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.

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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