “bossed” and treated like an employee.  The boss wants your Social Security Number so she can issue you a 1099.
What to do:  Have your boss send you an email requesting it in writing along with a form W-9. Fill out the W-9 and send it back, keeping a copy for yourself. (This correspondence might be important documentation later!)

Next, download a Form SS-8 from the IRS website or just fill in an SS-8 online and print yourself a copy. Submit it, along with the 1099 your boss will send you, to your CPA and ask them to please file this with your tax return. If you meet all (or most of) the criteria on that form as an employee, the IRS will look to your employer for 7.65% of your wages in payroll taxes, and you would be eligible for that same 7.65% as a refund.

This may take several months to process…but think of it this way…for every $1000 they paid you in paychecks, $76.50 should have been paid on your behalf to the IRS by the employer. If you made, say $50,000, then $3,825 in payroll taxes should have been paid by your employer…not you!

This information is not meant to replace the advice your CPA or a good employment attorney could give you. It’s meant to open your eyes to the rampant misclassification of workers that happens in our industry.

If you are a salon owner who has this set up for your books, be aware that salons and spas are now on the radar with the IRS.  They are happy to hit your business up for 7.65% of all the wages you have paid all your “I/Cs” over the last 3 years…along with penalties and interest, of course. Can you afford that?

permanent-makeup-trainer

Researching a Proper Permanent Makeup Class

What you should look for when researching a proper permanent makeup class.

By guest author, Will Anthony

First thing: if your trainer has 10 classes in different states they must be licensed in salon_gurus_pmueach one of those states. Make sure you do your research. Make sure that your trainer has a tattoo license, if needed, and also has trainers insurance.

What is included? Make sure that your trainer can send you pictures of the machine that is included with your class, if one is included. Research that machine and make sure that it has a legitimate support system. Make sure that the needles and other parts are easily accessible. If the tattoo machine you are getting does not have a serial number on it it is a total piece of crap. Call the machine company and tell them you are taking a class including their machine make sure they actually have customer support.

All machines should have a warranty. I would suggest never paying for a machine with cash–always on a credit card to protect yourself. There are a ton of people buying crap from China, changing the color, giving it a fancy name and overcharging people with no customer service. If your machine is on Ali Baba then run.

If this is going to be your first permanent makeup class it must be longer than 3 or 4 days and most definitely should be hands-on with multiple models.

Do not book a class because your trainer has a lot of Instagram followers and wears fancy clothes and post pics of expensive handbags.

Don’t fall for cheap gimmicks and marketing.

Do not pay your deposit or pay for your class until your trainer tells you the exact location of the class. Never pay for a class that says “location to be announced.” If your training is in a hotel, contact the hotel and make sure that they know tattooing will be held on their premises. Some hotels require a 5 million to 10 million dollar insurance policy to tattoo on their premises–especially if it’s corporate.

If your class is in a hotel, most likely it’s a fail.  Every location where tattoo is done, even in a class for no pay, must be a properly inspected and licensed tattoo establishment.  Hotel rooms do not meet the requirements of proper tattoo establishments. Some classrooms might be able to pass the inspection.

Make sure you see all licenses and permits before your class. Tattooing illegally in some states is a felony. Doing a class in a hotel is legal as long as it is properly inspected and permitted by the county or state.

Do your research. Find out how long the trainer has been working in skin with ink and ask to see their personal healed work as well as some of their students. If they can’t show you tons of their own work, they have no idea how their methods will hold up. Don’t let someone who has no idea train you.

Our industry has become almost a reality show. People will sell you anything to make money.

This is probably the most important point on this post: Do not pay for any permanent makeup classes ever in cash. DO NOT PAY CASH – EVER.

I see so many people complain about how they got robbed by trainers. If you follow this list, it will never happen. If you do not do the homework yourself, you should not complain. Don’t trust anyone–it is your right to make sure that it is legitimate.

