Virtually every owner or manager will agree that operating a small business requires lots of hard work on the part of both managers and employees. It’s what is commonly known as “sweat equity”. Or in other words, hard work is required to bring the results desired.
Hard work alone is not enough. Additionally, the business owner must be prepared to make a commitment to building and growing the business. That translates to being on the job every day.
Unfortunately, some owners, such as those who purchase a franchise, assume that their on-the-job commitment is not necessary if they hire a manager to run the business. Sometimes that works. More often it doesn’t work so well. Nevertheless, operating a small business requires hard work by the owners and managers.
There are three fundamental steps in the process of the hard work that are not complicated, but necessary for success.
Getting work comes first. Whatever the business does, it must first promote and sell its products and services to the markets served. The business cannot depend on chance. To illustrate, if the business has the cure for the common cold, it must tell the market and provide a way for potential customers to contact the business to purchase the remedy. To get work or sell products and services, the business must make the market it serves aware of its presence and skills as well as how to contact the business. Fortunately, there are many affordable advertising and promotion options for small businesses that will contact potential customers who are likely to buy the products and services available for purchase.
Fulfilling and delivering customer orders is the second step. Whether designing, building, assembling or delivering products or services, small businesses do of good job of getting the work done. What they do not do so well sometimes is fulfilling the order or getting the project done on time.
There may be nothing more irritating or displeasing to a customer than a supplier or vendor who does not fulfill an order or complete a project on time. This happens far too often with small businesses. While it is desirable to get something done the right way even though it may take more time than originally planned, small business owners and managers must strive to meet deadlines or finish projects before the deadline if they want to be successful.
Paying bills and getting paid for the Work performed and delivered is the third step of the process.
Small businesses tend to pay bills to vendors and suppliers before the due date because they think the thought doing so will assure a good credit status with the vendor or supplier if the bill is paid before due. Paying the bill when due is good enough.
On the other hand, they will allow their customers to pay bills beyond the due date.
At the end of the fiscal year, most small businesses will complain that while sales were good, there was little cash in the company checking account. When asked why this is the case, Accountants and Consultants will reply that the cash shortage is in Inventory or Accounts Receivable. Usually the latter is the major contributor to cash shortfalls.
Small businesses do not do a good job of getting paid in a timely manner. It does not have to be that way and it should not be that way. In fact, it is very easy to assure timely payments when a consistent and uniform Accounts Receivable Collection Procedures Program is in place.
Accounts Receivable systems are a valuable asset to small businesses. The consistent application of Accounts Receivable collection activities will reduce costs which in turn improves margins and operation profits.
In closing, a professional Accounts Receivable Collection is not the dreaded last minute phone call to the customer that nobody wants to do. On the contrary, the process begins at the Point of Sale when buyer and seller agree to payment terms required and continues on professional and uniform communication between the buyer and the seller.