By Shelley Mitchell, CPM, CAPS, CAM, HCCP, COS, MORS
(*Author of the forthcoming book series “How To Get & keep What You Really, Really Want – Using SMART Goals to get UNSTRESSED and OUT of OVERWHELM”)
Most people who are in business, whether they are owners or managers, pretty much know what a Purchase Order (P.O.) is and why it’s useful but many do not use them. So why do so many people forgo using this great tool? Some think they aren’t a large enough company and it wouldn’t be impactful, some may think it’s just an extra step and they just don’t have the time, and some truly don’t know how to do it or to do it effectively. However, a large percentage of businesses are not using P.O.’s or their employees aren’t using it properly because they simply don’t know WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). They haven’t bought into the program or the concept so they never get around to making it a priority in their businesses.
The definition of a purchase order (P.O.) is “a written authorization for a supplier to ship or provide goods or services for a specified price.” Zzzz, borrrring…. I can see all of you rushing out now to change your businesses over to that exciting system. Larger organizations use them because they understand what all of the benefits are but what happens is that they may not explain those reasons to their employees, the people responsible for completing and managing them, on WHAT the benefits are and how it benefits them. Small businesses and solopreneurs seldom use them because they may think it’s a tedious process or again, don’t understand how much it can benefit them. The level of complexity for purchase orders varies but most contain a brief product description, the quantity ordered and the price and there a way to make it simple in your business hence causing you to have a more organized and profitable business without a lot of additional effort on your part. Bottom line: Wouldn’t you want to know what you are spending, never get overcharged, know what you have and simply MAKE MORE MONEY in your business? SURE YOU DO! That’s sounds like less Stress, Less Overwhelm and better Balance to me, all the way around.
So WIIFM, let’s look at What’s In It For You? First, the top 9 Benefits of have a PO system (even a SIMPLE one) are:
- It’s a simple tool for you to better manage your business AND your bottom line; who wouldn’t want that?
- Helps increase profitability, (helloooooo, can you say $$$$ in your pocket!)
- Reduces the possibility of internal fraud – such as employees ordering goods or services and then those items disappearing or never ending up in the place they were intended to be
- Reduces the possibility of external FRAUD or errors on the vendor’s part – I wish I could remember to check every single receipt and invoice but the fact of the matter is we simply have too many things to do on a daily basis to be able to MEMORIZE each thing you ordered and what the exact price was, right?
- Provides us better management information and tracking. Your accountant will love you for this when you do your quarterlies or when tax time comes around.
- Makes it possible and much easier to know the current position on any inventory on order so unless you are taking inventory in your businesses every single day, which is practically impossible, this is very important.
- Prevents “poor use of cash” as it’s quite possible two different people may order the same part or service unnecessarily. Happens all the time… Even at home, how many times did you end of with two jars of mustard or peanut butter because he went shopping last week and you went shopping this week? And that’s just peanut butter…
- Prevents you from paying the wrong amount which can really ADD UP. Intentionally or even in human error, you could receive a bill for a service or an order which is incorrect. Hey, it happens every day when we are out shopping in retail stores or having dinner so why would we think it doesn’t happen in our businesses? It’s almost impossible to check every single invoice to ensure its correct; unless of course you have a Mensa rated I.Q. and a photographic memory. Most people can’t possibly remember everything and those who are right-brained Entrepreneurs and those who have ADHD traits have a difficulty with short term memory as it is. Ordering a product or service does not usually cause your brain to kick into overdrive so this would definitely fall into that category. Therefore, it is likely that any errors made on invoices by suppliers will be overlooked and then simply paid by whoever is cutting the check.
- Builds rapport and forms better relationships with your vendors and they are being held accountable as well and dealing with an organized customer; YOU. If the only invoices paid by you to a supplier must be supported by a purchase order, they will soon get the idea and start doing what we expect from them. This is not to knock our vendors but they are human just like we are. In the long run, you end up with a mutually beneficial relationship of trust and respect which can last for many years.
So now that you see there are tons of benefits for you personally and for your business, why not give it try? No need for a swanky system, this doesn’t need to be HARD, difficult or tedious. You can make this as simple as possible for you and your business.
If you’d like to implement this or discover many other possibilities of some small steps with BIG IMPACT you can roll into your business today, My Personal Business Coach can help. We help Smart, Driven, Entrepreneurs to simplify their lives, get UNSTRESSED and OUT of OVERWHELM so they can make more money and start running their business rather than their business running them.
Reach your DREAMS and GOALS – contact My Personal Business Coach in order to set up a complimentary strategy session at http://www.mypersonalbusinesscoach.com/ConsultationRequest.en.html
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