Will Anthony has been tattooing and training permanent makeup over 20 years, first in New Jersey and now full time in Southwest Florida at Will Anthony Permanent Cosmetics and Advanced Training Center

salon-gurus-virox-products

AHP – Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide for Salons and Spas

salon-gurus-virox-logoAHP (Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide) Disinfection Products Now FDA Approved!

Disinfection of implements and surfaces is very important when performing direct-touch services on another person, no matter the industry. For that reason, infection control is a serious responsibility for the professionals in our industry, one that is poorly performed by many though with strict adherence by others. Those who adhere to proper levels of infection control want good and reliable products, while ease of use and safety are important, also.

Long used by our Canadian colleagues, we at Salon Gurus, have been waiting for the Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide (AHP) disinfectant to be approved in the US for years! AHP disinfection products (Rejuvenate™ and Prevention™ HLD8) are manufactured by Virox Technologies, Inc., and are now available for the beauty industry in both surface and immersion products. The Virox AHP products have the highest approval available – EPA and FDA approval, for use in the medical, dental and beauty industries.

Following are some benefits of AHP:

  1. Prevention HDL8™ from Virox does not need dilution for high-level disinfection of implements – it is full strength so the dangers of incorrect dilution are gone. Just pour and go! One of the problems in our industry in implementing infection control is correct dilution of our disinfection products in water.
  2. The necessary change of  Prevention HDL8™ immersion liquid is approved for 21 days – no more changing it every day. Our industry is well known for our “forgetting” to change the disinfectant. Test strips are also available to check the efficacy of the immersion product along the way.
  3. At last! A non-toxic-to-the-environment (and to us) disinfectant – when you put this product down the drain it breaks down into water and oxygen. No other disinfection product is that safe. Our prior products were dangerous to put down the drain, and PPEs were an absolute must in using them. Now you use PPEs to protect you from dirty implements, not from the disinfectant,
  4. Eight (8) minutes immersion for implement disinfection – this is less time than the prior products. Prior products were 10-20 minutes for disinfection.
  5. This product achieves a higher “kill” than our standard salon and spa immersion products, which has been defined by the CDC as “intermediate level”. This product meets the criteria defined by the CDC as “high level” disinfection.

Are there any concerns about AHP? In the past, some formulations have caused inferior metal implements to turn black. However, Virox has carefully calibrated their mixtures and if you “buy right” as we discuss in our programs, and don’t allow them to soak overnight, good stainless steel implements are unaffected by the AHP immersion products.

A full range of products to meet our needs are available:
• Surfaces and Non-Circulating Foot Bath Disinfection: Rejuvenate™ Ready to Use liquid and Wipes
• Foot Bath Disinfection: Rejuvenate™ Concentrate
• Implement Disinfection: Prevention™ HLD8 High Level Disinfectant

With the dramatic changes in health of the population in the US since 2000, many clients in our services are slow to heal or fast to become infected. If the person has even a tiny wound from a dirty implement, they may have severe consequences…and the possibilities of poor healing illnesses in the US increase yearly. For example, according to the CDC, in 2000 5.8% of Americans had diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes. But in 2017, diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes was near to 17%. Diabetics whose feet become infected are slow healing or do not heal at all and may lose a toe, a foot, their leg or even their life. Times have changed, and nail technicians, lash artists, cosmetologists and all beauty industry providers must increase their awareness of safety for their clients or potentials for dire consequences rise dramatically.

Where to Purchase AHP
Some of our favorite distributors are now carrying AHP products:

ProFiles/Backstage
www.profilesbackstage.com
2323 Delprado Blvd.
Cape Coral, FL 33990
(888)545-1200
[email protected]

Cordoza Nail Supply
www.cordozanailsupply.com 
140 W Grant St ,
Lebanon , Oregon , 97355
541-409-8433

Spa Order
www.spaorder.com
1350 Ritchey St,
Santa Ana, CA 92705
(800)446-3751

salon-gurus-leslyn-zak

Ground Yourself!

