PSA: What’s Your Backup Plan?

If you’re an adult of a certain age range, you know that we need a will and life insurance to be sure our families are taken care of should we meet our demise sooner than we expected. If you run a business, you should also have safeguards in place so your business can continue running without you OR so your trusted business partner, colleague, or spouse knows what to do if the doors need to be closed.

But did you ever think to review your basic business foundations to be sure a third party vendor doesn’t shut your doors on a whim, forcing you to question what you did wrong or possibly losing thousands of dollars in the process?

Let’s explore this ugly side of PayPal.

Nearly every online business owner I’ve known since I came online in 2008 uses PayPal to collect payment from clients and customers. PayPal is also the preferred payment source for those who run affiliate programs. Nothing could be easier than to pay your sales team affiliates their commissions every month via this trusted payment source.

Until PayPal doesn’t play nice.

A friend recently told me of her debacle in dealing with PayPal. She started a brand new website with a handful of products. She had a business PayPal account set up and was ready to make sales. She DID make almost $300 in sales when PayPal – for some mysterious reason – shut down this business account and said that my friend violated their User Agreement.

In a state of shock, my friend found a phone number for PayPal and spoke with a very nice customer service rep who seemed equally confused about why her account was shut down. However, after one hour on the phone and multiple holding times while the rep contacted a senior agent for more information, my friend was told there was no way to reverse this. PayPal would NOT tell her what she did wrong and there is NO appeals process. The account was closed. Done, end of story.

Doesn’t this sound the the story of David vs. Goliath, where little ol’ David battles against the corporate Goliath? The only problem in my friend’s story is that she doesn’t come out victorious. Instead, she’s left scrambling to find an alternative to PayPal for both accepting payments from customers AND for paying her loyal affiliates. With a stroke of the proverbial pen, my friend’s new business was halted and her funds are frozen in this PayPal account.

Create Your Backup Plan TODAY!

My public service announcement to YOU, my fellow business solopreneurs, is to have a backup plan in place should something similar happen to you. Take a few minutes NOW to research some payment alternatives. Get started with this article from HubSpot about “The 22 Best PayPal Alternatives of 2021“.

Do you need to protect your business but don’t know how to hire a lawyer (or are afraid of the cost)? Check out the variety of templates from Delgrasso Law.

Create your own Operations Manual for your business. Use this checklist to keep your efforts organized and comprehensive.