As you step back for a minute to analyze how your business is doing, take a look at your financial well-being.
For most business owners, their survival revolves around being financially solvent. Seems like an easy concept, but you might be surprised how many individuals running companies struggle with staying out of the red.
That being the case, are you doing everything within your power to make sure your customers make timely payments?
If you are dragging your feet here, you could end up getting behind on payments, leaving you in a precarious position.
So, are you prepared not to drop the ball with on-time customer payments?
Keeping the Money Flowing in
So that you can make sure (as best as possible) that you do not fall behind on customer payments, remember these important tidbits:
- Invoicing – First and foremost, make sure you are sending out necessary invoices on time each month. While some of your customers will pay in-person (especially if you own a physical storefront), others will need to be billed for the purchasing of products and services. For that latter group, you can’t do the invoicing whenever you get around to it. For one, it throws the customer off (especially repeat ones) when they are expecting an invoice around the same time each month. Secondly, it can create a backlog in the invoicing process, again leading to problems. Lastly, you won’t get paid in a timely manner, oftentimes the biggest of all the concerns. If you are having issues with invoices, it could be something as simple as making them up in the first place. In the event that is an issue, look to work with a vendor so you can create a free invoice. Putting an invoice together should take little time and effort, so don’t make it out to be a big project;
- Deadlines – If some customers are not paying you in a timely manner, you are often left with few avenues to turn to. The one that many business owners dread, heading on over to a collection agency. No, it isn’t something you’d prefer to do, but you also want to make sure you get your money before too long. In looking at the collection agency option, use it as a last resort. It may simply be that a friendly reminder or two nudges some customers into paying you when all is said and done. Remember, the customer has already purchased products and/or services from you, so they owe you money if they have not already paid up. Do not feel bad about having to go after them for the money that is due you;
- Assistance – Lastly, it may simply be a case that you need to hire a financial assistant to make sure you get your funds when you should. If you’re a small business owner, the idea of hiring someone may make you hesitate at first, but you also want to make sure all your business needs are being met. Bringing on someone with an accounting background (even in a PT role) is perfectly fine. Doing so removes one more responsibility from your shoulders, allowing you to concentrate on other important facets of your business. Just make sure that whomever you decide to bring on has a good financial background, plus is orderly and works well without lots of supervision.
If you drop the ball when it comes to your customer payments, your business can suffer sooner rather than later.
While some aspects of your business can take a backseat at times, invoicing and customer payments have to be priorities.
Sit down and review how well (or not so well) you are doing when it comes to customer payments.
You might be surprised to see that you are not doing as well as you should be.
When that happens, putting your finger on the problem and ultimately fixing it, that is your best road to travel.
If you have customers struggling to meet their bills, you can work with them (to a degree), that is without letting them take advantage of you when all is said and done.
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About the Author: Dave Thomas covers business topics on the web.