Like a reverse Better Business Bureau, Business
Beware lets businesses know which customers to beware of due to lack of
payment or poor behavior.
Based in Sarasota, Business Beware
was founded by Robert Bodi and his daughter, Ashley Bodi. Robert has
been a business owner for over 25 years. He owns and operates Lang Irrigation
, Bodi &
, and Sports Turf Consulting, so he has seen his share of
customers and how businesses are affected by bad customers. The purpose
of Business Beware is to assist businesses in resolving issues with
customers, avoid timely and costly situations and ensure that customers
are held to the same high standards that are commonly held by
The idea was sparked about 8-10
years ago when Robert was having a meeting with an associate, discussing
how they had an experience with a difficult customer. They later
realized that it was the same customer. Ashley was in
college at the time and thought the idea was cool, however, it wasn't
until she experienced working at the business
that she came to realize that her dad is right: The
customer is not always right.
customers, but not everyone is a business owner and people have a
responsibility to be a good customer," says Ashley. "No one is going to
tell the customer that she or he isn't always right, but saying the
customer is always right is like saying every single person is perfect
and every single person is right all the time."
Robert and Ashley slowly started to launch the idea in 2007 and
they were up and running by May 2008. From California to Canada, there
was an interest in identifying bad customers,
sending out collection letters and resolving issues with customers.
Their goal was to set-up a professional company
that served as a support network for entrepreneurs who can relate to
problem customers. "We always consider the fact that we don't know
what's going on in a person's life that they may be having a bad day so
you want to take that into consideration, but that doesn't necessarily
excuse bad behavior," says Ashley. She addresses how there are customers
who boast about taking advantage of small businesses by
"acting up" and getting their way, and they don't realize how much it
can harm small businesses. The bad behavior ultimately impacts everyone.
In February 2010, Ashley and Robert launched the Business
Beware Radio Show
, interviewing business owners and entrepreneurs,
and challenging those who believe the customer is always right to call
in and discuss their thoughts. The show highlights local and national
events, causes and outlandish customer behaviors.
The Business Beware Radio Show airs live every Saturday from
11am-noon on NewsTalk 930 AM WLSS, and streams live on their website at: