Business owners know how challenging it can be to collect overdue invoices. They must take on this task to ensure they have adequate cash flow, knowing that it may damage long-term relationships with customers. The following tips help a business owner complete this process.
It’s easy to delay collecting on a bad debt. However, the sooner a business owner acts, the easier it is to receive full payment from the customer. Contact the customer as soon as the invoice becomes overdue. Don’t wait a few days to see if they pay, as they may have simply forgotten it was due. If they are intentionally not paying, the reminder lets them know you will take action if they don’t remit payment promptly. Consider working with a Debt Collection Agency Near Me to remove this burden from employees.
To act quickly, a business must know when each invoice comes due. Set up a system that flags upcoming payments and overdue invoices. This system ensures little effort is needed to know when you must contact a customer. This prevents delays in contacting the customer and minimizes the negative impact on cash flow.
A customer may lie when they have an unpaid invoice. They’ll provide excuses for why their account is past due. Have prepared responses for common excuses, and provide them with payment options. If you issue a warning, prepare to follow through with the outlined actions. A customer will often delay payments if they know there are no consequences, as doing so benefits their cash flow.
Establish a stop list. If a customer regularly misses due dates, withhold services until they remit payment in full. This sends a message that late payments aren’t acceptable. Assess a late payment fee and include interest if the problem continues. A debt recovery agency helps to collect the funds so company employees don’t have to. The use of an agency encourages the debtor to pay up because they know the company will take the steps needed to get its money.
Know the Customers
Business owners must know their customers, as this allows them to determine when a debt isn’t collectible. Avoid working with risky businesses and invest in trade credit insurance. Another option involves requiring clients to submit full or partial payment before you provide services. A business may use this technique for all clients or reserve it for those clients who have failed to pay invoices promptly in the past.
Protect Cash Flow
Once an invoice goes past due, it affects the cash flow of the creditor. When multiple debtors don’t pay as agreed, the creditor may find they cannot make their financial obligations. To prevent this from happening, update the cash flow forecast when an invoice goes past due and make the necessary adjustments. Have a cash reserve for these situations to prevent having your own unpaid bills. Finally, spread the customer base. Some companies only work with a few clients. When one client doesn’t pay as agreed, this negatively affects the creditor. Avoid this by bringing in more clients.
Any company will find they can minimize the need for debt recovery by using these tips. Implement them today and watch your cash flow improve. If you struggle in this area, work with a debt recovery provider. They will handle overdue accounts so you can focus on other tasks that will grow your business and bottom line.