“Super Esthie” Leslyn Zak has some excellent information to share with us about the importance of grounding yourself – especially in our “hands on” work, we need to be centered and grounded in order to do out best for our clients.

The State of Being Grounded: How to Get There

Energy is intense right now, do you feel it? Is whack stuff going on in your world? It’s no wonder, with six planets going in and out of retrograde and the lunar eclipse coming up on July 27 is said to be the most powerful in 120 years. I took a salt bath and used my Tuning Forks and crystals yesterday to balance and calm myself. I still feel it but I’m tolerant. Here are some easy ways to ground yourself anytime, anywhere.

At the Institute of Energetic Esthetics, the basis of my most popular courses, Biodynamic Lymphatic Drainage and Client Loyalty Through Dermaplaning, I emphasize the absolute need to be grounded in order to perform both services. What does it mean to be grounded? The following will answer that question and teach you much more about this state of being and how it can assist you at work and in life. There are three aspects of practice to combine to achieve a grounded state of being. Deep breathing, placing anchors, and a felt body sense.

First, open up by expanding the capacity and duration of the breath. Take several deep breaths as your feet are placed firmly on the floor. Let the air fill you, starting deep in your belly and continue to fill the space up to your throat. At the moment where no more air can be added, pause there 1-3 seconds (or more) and then, allow the air to escape past your lips from the top down. Practice a momentary hold again at the emptiness of air, before filling the belly with the next deep breath. Do this at least three times. Consequently, this type of breathing is excellent for melting and/or softening fascia tissue. When you do synchronized deep breathing with a client, it also serves to connect both of you, putting you on the same energetic page, so to speak. I read somewhere that synchronized breathing is one of the best ways to energetically connect with another person. The author was referring to breathing in sync with your partner, but the application here is still valid.

Second, establish anchors in the body. There are essentially three anchors, or chords, to set in place. The first is a connection to the ground through your feet and legs. We walk the earth but how often do we sense a connection with it? This simple act of connecting your feet to the ground consciously, is fantastic for grounding. Walk around barefoot outside in the grass or sand if you need extra special support. Second is your embryological center, located directly through your spine, out the crown chakra of the head and through the perineum at the root chakra. Envision this chord extending down into the earth and up into the heavens. The third anchor, is at the occipital ridge at the base of the skull. This place is referred to as the Confluence of Sinuses or Inion. This chord extends out diagonally down into the earth and works to increase perspective by allowing the head to be slightly pulled back. Perspective is everything in any situation, so this anchor can prove very important.

Finally, the third aspect of grounding is having a clear sensitivity in your body of what grounding feels like. Ask yourself, “Where in my body do I feel grounded? What does it feel like?” It could feel cool and heavy or warm and solid. What is important, is that you are experiencing this “felt body sense”. This experience is allowing you to be present in the moment and also allows your body, mind, and spirit to work together to provide you with information that enables you to access the state of being grounded. Once practiced, it becomes second nature to quickly achieve this state. The surest and quickest way to grounding is the felt body sense combined with the act of placing your anchors while deep breathing.

Anytime you are present in the moment, you are then able to move into a grounded state. Being present relies on experiencing how breath and anchors affect your physical presence and how the chords connect you to the higher self and the oneness of the Universe, while simultaneously supporting your physical existence on the earthly plane. When you are well grounded another amazing thing happens: a grounded person can hold space. The art of healing happens when the practitioner holds space for the client to heal themselves. A healer is not the source of healing, they are merely the tool for it. Holding space by being grounded creates opportunity for healing to naturally occur. Being grounded also allows you to safely open your heart so that you can be a tool for healing. An open heart is necessary for this, and being grounded is crucial for the energetic exchange to pass through your heart, into you hands, and onto your client.

