It seems like such a simple thing. Check the mail. Open the mail. Check the mail. Open the mail. It really is such a simple process, right? Then why do I constantly go into offices and they hand me a stack of unopened envelopes. As a business owner, you are constantly throwing money out the window when you don’t open your mail. If you are too busy, get an assistant. Not opening your mail can cost you hundreds of dollars or even thousands! What seems like a simple and common thing is not that common to all. It’s the little things small business owners don’t know that can cost them the most.
Here are a few reasons why a small business owner should open their mail daily.
- Returned deposit notice from your bank. Nothing could be worse than making a deposit from a customer and the check bounces. Regardless of all the technology these days, there are a lot of businesses who still write checks. The effects of a customer writing a check that bounces can cost you hundreds of dollars in bank fees. Once you deposit the customer payment and pay your bills you are at risk. At risk for $25 – $35 for every check you write that doesn’t clear because of insufficient funds. And that’s no chump change.
- Past due license renewals. Most business owners are aware of when their business or professional license will expire. But just like a driver’s license; when that due date gets near you forget. This small daily task can ultimately cost you the right to do business. Some licenses can be renewed simply by paying re-instatement fees but others may require you to re-take a licensing test first. More often than not I have worked with clients who failed to renew their business license which resulted in them being unable to bid on jobs needed to maintain their cash flow.
- Notices from government agencies. This is the number one reason why you should open your mail. Government agencies do not call you about your account with them. They do not send you an email. And they definitely don’t text you. They send you a good ole fashion printed letter. As a matter of fact they send you two copies. And when agencies such as the IRS send you a letter, you better believe you owe them some money. I worked with a client who had several unopened envelopes from the IRS and the state of Maryland when I started working on their account. Each letter was for a different year or tax return and each letter said they owed the government approximately $2,000 each. Collectively they totaled almost $10,000. And that was at the time they sent the letters, almost 2 years prior. At that point in time the $10,000 had grown because of interest and penalties added. Had they opened their mail regularly they could have avoided a huge tax issue.
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These are all very good points. Better to address whatever it is sooner than later.