Let me start out by once again reminding you that we are nearing year-end (as if you really needed my reminder).

And while Downtown Los Angeles business owners like you are wrapping up things in 2022, you’re also at that optimal time to be thinking about what lies ahead in 2023. This means you need an accurate picture of where things are at as we approach year-end.

We’re right here, to help you close out the old and begin the new: calendly.com/dtlacpa/request-a-meeting

Another thing you’re probably thinking about this time of year is how you’re going to express your gratitude to your awesome staff via a year-end bonus or some such. 

With our macroeconomic picture growing ever tighter, finding the right way to let your employees know you appreciate them without shelling out a crazy amount might call for some creativity.

Ever thought about these non-traditional gifting ideas (which work for both local and remote employees)?

  1. Gift cards. Flexible amounts. Fast delivery. Available for a plethora of products and places. If your staff is small enough, personalize them by choosing a place you know an employee would like specifically rather than buying en masse.
  2. Work-related gifts. Would someone like a blanket to keep at their desk? Or a recharging station, a lunch box or bag, a desk fan, or a smartphone pop socket? Eat lunch at their desk? How about a desktop vacuum cleaner? 
  3. Individualized gifts. Think for a sec or ask a few questions discreetly of co-workers. Does your staffer love or despise candy, honey, chocolate, or cookies? Does the worker embrace green living (stainless steel straws)? Spend a lot of time outdoors (sunscreen, lip balm, or touchscreen gloves)? Travel a lot (sleep mask, neck pillow, or packing cubes)? 

Whatever you do, be intentional and thoughtful in your expression of gratitude. It’s about more than your bottom line. It’s about valuing those who work hard to see your business thrive.

Now for what I want to talk about today…

I’ve occasionally encountered a disturbing habit among some of our newer clients, one which we work to fix as soon as possible on their behalf…

Should I Extend Credit To My Downtown Los Angeles Customers?
“Not until the pain of the same is greater than the pain of change will you embrace change.” -Dave Ramsey

It’s a common problem, especially in an inflationary environment when people are feeling the pressure and looking for a way out: Customers are asking you for lines of credit or “special deals” when it comes to your AR. So you ask yourself: Should I extend credit to my customers?

My recommendation? Don’t do it. Tell them you accept credit cards.

The biggest problem with giving credit is that you end up spending more time collecting money. Time that could be more profitably used doing most anything else.

The second biggest problem is that some of your credit customers, no matter how big and prosperous they appear to be, will never pay you.  If the accounts/purchases/orders of those customers who don’t pay you are big enough (or there are enough of them), you will be forced out of business.

If there is any chance that a customer may not pay you, it would be better not to make this sale. Time wasted collecting … sleepless nights worrying about payment … and real bottom-line losses are all inevitable outcomes of playing Russian Roulette with granting credit.

If you *do* slip into the credit-granting trap, be very clear about payment terms before delivery, and insist on any compliance to the day. Make a lot of constructive noise. Be persistent. Call every day. Visit your creditor in person. Let him know how important the money is to you. Wear him down. He is paying someone.

The person who gets paid earliest will be the person who showed the greatest determination to be paid. It should be you.

Collection is a critical survival tactic. Do everything in your power never to have to use it. But once you must, be absolutely resolute. It should be your first priority every day. If your experience is sufficiently unpleasant, perhaps you will understand the wisdom of not getting yourself into that corner in the future.

I’m grateful for our chance to serve you and your Downtown Los Angeles business — and we are dedicated to its success, in every measure.

 

On your team,

Argel Sabillo