Clark County at Work: Total Merchant Concepts

By Mary Ricks, Columbian News Assistant



Business name: Total Merchant Concepts.

Owners: Dean and Cheri Perry.

Address: 12300 N.E. Fourth Plain Road.

What the business does: Total Merchant Concepts offers credit card processing, and check conversion/guarantee, gift cards, social media assistance, terminals and wireless/smartphone processing options.

Steps to build the business: Cheri Perry said TMC is a referral-based company, meaning that all of its business comes by way of either repeat or referral business. The Perrys are currently working with their referring financial institutions — more than 140 credit unions throughout the country — to build their business. TMC is training its teams to identify the businesses within their reach that can use the company’s products and services. TMC is also expanding its use of social media.

Greatest challenge: Cheri Perry said competition is the greatest challenge, followed by finding and hiring good employees. She said the credit card processing industry is hyper-competitive, adding that she finds it challenging to work within an industry that is notorious for poor service and a lack of integrity. The Perrys work with their financial partners to spread the word about the complex pricing structures, the oversimplified options that can cost merchants thousands of additional dollars per year, and the constant carrousel of sales representatives that jump in and out of the industry.

Cheri Perry said she and her husband work diligently to keep up to date on health care and benefit options for their employees, and treat staff members by using the Golden Rule as a guideline.

What’s ahead: In the next six to eight months, Cheri Perry said they will have their self-directed training tool for their referral partners fully operational. She said they will continue servicing the needs of their merchants and will continue to stay up to speed on new technology. She anticipates that new technology will be flooding the market in an attempt to reduce some of the fraud she sees on a daily basis.

A favorite part of the job: Cheri Perry said working with small-business owners is definitely her favorite part of the job. Over the past 17 years, she has learned that it takes many skills and talents to be a successful entrepreneur in today’s world.

Owners’ business history: Before the couple started TMC, they owned a cellular phone business and before that they owned a cleaning service.

Year established in Clark County: 1996.

Employees: 18.

Telephone: 360-253-5934.

Fax: 800-659-5859.



Hours: 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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