Debt collection Process

The Debt Collection Habit That Could Save You £1,000s and Increase Cashflow For Your Business

Debt collection: The Chapter Technique

As business owners you might be thinking, what is the best way to stop my business from falling into the trap of poor cashflow and piling up debts that could threaten my business.  It’s a very real worry, and we all know that cashflow is the lifeblood of any business, and so it basically survival in a very competitive modern-day marketplace.

So as a professional debt collection agency, we decided to put together a method of debt collection that completely falls into line with best practice used by the top performing companies all around the world, is easy to implement quickly and will get you results almost instantly.

So we gave it a name. And called it The Chapter Technique.

Think of it like a book, and you need to perform each stage before you take on the next, otherwise the book won’t make sense (you won’t collect your debt).  But each time you read each chapter, you will get closer to the goal of the book (i.e find out the ending), and to collect your debt.

 

Chapter 1.

Pre-sale. Credit check your customer thoroughly.  By that I don’t just mean check companies house for their last set of accounts – a lot can happen in a year since they were published.  Use current systems such as Credit Safe who give you up-to-the-minute information on every company in the UK.  Follow that up with calls to their customers and check if they have a good relationship, do they pay on-time, what are their processes like…this on-the-ground info can be priceless in assessing a new customers trustworthiness.  Make sure you explain to the new customer you are performing these checks and if they are a reputable firm they will welcome the thoroughness of your approach.

 

Chapter 2.

The sale.  Once you make a sale ensure you have all the correct contact information for the customer.  So many times we see people trying to contact the wrong people when collecting a debt. You will need telephone, email, trading address (if different to registered address), name of accounts person, name of Director.  Make sure your sales people are well-trained in gathering this information and performing chapters 1 & 2 when prospecting as this is laying the foundations to prevent any problems later with debt collection.

 

Chapter 3.

The Invoice.  When work has been completed, do not delay the billing process, or wait for a monthly cycle to raise your invoices.  Send them out immediately on completion of work (or even better during) once all the rates have been agreed.  Send by email primarily because then you have proof of receipt.  Be sure to include crucial information as follows:

  • Your company name and address
  • Your contact details (telephone, email address, fax)
  • Contact name for queries
  • How much is payable
  • Payment terms
  • Bank details
  • Alternative methods of payment you might accept (cheque, paypal, credit card etc)

If nothing else, remember 1 thing about your invoice: it is a notice-to-pay.  So therefore the customer needs to be clear on 2 things: how much is due and how they can pay it. 

So many times we see invoices that are ambiguous and customers simply push them to the bottom of the pile.  We also see that incorrect invoices are the no.1 reason for late payment – so make sure you get it right first time!

Chapter 4.

Internal Collection Process.  This should be a standardised procedure and will need 1 person managing the entire process so you can keep track of the situation easily.  There should be a time-table of events, starting from Day 1 of the invoice, and to keep things simple follow 3 steps:

Step 1. 7 days before your invoice is due call your customer make sure they have a copy of the invoice

Step. 2 On due date (usually 30 days) call or email your customer to remind them payment is due and ask them for an exact payment date (if they need a reason, it’s so you can schedule this into your cashflow forecasts)

Step 3. 7 days after the due date, if they still haven’t promised payment, remind them the invoice is overdue and continued non-payment will result in Interest and Charges being added to their account

 

Chapter 5.

External Collection Process.  Once a debt has reached a period of roughly 60 days beyond Invoice date, you would usually look to an external agency to collect the debt.  It is proven that the chances of collecting debts in-house after 60 days are significantly reduced after this period because you lose credibility in collecting, and your customers think you are a soft touch and they can get away with it.

The longer you leave a debt for collection, the more difficult it is to collect, even for an external collection agency, because many factors can come into play once a debt is aged:

  • Debtor could have stopped trading
  • Debor could be insolvent
  • Debtor could have absconded or gone away
  • The old contact may have left the company
  • Telephone numbers may have changed
  • Office address may have changed
  • They could have merged with another company

So you can see that it is critical that the debt collection process is managed with very strict time-table to maximise fully the chances of collection, and keep your business in positive cash-flow position.

 

Chapter 6.

