Credit Matters

Invaluable Reading From Australia and Around The World

Contributing to our position as Australia’s premium Financial Risk Management resource, our management globally explores and surveys relevant and valuable articles published by respected professionals, academics and organisation. The articles offered here are suggested reading for any Business Owner and Financial Risk Management professional.

Invaluable Reading From Australia and Around The World

Operations

Building Good Referral Karma: How to Generate More Business Through Your Happy Customers

Michael Griffiths

23 Sep 2016

Michael Griffith's article is focused on the value happy customers add to your business, particularly in the area of referrals and in providing positive comments on your business.

When you read Michael's strategies on how to keep your customers happy, you start to realise that these strategies are also important for your business in other ways.

Happy customers don't just refer others to your business. They are also more likely to pay on time, forgive occasional mistakes, and continue to make enquiries which you can utilise to improve your business processes. Equally important, they do not go online to berate your business for inefficiencies which damage your business's reputation.

If you have lost your way or had not realised the value of happy customers to your business, this article may be a good start to reinvigorating how you deal with your customers.

BHS losses could have been reduced by good credit management

Credit Man

31 Jul 2016

BHS was a UK retailer with a history going back 88 years. Recently the retailer was put in to Insolvency Administration with massive debts.

This article is not just a story about the value of good credit management practices, many valuable other business factors are illustrated. The business issues raised are (i) the impact on your business when a major customer goes out of business, (ii) the flow-on effects to other businesses, (iii) the cost of trying to find additional sales to replace the losses just suffered and (iv) the importance of not seeking just one or two major customers.

I suggest the value of this article lies in the many business messages of loss which can be suffered when a major customer goes out of business.

High-tech vigil aims to deliver safe bet

Patrick Bartley

18 Jul 2016

Irrespective of whether it is in our personal lives or in business, keeping secrets is increasingly difficult. In this article, Patrick Bartley sheds light on how racing stewards in Victoria are using technology to identify potential illegal behaviour.

The use of technology is increasingly of help for the guardians who are in charge of looking after the wellbeing of our society as they track down the perpetrators of illegal and damaging behaviour.

In business, with increasing use of technology and in particular, Cloud based accounting and business systems, keeping business secrets will be increasingly difficult.

The value in reading this article is that is yet another example on how the power of technology can be used to identify unethical and criminal behaviour which may otherwise remain hidden.

Powerful Psychological Forces That Make Good People Do Bad Things

Dr. Travis Bradberry

28 Jun 2016

What makes good people do bad things? We keep asking ourselves the same question when we see how good people are caught up in bad situations and with the wrong people. There are many different reasons why people do the wrong thing, and often, there are no simple answers.

One of the factors on why good people do the wrong thing can be found in understanding the psychological factors involved.  Dr. Bradberry illustrates 14 of Dr. Kaptein’s most compelling findings on how the mind tricks good people into losing their moral compass and going astray.

In either situation, this article may be one source of assistance in helping you work out what influences good people to do bad things.

Create Memorable Customer Experiences with These Strategies

Kim Niemi

27 May 2016

Kim Niemi writes about one of the major disruptors in business, the customer experience. What are customers really looking for? We know one factor is the cheapest price. However, are there other factors which influence their decision making which you can use to influence their decision making positively?

Kim writes about what she considers to be the five most important factors. By focusing on these issues, she believes you are likely to attract more customers. Furthermore, I respectively suggest, by considering these issues properly with an open mind, you will also have a much better business organisation.

The five same issues which Kim writes about not only attract customers, they are also applicable when it comes to running a profitable business.

If you are failing to attract or keep your customers, this article may be a good place to start in rethinking how you do business.

9 Things That Make Good Employees Quit

Travis Bradbury

20 Apr 2016

Dr. Bradberry's article is focused on how you may try to keep good employees working for your business.

Too often it is forgotten, people are the glue which keeps your business running. Employees are the link between your business's procedures and technology tools. Good customers help sell your business products and services to others. One aspect of selling, is having employees which make customers feel wanted and valued by attending to their needs in a fast and efficient manner.

A workplace where people feel safe and properly valued, also attracts other likeminded people which may become employees. Therefore, being aware of what drives good people away from your business, is also really important.

You may not have thought about what motivates your employees and customers lately, or are finding you have a high turnover of employees. This article may therefore be a good starting place to identify the issues which assist you keep good people involved in your business.

