Robert Bodi and his daughter founded BusinessBeware.biz in 2008 to help companies share customer information and pursue unpaid debtors. The website has a collection letter that businesses may send to delinquent customers, and the company spotlight features small businesses. Robert Bodi has owned a firm for more than three decades and is now committing more time to the business. He offers advice to anyone looking to start a similar business: helping others is the right thing to do.Every owner of a small business has dealt with challenging clients. BusinessBeware.biz was established by Robert Bodi and his daughter to help companies share customer information.
2008 saw the launch of BusinessBeware.biz, which Robert Bodi has been considering for a while.
Tell us about your present company, please. What are you doing exactly?
BusinessBeware.biz is a network where companies may share information about troubled customers and pursue unpaid debtors. There hasn’t been a platform or “voice” for businesses to talk about bad customer experiences. The customer is not always right in today’s culture. Our website has a collection letter that businesses may send to delinquent customers as an alternative to engaging a collections agency. As is usual with other agencies, the business is not compelled to give us a portion when the consumer makes a payment! Additionally, we support small businesses by featuring them in our company spotlight.
What have you done in the past, and is this your first business venture?
I’ve owned a firm for more than three decades, and I still own three other companies in addition to firm Beware. It started off as a side project for my daughter and I to help companies, but it has grown so quickly, especially with the collecting letter, that we are now committing a lot more time to it. We wanted to help other businesses, but we had no clue there would be so many advantages!
What guidance would you offer to someone looking to start a similar business?
You must realize that in every business, you get back precisely what you put in. When given the chance, helping others is the right thing to do.
How did you come up with your company idea?
One day, during lunch with a friend, we got to talking about our businesses and the customers we had been working with. He detailed a difficult customer he had dealt with, and I then understood that the same client had caused problems for our business as well. After that meal, I started looking for websites that were comparable to ours, but I was unsuccessful in my quest. Customers may voice their concerns in a variety of places, like the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, Consumers in Control, etc., but companies did not have a “voice.” I wanted to help since I understood exactly how company owners felt when they dealt with clients on a regular basis. I finished my research and brought the concept to my daughter Ashley, who immediately agreed that we should start the website.
Do you and your family co-own a business? What are the benefits and challenges of running a family-owned firm, in your opinion?
I’ve worked in the family business for the duration of my life, and my relatives developed and run our Business Beware website. Every aspect of life has benefits and drawbacks, but I think a family company has more benefits than drawbacks. It might be harmful to communicate your thoughts to your family members first if you constantly discover things about them that irritate you. You can always move on more swiftly and forget about it. Each of you knows the other’s skills and weaknesses, when to push and motivate them, and when to just push a button. Nothing is more essential than family (at least for me), and you typically work as a team to complete the goal. It is up to you to decide whether to fire a family member or handle the matter as you see appropriate if they are unproductive and create more issues than they resolve. As was previously said, everything has benefits and negatives, but in my opinion, a family company still has more advantages than disadvantages.
What particular recommendations do female entrepreneurs have for young women who want to start their own businesses? Exist specific benefits and drawbacks for female company owners?
My wife and I have always instilled in our girls the value of having goals and dreams and having the courage to go for them. I urge all young ladies to pursue their goals, no matter how big or little they may be. Without the vision of my daughter Ashley, I could not have developed this website. She gave it life even though I had the idea. Her tenacity in what she does and the goals she accomplishes as an entrepreneur are encouraging. Young women making such strides is inspiring, and I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t want to see them thrive. Young women nowadays have so many chances available to them that nothing should stand in their way of accomplishing their objectives. Some of the women I know are even more business-savvy than men, so they shouldn’t be afraid to work or live in a society dominated by men. Instead, they should simply do it.
The literature for small businesses regularly discusses social marketing. Have you had success in generating business?
We started utilizing Twitter to connect with companies, make relationships, and raise site awareness. Through the social network, we have made some fantastic friends who have either joined or have just become lovely acquaintances who support one another. We have used social networking platforms other than Twitter to communicate with individuals, promote our website, and present our identity. We encourage companies to use social media as well!
What steps have you made that have greatly aided in the business’s growth?
I think the website has benefited much from the collecting letter. With the companies we have, it is challenging to recover money from clients who won’t pay, and in today’s world, you need every penny back for a job well done. It’s great when a collections agency helps you get paid, but most individuals don’t want to deal with the hassle or don’t appreciate having to give the agency 20–30% of the money they were paid. Many firms, if not all of them, forgo using collection agencies and wind up writing off their clients without ever earning a penny. As a result, we first tested the letter with our own businesses and those of our friends, and within days, clients started paying! As a consequence, we made it accessible to our members, who flocked to it right once and were handsomely compensated. Simply said, we are happy to be able to help, and the great comments we get from businesses using the service motivate us to keep doing so.
Thanks, Robert. This is fantastic guidance for entrepreneurs! I wish you well in all your pursuits.
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