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Putting the shoe on the other foot - should you switch vendors?

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Steve KownackiPutting the shoe on the other foot - should you switch vendors?
by on Nov 19, 2009 at 7:32:59 pm

"I(nternal) R(evenue) S(ervice) We've got what it takes to take what you've got." This T-shirt saying got me to thinking a few days ago and I finally have my thoughts together.

We've had more than a couple threads about how to bring in new business, keep profitability, what do we do to keep customers happy and keep them coming back, how can we better advertise and better qualify potential customers, etc.

As the year end approaches perhaps we should put the shoe on the other foot and question: How have YOUR vendors been treating you? Are they communicating with you the way you think you are communicating with your clients? I'm specifically talking about your team - you do have one, right? Your lawyer, your banker, your insurance agent and your accountant. Do you get personal attention and more than the bulk email newsletter? Do they call or meet with you discuss your strategy? Do they take you to lunch? Do they really know what you actually do? Have they ever been to your office? Are they taking for granted that you'll just renew a policy or line of credit without reviewing your current situation?

All of these people can and should be saving you money by updating policies, tax strategies, corporate structure, etc.

I know alot of us preface responses with "I'm not an accountant...". Take one of those stories from this forum to your accountant and see what he says. If he goes, "huh, that's interesting." You may want to find a new guy. I do this routinely with my acct and my insurance guy.

Just some thoughts on keeping money in your pocket as the new year approaches.

Steve

Cash flow is great - it flows in and flows out; it's the cash stay that's the issue. Don't forget to work ON your business and not just IN it.



Steve



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Chris BlairRe: Putting the shoe on the other foot - should you switch vendors?
by on Nov 19, 2009 at 7:53:12 pm

Over 14 years we've switched accountants 4 times...until we finally found one that understood our business, provided sound business advice (not just making sure our numbers were accurate).

Finding that company meant paying quite a bit more for their services than we paid for the previous three. But in the first year, her company found errors on previous business and personal tax returns that resulted in amended returns that put thousands of dollars back into our pockets. Obviously, their increased cost was worth the investment.

My advice, don't scimp when it comes to attorneys and accountants. You'll be sorry in the long run and they'll end up costing you money rather than helping you save any.

We have similar stories concerning banks. Our first bank was the largest bank in our region. It went through merger after merger until finally being bought by 5th/3rd. It became so impersonal and the service and policies so bad that we switched to a smaller regional bank. The result is much better service and knowledge of what we do and what our financial needs are.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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Mark SuszkoRe: Putting the shoe on the other foot - should you switch vendors?
by on Nov 19, 2009 at 8:35:01 pm

5th 3rd? I don't trust a bank that doesn't understand proper fractions.


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Steve KownackiRe: Putting the shoe on the other foot - should you switch vendors?
by on Nov 19, 2009 at 8:48:12 pm

Here's a great one on banks











Steve



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Ron LindeboomRe: Putting the shoe on the other foot - should you switch vendors?
by on Nov 19, 2009 at 9:45:52 pm

One of my favorite SNL skits of all time, Steve. Right up there with the Bass-O-Matic, in my humble opinion.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry






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grinner hesterRe: Putting the shoe on the other foot - should you switch vendors?
by on Nov 20, 2009 at 1:17:16 am

I get personal service everywhere but the drive through. I won't have it any other way. I don't even wait at the doctor's office. If my apt is at 12:30 and they've not called me back by 12:45, I split and send em an invoice for my time. I'd never have a client sit and wait on me.
as for the IRS... it's kind of funny... They provide no service and are not internal. I guess the term pimp was already taken.




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