I started my business - well you couldn't really call it a business, I was merely an odd-job gardener finding his way - in 1984.
The internet didn't exist, banks were the tail that wagged the governing dog...and a gardener knew his place.
Now the internet has changed all that for the best and for good.
The banks are no longer in control of how the UKs money system works. Gardeners and landscapers are well on the way to educating ignorant clients that they are worth their money and won't be pushed around any more.
I remember my first invoice/receipt book. It had a top tear-out page and a second under-page - both bore the same number for administration purposes. A sheet of carbon paper was inserted between the two pages and when you wrote a receipt or an invoice it created a copy.
Somewhere. stored in a box, is my very first invoice book. I started off charging £20.00 a day back then. I keep this as a nostalgic memento alongside my first ever double-entry accounting book and my first ever estimate.
I'll never forget the joy at turning over £100 in a week, for the very first time. Satruday's were my pocket money days and paid for my trip to watch Pompey play at Fratton Park.
That was getting on for thirty years ago now. In fact it was nine years ago, on the 10 February 2004 when I sold my company.
It is all so different now.
The internet has disrupted so many business model niches. Back in 1984 one would never have imagined such a wide-scale banking crash or the demise of the all-powerful media. The high street is decimated and digital photography has caused the demise of Polaroid and Kodak.
These are just a few examples but I think we'll see further disruption and new businesses emerge.
One particular area of business I've been keeping a close eye on is mobile card readers for taking credit card payments.
Because of the mobile nature of garden maintenance and landscaping it makes sense to be able to collect payment, either whilst you are on the client's site or over the telephone as a client not present transaction.
We used to collect card not present payments years ago but it was slow, involved making a telephone call and it was expensive.
Bank standard security
Smartphones are now essential tools for almost everyone in business. There are hundreds of thousands of apps available and most online service providers have a mobile version of their system for transactions or account viewing.
For example I use the Paypal, LloydsTSB and Xero mobile apps for keeping my business up-to-date.
What is more, using a mobile device is just as secure as bank grade security.
SumUp mobile payments is one such mobile card payment system available to mobile traders.
- Accept Cards Today Begin accepting Visa and MasterCard credit and debit card payments within minutes of signing up.
- Free Card Reader Sign up and get a free card reader for your smartphone or tablet. Our Card Reader
- Free App Available for Apple and Android smartphones and tablets. Supported Devices
- Simple and Low Fee 2.75% per transaction with card reader. No setup, monthly or hidden fees Pricing Details
- Direct Payout Fast settlement of customer accounts - receive your money quickly. Payout Details
- Secure System Bank-level security and compliance with PCI-DSS data security regulations.
Never use carbon paper again;-0)
Go to the SumUp website for more details.