Do you sometimes lie awake at night wondering what will happen if your biggest customer doesn't pay you? How about if the vendor handling your website upgrade takes off with your thousand-dollar down payment? These scenarios would be a nightmare for any bootstrapping entrepreneur—and they happen all the time.
An amenity is something extra you provide your customers. It adds value to their experience. Any company can start to level the competitive playing field by delivering amazing customer service, a great experience and an amenity or two.
Too often our customers and potential customers can see the holes in our first impressions much easier than we can. As a matter of fact, we are so familiar with our own business that it is hard to see with the eyes of an outsider.
Marketing and customer service are the two thickest pillars of any real business, so having adequate means to fulfill both of these is paramount.
If you implement the policies that prevent the same person from handling all the cash and banking functions, plus review receivables, payables, and your financial statements regularly, you will have a better chance to catch anything questionable early on.
In this second of three parts, here are more easy procedures to implement so that you protect your hard earned cash. The person who signs the checks is not the same person who balances the checkbook.
There is no sense in doing the work if you're not collecting the cash for the work you do. That, from a business standpoint, is one of the most important things to do. But once you get the cash in the door, you must make sure you protect that cash from employee theft and other mismanagement. There are some simple and very easy things that you should do to make sure that you protect your hard earned cash.
What pleases one customer may easily disturb another. But you've got to do something. So what should you do? Should your customer service culture be reserved and polite, or outgoing and friendly? Should you be fast and efficient, or personal and attentive? Should you initiate contact and offer immediate help, or wait discreetly until you are asked?
Most emotional responses to decisions in business are generated not because the person making the response feels the decision was unwise, but rather unfair. So I've created the "Fairness Doctrine" as a stated element in the cultural fabric of businesses where I am involved.
One of the hardest but most exciting things about being a young entrepreneur, first-time business owner, or even a startup manager is the hiring process. But there are a few things you have to think about before green-lighting a new startup employee, especially in the earliest stages of starting up.