Since the beginning of time our world has undergone changes. Yet, somehow, it still rotates on its axis and revolves around the sun. Some species (think dinosaurs) were not able to adapt and thus became extinct, while others evolved and flourished (been bitten by a mosquito recently?).
The U.S. Senate came one step closer to changing the payments world with the recent passage of the financial services reform bill.
GS Online's forums are ablaze with predictions of both the end of the industry and ideas on how to adapt to the changes.
Let's face it; change is inevitable. Whether you like it or not, whether you want it or not, things will change.
But here are some more predictions:
The question is, Are you a dinosaur or a mosquito? If you fear you may be the former, here are some steps you can take to learn how to adapt to a changing world.
It is important that you stay apprised of current events within the industry. Keep abreast of shifting industry trends and the evolution of new technology by reading The Green Sheet and other payment publications. Also, find a niche. ISOs and MLSs who rely on selling terminals and basic processing services to conventional merchants are a dying breed.
Developing a merchant portfolio with a specialty - such as veterinary hospitals or cigar shops - will give you a better chance of survival and success.
Make sure to stay aware of the changing needs of merchants and the ever-evolving services and technologies available to them. By positioning yourself as an industry expert, you can leverage that knowledge to board new merchants and retain the ones you have.
And don't forget to communicate regularly with other payment professionals. The GS Online forums are a great place to start. In general, communicating with your peers is a great way to stay updated, get advice, engage in networking and forge new partnerships.
Embrace the fact you must forever continue to change. Revel in it. When you successfully reach your quota for the month, does that mean you can now rest on your laurels?
No, it means you work just as hard, or harder, to reach or exceed next month's quota. Enjoy the work.
If you have successfully implemented a new program or service that has helped you attract new merchants and has kept your present merchants happy, can you now afford to take the rest of the year off?
No, you must be continually thinking how you can improve the program, expand it or devise a new one that helps your merchants do business more effectively and make more money. Relish the challenge.
Not only are successful companies continually in the process of making changes to improve business now, they are also planning for the future - five years, 10 years down the line.
They are constantly thinking about how they will react if new federal legislation is enacted a year from now or how they can take advantage of mobile payments in the coming years.
Of course, it's always a delicate balancing act. Too much change can be as detrimental to a business as no change at all.
If a company's workforce is constantly in flux or a new program goes live too quickly, without the proper attention to detail given to its implementation, the consequences can be upsetting to say the least. So take a breather, elicit the viewpoints of others involved and evaluate options to ensure the best possible outcome.
Determine a manageable level of change, one that is neither too little nor too much for your enterprise to handle. But once you have found that equilibrium? You guessed it; it might be time to change it.
Give yourself a pat on the back for all that you've accomplished to date, and then get to it.
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