BRADENTON — Since August, small business clients of Integrated Tech Support have struggled to make payments on routine computer services.
Donald Scheid, owner of the Bradenton-based business, says it's not unusual considering the economy has caused about 50 percent of his estimated 100 or so clients to become "cash-flow poor."
"Around August, we started noticing a lot of our regular clients, clients who normally pay on time, were having difficulty," Scheid said.
With a number of service-based businesses locally seeing late or missed payments as a result of the economy, more flexible approaches are being used in handling financially strapped clients. Business leaders say finding ways to work with regular customers experiencing financial problems is a benefit to both the client and the business.
"They’re reinventing themselves, trying to accommodate people in any way possible," said Bob Bartz, president of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce.
In the long run, Bartz said it best serves businesses to accommodate loyal customers.
"If you've had a customer for a number of years and he's been paying on time, you don't want to abandon him at this point,” Bartz said. "You certainly want to keep him as a customer so when the economy turns around you still have their business. It costs so much money to establish customer relationships."
Cash-strapped customers are changing the frequency of their services or stopping them all together, says Jerry Osteryoung, director of outreach of the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship at Florida State University’s College of Business.
Read the complete story at bradenton.com