- I am going to read all the small print in our own Terms and Conditions this year.
Pete Seeger once asked “Do you know the difference between Education & Experience? Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't.” I know life is short, so if you find this job too tedious then get someone to do it for you – make sure it is done and that are clear, understandable and most importantly serve you.
- I am going to create and implement a clear credit policy in our business this year.
We all know we should have a clear written policy and the truth is most businesses don’t. Do yours as soon as you can, implementing it with management approval will make a real difference to every aspect of your business
- I am going to invest in my Credit function this year.
It is the most important function and it deserves it. The main area is in quality information, so you can make the best decisions at all times, also look at systems, and automation that will help.
- I am going to speed up the entire process this year.
Excellent Credit Control is all about speed, accuracy and urgency. Discover ways you can make things leaner faster and better all round.
- I am going to read Credit Magazines and articles
It is important to keep up-to-date with what is going on in credit circles and reading about others in your business overcame the problems that you are currently experiencing, the fact you are reading this means you are a step ahead of the rest already!
- I am going to invest in the best available education & training for my management and staff
Experienced people who know what they are doing and work at a level of excellence are the greatest asset to any business. You can increase the loyalty and performance through proper education & training.
- I am going to have a long look at the reports we have been generating on a daily, weekly and monthly basis
To me the worst reason for doing anything is “because we have always done it that way!” Reports often fall into this category without anyone giving it a single thought. We simply generate the same reports month in and month out – time for change and time for radical improvement.
- I am going to put in an extra effort when it comes to internal communications.
I wrote some time ago that the Credit Manager should have responsibility for all communications within the business – and if they are not capable of such a role I would question their ability to do the job. Better communications leads to better business and that is what proper Credit management is all about.
- I am going to meet at least one key customer every month.
To be successful you have to make sure your customers are happy, you also have to make sure they are financially secure and in a position to pay what is due when it is due. The best way to make both happen is take time to call in person and build the relationship.
- I am not going to take any work home with me in 2014.
This is a real no no for me. Work late if you have to. Stay all night if you have a deadline to meet and when you go home, you are home and in a position to give whoever is there your undivided attention. Cloud the lines between work and home and I guarantee both will suffer. Anyway most of the work taken home arrives back in the office in the exact same state as it did when it left – with no work having been done at all. The downside is that its very presence had a negative impact on your evening. Stop taking work home.
I know that the words New Year Resolutions are often synonymous with failure. A large proportion of the population make them and the vast majority are broken within the very first week. This leads some people to think that resolutions and goal setting are all the same thing and should be avoided completely. I agree that most are broken; I don’t agree that it has to be that way. The reason I have chosen the words deliberately here is to see if you will act on even some of the ten items below. I guarantee it will make a difference to your bottom line in 2014.
Author Declan Flood
Lifelong Credit Professional dedicated to improving the standard of credit.
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