No one taught this to us in Beauty School, I didn’t learn it until nineteen years into my practice and it has proven to be crucial information. Not only will this work well in serving clients, it will also become a life skill that can assist in many situations. We can protect ourselves best when grounded. It makes it possible to deflect other energies so we don’t absorb negativity or feel bombarded by outside influences. Intuition will come forth more easily when we are grounded as well. When making important life decisions, a grounded space will enhance your ability to decide upon the best course of action.

You now know the key to energy healing starts with the process of self grounding and holding space. I encourage you to share this skill set with your clients, friends, and family. It can be a real life saver in times of stress and uncertainty, because, we can create space to heal ourselves.

Lezlyn Zak is a licensed beauty professional of 24 years and hold certifications at level II for Reiki and for energy work with tuning forks. Her training programs are available at http://www.instituteofenergeticesthetics.com/

Home Based Salons Should Charge MORE!

In mentoring and participating in social media forums, Janet and I often run across statements/discussions to the effect of when you work out of a home-based salon, you don’t charge as much. Why do people think this way, I wonder? Some people add to their statements, “because I don’t have overhead.” The truth of the matter is, you DO have overhead….it’s just disguised and passed along to your personal accounts,

You will have more water, sewer, garbage. More heating and cooling. More internet and phone service than you normally would in your private residence. You’ll have more laundry, laundry soap, cleaning products, supplies like paper towels, trash bags, TP and so on.

Part of your property tax should be allocated to the business. Part of the mortgage. You will no longer have that space available to live in, so it’s not a personal expense any more–it belongs to the business and the business should bear the burden.

You will have driveway usage. Wear and tear on your doors entering and exiting that room. Flooring, door trim, wall paint near the entrance will have wear and tear. There may need to be a walkway put in…and certainly maintained. Outside lighting…maybe signage (if allowed).

All of your services will still take the exact amount of time, product and linens….so there is zero savings there just because you are in a different location.

So, really, there is no reason to discount your service prices just because your location is different. In fact, if I offer you the privilege of entering my home for a service, I’ll certainly be bumping up my “experience” quotient and it will be very exclusive. I would RAISE my prices.

Salon Gurus Privacy Measures Update

Salon Gurus Privacy Policy

Claudio Barbieri www.page1ranking.com

Salon Gurus cares about the privacy and security of all the users of the website. The website itself is hosted on robustly-protected, secured servers owned by web design and development guru, Claudio Barbieri, Page1 Ranking of Cape Coral, Florida.

Co-Founder Karen Hodges shares “Over the last few weeks, Claudio has been working hard to migrate his clients’ websites over to new, super-secure servers. He’s added additional layers of security with cutting edge technology. That’s one of the things we love about working with Claudio—he keeps refreshing his equipment, software and protocols with the very best he can find.”

In compliance with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) which was put into place in 2016, Salon Gurus has put into place several security measures to safeguard its website visitors from the potential for security breaches. For example, “We do not actually collect credit card payment information from our students,” states Hodges, the company’s designated Data Protection Officer. “Instead, we utilize third party credit card processors who have data security measures of their own in place. This is just one way in which our students’ information is safeguarded.”

What is the GDPR?

In April 2016, the Parliament of the European Union adopted data protection regulation for every company that does business with its citizens. They created specific requirements which must be in place effective May 25, 2018.

Any company that stores or processes personal information about EU citizens within EU states must comply with the GDPR, even if they do not have a business presence within the EU. Specific criteria for companies required to comply are:

  • A presence in an EU country.
  • No presence in the EU, but it processes personal data of European residents.
  • More than 250 employees.
  • Fewer than 250 employees but its data-processing impacts the rights and freedoms of data subjects, is not occasional, or includes certain types of sensitive personal data. That effectively means almost all companies.

These regulations carry the force of law and incorporate very stiff fines for those who play fast and loose with website user data they gather. Some of the requirements are that the website must have and post a privacy policy explaining what data is collected, what is done with it and whether or not if it’s shared with third parties. You can read Salon Gurus’s Policy Statement here at this link.

