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Dealing with the devil you know

Article provided by Accountability

As you enter a new business relationship, it is important to know everything about whoever is on the other side of the handshake. By following these three steps, you could greatly reduce the risk to your company and prevent finding out the hard way.

Whether it be a new trade partner, a potential client or an alternative supplier, taking the time to investigate who you do business with, will eliminate any nasty surprises in the long run. Entering a business relationship with the wrong person or company, not only has the potential to leave you high and dry; but you could also be chasing payments, stock or having to appease disgruntled customers resulting from incompetence that is out of your control. Just doing business with someone with a bad reputation can tarnish your own name, and in turn could drag you down with them. Setting aside just a little bit of time and resources to do your online commercial or consumer search, will pay off exponentially in the long run.

Perform a background check

A simple Google search isn’t enough – although it isn’t a bad place to start. As a rule of thumb, the more visible and active a company appears to be, the more likely that it is to be reputable. When typing a company’s name into the search bar and nothing appears, this may signal a red flag of concern. Information like the company registration date, business function, address, a record of any name changes, and at the very least a bank account verification. The degree to which you will need to dig will depend on the nature of the business transaction.

Ask for references

The very act of requesting references from the prospective company can reveal a lot. Any hint of hesitation or an attempt to stall, could be a sign that they are possibly attempting to hide something. Compliance should mean providing at least 3 written testimonials containing the nature of the working relationship, the scope of work, the time period, as well as contact details which could also be found in our enquiry history online. No matter the size of a business, a word of mouth appraisal still goes a long way towards painting a full picture of who you are getting into bed with.

Investigate their credit rating

No matter how great a company or consumers’ credentials can seem on paper, at the end of the day, money talks. By running a simple online credit check on the prospective business or consumer, you can instantly find out if they are listed as a defaulter or carry any past judgements against their name.

Safeguard your business today.

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