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Are your business rules hurting your business?

I’ve written a LOT about business rules over the years. The reason I do is because business rules are generally one of the few things we actually have some control over. Generally speaking, outside of rules mandated by bylaws, staff has full control over business rules within the organization. We get to set pricing, how we process data, how we manage data, and so on.

So it’s critically important to be sure our business rules make sense, are clear to the customer, and don’t impede or inhibit sales.

For example, I’ve worked with associations that have such convoluted rules about who can be a member and how one becomes a member that it typically takes a lengthy phone call to explain to the customer how to become a member. I can just about guarantee that this association is losing members (or more correctly, missing out on new members) because they make joining the association so difficult.

This is what I mean by business rules hurting your business.

So look at all of the different ways your association takes in money (I call these “revenue channels”). Is every one of your revenue channels easy for the customer to access? Is it easy to register for your events? Is it easy to donate? Is it easy to buy publications or services? If the answer is not an emphatic “YES!” to each of these questions, then you probably need to revisit your business rules.

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“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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