Head of debt recovery Richard Anderson provides some top tips for improving your cash flow.
Many years ago my father, who was a solicitor in Northern Ireland said to me “ Son, only deal with and look after what is in your own control”. I have lived and remembered this for the last 40 years of my life.
You can only determine what you can control. Take for example your business. You can control your product or your services. You can control your credit control. You can control getting paid by your customers or clients.
With what is going on in the world presently and not using the “B” word – Brexit, you may want to look at your cash flow within your business.
- Have you a clear credit control process?
- Do you research your customers/clients credit management?
- Do you maintain a positive working relationship?
- Do you invoice quickly and accurately?
- Do you encourage early payment?
Sometimes we all within our own businesses must go back to basics.
- How do you introduce your customer to your business? Do you know your customer and do you really know that they are able to pay for your goods and/or services?
- Before you take an order, do you research your customer?
Is your new customer:
- An individual, such as Mr John Smith
- An individual trading under another name – Mr John Smith trading as ‘Smithies’
- More than one defendant – Mr John Smith and Mrs Susan Smith
- More than one individual trading as a partnership – Mr John Smith and Mr Jimmy Jones trading as ‘Smith and Jones’
- A limited company – Smith and Jones Limited
- A limited company trading under another name – Smith and Jones Trading as ‘High Street Grocers’
- Do you use credit application forms? Do you send to your customers at the outset your full terms and conditions of business? Do these terms include a retention of title clause, a claim for interest & costs if you have to take action seeking recovery?
- Do you have a good credit control system/procedure in place and does your staff know exactly what to do?
- Do you have weekly/fortnightly meetings with your credit control team?
- Make it easy for your customers to pay – bank transfer. Please do not accept cheques, this will take days to receive and days to clear.
- Communication, Communication, Communication. This is key with your customers, so any “issues” are flagged up immediately.
- Chase promptly for payment.
- Do not be afraid to place your customers on STOP.
- Take early action for recovery. A fresh debt is a collectable debt!
REMEMBER: this is YOUR money
REMEMBER: Cash is KING for your business.