MAY YOU BE PAID TODAY RATHER THAN TOMORROW
Today we operate in a world of great uncertainty. Short term thinking, the after effects of the GFC are still with us, banks are still not lending enough for business to survive and grow and consumer confidence, is fragile at best.
This makes getting paid for your goods and services an ever ending battle. Sure, you can say as many business owners do, that is just the way of our marketplace and we cannot do anything about that!
With that sort of negative thinking, you will find other people are running your business not you. Once you allow your customers to dominate your operating philosophy, then it can be extremely difficult to reverse this position of power.
However, even in the worst of situations, there are strategies, objectives and interventions you can use to better safeguard your business. Business is not a static process. Business is an ongoing evolution of trial and error and wins alongside the losses. However you have to be willing to try and change both your attitude and the way you do business.
In an effort to move forward, I suggest you try small changes to processes and then measure the success or otherwise of the result. Here are my suggestions.
1 Think about each new customer which approaches your business. For instance, they do not know how you operate, only that they want your product and service. New customers, especially the smaller dollar valued ones, make ideal guinea pigs for trying out other ways of doing business.
2 Improve your credit granting and review processes. For example use Google, Facebook and Linkedin etc. to see what people are saying about your customers, new and old. Check these information sources regularly, especially when payments slow down.
3 Make more regular contacts for payment of the unpaid invoice and gear these contacts for when the customer's representatives are at work.
4 In special situations, try a pre-payment contact to confirm your payment is to be made on time.
5 If you as the business owner, have difficulty in making telephone contact, for whatever reason, employ the right sort of person to make these telephone conversations.
6 Never put off a telephone call or email contact today in the hope the payment arrives. Gear yourself or employees to make the telephone contact as soon as the banking and mail have been checked for payment.
7 Depending on your business and industry, do not be afraid to ask for money upfront, or for part payments and instalment payments.
We live in tough times and 2013 does not look like it will be any easier. Therefore if you do nothing else this year, work to ensure you are paid as quickly as possible. It is the best way to survive in business and protect your cashflow.
May you be paid today rather than tomorrow