Turning it around Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2008

Marc Gardner’s biggest complaint about his business is that it’s growing so quickly that it’s hard for him to secure enough office space.

With a background in credit card processing, Gardner founded North American Bancard Inc. in 1992, centering his business model on small businesses that have few locations processing credit card transactions. Because they were small, they were of little value to larger credit card processing companies, and Gardner knew he could succeed by focusing on smaller customers, providing them with a level of service and support they weren’t finding from his competitors.

Eleven years later, he had 30 employees and a portfolio of 15,000 merchant accounts, but the business was faltering as Gardner terminated the company’s relationship with his processing partner, and the business faced escalating losses and growing costs. But instead of giving up, he refined his strategic model, centering it on people, customer care and technology, and positioned his company for growth.

His first goal was to hire the best and brightest people from inside the industry and make sure they stayed. Second, he focused on building business relationships with customers and making sure they received the best possible customer care. And third, he focused on regularly integrating new technology into his company to remain competitive.

All of his efforts have succeeded in creating a fast-growing company. North American Bancard is the 32nd largest merchant acquirer in the U.S. and from 2005 to 2007, revenue increased 108 percent, while the number of employees grew by 61 percent over the same period.

HOW TO REACH: North American Bancard, www.nabancard.com or (248) 269-6000