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What's New At Credit Matters?

What's New At Credit Matters?

There will be a further delay unfortunately in the development of our website. My developer has advised the new technology available today, means that it would be prudent to rebuild the website using this technology. Not to worry, he assures me that the delay and functionality of the new website will be worth it.

The attachments with this newsletter include notes from the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, plus two more newsletters from Barry Uruquart who is one of Australia's premier marketing professionals.

Mr Urquart has written about the real issues confronted by front line employees and disenfranchised customers since the commencement of the pandemic. In addition, you will find further information regarding the importance of working with disgruntled customers in our Special Topics segment of the newsletter. It is important to acknowledge that the same principles which apply for retail businesses regarding customer service, will also apply in B2B businesses.

Kim is available to help with your questions and concerns if you need any assistance, and as always, the first chat is always free of charge or obligation.

Quote Of The Month

Quote Of The Month

“If you’re AGGRESSIVE in your GROWTH TARGETS but DON’T HAVE ENOUGH LEADS coming in, you’ll CHASE PEOPLE that you SHOULDN’T BE CHASING.” David Guest.

Monthly Business Observation

Monthly Business Observation

Nothing in business is simple. For instance, one of the worst things we can do is to take quotes and statements from people and accept there is only one truth. In other words, we only look at the quote in the context in which it is said and the initial reaction on reading it for the first time.

On reflection however, if you turn the emphasis around you may decide in fact, it is the basis of a wonderful risk management exercise. Accordingly, let us look at the possibility of using this quote as the incentive to conduct a positive exercise to grow our business, rather than just take the words at face value and do nothing.

After all, if we only accepted the first thought of chasing risky sales only to incur more bad debts and problems, the value of the quote stops there. We would have also missed an opportunity to review our business for the better.

On the other hand, by turning the emphasis of the quote around, we can initiate and complete a review of the quote to ascertain whether more profitable sales are a possibility from risky customers. In that case, the quote is really valuable. After all, a business without sales is not a business that has a future. Doing nothing is also not a good option if it’s because your business is currently unable to deal profitably with difficult customers.

In today’s business environment, as the economy post COVID will be smaller, every profitable sale and customer must be sought in order to survive. By taking a positive attitude and reviewing the following factors, this should help you understand why leads and enquiries might have dried up.

Perhaps it is because your:

1          business employs order takers and not salespeople;

2          salespeople are employed with an out of date or a poor employment contract;

3          salespeople lack the right support, training and incentive programs from management;

4          salespeople do not understand the importance of the sales contract, or why it must be completed properly, etc.

Within your business perhaps:

1          risk management and due diligence are regarded as expenses by management rather than profit enhancement exercises;

2          your salespeople and credit departments are not treated as equals, which in turn means;

3          your salespeople and credit departments don’t liaise together but only “talk at” each other rather than “talk with” each other to negotiate the best sales and profit scenario.

In addition, perhaps:

1          your business’s product and service range is out of date;

2          there is a lack of stock or people to adequately service your customers’ needs;

3          poor customer service or virtually no service is visible to your customers;

4          there is little or no effort to investigate and correct mistakes, or to stop the causes of those mistakes, etc.

If the above factors are evident within your business, these are just some of the reasons why this month’s quote of chasing potentially poor quality customers is so valid.  On the other hand, if these and other deficient factors in your business are identified and fixed, you may be able to chase “… those people which you shouldn’t normally chase” and create profitable sales and customers”. If that is case, the quote is actually the basis of a valuable risk and sales exercise.

Monthly Business Conundrum

Today, we are all operating our business enterprises in a disruptive world, where yesterday’s solutions to problems may not always be valid. In addition, in this situation, management needs all the help it can get to:

  1. Identify any risks;
  2. evaluate the level of the risk, and if required
  3. neutralise any negative outcomes, or to take advantage of the risk identified to create a positive outcome.

One of the factors which handicaps many businesses is a compliant and cosy culture whereby employees all toe the management line. In these businesses, many employees are wary or discouraged from putting forward “different thoughts” which might otherwise help the business.

