Getting paid is the only way that your business will stay afloat,but collecting business debt can be harder than you might think. This means understanding how to collect business debts is a vital skill to ensure success. The issue is that lots of business owners go about this in the wrong way. If you do not know how to collect the money you are owed the right way,you could alienate your customers and really hurt your business.
The start of the debt collection process will be the normal invoicing to your customer. The invoice should have information about the payment period which is often 30 days. This should be agreed before you do any work with a customer,your the payment terms needing to be reiterated on the invoice.
You will not be able to get payment of the debt if you have not provided a correct invoice. The invoice should have information about the payment terms,but it should also have a detailed breakdown of the work provided. This can be very useful in the long run.
Follow Up The Payment
If you have not been paid on time,you have to start chasing the payment. The way that you do this will depend on how you operate your company. Some people chase payment via email while others will call the customer. Regardless of the method used,you need to be polite when you chase them about the payment.
You should never start with an aggressive approach. This will just make the customer less likely to pay,as you have been unnecessarily nasty to them. The emails and calls should also be kept short and spaced correctly.
Sending The Final Demand
If you have not been paid for a long period of time,you will eventually have to send a final demand. This is the last piece of communication before you take legal action. The notice states that the customer has until a set deadline to pay before you start pursuing court action to claim the money owed.
In many instances,a final notice will be enough to get payment. However,if you are still not being paid and there has been no clear reason for this,you will have to take legal action. It is important to note that before this stage is reached,you should place any further work for the client on hold and not provide them with further work or services.
Taking Court Action
There are two options when it comes to legal action and the one you select is based on the amount owed. The first option is to go through the small claims court. This method allows you to mediate with the customer and reach an answer that you are both happy with. The resolution will generally be the customer paying the debt along with interest and fees such as court dues.
The other method is to work with a debt collection company. This can take place after the small claims court as well if the customer is not keeping to the legal decision. The company will work as a liaison and will help enforce the court decision.
There are a few steps that you can take to collect any business debt. Chasing the debt politely is the first step and you should only send a final notice after a prolonged period of lack of payment. Legal action is the last step to take and could lead to insolvency proceedings.
For more information please see www.laneandcosolicitors.com