By Jon Perry and Vanessa Lang
Merchant Services Inc., Texas
We would like to send our sincerest appreciation to The Green Sheet team for stepping outside the box and allowing us to share our hands-on experience in this column.
The information and education that this industry publication facilitates is a cornerstone for a thriving merchant services business - whether it is a merchant level salesperson (MLS) sole proprietorship, acquiring bank or vendor.
GS Online's MLS Forum contains a wealth of knowledge maintained for all MLSs to access. The uses of this tool can be as simple as community interaction, a professional support system, or troubleshooting hardware and software. We encourage all readers of Street Smarts to get out and post. Take some time each week to share your knowledge with our community so that we all may grow and continue to serve our clients.
We earned the opportunity to write for Street Smarts simply by attending the regional tradeshows and being seen and heard. No matter where you are in your business, your help is needed somewhere. The partners and friendships we have developed by spending a few days each year with other like-minded industry people are priceless.
Especially when you are a newbie in our industry there is much to learn, and the quicker you can come up to speed the more successful you will become. Getting involved is one way to do that.
This year we celebrated our four-year anniversary, a major milestone for a new business. At the beginning, we did not even know that there was cost for merchants to accept credit cards. We came from a background of marketing and engineering with nothing but the drive to grow a business that would provide residual income month after month.
While some may disagree, the low barriers to entry in our industry are what make this an opportunity like no other. Few are able to create long-term sustainable income in the bank card industry. Those who have made a lifelong career selling merchant services are to be commended; it is not easy but is well worth the journey.
We want to take a moment to recognize some of the industry partners who have been part of our journey, which began in 2005 with a company out of California that was all high-dollar leases and low residual payments to its contractors.
Following nothing but a gut feeling, we immediately began researching other companies and contracted with Humboldt Merchant Services.
As many know, HMS was acquired by Moneris Solutions Inc. The HMS team, including Ken Musante, Xavier Ayala and Scott Defazio, cared for and fed us over many years. They remain some of our best industry colleagues. We then selected Equity Commerce as our primary processing partner. Jeff Brown and Jerry Julian continue to exceed our expectations month after month. It is invaluable to have them open our applications - in many cases the same day.
Steve Sotis, President of eProcessing Network, has shown us what it truly means to resell gateway accounts. The company's technical acumen has helped us earn more business. Behind all these industry leaders are a vast array of technical support, customer service and most - important - sales support personnel.
At the beginning of 2010, we outgrew our home-based office and moved into our first retail office. This is a major step toward growing our team. While we originally registered with Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide under 888QuikRate, we are now nationally known as Merchant Services Inc. of Texas and locally serve our community as DFWCard Merchant Services.
Rebranding has resulted in increased recognition in the community we service. Our online presence is growing every day. One key piece of advice we can share is to be flexible.
Stay tuned to the industry, anticipate changes and take the steps necessary to ensure your long-term sustainability and profit. And always stay above board and above the fray.
It is with a great amount of excitement that we pass the writing torch to our mentor and friend Ken Musante, who is now Executive Vice President and Chief Sales Officer at Moneris.
He will bring to the table his experience in the acquiring industry and a wealth of knowledge on interchange. Please help us in welcoming him to the MLS Forum and as the next author of Street Smarts.
So, while ending our formal commitment to Street Smarts will afford us a bit more time each month to spend on sales, please call us whenever you need someone to confide in or to just get an honest opinion.
Jon Perry and Vanessa Lang are the owners of Merchant Services Inc., an ISO based in Fort Worth, Texas. For more information, tweet them at http://twitter.com/dfwcard, comment on their blog at http://merchantservices.cc or visit their profile at http://linkedin.com/in/jonperry or http://linkedin.com/in/vanessalang. Alternatively, you can contact Jon and Vanessa by phone at 817-857-3557 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.
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