Legal Action.  This should be the last resort in most cases.  Once all methods of debt collection and attempts to contact the debtor have been exhausted, you should consider contacting a solicitor to consider legal proceedings against the debtor.

This will secure your debt, providing the business intends to continue trading, and guarantee the value of your debt against any assets the company has.  A process of enforcement can then follow this action, which involves instruction to the High Court to remove goods from the premises of the debtor.  It is essential however that full credit checks are carried out on the business prior to any legal action in order to secure your debt.

 

So that brings us to the end of The Chapter Technique, and we hope you find the techqniue useful for your business to collect debts and have a very prosperous business,

 

If you are struggling to collect business debts in your business, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01332 565 350 or email enquiries@tauruscollections.com for a no obligation assessment of how we can help you out.

Debts Owed By a Business

Debts Owed By a Business – What To Do When Your Customers Don’t Pay

If you are in a situation where debts owed by a business is affecting your cashflow, you should take all precautions to protect your position as a creditor.  There are numerous steps you can take before spending a fortune on solicitors to resolve the situation by court action, and we have put together a useful checklist to help you out.

When debts owed by a business is a problem for your company, try and follow these simple steps as soon as you think there is an issue:

  • Credit check your debtor – although this may be too late at this stage, it is still worth getting a history of the debtor because for instance if they have been trading for 20+ years the chances are this is a blip and they will eventually pay up with a long history of trading.
  • Correspond by ALL means – when debts owed by a business there should be a procdure in place and you should use all means of communicating with them. Email, phone, letter – even a visit to the company premises because then at least you can see what is physically there and if the business is trading as normal, then you have a good chance of collecting your debt.
  • Speak to a Debt Collector – when all means of internal collections have been exhausted, your last resort when debts owed by a business is a problem for you should be to contact a 3rd party debt collection agency. They generally collect on a contingency basis, whereby they only charge fees on the collected balance and always look to recover costs and interest, so you shouldn’t really lose out.

Many of our clients that have debts owed by a business can say they have a procedure in place for collecting late payments, and in order to keep your cashflow in good order, your company should too.

Debts Owed By a Business

Debtors will often delay payments as long as they think they can get away with it, but we find once you escalate the matter those that can pay do pay, and those that can’t generally talk to us and arrange a repayment plan.  So really you shouldn’t delay things when debts owed by a business.

If you are struggling to collect debts from other businesses, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01332 565 350 for a no obligation assessment of how we can help you improve your cashflow and collection rates.

I Need Help With A Late Paying Customer

I Need Help With A Late Paying Customer

We get asked this question all the time, as you might have guessed.  I need help with a late paying customer are the words most people will use at some point in there business.  But it doesn’t have to be a painful experience, and the best solution is often found by just adopting very simple business principles, that they don’t really teach in business school!

So let the lesson begin, we will try and make the words “I need help with a late paying customer” be a thing of the past with just a few tips to implement in your business:

  • Invoicing – get this right and you are half way there. Make sure you include bank details, payment terms and make sure it is invoiced to the correct entity!  We have seen this a lot lately, when a business is so excitied to get the new business, they spend no time finding out who the correct business entity is and then 2-3 months down the line they find out the delays in payment are due to being billed incorrectly!  Easily fixed!
  • Chasing procedures – you need to be disciplined and robust in your approach. Have a systematic procedure of chasing, at a minimum, of every 7 days on overdue balances, and don’t just chase endlessly.  If you are not getting a response, always look to outsource to legal or a 3rd party debt collector and get them to add all costs to get you back to no-cost.
  • Relationship – this is important, and one that many people forget – the better you have a relationship with your customers, the easier it will be to resolve a late payment issue. An open channel of communication allows you to contact the person you sold to directly, and often these can resolve the issue quicker than simply contacting an Accounts Dept who try and put you off getting paid as their focus is protecting their company cashflow.

I Need Help With A Late Paying Customer

So let the words I need help with a late paying customer be forgotten as we head into 2019 and start implementing some startegies for collections to keep on top of your cashflow.

If you are struggling to collect business debt in the New Year in 2019, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01332 565 350 for a no obligation assessment of how we can help your business.

How To Collect Debts For Small Business

How To Collect Debts For Small Business

If you are wondering how to collect debts for small business, try this simple 3-step procedure to help you collect debts quickly in your business.

