Tag Archives: “Just Nancy”

What to Do When You Get a Credit Card Decline for Your Services

Nancy McCord
“Just Nancy” – My Point of View for Today.

Credit card decline! Those are words that any business owner hates to hear, but it happens to all of us. When you get a credit card decline for your services here are some tips to quickly resolve the problem.

Be Nice – Always
I have found that sometimes a credit card decline is due to a security issue. Maybe the card was lost or compromised and the customer did not remember to advise you. Be open to the fact that it may be a very simple issue to resolve.

I always send a nice positive note with a request for a new card for my services. Typically if you hear back from the client within a day it is typically something that will be quickly resolved.

Deal with the Problems – Quickly
It is the clients that will not return a note or phone call that typically has run into a cash flow issue. For my firm, we stop services when we do not get a response, as the debt can grow quickly and end up as a write off. You have the most leverage to resolve a problem when an issue is handled quickly.

Make sure that if you have a contract that you cover what happens when a client does not pay. I have learned from experience that if you continue services on a payment promise that your write off will typically end up much bigger.

Change Terms – For Problem Payers
In our agreement for services, we spell out what happens when a client has a credit card decline, resolves, it and continues buying. We move clients like this to a prepayment basis or retainer. Some services we provide are not impacted significantly with a delay in payment, but other services are hugely impacted. Know your own needs and cover the situations in your agreement that all clients must sign to start your services.

Is It Worth It?
In some cases when you receive multiple declines, and it is clear that there is a cash flow problem,  you must take time to evaluate if you would like to continue to work with a client.  Each business situation is different. Just know that trying to collect on a debt is very, very difficult. Suing is not a realistic option and using a debt collector will cost a percentage of the debt and may never be collectible.

We all hate to lose a client, but a poor paying or non-paying client is typically more trouble than it is worth in the long run.

 

Share

Amazon Echo – I Love You Alexa

Gotta Love the Amazon Echo
Gotta Love that Amazon Echo

I got an Amazon Echo a week ago and I want to say that I love you Alexa!

Not only am I a huge fan of Amazon and an Amazon Prime Member, but I love technology and the Amazon Echo embraces all of these items very nicely. Plus it has made my life easier.

Here’s what I like best about Amazon Echo

Shopping Lists
No one in my family has an excuse any more for not putting something on our shopping list. Just say “Alexa, add provolone cheese to the shopping list.” The item appear instantly in my smartphone Alexa app and I can tick off items as I buy them. Even things added at home by my kids appear while I am at the grocery store. This solves the problem of my kids forgetting to put milk or toilet paper on the list!

Music and Sounds
I have a stressful day and so I love to start my day out with bird sounds. I don’t need to think about getting a bird anymore, just apply the skill for Ambient Noise Bird Sounds and then say “Alexa, play bird sounds.” My kids even tell me that they like waking up to the sounds in the morning.

Prime Music
Not sure you want to buy a track or CD? Just play free Prime Music through Alexa and you can be jamming out! Love the track, buy it right then with Alexa.

I have to say, that getting the Amazon Echo was one of the coolest things that I have done recently that has improved my life. Got to Love Technology! Thanks Amazon.

P.S. I was not paid by Amazon for this blog post. I bought the Echo and loved it and wanted to share why with you.

Share

SMS Scheduler Reviewed

Girl holding iPhone 6 Space Gray with service Pinterest
Use SMS Scheduler to be more productive in your day and stay in touch.

SMS Scheduler is an Android app that I am using to schedule text messages to my team and now family. You can download it yourself in the Google Play store.

First, I am not being paid for this review, I just found the app and love it.

Here’s how I am using SMS Scheduler

Create Repeat Reminder Messages for Employees

I use SMS Scheduler to create and send out messages to my team:

  • to remind them of weekly deadlines
  • to remind them of the weeks they will be paid
  • to encourage them to update TeamUp with their work status

Create Repeat Messages to Uplift My Kids

I use SMS Scheduler to create and send out messages to my kids and family.

  • send uplifting personal notes, quotes, and reminders to call
  • remind kids to check bank statements in family Google Drive
  • to let them know my personal travel schedule

Not only does the app send out messages in bulk to multiple people easily at one time, but you can set these messages up to send once, or to repeat weekly, monthly or yearly.

I just recently sent a message to all of my kids to remind them of their big brother’s birthday and to make sure to send him a Happy Birthday note.

Inside the app, I like that I can see a history of my sends and even repeat a message from the history. Personally for me, with family members, I set up weekly notes, but then once a week change them up and let them to go out on the original schedule, that way my kids don’t even know I am using an app to stay in touch with them on a regular basis.

I have even used the app to send myself text reminders of important things I need to do or see.

SMS Scheduler – an app that has become part of my productivity arsenal.