Salon Gurus Announces a New Guru, Antoinette Haynes

Fundamentals of Threading – Unleashed — Threading expert Antoinette Haynes adds a new course on threading to the offerings at Salon Gurus

antoinette-haynes-salon-gurus-threading-coverDecember 21, 2017, Fort Myers, FL – Salon Gurus, LLC, an online educational platform, announces a new guru, Antoinette Haynes, Serenity Suite Skin Care, Greensboro, NC. Haynes is a highly regarded trainer in the art of threading, an all-natural depilation technique. She has been performing this skill since 2009, teaching it since 2014 and has many highly skilled graduates. Her Fundamentals of Threading – Unleashed training program presents a Certificate of Completion to those who complete the requirements.

The art of threading is said to originate from the Middle East thousands of years ago and to have been a practice for special events for women in certain cultures. It did not become a practice of hair removal in the West to any degree until the early 20th century. It is a unique and interesting hair removal technique that uses inexpensive cotton thread, twisted and rolled along the surface of the skin which entwines the hairs in the thread. The hairs are then lifted out from the follicle. It is said to be more precise than waxing as well as less painful. Traditionally, threading is used on the entire face, including upper lip, chin, eyebrows, sideburns and cheeks, but it can also be utilized anywhere the client has hair he/she wishes removed, such as the arms, legs and bikini area and so on.

Haynes attended a demo of threading and immediately fell in love with this service that is growing in popularity in the USA. She persevered and found a class – there are very few – and then she practiced on her fellow esthetic students, her family—anyone she could get to sit down! She became efficient, proficient and fast, and it has been a great service for her appreciative and large clientele.

Offering hands-on training, Haynes holds small training classes at her location or travels to teach on-site for salons and spas. Her next step to introduce the service to beauty professionals is to offer her modules to curious estheticians and cosmetologists online with Salon Gurus. “I want to alleviate the mystery surrounding threading and show interested professionals how great it can be as a service in their practices,” says Haynes.

To read more about her course, check our “Early Bird Special” $100 off!  Available for a limited time!

To discuss a hands-on training program, contact Antoinette Haynes at [email protected]

The educational programs on www.salon-gurus.com are offered by true gurus in the beauty industry.

Salon Gurus – Upgrades Courses and Delivery Software

December 19, 2017, Fort Myers, FL. — Co-Founders Janet McCormick and Karen Hodges are thrilled to announce significant upgrades.

Salon Guru, Janet McCormick shares that the Salon Gurus website has recently undergone a strategic upgrade. “We have incorporated  software that increases the security of our website, as well as provides a higher-quality delivery of our content.”  Her partner, Karen Hodges, has been working with Claudio Barbieri, of Page 1 Ranking, their talented web-server host, over the last few months on a number of projects. “We are so pleased to work with Claudio,” states Hodges, “because he exceeds our expectations every time we present him with a challenge.”

“We have been working on these upgrades and revisions since early last summer. We’ve gone through each course and added hundreds of graphics and images. We’ve re-voiced the sound. We’ve added embedded videos for better learning…and so much more, ” says Hodges.

Not only are the courses themselves better – have been re-mixed and expanded – but the delivery systems are better, as well. Some of the upgrades now in place and functioning are:

  • Increased security measures to protect the courses entrusted to us by our contributing Gurus
  • New delivery templates for our PowerPoint presentations – now it’s possible to search an entire course for key words or phrases
  • The new PowerPoint templates also allow the viewer to control the play back–pause, skip ahead or go backward, full screen, volume control and more
  • Higher quality sound – now all our programs have crisp, sharp audio
  • Better responsiveness – our courses now function very well on a number of devices: from desk top computers down to the smallest smart device
  • Compatibility across various browsers has been improved – we have tested our programs for performance with a number of popular web browsers

To celebrate the “re-launch” of several courses that were re-published just this week the Gurus are offering $20 off any of the following 4 courses:

  • Brow Waxing with Hard Wax
  • Salon Success: Subtle Marketing
  • LASER Care by Nail Technicians
  • Nail Technicians Working with Physicians

To enroll in these courses, go to the website product page, add them to your cart, then apply the Coupon Code:  TAKE-20 to receive $20 off.  Click here to view the entire list of courses available at Salon-Gurus.

