Acumen Connections: How a small business in the Wichita community is helping other small businesses find their footing and grow
In Wichita, a handful of companies help businesses process their payments. For many, credit card processing is their sole goal. Acumen Connections does more to serve the Wichita community than just payment processing.
History isn’t just about the past. It’s about the present, formed by the events and people who make each day what it is.
Wichita has a one-of-a-kind story, fueled by a community of thinkers, of doers, of men and women of action. Our people, with everyday wins, achievements big and small, write new chapters in Wichita’s 150-year opus.
History has a way of providing context to the future. Wichita today is materialization of the past — of remarkable entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity. Wichita is a community of tradition. We’re a collection of entrepreneurs.
At Acumen Connections, we believe in entrepreneurs. Pioneers, trailblazers, big thinkers, rule-breakers, changemakers — those are our kind of people. Ideas big and small, we believe in them. Because we know how with spirit and tenacity, even the smallest ideas can turn into big successes.
Simply look. Wichita hasn’t just stood on the sidelines of innovation. Our community has suited up and played the game. Industry titans have emerged from our community by hard work and believing. There’s no shortage of impressive names that got their start in Wichita. From the early days when The Coleman Co., to the later days of rising franchise starts, like Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers to White Castle, and one family staple known worldwide — Pizza Hut.
It’s a wonder sometimes how a relatively small idea could transform into a mainstream success like Pizza Hut. But it’s stories like Pizza Hut’s that show when banded together, what our community can do.
Pizza Hut, launched by University of Wichita students Dan and Frank Carney, started as a pretty simple idea. Frank was a 19-year-old freshman at the university when he and his brother borrowed $600 from their mom to go into business.
The brothers opened in a 500-square-foot building, and staffed it with family friends and fraternity brothers. The Carneys went from never making pizza before to creating one of the most successful franchises in American history.
Within 10 years of opening the first location on the corner of Kellogg and Bluff, Pizza Hut welcomed more than one million customers at over 300 locations. There are now over 18,000 Pizza Hut locations worldwide.
Viewing the Wichita story in small look backs can help us uncover our identity and give us context to the future. Excerpts like Pizza Hut shows a glimpse to the character of our community — entrepreneurs on the cusp of a breakthrough.
Today, we stand ready for the next breakthrough.
Why Acumen Connections?
Acumen Connections was founded with a rebellious spirit: to take the so-called essentials of payment processing out of payment processing.
Before a business breakthrough, every entrepreneur must cover the basics. No one can overlook getting paid. It’s fundamental business 101. But it’s a little easier said than done, especially trying to do it as a business owner on your own.
It wasn’t long ago we embraced Wichita’s entrepreneurial spirit and came together as Acumen Connections. We noticed an absence. With the consistent entrepreneurial boom coming out of Wichita, there wasn’t a truly local payment service provider with an in-house staff to serve the community. So we answered the call.
But answering the call wasn’t as simple as just jumping into the market of credit card processors. Any great entrepreneur knows that to have a successful business, your product or service can’t just be slightly better than the competition. It has to be much better. That took some thinking.
So Brian Staver, our company president, had a hard look at classic credit card processors. He pulled back the things he didn’t like and got rid of them. Things he felt gave payment processors a bad name. He couldn’t be content with having these things in his own business.
Brian met a lofty objective and took it to life. He created the payment processor he wanted to work with. No lengthy contracts. No high rates. No locked-in fee structures. And marketed it 100% local, to meet the demands of Wichita — an entrepreneur boomtown.
How Acumen Connections serves the Wichita community
Wichita — we’re a league of entrepreneurs. We’re a community that will cheer each other on. We’re listeners. We’re lifelong-learners. We’re adapters. We’re believers.
We’re the ones who will write the next chapter of success.
With Acumen Connections, we’ll push you to go farther. We’ll help you lean into the challenges, because we’ve been done so ourselves. When we’re met with difficulty, we’ll face it head on and come out the other side successfully.
It’s never easy as an entrepreneur to get started. You’ll be met with doubters, disbelievers, and skeptics. We were, too. But we pushed, and followed our inner-entrepreneurial spirit and drive. And we prevailed. It wasn’t always easy. But the reward was oh so worth it.
It’s this feeling, this success that means the world to us. But it’s not what we do. It’s what you do. Sometimes a business just needs to be given that one chance, a validation of confidence to send it soaring. It’s our mission to be that vote of confidence, and catapult a business on an upward trajectory.
An extension of your team, we partner with you to help take away the headache of how you get paid. In our short history, we have partnered and become an extension of some great teams in our community. From passionate jerky connoisseurs at Primal Jerky, to community mainstays like Old Mill Tasty Shop, we’re here.
We’re passionate about our community. You are, too.
Wichita has given us everything we have. And we want to give back.
We at Acumen Connections may play a small but integral part in your success. Whatever your passion, we promise you this: we believe in you. We want you to be the next Wichita success story. We know you can be.
We’re writing the next chapter of history, Wichita. Join us?
Acumen Connections is a locally owned and operated payment processor in Wichita, Kansas. Our organization seeks to help small businesses meet their goals with real solutions designed by real hardworking people. To help businesses and individuals achieve personal and professional successes, we’re providing new content weekly. Stay up on our posts by visiting the Acumen Connections Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages, and visit the blog for a full catalog of resources fit for hardworking people.