Many small businesses need help in setting up new equipment or have problems with other purchases, prompting them to contact customer service. This could be issues with computers, software, or assembling furniture.
The idea is for customer service to provide guidance or solutions to the problem, which seems simple, but oftentimes customer service representatives don’t meet expectations. The customer service representatives can be pleasant and patient, but the experience can be exasperating with employees and small business owners spending hours or even days trying to resolve a problem, creating stress and possible loss of income.
So what can you as a small business owner, office manager or administrative assistant do to make sure you get the needed information or help you need? We all know about documenting the time of contact and name of the customer service representative, but what else can you do?
Here are some ideas you may consider when you contact customer service:
Businesses of all sizes need to pay their bills on a regular basis to maintain a good reputation in the marketplace and stay afloat. A small business needs to be savvy in paying bills, even with a computerized system. You don’t want to pay too slow or too fast — the idea is to pay right.
For specific solutions for:
-Paying the same bill twice
– Paying late
– Paying for damaged or never received items or services
– Paying online
Nonprofits may be exempt from paying income taxes, but they still need to pay payroll taxes. Taxes withheld must be remitted to the government and 1099 must be filed for contractors.
When payroll taxes are not paid up, people working for the nonprofit may be personally liable for the money. Yikes! Read more about this at:
Look at ALL requirements of such grants, or you can get in trouble and may need to return the funds. This can get really sticky.
The idea of separation of duties is not that obvious for many organizations, specially the ones with tight budgets, having one person handle too many functions because it seems simple and straightforward. It’s usually a mistake.
The overall goal of separating duties is to have a system osf checks and balances to prevent losses and mistakes.
See the following articles about this topic:
Nonprofit Finance: A Practical Guide is available now as a kindle book on Amazon:
If you’re interested in working with a nonprofit, the best approach is to volunteer first to figure out the culture and style. If that doesn’t pan out, then it’s time to search for jobs online. Besides general job websites like monster.com, you could narrow your search to websites that specialize in the nonprofit sector. Below are some options:
To get a job at a nonprofit, a passion for the organization programs is a must. Read up on it online, including the latest news on it in the media to emphasize your interest. Next are some issues I noted many people do when trying to get a job with a nonprofit.
Dress formally — Don’t assume that just because it’s a nonprofit, you can go in wearing sweatpants, for instance. Proper dressing shows respect and professionalism. It’s better to overdress since most employers understand that people want to make a good impression.
Don’t talk badly about other organizations — This could be done saying that a place has a toxic environment or something more subtle. Sometimes when giving examples of situations, people slip and show issues that should have been kept private.
Check tax returns at guidestar.com — Tax returns- 990- can show how the organization is doing financially, details about each program, and even salaries of board members and the five highest employees. Look at page 7- Part VII.
Happy job hunting!!
You can check the new edition of the book Nonprofit Finance A Practical Guide at https://goo.gl/M563u9