Getting paid is the only way that your business can stay operational,but collecting business debt can be harder than you imagine. This means knowing how to collect business debts is a vital skill to ensure success. The problem is that lots of people go about this in the wrong way. If you do not know how to collect business debts correctly,you could alienate your customers and negatively impact your business.
The start of the debt collection process will be the normal invoicing to your customer. The invoice should have data about the payment period which is often 30 days. This should be agreed before you start work with a customer,your the payment terms needing to be reiterated on the invoice.
You will not be able to get payment of the debt if you have not provided a good invoice. Not only does the invoice need to have information about the payment terms,but it should also have a detailed breakdown of what was provided. This can be very helpful in the long run.
Follow Up The Payment
If you have not been paid when you should,you need to start chasing the payment. The way that you do this will depend on how you run your business. Some people chase payment via email while others will phone the customer. Regardless of the method used,you need to be polite when you remind them about the payment.
You should never start with an aggressive approach. This will just make the customer less likely to pay,because you have been unnecessarily aggressive to them. The emails and calls should also be kept short and spaced correctly.
Sending The Final Notice
If you have not been paid for a long period of time,you will eventually have to send a final demand. This is the last item of communication before you take legal action. The notice states that the customer has until a set time to pay before you start pursuing court action to claim the money owed.
In most cases,a final notice will be enough to get payment. However,if you are still not being paid and there has been no real reason for this,you will need to take legal action. It is important to note that before this stage is reached,you should place any further work for the client on hold and not provide them with further work or services.
Taking Legal Action
There are two options when it comes to legal action and the one you select is based on the amount owed. The first option is to go through the small claims court. This option allows you to discuss matters with the customer and reach an answer that you are both happy with. The resolution will generally be the client paying the debt along with interest and fees such as court dues.
The other option is to work with a debt collection company. This can take place after the small claims court as well if the customer is not keeping to the legal decision. The company will work as a liaison and will help enforce the court decision.
There are a few steps that you can take to collect any business debt. Chasing the debt politely is the first step and you should only send a final notice after a prolonged period of time. Legal action is the final step to take and could lead to insolvency proceedings.
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