Reminders For Running A Better Business

Written by Chuck and Sue DeFiore

The following tips are from an article we contributed to Compute magazine. These are ideas that we all should know, but many times forget. It constantly amazes us how quickly a basic tenent of business can be shoved byrepparttar wayside inrepparttar 117686 heat of daily transactions.

If we all try to keep these simple principles in mind, they may keep us onrepparttar 117687 straight and narrow in our pursuit of home office bliss.

1. Buy an answering machine. This will allow you to give your attention to a client and notrepparttar 117688 telephone. Be sure your message is done in a professional manner and includes business name, telephone number and hours of operation.

2. Be sure to have a separate telephone line for business. This will avoid your family usingrepparttar 117689 same line and busy signals to prospects and clients. Keep your personal calls separate and insure your business line is always answered in a professional manner.

3. Read, read and read some more. You will constantly be learning about your business. Reading will allow for additional knowledge, change and growth.

4. Buy a fax machine. This will allow you to give your clients prompt responses and in many cases save on postage and telephone costs. It will also avoid having to leave your office to go and fax something at $1.25 or more per page.

5. Have an identity package professionally done. Your logo, letterhead, business card, envelope and brochure will berepparttar 117690 first impression a prospect or client has of you. To insurerepparttar 117691 impression is a good one, have your business package done by a professional designer. The cost is worth it.

How To Realistically Set Your Fees - Part 4

Written by Chuck & Sue DeFiore

Effect Of Bad Debts

So far, we have coveredrepparttar major factors involved in setting your fee structure. We have set a realistic number of billable hours, calculatedrepparttar 117685 effect of expenses and taken into accountrepparttar 117686 cost of a benefit package.

This has brought us to an hourly rate of $77. By charging $77 per hour, you will have an income of $46,000 per year, plus benefits.

What happens when you have a client that does not pay you for your services? What happens if a customer goes out of business before your invoice is paid? How will these events affect your own planning? Do you want to take a bad debt write off on your taxes? Do you want to try to include for these contingencies in your fee structure? Your answers to these questions will have a direct impact on how you operate your business.

Thankfully, unless you provide very poor service, most clients will eventually pay you. However, it may take you awhile to collect your money and you may have to settle for less thanrepparttar 117687 originally billed amount. You haverepparttar 117688 option of adding late fees to your invoices, but keep in mind,repparttar 117689 more time you spend trying to collect a past due invoice,repparttar 117690 less time you have to devote to paying customers. Also, if you need to engage an attorney or collection agency, you will in all likelihood, not seerepparttar 117691 full amount of your invoice because of their fees.

One way in which you can protect yourself is to build into your fees an allowance for bad or uncollectable debts. If you estimate that 5% of your invoices will be either unpaid or underpaid, then add 5% to your hourly rate. For example, your hypothetical fee is now $77 per hour, 5% of that is $3.50, added together gives you a rate of $80.50 per hour. If we round this off to $80, you would have approximately $3300 per year cushion.

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