5 great gadgets for small business

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

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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

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