How are things going for you? Is there something we can do to help your business during this final quarter of 2017? Do let me know.
One nice way to make your quarter better is to get an infusion of cash.
However, this is too often a rare occurrence. Too many North Georgia businesses rely on poorly-conceived collections practices, and end up having to jeopardize relationships in order to actually be paid for their work.
As we head into the fall, I wanted to take a moment and help you address this issue. After all, it’s a problem which SHOULD prompt creative small business debt collection solutions — instead of the “same old, same old”.
North Georgia Small Business Debt Collection
“Loving someone is like caring for a garden, love it too much or too little and it dies, but love it just right and it will live forever.” -Author Unknown
Many different types of businesses suffer from the problem of accumulated “past due” receivables.
And it’s a problem which shouldn’t *just* be addressed by “normal means” (calling, pestering, etc.).
The good news is that you don’t have to accept the normal status quo — you can actually change the way the game normally works. How? Well, I suggest that you use tactics similar to those which WON you the sale in the first place: discounts, premiums for advance or prompt payments, and good old multi-step follow-up.
If you do have (or ever develop) a receivables problem, you’ll need to take this same sort of aggressive action to clean it up. “Preserving the relationship” with a client who can’t (or won’t, more likely) pay his bills is of little value. And, left alone, collection problems tend to get worse, not better.
Even large, long-established corporations can find themselves in trouble with their payables. In that situation, you as a creditor could wait years for your money and then recover only a percentage of it.
So it’s important that you set into place a *system* for collecting past due accounts.
Because one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned over my years in business is that trends rarely reverse themselves. Trends don’t just change; people change trends. Waiting, procrastinating, delaying action on a negative situation simply means it won’t change — at least, not likely for the better.
When you get that very first glimmer of something “not right” in your business (especially in a financial area), that’s the time to look closer and to take corrective action. Too many people spot the tip of a problem and choose to ignore it, feeling they’ve got enough to handle already, so why go looking for trouble?
The fact is that you need a bias for “sales” in every area of your business — even collections.
So, turn your marketing mind onto it. What incentives can you provide to delinquent customers? How can you “cut through the clutter” so that YOU get paid (while other vendors wait … and wait)? Good headlines, conversational appeals, and multi-step follow-ups is a good place to start. And “starting” on this issue is the biggest step.
From there, set it into place so it happens automatically.
And then you’ll notice the “trends” changing in your favor.
Feel very free to forward this article to a North Georgia business associate or client you know who could benefit from our assistance — or simply send them our way? While these particular articles usually relate to business strategy, as you know, we specialize in tax preparation and planning for North Georgia families and business owners. And we always make room for referrals from trusted sources like you.
Curtis Collins, CPA, CFP®, PFS
ASA Accounting & Tax Services