Small Business Management: Open That Mail

by | Nov 16, 2017

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Hopefully you’ve been heeding the advice we’ve been giving you in our posts about good habits small business owners should adopt—reconciling accounts, diligent bill paying, keeping current with receivables and always paying payroll and sales taxes. Here’s one more positive behavior to add to your roster: opening the mail your friendly neighborhood postal carrier brings you every week.

If your mail is like mine, there’s a lot of junk in your mailbox every day—pitches for credit cards you don’t need, coupons for restaurants you’ll never go to, catalogs you’ll never buy from, and the like. However, mixed in with all that unnecessary paper, there’s likely some very important items. If you ignore your mail, which is all too easy, you’ll risk missing bills, checks and other critical items—and overlooking those could be costly.

First, make a point of opening your business mail at least every other day. Then, you’ll be tackling just a few pieces in small, easy-to-manage batches. Wait longer than that, though, and that small pile of mail could become a mountain. What’s more, opening your mail regularly will reduce the likelihood you’ll miss customer payments, bills, contract notices, love letters from the IRS and more.

Additionally, make sure all of your business mail is sent to one place, even if you have multiple locations. You might be inclined to have correspondence sent to your home, for the sake of convenience. Unfortunately, that could backfire, because having more than one outpost for your mail means you have more batches of mail to keep track of. It increases the chances that you’ll be late in catching an important correspondence, or that you’ll lose it completely.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that, in our age of increasingly digital communication streams, all your important messages will come via your email inbox. There are still entities that prefer to conduct some or all business communication through the mail. Banks and government agencies, for example, often choose to send certain notices only by mail—if you’re not regularly checking your mailbox, you will miss those overdraft notices, payroll tax deposits and returns, and other significant items. Years ago, a client learned this lesson the hard way, and their bank account had been frozen due the check fraud. I worked with them to address and correct the issue, but while we tackled the problem, payroll tax deposits were still hitting the frozen account. It’s a good thing we’d reconciled the account and opened the mail on a schedule, or our discovery that payments were missing the IRS would have been much later, the fix much more complicated, and the consequences costlier.

If you find yourself struggling to make time opening your mail regularly yourself, then definitely delegate the task to another staffer. This is a great way to ensure someone is accountable for monitoring your mail, bringing notable notices to your attention and making sure customer payments are received and deposited.

Any questions? Reach out to me at Daliah@MySmallBusinessPro.com; I’d love to talk to you.

Trust and Commitment in a Remote Team 

A couple of months ago, I made my first overseas trek since 2017 – not for vacation – but to meet with the rest of the Fritz Financial Solutions team of accountants in the Philippines. It was important to me to show these women the time and attention needed to...

Client Spotlight: Andrea Freidman 

As a business owner, one of the most significant challenges to overcome is work-life balance. This dilemma has only been exacerbated over the last several years and forced many "traditional" industries, such as the legal profession, to change their ways. Long before...

MEET THE TEAM: Joy mercado, Staff Accountant 

Joy Mercado joined Fritz Financial Solutions just over six months ago after completing an accelerator program with TOA Global, our offshore recruiting partner specializing in the accounting industry. Joy has quickly become an invaluable team member doing highly...

Client Spotlight: Isaac Crawford  

Isaac Crawford is a ray of sunshine who went after his dreams and came out on top when he started his own hair salon. He has been in the hair industry for almost 15 years and has serviced hundreds of clients in Chicago. An inspiration to entrepreneurs, we are excited...

MEET THE TEAM: Milen Gomez, Staff ACCOUNTANT

6 months ago, we added a new staff accountant to our team: Milen Gomez. Our newest staff accountant is the best we could ask for with her incredible attention to detail and efficient mindset. She has been an essential part of our continued growth by always putting her...

Client Spotlight: Danielle Suchala Klausing

It’s always an exciting time when you’re ready to take the next step in life and buy a home. But finding that perfect home can be a challenge, especially if you’re not familiar with the real estate industry. That’s where Danielle comes in. With over 7 years of...

Who is responsible for payroll?

One of the most expensive resources for any business is payroll. It’s also one of the most important. We are firm believers that people are your most valuable asset, so it’s no wonder that payroll gets costly. Especially if you are a professional services company, and...

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