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What's New At Credit Matters?

What's New At Credit Matters?

A new Members only competition will be starting from 1st of July and will run to June 30th 2020. If you can identify a new business red flag that is not on our list, you have the opportunity to win AUD200.00 for your efforts. Overseas Members are eligible to enter.  It is free to join the Credit Matters Members club.

After reviewing our feature on Preferential Payments, we have amended the background information to try and make the concept of preferential payments easier to understand.

Our special topic this month deals with internet and telephone scams with information which can assist people who are potentially at risk.

The brochures attached with this month's newsletter are from Barry Urquart, Trade Bureas Australia, Australian Small Business and Family Enterpris­­e Ombudsman about grants to assist with cyber security, CreditorWatch and Peter Nash - What Is Bugging You.

Don't forget, if you wish to promote your business services at an affordable rate, contact Kim at kim@creditmatters.com.au. You will be surprised at what we have to offer.

 

 

 

Quote Of The Month

Quote Of The Month

As the leader Bjorn Eriksson told The Guardian:

When you have a fully digital system you have no weapon to defend yourself if someone turns it off.

Monthly Business Observation

Monthly Business Observation

There is no doubt that the use of technology will increase in our daily business interactions. However, like everything else, when one thinks in a one-dimensional way, other factors with negative consequences are forgotten.

There are many articles on the benefits of technology which are usually put forward by converts and salespeople. These articles include the benefits of flexible payment options and the removal of cash from the business is very attractive, almost sexy in fact.

When we talk about the negatives of technology, because the topics and the outcomes are less attractive and may cost money, the proposition does not look so sexy. The typical reaction is, “… that will not happen” or “… we will sort it out on the day!” What usually happens in real life however, is that the problem cannot be sorted on the day.

Let us take the case of a bakery for example, which advises they will no longer accept cash. Sounds good until there is no power, or there is a denial of service of digital payment options. When this happens, potentially, that days production of products cannot be sold. After all, the bakery no longer has the means to accept cash and have also encouraged their customers to believe that cash is not required to buy their products.

Advertising is another industry which shows it doesn’t always understand the real world. Recently a bank’s advertising showed a young couple arriving at a farmer’s produce stall wanting to buy fruit. There was only a tin available for people to pay for what they wanted in cash. There was no EFTPOS facility. Whilst looking to pay, one of the people had already started eating the fruit. Their intentions to pay were good, however their ability to pay for the consumed fruit was compromised.

There is also the loss of sales if your customers do not want to pay by credit but only by cash. Surprisingly, even today, many people do not have a credit card or any other digital payment facility. They do have cash. Does a business just ignore these customers in their rush to adopt technology-based only payment systems?

In the US today, some states have banned cashless businesses. The reason is that the poor without digital payment options, are being denied opportunities to buy and therefore are discriminated against as a result.

Charities are another area which only think of payments by technology means. You may visit a charity’s website and find you can pay by phone or digitally via the website. There are no details however on how to donate by cash or cheque. Whilst these two payment methods may be discredited and looked down on by technology zealots, just remember, people may want to donate. By not making provision to accept payments by cash or cheque, the charity may well be doing itself out of much needed funds.

The only way technology works efficiently is when it is used properly for the right reasons and operational. Even then, the business must have the strategies and resources in place when it is not operational to remain functioning.

Payment practices are no different. When your organisation declares it will only deal with certain payment methods, it is in fact saying they don’t want customers who want to pay with cheque or cash.

Monthly Business Conundrum

If we look around the business community today and interact with our supplier and customer stakeholders, the one thing that stands out, is the lack of quality interactions.

It seems as the business community rushes headlong into working “cheaper”, there is some belief it can employ fewer people and those that are employed, do not need to have the skill sets and motivation of professional and well-trained employees.

Most business owners and managers however do not seem to understand how a cheap upfront cost philosophy usually results in expensive downstream costs. The reason for these increased costs is because of an increase in mistakes, lack of quality actions, more frequent enquiries and failing to complete tasks in a timely manner.

Business owners and managers also do not seem to measure the costs of incompetence, or understand the break-even costs of employing additional or more professional employees to stop expensive downstream costs.

Marketing professionals talk about developing a point of difference for your business. It would seem therefore, one clear advantage your business can have over the competition, would be to offer the best quality interactive experience with your stakeholders.

At the end of the day, no supplier will put up with customers which continually do not pay their accounts, make communication difficult, or raise false claims.

Likewise, no customer will continually put up with mistakes, time wasting and increased frustration from incompetent suppliers.

Monthly Business Conundrum
This Month's Business Inconvenient Truth

This Month's Business Inconvenient Truth

When you remove or try to manage human interaction between your business and its major stakeholders such as suppliers and customers, the outcomes are not always beneficial for anybody.

In accounts payable and receivable interaction for examples, we often find the help desk is anything but beneficial. It is my experience and that of many others, help desks rarely facilitate business transactions. In fact, help desks often lead to frustration, further delays in resolving issues and only seem to provide disenfranchised employees with an opportunity to avoid their responsibilities.

If help desks were meant to help manage costs and help create a more efficient and better service, then these outcomes are rarely achieved. The main reasons why help desks often don’t work is that management:

  • has installed the help desk as a way of saving costs by reducing employee costs;

  • is trying to manage the unmanageable true business-life circumstances with an artificial model of operations based on expectations rather than reality;

  • is rarely willing to admit the real cause of many contacts via the help desk may be caused by their decisions elsewhere within the business;

  • rarely reviews the information collected by the help desk to improve operations and reduce costs.

If any of the aforementioned circumstances are evident, then it is scarcely surprising to find that help desks cause more problems than they solve. Too often, as I have experienced, better service is rarely experienced because a contact is made via a help desk rather than directly with another supplier’s or customer’s employee.

Word Of The Month

Is the spelling help desk or helpdesk?

A very common situation is whether or not two words should be separated by a space, or joined together as a compound word. The term help desk/helpdesk is one such situation.

A check on the internet of Australian sites (limiting sites to end in .au using Google) returns 12.6 million results for help desk and 379,000 for helpdesk. However, most people aren’t aware of how to limit results to just include sites ending in .au, so if they did the same test without restricting the results, they would get 66.8 million and 73 million respectively. The reverse of the usage in Australia. This is a perfect example of why it isn’t wise to just accept the information you receive from Google, without understanding more about the results you’re seeing.

Microsoft Word accepts both helpdesk and help desk equally, meaning writers using Microsoft Word are often unaware they’re using a secondary spelling variation.

If you check the Macquarie and the Australian Oxford dictionaries, both list help desk as the primary entry and helpdesk as an also entry.

The primary spelling in Australia is therefore help desk with a space between the two words.

 

Word Of The Month

Updates courtesy of www.asic.gov.au

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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 info@creditmatters.com.au.

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 info@creditmatters.com.au for options.