Why didn’t I blog between March 23rd and April 3rd?
It was all to do with business needs.
The period leading up to the end of March and into early April is the most important time of year for the vast majority of businesses.
It’s the end of the financial year and people in business always have lots to do at the end of March.
There are all the final reports, final workshops, final days of support to be delivered. There are checks to be made that contracts have been fulfilled and that everything that has been promised by the end of the year has been delivered.
There’s also the very important job of invoicing to be done. With so many contracts ending in March, it’s really important to make sure that the final invoices are accurate. There won’t be another chance to invoice for work undertaken in the period that ends on March 31st if you make a mistake now.
Then there’s the job of making sure that the invoices have been received by customers. It’s also important at this time to check likely payment dates. This is all about checking that accounts departments have received everything they’re expecting, making sure you have presented everything in the form the accounts people like, and so on.
Of course, I already have contacts who know me in the accounts departments of all the organisations with which we are doing business. I’ve made sure I’ve built up good relationships with these people. I’ve found out about their deadlines and I’ve made sure I met them. I have also thanked them when they have ensured we have been paid on time.
In early April, I make a point of contacting all the people in our customers’ accounts departments and thanking them for their efforts throughout the year.
Now think about your own business.
- Do you know the people in the accounts department of the organisations with which you work – even if you work on a self-invoicing basis or if you receive royalties?
- Do you know who to speak to about all things financial in your customers’ organisations?
- Do those people know you? Even if you have never met them, when you telephone, do they know who you are?
All of these things matter.
You need to keep on top of this aspect of your business. If you’re in business as a writer, you need allies wherever you can find them, and you definitely need allies in the accounts department.