Tuesday, May 18, 2010
It never ceases to surprise me how people feel no remorse in using you at your expense. As any reader to my blog can attest, I pay huge attention to my brand. I believe that bad practices can hurt me financially, but more importantly it can damage my hard earned reputation. If you ever want to find out just how branding badly harms you, do something stupid that damages your reputation. See hard it is to change that negative perception once the word gets out. Trying to get it back is like trying to herd bees with your hands.
Recently, a client whom I did a project with under a tight time restraint called me quite indignant at the tone I took in my email regarding a long over-due payment. They were "quite insulted" with my approach that I was willing to take interest-free installments or off to collection we go. Didn't I understand , that they hadn't been paid by their client yet, so this should be explanation enough for my dilemma.
Small business people every where work very hard at building their businesses and are more than willing to cut people slack if they show, "a willingness to pay." In my 30 years in business, I have NEVER stuck a supplier because I've not been paid. If I engaged your services, I am liable to pay you. Period. Without suppliers/contacts who trust my brand I am no where. When ever this happened over the years, my "willingness to pay", has provided me suppliers/contacts who helped me through it.
But... in the end they still got paid in full.
Over the years I've heard it all. Happy clients until the bill arrives - then there's issues. Sad thing in this case is that this is a young person starting out in a new communications service. I've had several lunches, imparting my experience to them in an effort to help them avoid pitfalls I had experienced coming up. This mentoring has obviously fallen on deaf ears.
What bad business practices practices get your dander up? I'm offering you the opportunity to vent here, share your wisdom and show my readers that everyone has to deal with unfortunate situations.