In the Trenches: Prioritizing Tasks, Getting Paid
I had a rude awakening earlier this week when I stumbled upon our commissions list. Some of our income comes from the commissions we receive from hotels, rental cars, and other services we book for our clients. This list revealed that more than a hundred commissions from last year have yet to be paid. Naturally, I wondered what was going on!
It’s a shame that some people don’t always pay as they should. It’s fairly common to have to pester properties repeatedly to get the money they owe us. That’s why we have an employee who’s tasked with keeping up with delinquent accounts. There’s only one problem: As we’ve grown, he’s become busier and busier, and the number of commissions has increased. Chasing down payments takes a lot of time, and it fell to the bottom of his to-do list. Now here we are with a lot of unpaid commissions, and I have to make a decision about how to tackle the problem.
Clearly, this matter needs immediate attention: We’re leaving money on the table that should be in our pockets. We can’t let the list keep growing. That means I need to either free up time in my employee’s schedule, by shifting his responsibilities or increasing his hours, or make a different move.
What I think may be best is to find someone new — a bounty hunter, if you will. Instead of crowding my current employee’s schedule, it might make more sense to hire someone with a Terminator-like focus on collections. Though I’m still debating the merits of this, I could pay the person a percentage of the commissions collected.
No matter what, I need to resolve this issue quickly, so we don’t leave our money unclaimed.
Brett Snyder is President and Chief Airline Dork of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance. Snyder previously worked for several airlines, including America West and United, before leaving to create a travel search site for PriceGrabber.com. Snyder did his undergrad at George Washington and earned his MBA from Stanford.