Today I had a very important refresher on why it is very important that you only associate and do business with credible businesses and non-sketchy individuals, and always keep good company.
Let me explain, I was contacted today by someone I would call a business associate, but don’t know very well. We exchanged some small talk and then he asked me If I could send him an invoice because he needed to send it to his customer who was planning on reimbursing him for his out of pocket expenses that he incurred while doing his project, and apparently I was part of those billable expenses. Did I mention that he had already been paid for them! This is what he told me, “James, the problem was not that I billed my customer for work that I did not do, but now my customer is auditing the invoice”.
My response was simple, I never did any work for y0ur customer and what your doing is wrong, not ethical and to be frank I am not interested in speaking with you about this. I will tell you what you need to do and that is call your customer and tell them there was a billing error and you will remove that item form the invoice and keep me out of your problems.
Remember, in today’s small business environment it is more important than even keep good company. What I mean by that is pay attention to and watch out for those corner cutters comments like, “lets skip this step”, “we don’t have to do that, even though you know you do” If you make one bad move it could end up in you and your business being pounded with negative online reviews, a bad reputation in your local market and it could very well lead to complications later on when you’re in need of assistance.
Remember stay clear of those corner cutters and always keep good company because perception is reality.