Yet the worth for the business in having access to these people is invaluable. After all, these people often “see” and talk about disruptive factors which if not evaluated properly by management, may cause a great deal of damage to the business.

In order to harness the value of “disruptive” employees, management needs to create an environment where these employees can safely, and in a useful way, put forward their ideas. A great way to do this is as a former boss once said to me, “… don’t give me a problem without a possible solution”.

Under the above format, management receives new ideas with possible solutions and the value of the process is seen across the business. Another bonus is the “disruptive” employee feels appreciated and continues to do their best to help the business survive and grow. All in all, a win-win outcome for all parties.

On receipt of the suggestions, management should positively acknowledge the provider’s contribution, and if a successful outcome is possible, provide a reward commensurate with the value of the idea, saving or the income potential.

In a disruptive business world therefore, having new ideas and being forewarned of potential risks, is part of the process of survival and growth. New ideas and advice of potential problems rarely happens when employees are afraid of being labelled as “disruptive” and sometimes, also disloyal. As a result, fixable problems left to fester could cause long-term problems, plus valuable opportunities to grow the business might not be put to management for consideration.

It behoves all management teams in these turbulent times to create a safe environment, plus a process for “disruptive” employees to safely put forward their thoughts with solutions to identified problems.

Furthermore, management would also be wise to look for and try to engage with trusted and independent disruptive thinkers outside their business. This action allows management to safely explore different scenarios in a neutral setting and not be bound on any outcomes that might frighten or cause disruptive behaviour within the business.

History shows, that being proactive about dealing with identified and disruptive problems is far less costly in the long run rather than chasing a fix to overcome a problem in haste to minimise any loss.

Monthly Business Conundrum
This Month's Business Inconvenient Truth

This Month's Business Inconvenient Truth

The two major types of fraud these days according to recent literature and media stories are cybercrime and employee fraud or theft. Unfortunately, we now live in an environment where fraud is easier than ever to commit and even if found, the cost is often prohibitive for many victims to seek redress. In addition, even if prosecution results in a conviction, the penalties are often too low to compensate the victims properly or discourage further bad behaviour.

To minimise fraud and thefts within your business from either external or internal players, you need to create and implement:

  1. create a safe environment where employees are empowered to report on potential problems;
  2. strong and viable business disciplines;
  3. quality reporting systems and comparison figures that quickly highlight problems;
  4. public and proactive actions on any deficiencies found;
  5. taking legal action or reporting the perpetrators to the authorities; 
  6. reward employees that have taken actions which the comparison figures prove have improved the business in efficiencies and reduce unnecessary costs;
  7. create a positive and inclusive organisational culture where all employees are treated equally with both words and incentives to maintain good behaviour, etc.

There are no guarantees in business anymore except for the following. If you treat people badly or unequally, lack organisation discipline, don’t act to reduce mistakes and take action against identified fraudsters and thieves, you can guarantee that your business losses will continue.

In the current business-environment, you can also guarantee, more people through “necessity” will be tempted to steal, alongside the normal criminal suspects.

By taking the above mentioned actions, you will reduce the opportunities of emotionally and financially destroying losses due to fraud and theft.

The focus on a transactional relationship ethos with customers may cost your business dearly as your customers learn that their past relationship is no longer is valued.

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Credit Matters is a financial risk management resource centre for the Australian business community. If you are in business, Credit Matters is your ideal source of financial risk management solutions.

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Future Opportunities & Possibilities

Credit Matters is continuing to grow and provide marketing and knowledge about financial risks to the Australia business community.

Futhermore, we invite marketing and knowledge ideas from our readers and contributors on how we can assist our respective firms grow. If you have any ideas, please contact me at

If you are interested in finding new ways to reach your marketplace, why not try Credit Matters. Our prices for advertising are very reasonable and advertising packages are on offer to make any cost, even more affordable. So if you are interested in reaching your customers at the right price, please contact Kim at for options.