Educators & Demonstrators – Mind Your Ps & Qs!

If you are portraying yourself as an “Expert” at something….please take care to do [whatever] with some level of expertise!

Watching several “experts” demonstrate their product lines or skill sets, recently, we have observed some very fundamentally WRONG ways to do things. Here are the top 10 faux pas made by self-declared professionals who are demonstrating their services, skills and wares:

  1. Gloves. We shouldn’t have to say why any more. But please, stop  performing skin care procedures without gloves.  If you are demonstrating dermaplaning or microneedling…please stop handling your sharps with your bare hands. Please.
  2. Dispense the disposables you will need prior to the service – we abhor seeing a demonstrator reach into a drawer or container and pull out a cotton swab [etc.] in the middle of the service—without having sanitized their hands from the procedure they’re in the middle of showing!
  3. Stop reaching into your sanitary materials area with dirty hands before you begin–we saw several people reach over to pick up something to show camera with their unsanitized hands and return it to their work tray without cleaning it off.
  4. Stop touching everything in the room with your hands after they’ve been on the client’s skin….stop and wash or apply sanitizer. Did you KNOW you can use sanitizer on your gloved hands?
  5. Stop touching your skin and hair in the middle of a service! Tie that hair back if it tends to fall down in your face–by all means, keep it out of the work zone! If you have to stop and scratch your nose or flick something off your cheek–deglove first! Or use a tissue or a waxing stick or other disposable.
  6. Use fresh water between steps. Do NOT go back into the dirty water or use make-up laden sponges on the skin you’ve just exfoliated! Sponges are cheap. Use new ones.
  7. If you are using a piece of gauze to collect the extractions or the excess hair or skin cells from exfoliation, do NOT wipe the skin with that gauze!
  8. Stop wiping your dermablade or other sharp tools with your fingers–even if gloved! Use a piece of gauze or tissue.
  9. Actually know what you are talking about – know the fundamentals of the skill you are demonstrating — example, know for  a FACT if you should work in the direction of hair growth…or not!
  10. Actually know the anatomy and physiology of the body parts you are working with–using a “big word” to sound educated is a “No from me.”

Sorry, not sorry to sound a bit harsh…but in our age of video-everything, it’s so hard to learn that one nugget of information from anyone if you are distracted by their incorrect techniques or misinformation. Don’t be that person.

 

Credit Card Fees – Why You SHOULD Pay Them

Ed Note: Rebecca Joann Brumfield, LMT and owner/operator of Vida Pura Spa in Baton Rouge, LA and her staff of 8 practitioners are huge advocates of offering credit card payments. Brumfield is also an active Facebook Admin/coach/mentor with a group of nearly 3,000 licensed beauty professionals and a website at badassbodyworkers.com.   She had this to say in her group, and we’re sharing it here with you:

Since I have gotten several messages and read comments lately about spas/ LMTs/ self-employed practitioners complaining about credit card fees or not accepting credit cards at all in their business or CHARGING THEIR CUSTOMERS the CC fee…I have plenty to say!

First of all, passing along an extra charge to your clients paying by a credit/debit card just for the CC processing fees is ABSOLUTELY UNACCEPTABLE, no excuses. NONE. Like, ever. And also illegal in most states. I have been to a few business that made me pay the fee and I was PISSED and didn’t go back. Do you know what helps with that? Increase your rates. Build it into your service charge.

