Efficiency tip: Declined


One way to efficiently boost profits is to eliminate costly fees that detract from the bottom line. That’s what the team at Arbor-Nomics Turf in Norcross, Ga., did last year when it analyzed its credit card fees and opted to dial back its acceptance of American Express.

The result? An extra $10,000 in profit last year.

It was COO Josh Bare’s idea to “look into all the nooks and crannies of the company” to see where it could find savings, said CEO Richard Bare. They got the idea to stop taking American Express, considering it charges more than 
3 percent per transaction—nearly 1 percent more in fees than Visa, MasterCard or Discover.

“They are small fees, but with 20,000 properties they add up like grains of sand making a beach,” Richard Bare said.

Such savings could make an impact even for companies with fewer customers. Arbor-Nomics also found “free money” by renegotiating the fees it pays the middlemen: credit card processing companies.

“It’s been 10 months now, and we’ve cut back AmEx 75 percent with the corresponding savings,” Richard Bare said, adding the plan is to cut out AmEx completely be the end of the summer. “We get very few complaints.”


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