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What's New At Credit Matters?

What's New At Credit Matters?

Our three monthly update on the recession to the end of August is now available on our website.

Attached is a template on Pre-Litigation - Due Diligence, courtesy of Alex Caruna of Risk & Security Management. I believe it is a useful guide if you are forced to seek legal assistance in recovery of funds from recalcitrant customers.

As always, if you wish to promote your business services at an affordable rate, contact Kim at kim@creditmatters.com.au. You will be surprised at the value we have to offer.

As the recession gains momentum, it may wise to contact Kim to see if he can assist. Please note it doesn’t hurt to make contact if you have any questions or realise you need help. It will hurt however, if there are actions you could have taken but didn’t because you didn’t ask for help, or ask any questions.

Quote Of The Month

Quote Of The Month

Sacking last year’s champions may make places for today’s stars. But this year’s hero will soon be last year’s.”

Associate Professor Peter Toohey 9/11/1995 In Campus Review.

Monthly Business Observation

Monthly Business Observation

In business there are three basic types of “champions”. These employees are exceptional at what they do and consequently, they add value above and beyond that of normal employees.

One type of champion is an individual which excels at their role, whatever that may be within the business. Throughout changing times, they stay at the top of their game and continually add value to your business. If at all possible, you need to encourage them to stay.

Another type is yesterday’s champion, who over time, may not adapt to changing circumstances. As a result, their performance and value diminish. Unfortunately, if they refuse to change or cannot adapt to a new business dynamic, perhaps it is then time for them to move on.

Finally, there are those champions which are so good at their tradecraft they add value exponentially above the average. Regretfully, however, they must be kept as far away as possible from administration, accounting or customer service duties. The reason; they are only interested in their work. Mostly these employees also lack the “people or service skills” required to keep your customers happy.

For the betterment of the business, these champions should only be allowed near your customers to liaise on the specifications of the order, project or sale.

It is essential in any business to understand and know who your business’s champions are currently. A number of your champions will always survive as champions because they can adapt, whilst others cannot. Then there are others which are champions of their craft, who unfortunately, should never be allowed near your customers. It is knowing how to deal with each type of champion which is one of the key drivers of success of your business.

Monthly Business Conundrum

Christmas seems to be some time off as we come to the end of September. The fact is, it is only two, or two and half business cycles away, depending on when your customers pay their monthly bills. Therefore, waiting until December to start a ring-around or an email blitz for any outstanding invoices is already too late.

Christmas is a critical time for cashflow for every business.

  1. Suppliers may have set their payment budgets in place having organised a priority on those invoices which have already been authorised for payment.
  2. Suppliers are looking for cash to pay their employees and to cover the extra expenses of celebrating Christmas.
  3. Cash strapped and zombie customers are trying to save cash for their own Christmas requirements.
  4. Customers about to enter insolvency will often pay their employees one last time so they have a “good Christmas” and withhold payments to suppliers. I fear this situation will be even more common this year.
  5. With many businesses closed for the Christmas – New Year period, it can be two to three weeks before any missed payments can be followed up.

Many of these same reasons also apply for the financial year end, whatever time of year that may be for your business.

To manage cashflow from invoices all year round is of critical importance for the overall welfare of your business. It is also particularly important at Christmas and for your end of year financial reports.

The conundrum therefore for many businesses is to ensure you have sufficient time, resources and qualified employees to maintain cashflow and to follow up unpaid invoices. Waiting until the month when cashflow must be maximised is far too late and any efforts are often wasted.

Monthly Business Conundrum
This Month's Business Inconvenient Truth

This Month's Business Inconvenient Truth

A business management team which is afraid of its customers, is a business in trouble. It also suggests that the business has been created on a poor business ethos, with few strategies to manage risk, plus insufficient resources to manage its day-to-day affairs, or withstand any short-term problems.

It is all too obvious when a supplier is afraid of their customers as they will display the following signs.

  1. A lack of self-respect by not sticking up for their own business’s rights when establishing trading relationships.
  2. Ignoring risk by not completing adequate due diligence.
  3. Allowing customers to slow pay and ignore agreed payment terms.
  4. Having employees who cannot pick up a telephone when problems occur to have a rational discussion with the customer’s representatives.
  5. Failing to take legal action to protect the assets of the business, etc.

The worst thing for management of these businesses is when they discover their business is in a destructive trading relationship. The conundrum then is, do they keep going and hope they survive, or there is nothing they can do but to close down their business and hope not to lose too much money.

Updates courtesy of www.asic.gov.au

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