Client love guide – treat with care

The golden rule {the business version}

Treat others the way you want to be treated

We are all so familiar with the golden rule, and there is a reason for that. It’s generally a great way to live your life. Whether it’s being kind or leading by example, treating others with respect, empathy, generosity, love, etc is a win-win.
And it isn’t difficult to apply that same rule to business by treating other businesses or business people the way you want to be treated as a business owner, I strongly believe we need to go a little further than that. So, I present the golden rule, the business version. {aka, my version.}
client love guide - treat with care // business golden rule // tiny blue orange
I added 5 words + an apostrophe, but I think it gets the point across a bit more than the original. But what is the point of this? When you work with clients, whether they are business owners or not, you gather data about them. It could be as simple as a name, phone number + address or it could be a dozen usernames + passwords, credit card details, annual income, their client list and much more.
While privacy is a touchy subject with blurred understanding, we don’t need to individually contribute to the issues about keeping our information safe. In fact, as a business owner or freelancer, I believe it is our responsibility to help protect others.

Keeping information to yourself

Just like website security, keeping the data you have safe + sound takes just a little bit of upfront work but is a complete pain in the ass {usually a costly one} if you don’t do it right. And it mostly boils down to keeping the information you have from being accessible by others.
When talking about passwords or credit card details, it’s easy to load those into a password vault like 1Password {this is what I use}. Then you have a single, uber-secure password to open that vault + keep the information in there only. That means no Post-It notes, scrap paper details, documents on your computer, etc.
But other data can be tougher to secure. How do you keep a financial report protected when you can’t store it in your password vault? One tool that I use to secure things like that is Evernote. With their premium account, you can set a pin that needs to be entered {along with your username + password} in order to view the contents. Then you can save the files, text, or any other information you have in your specific notes. An additional level of security you can rely on in Evernote is the encryption feature. It only works for text-based notes but is one more way you can treat your client’s data with care.
Not an Evernote user? No worries! Below are a few quick ways to keep the files you have with sensitive data protected from others:

  • Password protect your computer + phone so that you need to log in to access any of the contents
  • Use a service like Basecamp {or another one that has SSL} to store the files. Just be sure you don’t set it to auto email those details since you can’t secure the emails once they are sent.
  • Password protect specific folders on your computer + save the important documents there
  • Use a locking filing cabinet for any information that is printed
  • Store your client’s contact info in software that requires you to log in
  • Have a confidentiality agreement in your contracts to protect both you + your clients

Treating your clients + their data with care is just one more way to make them feel loved. And when they associate feeling loved + working with you together, spot-on referrals + repeat customers will be the norm for your business.

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