Apply these quick techniques to see your company cashflow improve within weeks!

This 1 minute guide takes you through exactly how to collect debts for small business using the telephone, which is a necessary part of being in business!

You could say its the How To Collect Debts For Small Business Ultimate Guide!

 

 

collect business debt

How to collect business debt quickly this Xmas and without the hassle

Each year around this time at Christmas, many people are looking to collect business debt before the big shutdown at Christmas.  2018 is no different!  And with Brexit around the corner, many businesses are worried about an uncertain future.

Most of our clients ask us the same questions about how they can collect business debt quickly and what procedures they can put in place to prevent late payments in future.  What is the most cost effective solution to collect business debt?  Our answers are always the same.  You need a plan!  Whether small, medium or large sized, every business must have set procedures in place when collecting money from their customers.

Collect Business Debt

So we have assembled 3 key points on how you can collect business debt quickly which will bring fast results in your business:

  • Be Pro-active – Plan your debt collection steps on the day you invoice your client. Diarise calls after 7 days – to make sure your customer has received a copy of the invoice okay.  Call on 14-21 days – to make sure your customer has no disputes.  Call on 28 days – to request a payment date for the coming month.  These are all pro-active steps which you can take BEFORE your invoices become overdue, ensuring no excuses can be used for payment much beyond your 30 day terms.

 

  • Be flexible – remember collecting debts can be difficult when there is no money to collect. In other words, work with your customer to ensure payment over a period of time if they cannot pay in full.  Or, take a 50% on-account payment as good-will, and review their account in 7 days.  FACT: Many debtors do not pay because they believe they have to pay in full in one go!

 

  • Be confident – if you don’t ask you don’t get. Ask confidently for payment in 30 days’ time in your email to your customer when you send the invoice.  Ask confidently when you call your customer to chase payment that you want to be paid in 7 days’ time.  State confidently that non-payment of the account will result in the matter being handed over to a 3rd party collection agency and Interest and Late Payment Compensation will be added to the balance.  You have done the work; do not be afraid to ask for what you are owed!

To collect business debt with speed and efficiency this Xmas you first have to put in place the correct plan and procedures to protect your business and be confident in your demands for payment!

If you are struggling to collect business debt this Xmas, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01332 565 350 or email enquiries@tauruscollections.com for a no obligation assessment of how we can help your business.

Debt collection in Other Countries

Do You Struggle With Debt Collection in Other Countries?

Many of our clients who first approach us are desperate for help when they are looking for debt collection in other countries.  When you first decide to export your products or services, you do not predict that there will be payment problems, delays or disputes along the way – you are just excited to be trading as a global player.

As all businesses know, you need to plan for risk events, and that is why it is important to have a procedure in place for debt collection in other countries.

So we have put together a few pointers to help you consider the process of escalation involved if you are struggling with debt collection in other countries:

  • Chase in-house – utilise all your expertise in-house to resolve the situation before anything else. Your sales team, your credit control, head of finance, even your MD should get involved because you want to have tried every avenue for collection, before considering escalation.
  • 3rd Party outsource – once you understand that the debt cannot be collected in-house, or you simply do not have the resources, you should immediately search for a 3rd party debt collection agency, preferably in-country or one with a network of global partners, to recover the debt on your behalf. Debt collection in other countries is best left to the experts in the industry, and on the ground.
  • Legal action – this is the absolute last resort, and will likely be very expensive, but you should always keep this option open because in many countries legal costs are at least in-part recoverable and it may not be as expensive as you think to attain a court order in your favour. But you must bear on mind, if they still don’t pay thereafter how do you enforce it and the costs involved thereafter.

Debt collection in other countries

So there you have it, a small guide on debt collection in other countries and how you should procedurise and escalate accordingly.

Its crucial that if you are exporting overseas you make contact with a debt collection agency with partners around the world to help, when needs be, with the collection of any outstanding monies.

It is our passion that you are paid on-time by foreign debtors and our clients are very happy with our services.  If you are struggling to collect debt in another country and want to speak to us for a chat to see if we can help you out, please don’t hesitate to call us on 01332 565 350 or email enquiries@tauruscollections.com

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