Share

What Are You Worth? “Just Nancy”

Nancy McCord
“Just Nancy” – My Point of View for Today.

Have you ever wondered what you were worth when it comes to the value you offer clients? If you are new in the business, you may not have a clear idea of your worth, but if you are a seasoned professional you probably have an idea of what you bring to the table in regards to customers.

Here’s how I’ve found out my own worth:

I’ve chatted with clients when they have not purchased a service. In several cases, I found that my prices were too low and actually scared a customer into feeling that others were more valuable as they charged more.

In one particular case, I actually got the client back when the higher priced resource shot themselves in the foot by not providing attentive customer service. I learned from that situation that sometimes having a low price is not a good thing.

I’ve provided white label services and have seen the markup that is put on my own price and resold without additional value. In this case I found out that I was priced lower than the market and clients were willing to pay more for quality hands on, attentive service.

I watch how busy I am. If I am having trouble staying on schedule as I have too many customers, I know that I may need to review my pricing and consider adjustments or packaging of services together. If on the other hand, you are not busy and just getting established, you may need to drop your price to pick up business.

I think the key is to gauge what is happening in your industry and in your own business.  If you have not done a market survey and even blind shopped your own marketplace, now’s the time.  It is important to make sure you are not priced too low, but especially not priced too high.

Share

Time Management Tips

Time is Money! When It Comes to Being Productive in Your Job.
Time is Money! When It Comes to Being Productive in Your Job.

I am experiencing one of my strongest business growth trends this year and as a result I have become a master of time management in order to be productive.

Here are my top tips to get more out of your day:

1. Turn off email notifications. These are those messages that float across the bottom of your screen if you are using Outlook telling you that you have email. While you are working resist the urge to check your email. Stay on task and check when your task is done.

2. Control your phone calls. I use Google Voice and I update my voice mail message regularly. I do not answer my phone when I am really in production. I simply let my calls go to voice mail. It is better to finish up a task faster than to be constantly interrupted.

3. Control your email. When I am really tied up, I will post an auto responder on my email alerting clients when I will touch base back with them. Then mid morning and mid afternoon I will send a quick email response letting a client know I got their message and that I will respond either by the end of the day or the next morning. Then I make sure I do just that.

4. Use a call scheduling app for clients that need to chat with you. Instead of my trying to corral a client and exchange multiple emails to find a time to chat about a project, I put the client in control and use Calendly for my phone call scheduling. I have set the parameters of when I will take calls and the client chooses a time that is good for them. The call appears automatically in my schedule. The client can even self-manage and cancel or reschedule a call. I just make sure that I have time available and code in my Google Calendar when I am free and not available.

5. Control your task list, each night I plan my next day. I move things on my calendar and decide what I will do when. I group similar tasks together like perform all my AdWords work in the morning and all my webmaster work in the afternoon. I even schedule time for lunch, my workout, and planning time. I have found that if I schedule these things I assure that I do have some downtime and flexibility in my schedule if I have to drop in a project or take a call.

6. Move all your email, calendar, and file exchange to the cloud. By moving to the cloud, I have been able to increase my productivity as my smartphone has become my mobile desktop. I can move files to my staff, check on staff projects, and keep abreast of projects even while I am walking on the treadmill.

By being productive and very schedule oriented, I am generating more time for existing clients and more time for taking on new clients.

 

Share

Thanksgiving for My Many Blessings

Thanksgiving Day is more than food, it is about thankfulness.
Thanksgiving Day is more than food, it is about thankfulness.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving day and I am already waxing poetic on what that means. Right now my husband and I have a full house with three kids home from college, my oldest son and his girlfriend here, my Mom visiting from Ohio, and my sister and her son on the way. That is blessing number one for me – family.

I could not have a better partner in my life than my husband Michael. We are so well matched and yet wonderfully different. Besides that, he can still make me laugh. He is supportive, encouraging, and a fabulous financial and life planner. He is also a travel and trip planner extraordinaire. That is blessing number two for me – my husband.

When I reflect on my life I am thankful for my good health. Although I, like many, have had some health issues, I am not battling major life threatening one. I do have a vision disability and I have gone to the best doctors, but there seems no hope for an improvement much to my disappointment. That being said, you can accept health issues or fight them. This one I have just accepted and do the best with the vision I have. A self driving car may be in my future. That is blessing number three for me – health.

I am graced with wonderful customers for my business. I feel that I am at the peak of my profession and really love what I do and am good at it. The people that I work with are wonderful, more than customers to me, and are enjoyable to interact with.  As a result, this year is one of the best and most profitable years in my business’ history. That is blessing number four – great customers.

What are you thankful for today and tomorrow? Make sure to take the time to think about that question and then express to those around you that they are one of your blessings on Thanksgiving day.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

 

Share