Chances are as a business owner you're filling multiple roles on your organizational chart. In some cases, you are the CEO, the CFO, the salesperson and perhaps sometimes the technician. Every day you're focused on balancing your time and efforts, but often what isn't as balanced is your point of view. When you spend so much time filling operational roles in your business, it can be easy to view your business from those roles and not the role of an entrepreneur.
Business Owner Newsletter - Page 29
The "heart" of your collections system should be to actively communicate and partner with customers that have gone beyond the agreed payment terms. Here are a few items to consider for your collections system:
Quote: "A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money." - John Ruskin
Question: How might a little thought and a little kindness help you to develop a collections system that is based on building the customer experience, not damaging it?
Last week we began a series on collections, a vital part of your customer service. This is often a overlooked process for keeping and building customer relationships.
You may be thinking: "What?! Collections are vital to keeping and building customer relationships? Are you crazy? The reason I have to "collect" from them is because they have not paid me when they were supposed to --- why would I want to keep and build that relationship?!" Simply put, you want to build these relationships, because they have already done business with you and because they do owe you money.
It has been said that a sale is not truly a sale until you have collected the money. With this "truth" as a basis, your collection system is one of the most important systems your business needs to have and use.
Cash flow in your business is vital to your success. If you operate your payment terms as cash at the time of service, collecting money may not be much of an issue for your business. If your business, like many in today's business world, extends credit to those that use their goods and/or services, collecting money may be more of an issue.
This month we've challenged your business to create a system a month and discussed different types of systems. If you're like most business owners, this might still seem a little daunting. Where are you going to
find create time to document a system a month? The good news is you don't have to, your business does. Getting staff involved in the systemization of your business is something that should happen as soon as you are comfortable with the process.
Staff involvement takes some training and thus time, but the investment is worth the time. When your staff is involved in systems they have ownership in not just creating the systems, but in using them on a day to day basis. In addition, dedicating more resources to the process allows the business to realize the impact of systems earlier than if you try to do it all yourself. Also if you look at the value of your time as a business owner, typing up a system is not the best use of your time. Your attention needs to be on the strategic planning and the vision of the systems, not on the technical details. Here are four tips to get your staff started in system design:
This month we've challenged you to create a system a month in 2015. It can seem overwhelming, especially as systems can get complicated, but they don't all have to be complicated. When we discuss systems most people think of the detailed action plans that are used for training purposes. The systems that are so detailed that someone with very little experience can easily follow along. Those systems are necessary in any business, but they are not the ones that get used on a day to day basis. The systems that get used on a day to day basis are typically resources or a mini-system of your full blown system. As you're working on your 2015 System Challenge, don't forget these easier to implement systems that can make a huge impact on the operation of your business.
Quote: "The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. They're there to stop the other people." - Randy Pausch
Question: What would it truly mean to you, to have your business systemized?
This year, we're challenging you to participate in our 2015 Systems Challenge. The challenge is simple and realistic: create one new system in your business each month for a year. By the end of 2015 you'll have 12 less frustrations, 12 turn-key processes in place, and be 12 steps closer to your vision.
It's no secret that we believe in creating and implementing systems. There are many reasons your business should adopt a systems focus including less frustrations, consistent and predictable results, superior customer service and yes even increasing the value of your business. Most business owners buy in to the idea of systems, but implementation can often take the back burner for a variety of reasons. Often times the main barrier comes down to time management and making system development a priority in your business.
As the end of 2014 draws near, we wanted to take a moment and thank you for allowing us to hear and even participate in your story. Running a small business is not for the faint of heart. We see the time and energy you devote day in and day out. We hear the worry along with the excitement for the dream you are bringing to life. In the middle of all this hard work are the milestones that really count. Sure, there are the sales goals that you meet, but more important are the customers you help, the employees you empower to create a better life, and the difference you make in a community. Every day you are creating a story that is bigger than we often stop to think about.