If you run a business with multiple products or services and you work with several vendors and suppliers, while you service multiple clients, things get complicated. CEO and Chairman of the Board of United Builders Service, Inc., Lloyd Claycomb ll advises that by focusing on some basic business practices around company finances, you can work through the complications and keep your business healthy. Here are some tips.
Know Your Customers
A primary focus for your business is to create an intimate relationship with your customers. You need to know them so well that you can often anticipate their actions and their needs. You accomplish this by always staying in good contact with them and asking a million questions about your job performance and what they would like to see from you that perhaps you are not providing at the moment.
This approach creates a great bond between your companies and makes it harder for them to leave you when competitors come, offering better services or cheaper prices. Ideally, when this happens, you will be the first person your customer will call and you can discuss with him how you can serve him better.
Invoice On-time and Accurately
All invoices to customers should be sent on time. This is a really simple and important step that many businesses often fail. When a company incurs a bill but do not see that invoice, they often forget about it. When ti comes in late and other more current bills are on their table, they begin to start debating your bill.
You should use every tool available particularly E-invoicing to speed up the invoice issuing process. Just as critical is to make sure that the invoice information is 100% accurate. Any mistakes will jam up both the client and your systems and delay their payments to you. So make sure it is correct before it goes to them.
Also make it easy or your customers to pay you. Most customers prefer a simple and straightforward process, so ensure that customer payments can be made easily, and preferably online or by direct debit.
Clear your Debts Quickly
You need to pay off any outstanding debts as soon as they hit your desk. The piling up of debts has been a killer of many small businesses because they tend to get lost and then something critical to the business becomes not available. This means all size debts. A few hundred dollars for the electricity bill can shut down your entire company and if it happens more than once, the utility will demand at least a large deposit from you.
Same with credit cards. Do not get embarrassed by a credit card that gets rejected at a business lunch.
When you gain a reputation for paying your bills quickly, in the event of a financial problem at your company, those you owe will understand if you need to make a late payment. But is they have no record of you paying on or before time, they will not understand.
Similarly, allow your customers to clear their debts with you quickly. Offer a portion off the bill if to customers who pay on time or early. This will increase and normalize your cash flow. Similarly, for those who pay late, charge a fixed fee.
All of these processes should be stated in advance with your customers so there is no misunderstandings.
Implement these common sense tips in your business and it will always be healthy.