Secondly, let me break it down for you: YOU ARE LOSING CREDIBILITY BY NOT ACCEPTING CARD PAYMENTS. (Not to mention trustworthiness, convenience, professionalism, being legitimate, and referrals.) It’s not just credit card payments, but other forms of payments that are linked to credit cards and digital transactions (PayPal, ApplePay, DroidPay, Venmo, etc.) that COST your business if you don’t accept them.

Third of all…. Those therapists who give a discount to clients who pay in cash are making a mistake! Yeah, yeah, we all like cash. LOVE IT. I always tip in cash, but if I have to pay for my service in cash, I probably won’t tip as much as I would if I were to be able to put the service on my credit/debit card. And I might not even spend my money with you at all! Here’s an example: I was at an arts festival once, and my BFF wanted to buy a $350 painting. The artist had a Square, so I know the processing cost. It would have cost the artist about $9 to sell the painting and make a $341 profit. (OR she could have just charged the painting at $359) But no! She told my BFF she would prefer cash, and to go to the ATM and take out the cash instead. The ATM wasn’t with my friend’s bank, so not only would she have had to pay $5-6 to withdraw cash, but she also was awaiting money that was coming the next week, so she could only put the charge on her CC. I literally told the artist that she is throwing away $350 just to save nine bucks and as a small biz owner, it made ABSOLUTELY ZERO SENSE why she would punish a customer and lose out on a sale. But she did that day.

Same thing with massages…I can pretty much guarantee that your clients who pay in cash would double or even triple what they spend with you if they could put their services or packages on a CC. Today I sold a $400 package (a 4-pack of 60 min massages) and it cost me $11 to pay to the processor. This same clients also earns points on his CC every time he uses it, and he is able to redeem those points for SpaWeek cards for his daughter as well. It’s a double win! He also tipped me on this transaction $86 (and I can guarantee if I would have said “Oh, it will cost $XX extra to process this on your card” he wouldn’t have thought to add a tip.) One more–for the therapists that give a discount of 5% or even 10% to clients for paying in cash…just accept the cash! WHY discount it at all, especially if you are taking a bigger cut than the CC fee?

ALSO I’m no tax/financial person, but you legally have to claim all your cash earnings anyway, and trying to fudge that results in problems down the road. Believe…when your tax return is audited, cash-only businesses do not do well! And what if you want to buy a building, get a credit line/capital for our business, establish a history/credibility, buy a house/car, etc.? We have to prove our income and earnings. Not only will you earn more by accepting cards, you’ll have the financial records to substantiate them.

This is not a hard thing to accomplish. Square even has their basic processing device for free. Other companies do, too. Today’s rates are reasonable. Not to mention, if you are with the processing company for a certain amount of time, you are pre-approved for a credit. Square was able to give me a credit which I needed to get my new spa up & running. My business is thriving in a new location…and I feel it’s all because I decided to start accepting CCs at my business 6 years ago.

Here are some stats I pulled from Forbes:

> 55 percent of the nation’s 27 million small businesses do not accept credit cards

> Of those, it’s averaged at $100 million potential earnings lost by being cash-only

> 66 percent of all point-of-sales (POS) transactions are done with plastic – credit, debit, or gift cards. That is a lot of sales for millions of businesses to miss out on.

> Only 27 percent of purchases are made with cash.

> Cash sales will drop to only 23% by 2017.

> 58 percent of small businesses are regularly asked by their customers to accept credit cards.

The benefits of accepting credit and debit cards far outweigh the cost.

When people are given more payment options (beyond cash); they are more likely to make impulse purchases, join loyalty programs, and spend more per purchase – and that can only help your business to grow.

I encourage those who are a CASH ONLY business to take a leap and start accepting credit & debit cards. It’s a cost of doing business. It’s a tax write off. It is earning potential.

More stories with additional points to consider:

From Square: Why Every Small Business Should Accept Credit Cards

From Due: Accepting Credit Cards 101