Running a small business is filled with essential to-dos, some of which are simply mechanical, administrative functions we'd rather just let slide now and then. But there are three things successful entrepreneurs never skip, according to author and business expert Dave Ramsey.
Contracts: A contract won’t protect you from a lawsuit. It won’t save you the grief of having the occasional problem client. A contract is a communication between you and your client that documents a common understanding. When there’s a meeting of the minds on important details (dates, deliverables, changes, cancellations) there’s less likelihood of a relationship breakdown.
Collections: The easiest way to avoid collections is to use a business model that doesn’t require receivables. For example, session fees are paid at the time of booking and products are paid for when they’re ordered. If you do allow clients to pay at a later time, don’t let a missed payment go one day beyond the deadline without making a courtesy call to remind them of their obligation.
Vendors: Think of your essential vendors as partners in your business. Use vendors who have integrity because you need to trust them. Use vendors who have the capacity to fill your business needs. Treat vendors as you want to be treated. It’s fair to negotiate hard with them, but you must do it fairly and with the knowledge that everyone needs profit to stay in business.
Source: “EntreLeadership,” by Dave Ramsey
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