August 24, 2010

My Mother-In-Law is Sending Me on a One-Way Trip

By Paul Bieber

And there are days I would like to take it. But, I am holding out for the full round trip.

Elaine’s Mom moved into an assisted living facility about a year ago. We handle her finances for her. I negotiated a deal with the home to pay using a credit card at the same rate as sending a monthly check. So by this time next year I will have enough travel points for Elaine and I to take a long Caribbean cruise, or travel to Europe.

Now, we would rather have her living on her own and healthy, but this is what life has brought to the table at this point. So, we will accumulate the points and, at some future date, we will be able to travel.

Many of you are saying, “So what? Anyone can do this.” You’re right. But very few of you do this within the glass industry!

When I was in business, we had about 2,500 active accounts, and I could count on two hands the customers that regularly used their credit cards. In the years since I left, it is not much different

I’ve heard all the excuses—I don’t have enough of a credit line, I’m afraid of incurring finance charges, I don’t have a corporate or business credit card, and ten more.

Some need the extended credit terms afforded by many fabricators. I understand that. But many of you do pay your bills promptly, or pay on the 10th of each month. So use your credit card to pay Molly’s Glass Fabricator and then the next week pay your credit card bill. If you don’t have a high enough credit line, pay the credit card bill on the 8th of the month, and then tell Molly to put through your charge on the 10th, and you credit card will go through!

Get a credit card where you can set the billing date. Most cards will let you do this. Set the date for the 5th of the month. Pay all your vendors on the 10th of the month, and you get 25 free days of float. And the points.

You are not locked into giving your vendors a credit card payment. If you are working a large job and don’t have the cash flow until you are paid, then just pay what you can on the card and let the rest wait. Get all the points you can now.

Credit card companies are looking for new customers every day. Get a card in your business name now. Even if it has a low credit line, by using it monthly up to the line, your credit line will grow. Some accountants will be upset with your using your personal card to pay business expenses. This does create one more level of accounting transactions, but it is not complicated. Your accountant should gladly show you how to create this.

I hope there are a couple of glass shop families on the cruise with me.