Handling the money and bank deposits

Being in business for over twenty years has taught me a lot about people and their money, so please learn from my mistakes.

Dealing with Bad Checks. At our studio, we photograph a wide variety of subjects—weddings, high-school seniors, families, etc. Therefore, it's not unusual for us to receive checks in amounts of over a thousand dollars each. Yet, I can honestly say that in all my years in business I can count on one hand the bad checks we have received for orders over five hundred dollars. In fact, almost all of the bad checks we receive throughout the year are from our sports-league jobs. In fact, it is not uncommon to get bounced checks for packages as small as nine dollars. Many times, a family will have two or three children playing on different teams and a check will bounce for each child—so they end up with more bad check fees from the bank than what the photographs cost to begin with!

Today, we have an almost air-tight system for dealing with bad checks; this safeguards us from delivering a product that has not been paid for. The first thing you have to do is get the checks into the bank as soon as possible. It still takes several days for a check to get back to your bank showing insufficient funds, so depositing them right away allows you to try to collect your money before the photographs are delivered—good luck trying to collect a twelve-dollar check after you have delivered the pictures!

Matching Checks and Subjects. This tip I'm going to give you right now is worth the price of this book! I learned this from my brother several years ago. When you take the check out of the envelope read the last name on the

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