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  • 24 February 2015
  • The UPS Store

Entrepreneur of the Year, Dan Price, CEO, Gravity Payments

As a high school student in a rock band, Dan Price’s early experiences as a performer forged his first connections with small businesses. Touring nationally, playing at local coffee shops and music venues, and working with record stores and independent music retailers gave Price his first taste of how important independent businesses are to a community.

“They add such character and improve the quality of life,” Price remarks.

Countless times, our team will roll up their sleeves to help someone in need, not for the recognition but just to serve.

Following his music career, Price began his journey of serving small businesses by undertaking tech projects and negotiating with different payment providers to get the best service and lowest fees. To do so, he had to set up wireless networks, servers, web services, point-of-sale systems and even phone lines—whatever met his customers’ needs. However, Price’s clients continued to face increased fees and lack of service from their payment and credit card processing providers. Undiscouraged, Price worked hard to find a solution to these challenges. Soon, positive word spread about his innovative procurement and tech skills, and he began to impress clients with his dedication to customer satisfaction within a difficult industry. Price’s clients then encouraged him to go from managing the payment processing relationship, to developing the payment processing software that would allow him to provide the service himself.

In 2004, at age 19, Price developed his own payment and credit card processing services. His clientele followed and provided the initial customer base for Gravity Payments. From the start, Price aimed to be a “game changer” by administering payment and point-of-sale technology at a lower cost and with a focus on loyal, quality service.

Managing Growth

From credit card processing, to gift and loyalty programs, to financing, Gravity Payments serves more than 12,000 independent business owners nationwide. The company recently developed an analytics platform within payment processing that provides insights into who the customers are, whether they’re local or out-of-town, and how often they frequent the business. Price uses insights like these to help clients sustain their businesses on a daily basis, even as he manages the growth of his own company.

“As you grow, you need more likeminded people to help,” he says. “Our top priority when hiring is finding someone that shares our values and fits in culturally. I needed to find people that enjoy work most when it’s about serving others.”

Serving His Community

Gravity Payments puts a high priority on both customer service, and operating as a socially responsible company.

“We are focused on serving the communities our clients exist in,” Price notes. “Countless times, our team will roll up their sleeves to help someone in need, not for the recognition but just to serve.”

Whether that means busing tables for a restaurant client when they are short-staffed on the busiest day of the year, or donating a portion of his profits to local charities, Price ensures service is the key component to every aspect of the Gravity Payments experience.

Remembering His Roots

Price has now seen a base of just a few clients grow into thousands. Still, he never fails to remember the beginning. To turn his entrepreneurial dream into the highly successful business it is today required assistance. Early on, his family was an integral part of his business, lending a hand when needed and providing encouraging, sound advice.

“Besides my family and friends, the early heroes of our organization were my first clients.”

At times, Price worked 18 hour days collaborating with clients and developing the product.

“As hard as this may sound, the more effort you put in, the more support and encouragement you will receive to keep you moving forward. It was my responsibility to build a lasting trust with each of my clients. And years later, this focus on trust remains strong.”

To small business owners in the beginning phases, Price encourages learning by doing, trying, and pushing yourself.

“You have to listen and be open-minded always, but you also have to develop your own conscience. That involves making mistakes, but those mistakes will be yours, not someone else’s, and you will learn and grow from them.”

Looking to the Future

What’s next for Gravity Payments? Price’s goal is to discover new ways the company can improve client service. He hopes that Gravity Payments can one day create a blueprint that will reshape the economy, so that companies are built on service, not greed.

“At the end of the day, we still have a bottom line; we still want to win. However, we want to create a business plan that can be replicated by others. We want to cause a ripple effect that can change the world, with corporations focused on putting the client first.”

The UPS Store congratulates Dan Price for being named Entrepreneur Magazine’s Established Entrepreneur of 2014!

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