Don't Let a Missed Renewal Mess Up Your Business
I often hear horror stories about people missing important renewal dates for things like the Apple Developer Program, domain names, and other critical components for running a business. To help remind myself to keep track of these things, I wanted to take a moment today to suggest a few quick ways to help keep that all manageable.
Use your calendar
Put the renewals on a shared calendar, and make sure you and a few other key team members have access to it. Simple, right? So take just a few minutes now and put your domain name, web hosting, developer program and other yearly renewals on your calendar.
Share an email address
Try to avoid signing up for services with a personal email, and for anything major, it's probably worth it to set up a shared mailbox (like: "firstname.lastname@example.org") that several people in your company get email from. I've personally seen three separate companies in the last two years end up in various stages of panic due to emails about a pending cancellation being sent to the email address of someone who no longer works for the company!
As a bonus, using a shared email address also makes it easier to keep track of what you're signing up for, and what you're still paying for (that maybe you meant to cancel).
Bonus Tip: Help your customers out
Flipping the script for a moment, let's think about how a business with yearly billing can help prevent these issues.
What if your purchase confirmation email included a calendar attachment that your new customer could instantly add, with the renewal date? For certain types of business, this might not make sense (I can hear the detractors now, moaning about churn... it's not for you.) but for a service that tends toward high renewals, a reminder would be good - with a link to update payment info as well.
Maybe consider adding a "critical alerts" email list field for your account page, and ask your users when signing up: Who else should get an email when something goes wrong with this account?
For high value customers, consider putting a reminder on your own calendar, so you can call them up before they fail to renew ("Hi $Customer, I noticed your credit card on file is out of date, and I didn't want your service to be interrupted next week!)
Go check now
Hopefully, you've already got a good system in place for handling accounts, but in case you don't... let this be your reminder to go and check when things are going to expire!