How Your Small Business Can Retain More Profits by Avoiding These Common Fees


It seems as though every time you turn around, there's a fee. There are fees for starting: activation or setup fees. There are fees for ending: termination fees. If you ever tried to cancel a cell phone plan early or check out of a hotel, you're charged a fee. While some fees are standard, there are times when we pay them blindly and unnecessarily. Here are ways business owners can avoid some common fees.

Dodge fees when traveling.

It’s easy to get caught off guard when traveling for business. Some hotels charge you a resort fee. This can be for the use of internet, gym facilities, pool or tennis courts whether or not you use them. Avoid minibars, room service and using the telephone at the hotel since those features can come with a hefty markup.

Also, scan each line item on your bill before checking out. Be sure to hold onto your bill too. I once checked out of a hotel in Maryland. I left thinking I was paying the amount that was on my receipt. Shortly after, I noticed a discrepancy for what I was actually charged. Some other random fee was tacked on. Thank goodness for credit card text alerts! I cleared that one up right away by calling the hotel. It was a good reminder to always hang on to the receipt and question any “fees” right away.

Another way to avoid travel-related fees is using the tools already available to you like your credit card for example. Most rewards credit cards offer many travel perks that could cancel out any regular fees and save you money as a result. Forbes Contributor and avid traveler, George Papadopoulos of explains that the good news is some travel rewards credit cards can enhance your travel experience at the airport. You can gain access to an airline lounge entry, receive early boarding and more. He adds that it saves you money by avoiding baggage fees and other ancillary fees. Just be sure to read the fine print and know what you’re signing up for.

Choose your bank wisely.

I’ve been with a certain bank for a long time. I recently tried to transfer money from that bank to another bank I use. I never realized that I would incur a fee. Luckily, if I did the transfer through the other bank, I wouldn’t have to pay a fee at all. I now know to always transfer this way, otherwise, I would have to completely switch banks or physically withdraw cash from one ATM and deposit it to another every time, which would be extremely inconvenient.

Be sure to check if there are fees to transfer funds between accounts before signing up. If you are sending money from your business account to your personal account, make sure you don’t incur a fee. A steady drip of such fees can rob from your business profits. The right bank account can help you avoid these issues.

Shop around before you sign up. Also, make it a goal to scout out online banks and credit unions that can be more friendly and cost-effective for smaller businesses. You shouldn’t have to eat any unnecessary costs.

Don't lose money on credit card processing fees.

It's standard for business owners to accept credit cards as a method of payment. While it makes things easier for the consumer, there are aspects of accepting them that are hard to grasp for the business owner. Sorting through a laundry list of fees can be frustrating for those who simply want to set up a merchant services account and get on with other important aspects of your business.

It can also be confusing to weed through extraneous fees that come with these accounts, making it hard to run the numbers and get a handle on what truly are the costs to use this type of account. Read up on credit card processing rates to stay informed of what’s negotiable and what is not.