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Do You Know Who You Are Dealing With? Why It Is Important To Have A Background Check

Jun 2, 2008
Every relationship your company creates with clients has value -- every contact has the potential to grow into a long-lasting relationship and source of additional revenue.

However, every client relationship takes considerable time, effort, energy and patience before they can become a dependable and trusted part of your business.

It's a considerable investment, and when a relationship fails you've usually lost quite a bit of time and effort along the way.

In this article, we will discuss several techniques you can use to screen out potentially negative clients such as non-payers, clients likely to be litigious, clients with bad credit or financial problems and clients that are just not worth your effort.

The best way to establish a basic level of protection and discover who you are dealing with is to perform basic background check prior to spending your time and resources to their project.

With minimal research and effort, a surprising amount of these potentially problematic clients can be identified before you expose yourself to any risk.

There are several companies that provide basic background check services for a minimal fee that will allow you to weed out clients that you will not want to do business with.

When Should you do a Background Check on a New Client? Every time. There that is pretty simple and straight forward, but it is certainly the easiest way to always have a basic level of understanding of your client.

You can certainly take your valuable time to do web searches and may learn a few things about your client, but aren't you better off outsourcing this function, and paying the few dollars, so that you can spend your time providing a service for which you are better-skilled, and thus generating more income for you and your employer?

There is a wealth of information that will be provided about your client.Information that can be used in certain areas and at specific times in your ongoing relationship will provide ease of mind and alert you to potential problems, if there are going to be any during this relationship.

A basic background check will provide information regarding your client's location and length of time at their current or any previous addresses. A check that includes information from the local state or county will verify licenses, permits and tax information. These should be obtained once a negotiation has started or a proposal is in process.

Once there is a signed contract, however, it's time to do a comprehensive check on the company and make sure that the contract is going to be enforceable and collectible.

The goal is to make sure that the client is who they say they are, confirm that the signatory is authorized to sign on behalf of the company, and verify that the company is legal and doing real business. With those three items in place, you can comfortably begin the project knowing that you are, in fact, legally protected by the contract or legal agreement.

What are other types of information that you will need? Background check service providers vary greatly in the information that they provide and the cost for it.

There is truth in the old adage, "You get what you pay for". Providers that promise information for less than $20 will give you less than $20 worth of information! It is always best to deal with a provider that has the resources available to provide access to more than one information database to get better value for your money and better information regarding the client you are dealing with.

After you have identified the client's identity, location and business license with the state, you will want to have information on your client's financial status. If there are liens or bankruptcy filings, this is a client to be wary of.

A list of assets, such as titles to real estate, vehicles or boats would show whether there is tangible real property and any liens or attachments on them. Any civil judgments, particularly involving principals of the company or judgments against them by previous service providers would indicate a pattern of not living up to agreements with previous business partners.

They may be trying to do business with you because no one else will have them, or they are going into a relationship with you knowing that they have no intention of paying for your products or services without legal action. A small investment in a background check could save you thousands of dollars in legal fees in trying to collect payment.

In the end, you can save yourself incredible amounts of time, stress and money by doing a bit of due diligence at the beginning of a client engagement. Considering the low cost of record searching and the incredible hassle associated with collections and litigation, background check research is one of the best insurance policies you could ever find.

It is wise to protect your bottom line, yourself, and your business by doing a little work up-front to find out background information.
About the Author
AssetSearchPros.com is your dedicated professional services, background investigative firm that makes the commitment to meet each and every clients needs. Visit them today at http://www.AssetSearchPros.com
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