|Small Business Information|
How to Protect Yourself & Your Business
As a business owner, you already know how important it is for your customers to feel safe about doing business with you. After all, if a customer even suspects he may not receive everything he was promised, then chances are he's taking his business elsewhere. So to prevent that you offer guarantees, secure payment methods, prompt customer service, and more. You do whatever it takes to show each customer that you are sincere and trustworthy.
But what steps do you take to protect yourself and your livelihood?
Too many business owners spend all their time worrying about their customers' security without thinking of their own, even though small companies must often deal with customer fraud, non-paying clients, and more.
Just as you've taken steps to ensure that your customers are satisfied with their buying experience, so should you feel comfortable and secure by taking a few precautions of your own.
1. Get Everything in Writing
Written contracts are not just for helping customers understand what they can expect to receive for their money, they are about laying down the ground rules for your business relationship. When these guidelines are in writing, nothing is left up for a debate or becomes a misunderstanding.
Both parties can be assured that their interests are being protected and both should have a clear understanding of their rights and responsibilities in the event that something goes awry.
A good example would be if you sold a toy which a parent returned six months later because it was broken. Without a contract in writing specifying the time limits and conditions of your return policy, you might end up with an ongoing battle wit the customer which could result in lost business and even lawsuits.
Written contracts also don't need to be crafted by lawyers. You can write everything out yourself in ordinary, easy to understand language. When you and the customer sign it, it becomes a legal and binding agreement. It's really that simple.
2. Don't Be Naive
So many people in business get burned by their customers simply because they are too trusting. For example, some of you may have shipped products before the customers' payments cleared. Or you may have completed agreed upon work without asking for a deposit. Both are risky propositions as many new entrepreneurs discover the hard way, especially if they do business online.
You can protect yourself by always asking for a partial payment in advance and by always waiting until a customer's payment has cleared before you ship their products. Another method of protecting yourself and your customer is by using a service such as Paypal.com to handle your transactions. The service protects you from non-paying customers and offers your customers protection for lost, damaged, or unshipped products.
3. Know Your Local Laws
One of the best ways to protect yourself is by becoming informed. When you know your legal rights, you'll have a better understanding of how to effectively deal with troublesome customers.
For example, some states don't allow you to limit a customer's right to return a product beyond a certain time limit, so you may not legally be able to enforce a guarantee of only one week. On the other hand, if you know your rights, then you'll also understand what steps to take in case legal action on your part is necessary.
For instance, you may want to send a certified letter demanding payment before you file a lawsuit. Additionally, if you appear knowledgeable about your rights, many customers might think twice before failing to pay or committing fraud.
The bottom line is that you deserve to be protected just as much as your customers. A few advance precautions now can ensure that you'll have a long and satisfying business relationship with your customers.
Vishal P. Rao is the owner of: http://www.work-at-home-forum.com/ An online community of people who work at home.
Credit Repair Business Opportunities - Huge Profit Potential!
In the world today, many people are further in debt than they realize. When they finally come to understand they need help, they are on the brink of bankruptcy. However, President Bush's signature on the new bankruptcy law has changed this option. He has created booming credit repair business opportunities.
Trailblazer Interview with Diane J. Levin, Partnering Solutions
Today is a Red Letter Day! It's special because today is the first edition of the Trailblazer Interviews.
The Hidden Treasure in Your Business
I started working with another new client last week. He has been in business for about a year and a half. Yes, he has managed to make plenty of mistakes, like we all do. But, he has done something so very right that I thought I'd share it with you.
Temporary Staffing Agency: How to Start
The temporary staffing industry continues to expand, with yearly double-digit growth being commonplace. Companies find it convenient and cost-effective to work with a temporary staffing agency to fulfill unforeseen demand, fill short-term vacancies, and assist with changing workloads due to restructuring or mergers. Additionally, employers are enticed by the idea of "test driving" new employees to minimize risk and ensure a good match for permanent positions.
How to Find A Group that Needs Speakers
How do you find groups that are in need of speakers (at no charge)?
Breaking The Chains!
Everyday, customers and business owners are bombarded with billboards, logos, print and electronic ads from huge corporations. With annual ad budgets that are more than our businesses' SALES in an entire year, our small independent businesses are getting squeezed out of consumers minds (and wallets) more and more each year. But the good news is, there are ways to fight back and "break the chains":
Can Your Business Run Without You?
What would happen if you decided to take an extended vacation? Would you still have the same business results when you returned?
Business Reviews that Work
What is the satisfaction & expectation review of the business history to date?
SBIR - A Nice Add-on Business
If you are a small business and qualify to participate in the SBIR program, it is a natural enhancer to your existing business. If you are small enough you may be able to start a company using SBIR funding, but you will soon come to realize that if your sources of income are not diversified (with SBIR being only one source) you might fall victim to funding cycles and no income. Although the Government provides funding to spawn technology its dual mission is to help that technology grow into viable commercial technology. If you can not bring your SBIR funding to fruition via commercialization, then you may find yourself receiving less and less funding as the years unfold.
Tips For Successful Home Show Businesses
Opportunities for home show businesses have never been more abundant. If you're thinking about joining the ranks of those in the many show businesses at home available, use these quick tips to get going.
Self-Employment: Do you know the Difference between Rates and Wages
The difference between rates and wages is not always clear to newly self-employed people and their wage-earning clients.
Your Small Business Suggestion Box
A suggestion box is a really good idea for your business. It can help you get valuable feedback from your customers -- feedback that they don't normally think to share with you. Whether your business is a brick and mortar location or purely virtual, it's important to hear from your customers. Here are some tips for success.
Small Business Spoiler - Procrastination
One of the most common issues that comes up for business owners is procrastination -wasting time, putting obstacles in the way of taking action towards goals, making excuses for delays, creating confusion/busyness etc. Procrastination is a self-defeating behavior.
Tips and Tricks for Legal Debt Collections
If a customer owes your local business money, it's hard not to feel angry, like you want to do anything possible to get your money back. But the days of going all out to collect on a debt over. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, designed to protect consumers from harassment or intimidation, sets firm limits on what you can do to collect a debt from a consumer. The federal debt collections law even prohibits practices that were once standard, and that you might not consider harassment at all.
Making Your Product Desirable For Alliance Partners
How do you make sure you have the business solutions or services that your alliance partner needs?
Data Loss - Can Your Company Survive? (Most Do Not)
Data. Most people think it is a term relegated to the kingdom of geeks.
How Micro Loans Can Mean Macro Success for Your Business
"Inch by inch, row by row...that's the way my garden grows" was a favorite saying of my grandmother's -- usually when she was trying to teach me something about patience!
Franchises Must Meet Legal Definition to be an Actual Franchise
All franchises must meet the legal definition of a franchise no matter what they call it before it is an actual franchise. This is the Federal Trade Commissions take on the franchise rule. It is not illegal to call a company a franchise even if it is not one and if it is not it does not have to follow the rules. In this opinion of law, I do have a quick summary of thoughts for the Federal Trade Commission Franchise Rule Making Group:
How to Start a Paper Shredding Business
Paper Shredding Business Opportunities are blossoming up everywhere because in recent years, privacy concerns and new policies have forced companies all over the country to invest in paper shredding services. Large corporations and small are in need of shredding services.
(P)Refer to Grow Your Business
(Although this article is geared towards small business owners, the information is just as applicable to a similar personal situation, only the action is slightly different.)
|home | site map|