Processing Paperwork – Part 2 – Where the Trouble Starts
06 Jan 2015
In Part 1, I talked about the true reality of the bail bond business and how easy it is to let your paperwork fall behind and get so out of hand that you could face losing your company early on. In Part 2, I will discuss the signs that you are in trouble and what you will need to do to keep your business from failing.
Where does the trouble start?
Your paperwork is piling up because your phone is ringing and you’re out trying to post bail for clients, so you’re not in the office very much. This is the start of falling behind. Management of your paperwork is very necessary to keep you on track and up-to-date with client status, whereabouts, payments and court dates. If you don’t have a filing and follow-up system in place, your business will be in big trouble sooner than you can imagine.
You must make an effort to complete this paperwork in a timely matter so nothing falls through the cracks. Setting a time and day of the week for your paperwork could mean turning off your phones and having an answering service to take you calls while you play (and I mean this loosely) catch up.
Managing Calls & Files
In this 24/7 bail business you might be writing bail and running to and from the jail for hours on end and for several days. So, how can you find time to deal with paperwork and keeping track of your defendants out on bail?
At minimum, you need to complete all your paperwork and remember to do a thorough job of due diligence for every bond you write. If you don’t, you have two options: wait for a break in your flurry of bail writing, which will happen, or hire a temporary (part-time) or permanent office assistant to help you keep up with the paperwork and be in your office to answer the phone at the height of the day.
It’s understandable that when you’re starting a new bail business you want to write as much bail as possible. You’re probably going to be out networking, advertising and doing all you can to generate more business and get you brand visible to as many people as possible. This is all well and good, but it’s only one side of this business. As I’ve mentioned before, if you let your administrative work pile up without any attempt to organize it, you will be headed down the road to failure. This would be because you lost control by letting things slip through the cracks and avoided following up on defendants and accounts receivable, which is 50% of this business.
You also need to remember that performing a complete due diligence for every bond you write is extremely important to keep you from ending up with more forfeited bonds than you can handle financially. You don’t want to lose your surety company, who will drop you if this happens. And, this can also be the downward spiral that will put you out of business as fast as you got started. Don’t let this happen to you by avoiding managing ALL parts of your business. You made a commitment to your new venture, so follow through and work smartly. It is very possible with a little discipline.
There are ‘warning signs” that I will discuss in my next blog, so check back to see what you need to watch out for and ultimately avoid to keep your business on track and profitable.
Look for my next blog: Processing Paperwork – Part 3- Warning Signs