Square Made Simple: Quick Start Guide for Small Businesses

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Starting a business often requires many tools and resources to ensure smooth operations. However, with Square, you can breathe a sigh of relief. It’s a comprehensive, all-in-one platform that centralizes many crucial aspects of your business. With free apps for iOS and Android devices, you can handle credit card payments, monitor inventory levels, manage employees, send invoices, and even schedule appointments with potential customers. It’s a one-stop solution for various business types and the best part? It’s free. 

In this Guide
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    What Is Square?

    Square is an all-in-one platform for businesses and professionals for significant business aspects, including payments, appointments, websites, and more. 

    Why Square Is A One-Stop Solution For Small Businesses

    Square is a one-stop solution for small businesses, offering various products and services that help streamline operations under one dashboard. With Square’s payment processing services, you can accept payments in various ways, whether in person using a card reader or online through an online payment option. Square provides a POS system that includes a POS app, cash app, and Square Register, enabling efficient sales and inventory management. And the best part? Square offers a merchant account with no monthly fee and a low transaction fee, making it an affordable payment processor for businesses of all sizes. 

    Flexible Business Solutions That Work For You

    Square provides businesses with the necessary tools. Each business type has several tools to help you run your business, including:

    • Inventory tracking
    • Item management
    • In-store / delivery and shipping options
    • Employee scheduling
    • Mobile Payments
    • Banking management
    • Team & payroll management

    Popular Square Platform Features

    Square Payments

    Accepting card payments with Square is a breeze. The Square reader allows you to take payments on the go and in-store, including Apple Pay and Google Pay. All payments have a 2.6% + 10¢ fee; a complete fee list is available for your reference. 


    Using Square payments also allows you to take advantage of the buy now, pay later option through AfterPay, enabling you to get paid in full while your customer can break the payments up.

    Square Invoices

    Square Invoices is a built-in system that allows you to bill your customers and clients for services/products.

    By using invoices, you can:

    • Create invoices on the go and from the desktop
    • Send unlimited invoices (one-time/recurring) and estimates
    • Allow your customers to save cards
    • Send scheduled payment reminders to your customers
    • Send digital receipts with paid invoices
    • Take payments and record cash payments
    • Send digital contacts for e-signature and save to client profile

    Using Square invoices, you can create contract workflows for your clients to sign and pay without you having to intersect.

    Square Online

    Square Online (formerly Weebly) has evolved to become a more customizable platform for many business types. It works hand in hand with all other Square tools, including inventory, orders, and POS.

    Utilizing Square for your website needs allows you to market more effectively no matter how your customers shop.

    Some highlighted features of Square Online:

    • Schedule products, sales, and discounts automatically
    • App-like Mobile site
    • Customer accounts
    • Shipping, in-store pickup, and delivery fulfillment options
    • Take Apple Pay, Google Pay and AfterPay

    Square Appointments

    Using Square appointments, you not only have a way to book your clients, but you can:

    • Sell group classes and event tickets
    • Auto split tips for
    • Utilize Square messaging so you can message your customers directly from one place.
    • Track time and bill via Invoices
    • Automatically create customer profiles where you can store information for each.
    • Attach contracts and files to ensure no step is missed from your on-boarding or off-boarding
    • Sell services and products on Instagram 
    • Set appointment booking on Google Business Profile

    Square POS

    Square point of sale system or POS is a powerful tool for many business types; it can be used to manage:

    • Payments
    • Transactions
    • Orders
    • Inventory
    • Team members

    You can use your phone or tablet or purchase POS hardware from Square. However, if you want to take payments on the go or at your POS register, you need to purchase a card reader (new stores can receive one for free for a limited time).

    Square Marketing

    With everything connected, using Square marketing is a no-brainer for connecting with your customers. They provide email and SMS marketing options to send personalized messages to keep customers returning to your shop.

    You can send automatic emails based on triggers/actions, send one-time campaigns, and send Google review request emails to build your Google Business Profile.

    Square Payroll and Staff Management

    Square staff management is integrated with payroll services, making it easy to pay your employees. Plus, with scheduling and messaging, keeping your employees updated on their shifts and other important information is essential.

    Square Shifts allows you to create employee shifts and enable employees to submit time off requests, swap shifts with other team members, and view tips received. When it comes time for taxes, 1099s and W2s are processed and sent to the employee’s team app.

    Payroll with Square is simplified, allowing you to track and pay your employees; it takes care of your tax fillings and w-2 employee benefits. You can pay W-2 employees and contractors from the same payroll system to direct deposit (same-day) via Cash app or paper check.

    Square Payroll pricing is based on the type of employee you are paying; for W-2 employees, it’s $35/month + $5 monthly for each person paid. For 1099 employees, it’s a flat $5 a month per person paid, giving you unlimited pay runs and free seasonal inactivity with no commitment.

    Square Banking

    After accepting payments, your balance can be moved to your third-party bank account, or you can utilize Square checking, which allows you to use your balance immediately.

    Square banking is similar to a traditional bank account without overdraft fees, monthly service fees, opening deposits, or minimum balances. With your new account, you receive a business debit card for purchases and expenses.

    Square Online Ordering

    With online order options expanding rapidly, restaurants need a platform to keep up with the orders they receive. Using Square online ordering, you can take online, in-person, and social.

    Costs Of Using Square

    Square allows you to build the plan for your business needs so you don’t pay for anything you don’t need. Almost every tool has a 30-day trial, so you can try them before your subscription begins.

    They do offer some bundle pricing, including:

    Square for restaurants $153/month (30 days free) for:

    • Square restaurants plus
    • Online ordering premium
    • Advanced Access
    • Shifts Plus
    • Team communication
    • Payroll

    Square for Retail $89/Month after free trial

    • Advanced inventory tools
    • barcode label printing
    • COGs reporting
    • Discounted processing rates
    • Online customer accounts
    • Staff time tracking
    • Staff scheduling
    • Custom team permissions

    Specialized Use Options For Square

    Square For Retail

    If you run a brick-and-mortar business, using Square for Retail gives you everything you need to run in-store and online. They have built an entire suite of tools that you can check out here. 

    Square For Restaurant

    Running a restaurant is hard, and finding software to run every aspect on an affordable budget is more manageable with Square. No matter how big or small your business is, they have tools that cater to success without headaches. Check out the Square for restaurants here.

    Square Tutorials

    Square FAQ's

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    Most Square tools, such as payments, appointments, and items, can be integrated into an existing website.

    Square allows you to have multiple locations on one account. Each location receives its own dashboard for tracking sales and inventory.

    If you would like us to complete your setup for you, we are offering it for free. If you would like to launch your store alongside a certified expert, join the five-day launch here.

    Yes, you will need a business name and your SSN. If you register your business later, you can add your updated business information later.

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