Customer Trust and Your Financial Management

Written by admin on December 6th, 2010

I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that the image of business has taken a pretty significant hit in the last couple of years. In fact, that may even be an understatement. I know there was a period where I couldn’t turn on the news without hearing about yet another CEO being investigated for fraud. The curtain has been lifted on dozens of companies who for years have been doctoring their books, lying to shareholders, cheating their customers – all the while, taking home enormous bonuses and compensation plans padded with cars, vacation homes and other generous perks.

So what (you may be thinking) does this have to do with me? I run a small business – I don’t have any shareholders and I’m certainly not in the news…

As small business owners and solo entrepreneurs, it’s important that we recognize that the dishonesty on Wall Street does and will continue to have a trickle down effect on us and our companies. Many of your potential clients and customers now have a level of wariness and cynicism that they automatically bring as they consider working with you. We face a challenging but critical need to instill feelings of confidence and trust in people who are making the decision as to whether they will engage with us in a business relationship.

The reality is that no customer wants to purchase products or services from a business where there is even a hint of financial struggle. If we’re honest, many of us are used to “flying by the seat of our pants” when it comes to financial management. This is bad enough regardless – but certainly is going to cut it in the current climate. Developing and executing a solid plan for the financial management of your business will go a long way in avoiding customer concern and helping people to develop the necessary trust that will allow them to work with you.

Strong financial management and organization means being aware of what money is coming in and what money is going out. You should know if your profit margins are high or low, what areas you can afford to cut back on and what areas to expand on. Your customers will sense the confidence and security that comes from being able to make these informed decisions based on solid financial organization.

Customer trust should not be taken lightly. Always consider how you expect to be treated when you work with a business. Make sure your billing is handled honestly and efficiently. Charge fair prices for your products and services and always deliver exactly what you have promised – in the time frame you have promised it. Once trust is betrayed – it is unlikely that you will have a second opportunity to prove yourself.

Solid financial organization can seem incredibly daunting to many entrepreneurs but just remember that you are not alone. Regardless of your budget, you can find helpful, knowledgeable sources that will help you to develop the solid financial management that will support the ongoing growth of your business, and its positive image in the marketplace.

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