ARE YOUR SALES & FIELD STAFF THE CREDIT DEPARTMENTS EYES & EARS

Graeme Skinner

6 Apr 2016

Graeme Skinner's blog is based on one of the oldest themes of business, “A sale is not a Sale until it’s paid for”

Your salespeople are often the first of your employees to see what is happening within your customer's business. Graeme provides indicators of the type of evidence which your salespeople might notice and could reveal the customer may be experiencing difficulties.

Any indications that a customer's business may have problems are valuable and are generally the warning signs that they may be struggling financially. It is imperative this information is provided to the credit department in order that can institute actions to reduce the level of any potential debt.

Your salespeople are part of your business's team which need to be trained to look for signs of your customers' well-being. It is of no value however, if the indicators of any problems are not reported to your credit team members.

If you need a starting point or a brief refresher on the importance of sales and credit working together, this article is a suitable source of this information.

The 'Autonomous Customer' paradox; customer service is more vital than ever

News release by BT and Avaya

21 Feb 2016

In the modern age, the customer who wants everything is the norm. For instance, those business people who sell on credit, usually find the customer believes they have the right to change the terms of trade or not pay at all.

The situation is exactly the same from the modern autonomous customer who approaches your business. They want everything their way. If you don't offer almost every interactive contact method known to man or woman, then your business may miss out. Despite adhering to their demands, there is still no guarantee they will transact any business with you.

As in all things to do with business, nothing is simple. Furthermore, the customer is not always right. As a consequence, if you believe you must comply with the autonomous customer's demands, then doing it right is essential.

This brief article, with an option to download a PDF white paper, may be of value if you decide your business must cater for the autonomous customer's every need.

Vishing and smishing: The rise of social engineering fraud

Marie Keyworth

7 Feb 2016

Marie Keyworth's introduces the unwary to two more fraudster strategies. People are becoming increasingly aware of phishing which is fraud by email. They may be less aware of newer fraudster strategies of vishing and smishing.

"Vishing" is where criminals persuade victims to hand over personal details or transfer money, over the telephone.

"Smishing" is SMS phishing where text messages are sent trying to encourage people to pay money out or click on suspicious links.

The author illustrates a number of strategies used by fraudsters in regards to these two frauds and how you might deal with a suspect contact.

If you are unsure how to act or what to look for when you receive a suspect contact, this article may be a good place to start your investigations. As advised on all occasions, if in doubt seek professional help.

Red Flags Of Potential Collection Problems

Dean Kaplan

11 Jan 2016

Dean Kaplan is an experienced business professional and debt collector from the US. In this article, Dean provides a number of red flag indicators which may indicate future cashflow problems for your customer.

These same indicators are observed and applicable within the business environment of any country. For instance, I suggest other experienced credit professionals, debt collectors and insolvency practitioners from all countries would have seen similar red flag indicators during their careers.

Dean points out there are other indicators which may be useful in specific situations which he has not detailed. Educating yourself to be on the alert for any unique red flag indicators which are applicable for your industry, is just as important.

A useful aspect of this article are the explanations which are included to illustrate the problems behind the red flag indicators.

In the turbulent business world of today, being aware of the indicators of customer cashflow problems is an essential component of business survival and to reduce unnecessary costs and bad debts.

If you are unaware or would like to refresh your knowledge of the red flag indicators of cashflow problems, this article may be of value to you.

What role for the CFO in credit management?

Bertrand Mazuir

20 Mar 2015

It is not often you have the opportunity to read an article about the role of the CFO in the credit management process. Therefore it is interesting to read Bertrand Mazuir's review.

Finding the best way of operating a business is an on-going process of evolution. Therefore we should periodically review all aspects on the way we operate our business. These aspects under review should include the processes used, the people we employ and the titles we give them and their operational duties.

The CFO and Credit Mangers roles are no different. In preparing our review, the questions must always be: are these positions fulfilling the needs of the business at this time and do the respective people have the required skill sets for these roles? Bertand's review is one such opportunity to encourage you to evaluate these roles within your business.

Furthermore, irrespective of the size of your business, and even if you do not have the personnel to warrant such titles, you should be occasionally evaluating your own business processes and the people completing the roles of CFO/Accountant and Credit Management.

