In early 2014, I had been a business coach for 13+ years. I've helped business owners and executives all over the world. I have a degree in Finance from the University of Connecticut.
I could never figure out that damn credit card statement that came every month.
I had signed up for the merchant account (because I was told that the only way to accept credit cards was to have one of these things) 13 years ago. I had tried to look at it a few times over the years, but quickly put it away. It was confusing and had things all over it that I just didn't have the knowledge or wisdom to understand.
I TRUSTED THE COMPANY THAT I HAD BEEN SENT TO TO HANDLE THINGS WELL FOR ME!
Lately, I've been cleaning up a lot of financial issues within my own business and personal life. I hired an amazing financial planner (actually an ex coaching client of mine) in 2013 who helped my wife and I restructure our debt and our savings. He created a financial plan that was spectacular (read: we could actually retire and be ok - a very new concept for us). I found a budget program that I now use in my business and personal life (called "You Need A Budget" - I highly recommend it). I started reconciling accounts on a weekly basis (as opposed to the "yearly or never" system that I used in the past.
All of this control was happening. I was scrutinizing things I had not paid attention to in YEARS. And the one piece - the last holdout was the MERCHANT ACCOUNT STATEMENT that arrived every month and I threw into the file cabinet - often unopened.
Another one of my ex coaching clients is the president of a merchant account company. I called him and asked him if he could help me understand this thing and see if it was making sense. I sent him one of my monthly statements to analyze. He immediately said that I was overpaying - not by a little - but by a lot - in my credit card fees. There's a lot of detail about what happened next - but suffice it to say that I moved my credit card processing over to his company and then became interested in helping other business owners understand their merchant accounts.
When I started training to help people with their processing, Sean (the president of the company) said that we would spend an hour or two at a time bringing me up to speed on credit card processing. He said it's like peeling onions - we're going to cry along the way. And he's right. I'm a fairly smart guy - but to understand - really understand this - takes a lot of time and patience. I figure I'll be "up to speed" in a couple of years.
All of this is a good story - but let's return to the question of "WHY AM I WRITING THIS BLOG"...
I'm going to help as many people as I can with their credit card processing.
I'm going to educate as best I can by turning the credit card industry into something understandable to regular humans.
Now that I'm selling this service, I want a place where my customers and prospective customers can get their questions answered day or night.
By having an "Ask Jerry" box, I'm going to continue to learn and grow based on the specific questions that people present to me.
I'm sharing the stories - good, bad and ugly of the things that I find as I work on this very new addition to my coaching business.
Although I'm currently only months into this adventure, I've already helped businesses from start-ups to multi-million dollars in credit card sales get better clarity and understanding about credit card processing. They're making really great decisions from knowledge - not hope.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end of this long post. I hope you enjoy what I write in the future.