Remember in my first post I declared that I'm candid.
So often (the name of this post) "$hit my bookkeeper says" populates from clients. Perhaps its because I firmly believe in being yourself. Which to me is genuine and honest. I tell it the way it needs to be heard. This is what I encourage everyone to do. I'm not talking about being rude or inconsiderate. I talking about being able to relay the right approach to tough situations were people like to dance in the gray zone. Do you get me yet? I think we've all been in those situations and if not then you need to get out from the rock you are hiding under!
So here are a couple of things that clients say "I can't believe you said that!
Stop issuing postdated cheques!
Often this arises when a company is experiencing cash flow problems and vendors want a payment plan. Vendors and creditors can be really demanding in this type of situation. They fear that the business is going out and they want their money fast before it dries up! Well in some cases this may be; however if you are a business owner chances are you have put everything you got into the enterprise. Blood, sweet, tears and now probably a rocky marriage. Failure is not an option! So do not let vendors and creditors dictate to you. Find help! A good bookkeeper (plug for Moore Details ... I know cheap but effective), a good affordable software package (hint hint Quickbooks Online). If not already frugal....become frugal. Then come up with a cash-flow plan and stick to it. Analyze your profit margins, your products and services. It may be time to make difficult decisions. Do not let pride guide your decisions let profit guide you! So back to focus. Issuing a bunch of postdated cheques without a cash flow plan is going to crush you. Work in the now. The past is the past so learn from it.
Stop issuing pay advances to employees!
But I care for my employees is what I hear in response. Then I hear I thought your business focus is to be helpful. My response it is! But paying advances to your employees is not being helpful! We all know life can be tough. I know that personally so you cannot sell me on any hard luck story. Remember you are not a parent to these employees (well maybe you are then you need to continue reading). A good employee needs to stand on their own two feet and not treat you like their dad asking for money because they spent too much at the arcade! Ouch! I know. Here is how you can help! Talk to them personally in a caring manner. The point is to care. Then point them in the right direction to get the proper help. So if its credit related for instance (see David Bach Latte Factor approach) refer them to a credit counselling service. There are many and some even operate free of charge (not a bankruptcy trustee!!!). Is it because of basic needs like food and shelter. Take them out for lunch and talk about their options. There are so many outlets to get food free or at a good price. Community cupboards, smaller co-operatives, and subsidized housing. For many employees in this situation they may not be aware of other avenues of help and just see you as the person who holds the cash that keeps them afloat the bumpy road of life. This is good time to talk about your own experience if you feel so confident to do so. Perhaps lending them a book by David Bach from his Finish Rich series. Ensure they have applied for all their necessary social benefits with Canada Revenue Agency. Perhaps they have found themselves recently single raising the cutest kids! Down load the paperwork for them to change their martial status with CRA and increase those Child Tax Benefits, HST and other applicable social pay outs. You will establish a better bond with employees using this approach. Long term employees. Those knowing you were there to help when they needed it most.
Stay tuned for part Two.
Links for your reference:
Martial Status Change Form RC65
K3C Credit Counselling
The Finish Rich book collection by David Bach @DavidBachBooks