Best Practices: Invoicing to get paid

Colin Porter

17 Feb 2015

One of the reasons you might not get paid as quickly as possible is because you failed to complete your invoice(s) properly. When your invoice is incomplete, it provides another good excuse for your customer to hold back payment.

Colin's article highlights the key criteria which need to be completed before sending out your invoices. In addition, as Colin also helpfully points out, create a process to ensure your invoice is completed properly. This process can then be employed to train your existing staff and any new staff appointed to the task.  

Ensuring your invoice(s) are completed properly, removes one key reason the customer cannot use for not paying you on time.

 

Don't Turn A Contract In To A Handcuff: The Boardroom Report

Adrian Kitchin

9 Jan 2015

If your business completes projects on a regular basis, you will probably already be aware of the importance of taking out an insurance policy on the major projects.

On the other hand, if you are a business owner or manager with little experience of the possible pitfalls of projects, you may not have thought of taking out an insurance policy for your next project. After all, not all projects are equal and many include significant risks for the unwary.

This blog raises a number of issues associated with projects which are worth considering. For instance, the importance of seeking professional assistance in understanding the terms of conditions of the contract associated with the project.

If you are inexperienced with the risks which may occur when planning your next project, this blog is worth a read as a starting place to begin the process of understanding project risk. You would also be wise to consider the benefits of obtaining insurance if there is any possibility of a material loss if the project does not go to plan.

Know your competition: Learn from their mistakes

Colin Porter

28 Nov 2014

Knowing your competition is one of the keys of operating a successful business.

Colin Porter in this article explains how you can learn about operating a better business from your competitors. In his view, you can learn a great deal about works and does not work in your marketplace.

Colin also provides his 5 tips for staying competitive.

I suggest this article is worth a read as a starting point for understanding why studying your competitors can help you operate and grow your own better business.

ATO Friend NOT Foe!

Peta Schimming

27 Nov 2014

In business, there are times when we have to interact with organisations which may not always our favourite business partner. In truth, most business people would argue the ATO as a party which does not add value to their business. Obviously many business people would not disagree with the previous sentence.

Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, the ATO is a serious player in our business affairs. As a result, Peta encourages us to take a proactive approach to our dealings with the ATO. Unless the circumstances are exceptional, the ATO is usually willing to work with you to resolve a problem rather than fight you (notwithstanding the ATO will probably always win).

There is also another business message you can take from this article. If you work with your suppliers and customers in a reasonable manner, many short-term problems can be resolved and so enable you to continue with the business relationship.

Top 10 Lessons Learned in First 10 Years in Business

Steveb Freztin

10 Sep 2014

In this article, Steve Freztin presents his top 10 business lessons after 10 years in business.

Every lesson presented by Steve, can be applied to any business profession or business organisation.

I would write more, but that may confuse the message. So I will simply say, it will only take a few minutes to read the article and I suggest it will be time well worth spent. 

 

Uncovering cash and insights from working capital

Ryan Davies and David Merin from McKinsey & Compan

24 Jul 2014

As the authors of this article so wisely articulate, managing a company’s working capital isn't the sexiest task in business. However as they also point out, it is extremely important in maximising the opportunities of improving cashflow without increasing sales or reducing expenses.

The most important part of this article is the authors' explanation of the cash which is tied up in a company's accounts receivable operations. In studying their work more closely, you will begin to realise the benefits of reviewing your accounts receivable operations.

We also find out why management and CFO's, particularly in the larger corporate companies of the world, do not concentrate on the receivables to the extent that they should.

I suggest this article is well worth reading if you are interested in improving your company's cashflow, profit and efficiencies, irrespective of the size of your business.

 

How to stop wasting time and start getting more done

Jason Smith

22 Jul 2014

Jason Smith has provided three handy hints about managing your time wisely.

What makes Jason's remarks valuable is that they come from a business owner who struggles with time management as do many of us.

Jason's three main hints are to (i) plan your day, (ii) take control over your emails they don't control you, and finally (iii) keep track of your daily achievements.

Tracking your daily achievements is as important as any other task. Tracking provides evidence of your daily work which in turn, gives you a level of satisfaction at the end of a business day when you may doubt you have doen anything worthwhile. In addition, you have the information to assist in preparing a more efficient working day in the future.

A quick look at Jason's Blog may help re-evaluate and refresh your own work behaviours so you gain better value of your own time.

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