International Monetary Systems bartering for piece of the market
An interview with Don Mardak.
Q: Describe your business. What do you do?
A: International Monetary Systems (IMS) is a barter network or trade exchange. We make it possible for business and professional people to trade their goods or services with other members of the exchange, using an electronic currency known as trade dollars. As operators of the trade exchange, IMS functions much like a bank or credit card company, processing the transactions between the members.
Q: What made you start your business?
A: I started the business in 1985, when I learned about the barter industry from a friend. I became very intrigued by the concept and saw it as a way to help other businesses fill their excess capacity and move their unsold inventory.
Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running or starting a small business?
A: Early on, the most difficult obstacle was lack of capital. However, IMS became a publicly traded company in 2002 and has raised more than $8 million in a public offering and several private placements.
Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?
A: I enjoy the creativity of the barter business, and since I enjoy making deals, we are doing that every hour of the day.
Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: When I was young, or at least by my teenage years, I wanted to start a business and be my own boss. But I never believed that I would create something that would be so creative and successful as IMS has become.
Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Very little, except for the occasional problems created by unfair competition, or the hassles generated by a former disgruntled employee.
Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?
A: Try to find a business that has recurring revenues and does not rely on just one or two major accounts.
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IMS-International Monetary SystemsAddress: New Berlin, WI headquarters & Niles, IL local office
Owners: Don Mardak founder, public company
Year business started: 1985
Web address: www.imsbarter.com