Four in ten businesses in the UK are affected by late payments, which can put stress on your cashflow. If your money is in your customers bank account and not yours it can’t pay your bills, give you a salary or give you the means to grow your business.

Late or non-payments are rarely the problem in itself but are an indication that you don’t have the right credit management tools in place, forgot to do something, or a process broke down, somewhere between receiving the sales enquiry and getting paid (or not as the case may be).

The most common credit management mistakes are: –

 Selling to anyone who asks
 Selling without any terms and conditions, or introducing them too late, e.g. on the back of your invoice
 Being uncomfortable asking customers for payment in case it upsets the relationship

There are a number of things you can do to take back control of your cash flow but these three credit management tools are fundamental to getting paid: –

• Know your customer so you can be confident about who you are trading with and that they will pay you
• Establish the rules you want to do business by before you do anything else and get them agreed
• Have clear processes for invoicing, dispute resolution and credit control so you’re always aware of the status of your cash at any given point in time

Working together you can:

 Understand what type of client you want to work with and where to get the information you need to check them out
 Create terms and conditions that protect your business whilst giving clarity to your customer on what they can expect from you
 Determine appropriate processes for invoicing, disputes and credit control and establish the best way to carry out these functions (in house, outsource)
 Encompass all of the above in a credit management policy that ensures that everyone in your business is working to achieve the same outcomes

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  1. Sound, practical advice that worked.
    By Rachel Davis - May 10, 2018

    I contacted Nicki for help with a debt that I didn’t really want to chase myself – but didn’t want to allow it to go unpaid.
    Nicki acted promptly and took the time to explain the steps to take, helping me to view the situation in a more practical manner, instead of viewing it emotionally.
    I felt much more in control of the situation after speaking to Nicki, and the steps that Nicki told me to take have resulted in a prompt payment of overdue invoices.
    I can’t recommend Nicki highly enough – she gave me the information and strategies I needed – not only for this case, but to prevent me from getting into this situation again.
    Her charges are VERY reasonble too – I honestly thought it would cost more.

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