Coping with credit cards
Charges now make up about 50 percent of your sales, if not more. So on that record $100,000 month you had this summer, clients paid $50,000 on credit. And at the end of the month, credit card companies garnished $1,000 (2 percent) from your bank account or about 1 percent of your total revenue.
I hate the monthly automatic deduction. But I can benefit from credit cards, too. Whether you're an owner, associate, or team member, you can use credit cards wisely and to your benefit if you're disciplined. Just remember not all cards are created equal. Research the best cards for you.Two areas where you can score big: maximum rebates and low-interest-rate offers. Credit cards can be gimmicky, but if you're going to deal with one or more anyway, why settle? Why not get the biggest bang for your buck?
From my perspective, cash is king when it comes to rewards. I was happily banking my miles for travel and gifts when I discovered cash rewards programs. And I realized I could take the cash and buy my own airline tickets or gifts without red tape.
You can also get low-interest-rate offers for balance transfers or purchases for six to 12 months or longer. If you trade in a higher interest option, that's good news. The real deal here is finding the balance transfer that's low and locks in at a low rate for the life of the balance. For example, I've saved a lot of money trading in $40,000 of an 8 percent practice loan for a locked-in balance transfer at 1.99 percent, good for the life of the balance.
Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Jeff Rothstein, MBA, is the president of The Progressive Pet Animal Hospitals and Management Group in Michigan.