5 great gadgets for small business

You can save time, money and a bit of your sanity with these tech devices designed for entrepreneurs.

1 of 5
BACKNEXT
Square
Square
Businesses that accept plastic have an easier time getting customers to pay up -- and pay on time. But many small businesses don't have the infrastructure to take credit cards, which usually require signing up for a merchant account and paying monthly minimums.

Square, from entrepreneur Jack Dorsey, better known as the inventor of Twitter, allows anyone with an iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphone to accept credit card payments on the spot.

Users sign up and Square mails out a free dongle -- that's simply a small device -- which plugs into your iPhone's headphone jack. Then customers can swipe their cards, sign the phone's touchscreen, and head out. Square charges 2.75% per transaction, lower than most merchant accounts.

Dorsey designed the product after his friend, a glass artist, lost out on a $2,000 sale, because the buyer didn't have enough cash on hand. But Square's simplicity means it can be used by anyone from the babysitter to the family having a yard sale to Girl Scouts hawking cookies. Now that's easy.

By Rachel Kaufman, contributing writer

NEXT: CarCheckup
LAST UPDATE: Apr 13 2011 | 1:44 PM ET
iPhone app finds foods you crave Foodspotting, one of SXSW's hit startups, wants to catalog all the best dishes in the world -- and where to find them. More
Why a $14/hr. employee costs $20Workers are often the most expensive investment a small business makes -- and they come with hidden costs. More
Where to get startup cash now Bank credit is scarce and investors are skittish, but that didn't stop these 6 startups. They found creative ways to raise cash during the downturn. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.