It has been a really busy week. I have been down to visit my Mum in hospital twice in Swindon, had the kids off for their half term hols, met with more clients than in any other week in history and just found time to watch thursday’s episode of springwatch last evening.
I recently made a policy decision to not accept cheques any more.
Most retailers have gone this way with shoppers/clients preferring to use their debit/credit cards instead (including me!). I have got to the point of simply expecting every business to accept credit/debit cards and am now somewhat suspicious of any business I come across that doesn’t. I have a chip and pin machine in the office now and this is proving popular both with people calling in to use their card, or just ringing up with the details and paying that way.
It is better for clients and better for me as the money is in the account much quicker than it takes a cheque to be taken to the bank, paid in, and waited for it to become cleared funds in the account. Some people are still happy to use the internet to pay their bills via online banking. I am more than happy with this as long as they let me know a payment is on the way! More than once I have had a stroppy phone call asking why they have received a statement when a payment has been sent, but forgotten it can take up to five days for it to appear in our account. If I know it’s coming, I can mark their file accordingly.
Finally, the absolute best way to pay the bills for clients, and for us, is the monthly standing order option. I am pleased with the positive uptake of this scheme but many are still reluctant to commit. The benefits for you are that you receive no large bills at all and your fee is fixed for two years from when you join the scheme. The benefits for us are that it helps us budget better and smooths our own cash flow.